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Title:Losing ground - women and agriculture on Sudan's irrigated schemes: lessons from a Blue Nile village
Author:Bernal, V.ISNI
Book title:Agriculture, women, and land: the African experience / ed. by Jean Davison. - Boulder, Col. [etc.]: Westview Press
Geographic term:Sudan
Subjects:gender relations
land law
agricultural projects
Abstract:Irrigated schemes are central to Sudan's agricultural development strategy. The consequences of irrigated schemes for Muslim women in northern Sudan are explored in the present case study of Wad al Abbas, where an irrigated scheme was established in 1954. The author, who did fieldwork in Wad al Abbas in 1980-1982, argues that the irrigation schemes reduced women's control over land, reduced their participation in agriculture, and introduced a new division of labour by sex so that most women take no part in farming and those that do are largely restricted to the most arduous, least rewarding task, picking cotton. The schemes also led to changes in the household economy where men gained incomes while women's work (with the exception of cotton picking) remained unpaid. Finally, the schemes increased the importance of cash in the household economy, promoted male labour migration and spread urban gender norms, which are more restrictive of women, to rural populations. The implications of this study for agricultural policy are outlined in the conclusion. Bibliogr., notes.