Gendered resource mapping: Focusing on women's spaces in the landscape
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In smallholder farming communities, women and men have access and control of different natural resources and specific ecological knowledge. However, local males or researchers are allowing for women's spaces and natural resources to be removed or controlled. These actions are often disempowering for women's economic and social power in smallholder communities. Based on this viewpoint, this article discusses how researchers can use participatory qualitative and "geometric" mapping resources to map gendered differences in the landscape to determine how to implement gender-equal conservation agriculture plans. According to the authors, previous resource maps have failed to accurately create maps from multiple social and physical perspectives. The preliminary methods of determining "gendered space and place" involve gender-separate or community-based meetings, focus group interviews, transect walks, participatory mapping, analysis of economic income, and identifying gendered crop and vegetation spaces. The authors suggest researchers draw "countermaps" with community members, focusing on conveying space or natural resources that show gender use. For example, a "lowland rice field" becomes a "lowland rice fields with hedges for goat fodder" (showing a resource women use). These maps could specifically focus on mapping women's knowledge, space, and privileges and emphasize conflict areas with men. This type of participatory mapping has shown to be successful for both community members and researchers.