Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Gender and Sustainability: Learning from Women’s Farming in the Global South

Version 1 : Received: 4 August 2020 / Approved: 5 August 2020 / Online: 5 August 2020 (10:38:58 CEST)

How to cite: Glazebrook, T.; Opoku, A.E. Gender and Sustainability: Learning from Women’s Farming in the Global South. Preprints 2020, 2020080127 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202008.0127.v1). Glazebrook, T.; Opoku, A.E. Gender and Sustainability: Learning from Women’s Farming in the Global South. Preprints 2020, 2020080127 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202008.0127.v1).

Abstract

Africa was the only continent not to achieve the 2015 Millennium Development Goal of 50% poverty reduction. This paper asks whether Africa will fare better in meeting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) addressing poverty and hunger by 2030. To answer this question we examine literature, including our field research published over the last thirteen years. We find that ‘sustainable development’ is a failed concept immersed in the contemporary global economic system that favors growth over ecosystem stability and patriarchal systems of governance that undervalue women’s capacity for sustainability in their care-work as food providers. We examine barriers to women’s farming (climate change, gender bias, limited access to land, technology, finance) and provide examples of women’s innovative strategies for overcoming these barriers in their care practices toward family and community well-being and ecosystem health. We conclude that sustainability is only possible through transformation of thinking away from approaches that value profit over people and ecosystems and toward gender-based approaches for achieving the goals laid out in the SDGs through holistic, integrative systems of ecosystem fit.

Subject Areas

sustainability; Sustainable Development Goals; Africa/Ghana; women and gender; agriculture; food security; climate change; capital economics; patriarchal governance; care labor/logics/practices

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