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ANNEX 1: Questions to answer when investigating gender issues

ANNEX 1: Questions to answer when investigating gender issues

In a more in-depth analysis of the gender-related issues, it can be helpful to analyse separately the relevant considerations for individually relevant groups and activities. The following is a framework outlining the specifically relevant considerations to examine in different contexts.

Each analysis should begin by disaggregating issues at the project site because asking certain questions about different parts of the community can help clarify each community sub-group and its relationship to project beneficiaries.

A RURAL FAMILY LIVES within a system composed of four basic parts:

_ the household and its individual members

_ the livestock and wildlife

_ the crops; and

_ the natural vegetation including trees and forests

The household and its individual members

n Who makes up a household?

_ Husband, wife and children?

_ Husband, wives, grandparents and children?

_ A woman and her child?

In many regions, the extended family makes a definition of "household " cliff cult. In one area of Africa, the definition became "those people who eat from the same pot" or "use the same cooking fire" Whatever the definition, it should be used consistently by the project team.

n How many female headed households are there?

Note that different forms of living arrangements - monogamy, polyandry, consensual unions and polygamy - have different implications for different family members depending on age and gender. In many parts of the world it is a matter of honour that a man be counted as head of household even though he may be absent because of death, divorce, migration, or abandonment.

n How do rights differ within a household?

A first wife may have privileges of land tenure that the third wife does not have. An older woman often has more freedom and decision-making power than does a woman of child-bearing age. A man may own a tree, but the women may control its leaves or fruit.

The livestock and wildlife

n What livestock are kept?

_ Are they large or small animals?

_ Why are they kept: milk, eggs, dung, religious reasons, status, bride wealth?

_ Are wild animals used; how are they used, during what seasons?

Taboos surrounding the use of animals and animal products are frequent. In many areas, very little meat is eaten, especially by women, and parts of the animal, even a chicken or fish, are relegated by gender, age and status. Among the Shona in Zimbabwe, for example, cattle are used for manure, for ploughing, to enhance male status and as payment to a bride's father. Seldom are cattle used for beef.

n Who takes care of different animals?

_ Do women and men have control over different animals?

_ Who milks animals and collects fodder and dung?

_ Who builds pens and what type of material do they use?

_ Who benefits from the livestock and in what way?

_ If women are in charge, does the fodder need to be available close to the household compound?

Women frequently care for small livestock - calves, chickens, rabbits while men care for large animals. Sometimes women manage the animals that remain close to the home while men manage those that go greater distances; herds requiring grazing, fodder and water.

n Who hunts, processes and benefits from large game, small animals, insects and fish?

The crops

n What crops - annual and perennial - are raised and how are they used?

_ Which are for sale and which are for home use?

_ How are trees used to manage soil, water or wind for annual crop production?

_ When trees are introduced as crops, whose land will be used?

_ Will food or income patterns change?

In many rural areas of the world, households have fruit trees - banana, mango, coconut, jackfruit, breadfruit, papaya, guava, cashew, apples, berries - near the homestead.

_ Who in the household works with the crops?

_ Who plants, who cooks and who markets?

_ Do men and women work with different crops?

The management of specific crops is often closely related to gender. In many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, women are responsible for certain crops and have their own fields. Often these are subsistence crops, such as cassava, millet, vegetables. Men are more involved with cash crops, rice, coffee and tea.

Even when crops are grown by women and men together, the related tasks may be gender-specific. In Sri Lanka, both men and women are actively involved in agriculture. Men, however, are primarily responsible for land preparation and chemical application, whereas women dominate other tasks -seeding, transplanting, weeding, harvesting and processing. As a result, when a tree plantation is introduced, for example, men may be responsible for clearing the land while women may have responsibility for carrying water. When agroforestry is introduced, women may need to spend time weeding around the trees while men may sell the goods produced and control the income.

Natural vegetation and trees

n What areas of natural vegetation are available and how are they used?

_ Is there communal land and what are the rules for its use?

_ If there is forest reserve land, who has access to which products from it?

_ Are there products that could benefit rural families if made available?

_ Could these areas be managed to provide more benefits, especially to the poor, without placing others at a disadvantage?

_ Who in the household collects and uses these products?

Landless and land poor families everywhere take advantage of forest and tree resources when they are available. A study shows that farm families in Northeast Thailand obtain 60% of their food from nearby forests. In India, landless women often depend on government forests for food, fuel and fodder for family use and raw materials for forest products they sell.

n What trees are found on the farm and in household areas, who controls them, who has the rights to them and who actually uses them?

_ If trees are in fields or near homes, which are they and what are their functions?

_ Were they planted, protected or "just there"?

_ If they were planted, were they planted by seed, cutting, transplanted from elsewhere or from seedlings raised or purchased from a nursery?

_ Who in the family selected the trees, who planted them and who has the rights to fruits, leaves, branches?

_ Who can cut the trees down?

_ Which trees, if any, are used for fodder, medicines, fuelwood, food or soil, water or wind management?

_ Are they for household use or income-generation?

_ Are they used to provide shelter for animals, as building materials or to make household utensils?

n Who in the family has control over land use and other tree and forestry decisions?

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