Understanding women’s experiences in the context of climate change in Mawanga Ward, Goromonzi District: A feminist sociological study.
MetadataShow full item record
The study was conducted with the purpose of gaining an understanding of women’s experiences in the context of climate change. The study focused on women in Mawanga ward in Goromonzi district of Zimbabwe. In particular the study set out to assess the changes in climate in Mawanga over the past ten years and how these changes had affected women’s livelihoods and to identify the coping mechanisms adopted by women to minimise their vulnerability and improve their adaptive capacity to climate change. The study took a qualitative approach in collecting data. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 50 women who were selected using convenience sampling from six villages in Mawanga ward. Six interviews were also conducted with key informants from the study area while one focus group discussion which involved 10 women was conducted. The data which was collected was subjected to thematic analysis to determine the dominant themes which emerged from the study. Women were not conversant with the concept of climate change but had observed that weather had become more and more unpredictable, and climatic trends which they had not previously known were now prevalent. Climate change had compromised the livelihoods of women in Mawanga ward. The women in Mawanga ward also had the belief that they could improve their livelihoods in the context of climate change if they observed their culture and performed certain rites. The study concluded that the burden of dealing with the effects of climate change was mostly borne by women, who then have less time to focus on their own personal development. This from a sociological perspective revealed that climate change has significant gendered impacts explaining why women’s efforts to address and shape mitigation and adaptation strategies have failed to reduce their vulnerability and adaptive capacity. However, part-time jobs, poultry production, piggery, cross border trading, informal trade and savings clubs were coping mechanisms which women adopted in the face of the effects of climate change on their food production. The application of Ecofeminism theory in gender analysis in this study has made important sociological contributions to the impact of gender equality in climate change by prompting discussions about how to understand and analyse gender in combination with other identities and their interaction with the environment. Based on the gender analysis, it was hypothesised that securing land tenure for women was key to help them improve their potential adaptive capacity as well as reducing their vulnerability. Women were bearing the burden of dealing with the effects of climate change to a greater extent than men and this compromised their personal development.
Additional Citation InformationPhute, T. (2017).Understanding women’s experiences in the context of climate change in Mawanga Ward, Goromonzi District: A feminist sociological study. [Unpublished master's thesis]. University of Zimbabwe.
University of Zimbabwe
SubjectClimate change and women’s livelihoods
Government of Zimbabwe