Academia and development were not looking at women’s roles in irrigation in the right way. The literature review proposes a more fluid relationship between the household, and farming.
It is important to view relationship dynamics within the home, including divisions in control of land, water access, and products of the labour to understand irrigation practices more fully
development agencies involved in farmer led-irrigation are not necessarily aware of the subtleties of the context, and reproduce biases. The bias of the practitioners understanding of gender dynamics, for example may not reflect the dynamics on the field. This bias has observable effects on the implementation of development projects, and can perpetuate biases rather than work around them.
As an example, some older western literature proposes a clear-cut dichotomy of men’s vs women’s domains in work and life, which in reality are much more diffused and nuanced.
It is essential for foreign academics and and development agencies to be aware of their biases in understanding to avoid imposing potentially harmful views and ideas. Theoretical research is especially vulnerable to this, as there is noone talking back to you to highlight biases or created expectations.
Literature review, and a reflection from work in the field.
Literature review that was not field tested. In retrospect, the relationship between farming and the household was not as fluid as described in this paper.
|Farmer-led irrigation||Irrigation systems built, managed and used by farmers without intervention from public agencies. Considered informal/extra-legal by the city government|
|Feminist understanding||Not presuming or naturalizing gender identities or structures, but remembering that gender is a social construct and that social relations cannot be explained by sexual differences, but by the meanings attributed to them|
|Machambas||Family-held agricultural holdings that comprise the majority of Mozambiques agriultural land/output|