CGIAR Gender News

Transforming gender norms for land restoration in Kenya

workshop Photo: Rhys Bucknall-Williams/AICCRA

Challenging disempowering gender norms is central to inclusive restoration. Gender-transformative workshops are a critical first step.

Picture Jacinta, a 43-year-old mother of five. She farms three acres or about 1.2 hectares but the title deed bears only her husband’s name. Jacinta and her children do most of the home- and farm-related duties, such as cooking, fetching water and firewood, tilling, and harvesting. Yet her husband decides what to grow and how the farm income is to be spent. He also decides on what restoration practices are to be carried out, including which tree species to plant and where.

Despite carrying much of the labour burden of on-farm restoration activities, women are often excluded from equitable participation in decision-making, jeopardizing the realization of restoration goals.

This sombre story reflects the reality of many smallholding households in Makueni County, Kenya, as demonstrated in February 2022 during two gender and land restoration training workshops held by the Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF) in Mbooni and Kibwezi East sub-counties.