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Title: Gendered small-scale crops and power dynamics: a case of uninga (sesame) production amongst the Ndau of south-eastern Zimbabwe
Authors: Sipeyiye, Macloud
Muyambo, Tenson
Keywords: Ndau women
Sustainable development
Feminine crops
Uninga (sesame)
African women theology
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: AOSIS
Series/Report no.: HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies;Vol. 77; No. 2
Abstract: Women in Ndau communities, like in many African communities, are the fulcrum of household economies that ensure improved livelihoods of their communities. Thus, they are an indispensable factor in the sustainable development equation of their communities. It is sadly true that women do not own land in most African societies. Consequently, most studies analyse the realities of gender inequality in the distribution of resources that include land. However, very few studies recognise, appreciate and amplify the role of women in reproducing and transforming the society through their participation in agricultural activities even on pieces of land that they do not call their own. In this article we examined the power and influence that women derive from their agricultural activities, especially their association with the cultivation of crops that have often been labelled as feminine. We sought to recognise the agency of women not only in transforming livelihoods, but also gender inequalities in terms of control and influence on the use, valorisation and sale of agricultural produce. We examined the phenomenon of the crops associated with female gender from a new perspective that compels a rereading of the narratives that often dwarf women’s agricultural activities and crops associated with them. This article focussed on the production of uninga [sesame] amongst the Ndau of Musikavanthu and Chipinge South Constituencies covering areas that include Rimbi, Manzvire, Mwanyisa, Rimai, Rukangare and Garahwa in south-eastern Zimbabwe. The article’s overall theoretical framework is the African women theology that emphasises on African women as agents, not subordinated and passive subjects of history. The study is qualitative, and it used interviews, focus group discussions and observations as instruments for gathering data.
ISSN: 0259-9422
Appears in Collections:Research Papers

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