Beyond fetching water for livestock: A gendered sustainable livelihood framework to assess livestock-water productivity

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Nairobi, Kenya: International Livestock Research Institure (ILRI)


In this paper, the authors assert that within recent development initiatives aimed at improving access to quality water, the use of water in livestock maintenance and production as a livelihood strategy is largely ignored. Livestock is an important asset for many individuals and communities in poor countries. However livestock production is complex, varying by region and culture, and affecting and benefiting men and women differently based on their roles within the system and access and control of assets. Therefore, the authors suggest using a Gendered Sustainable Livelihood Framework (GSLF) to examine the gendered relations of livestock production with respect to necessary inputs, generated outputs, and factors affecting the distribution of outputs. The paper concludes by relating the framework to similar frameworks, and offers recommendations for applying the framework in field work.


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Sustainable development, Social capital, Women, Livelihoods, Water, Gender, Livestock, Division of labor, Gender roles, Knowledge, Human capital, Financial capital, Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan, Farm/Enterprise Scale


ILRI Working Paper Series No. 1