Thesis subject

Strengthen the livelihoods of the most vulnerable in rural communities

Participatory research and gender in the face of Climate Change and other Political priorities.

Political agendas show changes of priority topics. In the 80-ties it was Biodiversity, climate change overtook this topic in the first decennium of this century and currently much attention is given to integration of smallholder farmers into value chains and markets. We explored the importance of climate change. Politicians worry about climate disasters and what it means for the national economy and political stability, but where climate change is really felt is at the level of livelihoods. Particularly poor and vulnerable households are the ones that will suffer consequences most severely, because they live in most affected areas and have less coping capacity. We argued that there is a need to go beyond the effects on humans as merely individuals and perceive climate change in its interactive social dimensions. In 2010 we wrote a paper in which we especially focus on how gender studies and participatory research can contribute. This leads us to discuss the need of understanding the local/community dynamics. Looking into its social differentiation, existing social networks and processes of social inclusion and exclusion is key for this. We argue how the recognition of intersecting social dimensions helps us understanding gradations of vulnerability. This all follows new insights in gender studies that seeks to better address diversity.

Now, six years later, there is the need to update this discussion by looking in the most recent literature. What publications have emerged that use the same or  related concepts, are there empirical cases that can be used as examples to support our arguments, have other related concepts emerged, and in what other gender-fields/themes, apart from climate change are these concepts now applied.