Urban Agriculture and Migration as Gendered African Livelihood Strategies in the Era of Neoliberal Globalization

Authors: Ibipo Johnston-Anumonwo*, SUNY Cortland, Ibipo Johnston-Anumonwo, State University of New York, College at Cortland
Topics: Gender, Africa, Women
Keywords: Keywords: Livelihoods, Gender, Migration, Urban Agriculture, Africa, Feminist Geography
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM
Room: Virtual 33
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Economic restructuring, processes of geographical uneven development, and patriarchal power relations strongly influence how Africans create their livelihoods. Dynamic transformations are evident in several gendered livelihood responses including urban agriculture and transnational migration. Since vast numbers of Africans and African countries remain reliant on domestic agriculture and international migration as sources of food and revenue respectively, this paper integrates studies of gender and agriculture in urban Africa with those on African migrant experiences across geographical and geopolitical contexts to develop a framework for synthesizing the effects of liberalization on urban livelihoods and the possibilities for African women to recreate new livelihood opportunities within and outside the continent. The paper details efforts of urban informal agricultural producers and traders to support their households, and experiences of African transnational migrants to access resources for secure employment and a means of living. Analysis of divergent experiences of African female migrants at urban destinations in Africa and in the Middle East, Europe and North America highlights fluid Global South migrant realities of gender, ethnic, racial, socioeconomic and locational disparities. By combining urban agriculture and transnational migration as women’s strategies for adapting to economic change through income generating and employment activities, the analysis contributes to feminist geographies discourse of food and job insecurity in livelihoods studies, and to the literature on the gendered livelihoods approach in African development studies.

Keywords: Livelihoods, Gender, Migration, Urban Agriculture, Africa, Feminist Geography

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