Gender, local soil knowledge, and access to resources in the Andean Region, Bolivia
Christie, Maria Elisa
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A paper presentation given at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers in 2012. The abstract submitted: "In smallholder farming communities, men and women have access to and control over different spaces in the landscape, forming gendered knowledges, beliefs, and perceptions based on their experiences. In the Andean region of Bolivia, these gendered knowledges and landscapes are marked by varied mountain geography, diverse cultural practices, and a history of land reform and agricultural changes. This research will present findings based primarily on student fieldwork documenting gendered landscapes of local soil knowledge and access to resources in a Quechua-speaking, smallholder farming community. Participatory mapping and participant observation were used to capture gendered access to land and livestock to people's everyday connection with the soil. The purpose was to identify gender-related factors that contribute to conservation agricultural production systems (CAPS) as a means to address soil health in gender-inclusive and gender-equitable ways. This work contributes to an understanding of nature-society relationships from a gender perspective. Research design was influenced by literature from ethnopedology, political ecology, and feminist political ecology. Methods included participatory mapping, photo interpretation, focus groups, GPS mapping of fields, activity charts, participant observation, and a host-family stay. Analysis of data illustrates men and women's different knowledges in correlation with their different use of and access to various landscape features" (Agriesti; Abstract submitted for presentation).