A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
This report deals with the issues, or rather, with the responses to the 2012 food crisis in the Sahel, from a gender perspective. The field research, which was conducted in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, builds on past work and reflects the statements made by local people.
The report finds that household resilience is inconceivable without rural women. And further, households in which women have a greater stake in decision making regarding food are that much more resilient.
With continued food insecurity, the perception of the role of women in Sahelian society is evolving, with the concept of an ideal woman as one who has a greater involvement in taking care of household needs. The image of the woman who expects her husband to provide for everything seems to be increasingly a thing of the past.