Women Feeding Cities

Mainstreaming gender in urban agriculture and food security

ISBN 978-185339-685-4

Edited by Alice Hovorka, Henk de Zeeuw and Mary Njenga

About the editors
Table of contents
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Poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition have become critical urban problems. Meeting this challenge, in many cities around the world, women play a crucial role in household food production, growing vegetables in the gardens and vacant urban spaces, raising animals, and trading in fresh and cooked foods. They boost household nutrition as well as generating income and building social inclusion among the urban poor. Women’s vital contribution, however, has largely been neglected by city officials, economic planners and development practitioners, who have tended to concentrate on the industrialization of food production.

Women Feeding Cities analyses the roles of women and men in urban food production, and through case studies from three developing regions suggests how women’s contribution might be maximized. In the second part, detailed guidelines and tools show how to bring women into the mainstream of urban agriculture research and development. Providing evidence from around the world as well as field-tested guidelines, Women Feeding Cities is essential reading for policy makers, planners, researchers and practitioners working on urban agriculture programmes.

This book arises from the Urban Harvest Initiative (CGIAR) and the Cities Farming for the Future programme (RUAF Foundation) and was made possible thanks to a grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada.


"One of the key findings of the recent International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development was that strengthening and redirecting AKST to address gender issues will advance progress toward achievement of sustainability and development goals. Women Feeding Cities contributes significant new information and insight into practice about a relatively neglected opportunity to act on this finding. A climate-changing world demands that we seek every means possible to increase the resilience of food systems and livelihoods if urban civilization is to survive – this collection of experiences shows that there is much that can be done to increase resilience, even in what at first glance might seem unpromising circumstances."
Janice Jiggins, Professor and guest researcher, Communication and Innovation Studies, Wageningen University Research, Netherlands.

About the editors

Alice Hovorka is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Henk de Zeeuw is the Director of the RUAF Foundation (International Network of Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security) at ETC Foundation, Leusden, Netherlands.

Mary Njenga is a researcher with Urban Harvest, the CGIAR system-wide Initiative on Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture, convened by the International Potato Centre.

Table of contents

1. Introduction and ‘state of the art’
2. Case study: Hyderabad, India
3. Case study: Manila, the Philippines
4. Case study: Pikine, Dakar, Senegal
5. Case study: Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso
6. Case study: Accra, Ghana
7. Case study: Harare, Zimbabwe
8. Case study: Kampala, Uganda
9. Case study: Kisumu, Kenya
10. Case study: Nairobi, Kenya
11. Case study: Nakuru, Kenya
12. Case study: Villa Maria del Triunfo, Lima, Peru
13. Case study: Lurigancho-Chosica, Lima, Peru
14. Case study: Pikine, Senegal

15. Incorporating gender in the project cycle
16. Institutionalising gender mainstreaming in urban agriculture
17. Tool box for gender-sensitive urban agriculture
18. Resources


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