Scientific Publication

The Dynamics of Gender Relations under Recurrent Drought Conditions: a Study of Borana Pastoralists in Southern Ethiopia


We examine the dynamics of gender relations in terms of changes in gender roles and access to resources under recurrent drought conditions in Borana, Southern Ethiopia, using data from household surveys, focus group discussions, key informant interviews, and field observations. Results show that in traditional Borana society, roles are structured on the basis of gender and age groups with women responsible for activities in and around their dwellings whereas men are responsible for livestock management. However, changes in pastoral production due to recurrent droughts seem to be transforming the gender roles so that women’s workload, areas of decision-making, and income-earning opportunities have increased.