A climate of difference: gender, farming, and climate variability : an investigation into the varied experience of gender vulnerability and agency among small-scale farmers in Ky Anh district, Central Vietnam
Abstract: This study explores gender identity, vulnerability, and agency in the lives of smallholder farmers, within the context of climate variability in Ky Anh, Central Vietnam. The study first explores how gender identity and power is constructed within everyday rural practices. It then examines how men and women experience differential vulnerabilities in relation to changes such as climate variability. Finally, the analysis uses concepts of agency and intersectionality to explore the diverse experience of gender vulnerability and adaptation. A qualitative case study approach was utilized in which semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews provided primary data. The results indicate that gender discourses surrounding strength, skill and authority shape gender identity and power in rural practices. The results show that men’s identity facilitates their entry into the non-farm economy, while women’s farming responsibilities are enlarged as a result. Women are actively coping with the consequences of climate variability, but their time, labor, and mobility are significantly impacted. Despite these common experiences, the results also highlight the intersectional and differentiated experience of gender vulnerability along the lines of class, age, and marital status. Agency within intra-household relations, and an individual’s social relations emerge as key factors in improving adaptive capacity.
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