Gender and sustainable livelihoods: Case study of South African farm workers

Stefanie Lemke, Anne Camilla Bellows, Nicole Heumann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates how gender affects sustainable livelihoods in
terms of the impact on food and nutrition security in farm worker households.
Gender variables play a crucial role in the well-being of households, especially
for women and children. A case study of South African farms shows that
female-headed households, although having less access to earned income, take
better care of the well-being of household members. While men remain the
dominant earners, women have better access to social grants, remittances from
relatives and informal incomes. Households led by women are found to have
greater food security, defined as having physical, economic and social access to
sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet dietary needs. The paper highlights
the crucial role of women’s access to resources and power relations within
households for sustainable livelihoods and the need to include household and
gender variables in demographic and health surveys.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-205
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • gender
  • sustainable development
  • livelihoods
  • nutrition security

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