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Harms to community food security resulting from gender-based violence

Harms to community food security resulting from gender-based violence

Okpara, Uche ORCID: 0000-0003-0851-0024 and Anugwa, Ifeoma (2022) Harms to community food security resulting from gender-based violence. Land, 11 (12):2335. pp. 1-15. ISSN 2073-445X (doi:

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While the right to food and community self-reliance underpin current knowledge and interpretation of community food security (CFS), the literature on CFS seldom accounts for the ways in which gender-based violence (GBV) disrupts and undermines CFS. In this review, we make the case that GBV in CFS contexts manifests as a continuum, involving different forms of violence that blend into and reinforce each other, fueling social degradation and undermining the capacity of community food system workers to prioritise and pursue CFS. We show that harms to CFS resulting from GBV manifest through (i) GBV-induced social degradation, (ii) erosion of moral and ethical values anchoring CFS, (iii) disruption of crucial food systems sustainability pathways to CFS, (iv) the challenges, behaviours and activities of community food system workers, and (v) the crippling of community-level on-farm and off-farm food value chains, which oftentimes disrupt food access, consumption and utilisation. We further outline that the diversion of CFS funds into GBV prevention services may reduce CFS-related economic outputs and that CFS efforts that are GBV-blind can undermine the agency of community food system workers, pushing them into decisions that undermine CFS. We conclude that there is a dearth of information on how to mainstream GBV-sensitivity into CFS plans, and it is unclear whether GBV-responsive CFS initiatives can enhance the legitimacy of CFS efforts in GBV-exposed settings. We suggest that the spectrum of what is considered “community” in relation to CFS be expanded; and that scholars and practitioners pay attention to the dynamics of GBV, focusing on how GBV occurring at individual and household levels spills over into communities to undermine CFS. Finally, since GBV is not only a human rights violation issue but also a catalyst for social degradation and food insecurity, we encourage refocusing CFS efforts to prioritise early detection and prevention of GBV across specific community-level, on-farm and off-farm food value chains in order to better enhance community ties and foster food security.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate, Land, Food Security and Sustainable Peace.
Uncontrolled Keywords: community food security; gender-based violence; food system workers; rights to food; food systems sustainability; social degradation; human rights abuse; food value chains; food citizens
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Livelihoods & Institutions Department
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2023 10:48

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