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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Food Security in Northern Malawi: Gender, Kinship Relations and Entitlements in Historical Context
Author:Kerr, Rachel B.
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:Malawi
Subjects:food security
gender division of labour
gender inequality
History and Exploration
Women's Issues
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Family Life
Cultural Roles
Sex Roles
Labor and Employment
Marital Relations and Nuptiality
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03057070500035679
Abstract:This article examines household food security in the Ekwendeni region of northern Malawi using the concept of entitlements, set within a broader world historical framework. It criticizes the bargaining approach to household gender relations. Historical relations created a gendered experience of food security in northern Malawi. Qualitative research carried out in the Ekwendeni region indicates that women have fewer entitlements within the household, at least in part due to the modified patrilineal system of the Tumbuka-speaking people with Ngoni heritage in the region. They have a higher workload in terms of household reproduction as well as agricultural and market activities. Women are responsible for caring for sick relatives within and beyond the household, which affects household food security. Wives are less likely to receive support for kin in the form of seeds, cash, land or food, in comparison to husbands, who in turn do not always give these resources to the household. Women do not have much decisionmaking power over major production issues. There is evidence for high levels of spousal abuse, as well as excessive use of alcohol by husbands, which also affects household food security. Wives' unequal position is thus due to a lack of entitlements, such as land, access to employment, support from kin and the State. Some differences between this area of northern Malawi and areas in central and southern Malawi are due to the different entitlements, particularly control over land and income. Food security in northern Malawi is thus affected by women's unequal access to entitlements. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]