Urban agriculture has been embraced and promoted by the international development community as a means for urban dwellers to achieve sustainable livelihoods and socio-economic advancement. Many low-income households who farm in the cities gain a more consistent source of food and better nutrition.
(more content follows the advertisement below) A D V E R T I S E M E N T
They can also earn or free up cash for non-food items. Advocacy for urban agriculture was initially focused on the policy agenda, but has moved recently into the realm of municipal development. Now that municipal authorities increasingly recognise this pivotal activity, it is easier for urban agriculture practitioners to integrate it into planning and decision-making mechanisms at the city level.
This chapter seeks to make clear why this trajectory must be conceptualised along gender lines, since gender dynamics are central to the form, function, organisation and structure of urban farming.
Gendered Urban Agriculture
Agendered perspective on urban food security is essential in understanding and explaining dynamics that shape the production and marketing of foodstuffs in and around urban centres. Without exploring the question of what role do women as distinct from men play in feeding cities, researchers, planners, and policymakers risk leaving unaddressed key local and structural issues and processes that shape gender inequities and hinder food supply at multiple scales.
Such exploration necessarily counters the invisibility of specifically women's work in conceptualisations of food supply and security that assume food production and trade to be part of women's automatic and everyday duties, related to the domestic sphere, and therefore not important in economic or political spheres.