Editorial Chief: Jemimah M. Njuki, Africa Centre for Gender, Social Research and Impact Assessment

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Vol 2, Issue 3, pp 84-105, 2017

‘What’s in a Name’: Implications of Women’s Cattle Ownership for Transformative Gender Mainstreaming in Botswana

Author: Erin Must1,* and Alice J. Hovorka2
1PhD Candidate, Collaborative Geography and International Development Studies Department of Geography. University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1
2Director, School of Environmental Studies, Queen's University Kingston ON K7L 3N6 Canada
*Corresponding Author: emaciver@uoguelph.ca


This paper uses a case study exploring women's access to and associations with cattle in Botswana to understand how gendered affiliations with cattle affects women's opportunities, both materially and ideologically. It explores female cattle owners' lived experiences and naming practices to illuminate the role cattle play in addressing women's individual gendered needs. It also considers the ways cattle access policies connect to these lived experiences. Findings highlight that women are gaining confidence in pursuing this traditionally male undertaking, but are also using it as a means to fulfill normative domestic roles. This implies that cattle could be a way to achieve transformative change regarding gender equality in Botswana through addressing practical and strategic gender needs simultaneously. An exploration of this nature is particularly salient given the Government of Botswana's renewed commitment to gender mainstreaming and their relative lack of baseline knowledge of women's involvement in cattle farming.

Keywords: Gender Mainstreaming, Gender Needs, Critical Feminism, Botswana, Cattle

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DOI: 10.19268/JGAFS.232017.5
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