Because rangelands make up more than 50% of our world's land mass, it is crucial we understand women's roles in regard to rangelands and continue to research and study this important global community.
Lawrence, KS (PRWEB) January 09, 2014
Rangelands – It is no secret that discrimination is prevalent throughout the world. Although some societies have made significant steps toward change, gender bias is still prominent across the globe. There is a major male–female distinction leading to women’s isolation in one particular area: rangelands. Female ranchers or pastoralists, women who serve rangelands as professional educators, and women of academia who research this topic and attempt to execute outreach endeavors struggle to establish a role for themselves among men.
Traditionally, a woman’s role in the rangeland household was to be the caretaker, the child rearer, and the housekeeper rather than a livestock and land manager. It is clear that gender gaps still exist. In some locations, women are almost invisible within the household (in some cases not counted a separate member of the household in government data), are not leaders within the community, and are not able to own land or major livestock unless widowed. There is change on the horizon, and some of these issues are being addressed.
The article “Women as Change Agents in the World’s Rangelands: Synthesis and Way Forward,” which appears in a special issue of Rangelands on women as change agents, provides an overview of 11 different presentations from a symposium at the 2013 Society for Range Management meeting. The article offers ideas on future research, education, and policy based on the authors’ research of groups of women from several different socioeconomic situations and locations, including the High Andes, Kenya, the United States, Afghanistan, and Australia.
Special organizations and programs are being developed to help advocate for change. One organization, the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) focuses on the progress of rural women in developing countries. WEAI ensures the success of projects working toward reducing gender gaps and improving women’s access to land, assets, and employment. Other programs include the ADVANCE program from the National Science Foundation and the AWARD program from the US Agency for International Development.
There are already gender shifts occurring in certain societies where men are taking on more household and child responsibilities. Women are becoming more proactive in their communities, becoming more involved in education, and becoming more confident to take steps forward. Because rangelands make up more than 50% of our world’s land mass, it is crucial we understand women’s roles in regards to rangelands and continue to research and study this important global community.
Full text of the article, “Women as Change Agents in the World’s Rangelands: Synthesis and Way Forward,” Rangelands, Vol. 35, No. 6, 2013, is available.
Rangelands is a full-color publication of the Society for Range Management published six times per year. Each issue of Rangelands features scientific articles, book reviews, and society news. Additionally, readers may find youth, technology, and policy departments. The journal provides a forum for readers to get scientifically correct information in a user friendly, non-technical format. Rangelands is intended for a wide-range of individuals including educators, students, rangeland owners and managers, researchers, and policy leaders. The journal is available online at http://www.srmjournals.org. To learn more about the society, please visit http://www.rangelands.org.