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Reframing Rural Resilience in

Jamaica: Linking Womens

Empowerment, Poverty Reduction
& Climate Change Adaptation
Authors: Siddier Chambers & Christine Taylors

Siddier Chambers, Project Officer
Bureau of Womens Affairs
(Dept. of Office of the Prime Minister)
Purpose of Baseline Study
- Review 3 poverty reduction strategies of GOJ:
1. Structure
2. Inclusion of factors enabling rural resilience
(womens empowerment & climate change
adaptation strategies)
3. Cursory evaluation of impact on female
Rural Poverty (Global)
1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty approx 1
billion 70% lived in rural areas. (IFADs Rural Poverty Report
26 African, Latin American and Asian countries, rural areas
are struggling on many of the MDGs. (UNDP, 2003)
Vietnam 73% of the population lived in the countryside =
93% of the countrys poor people / app. 27% of the
population live in urban areas and only 6.4 per cent are poor
(Hoang Ba Thinh, 2009).
Background (contd)
Rural Poverty (Jamaica)
60% of the poor lived in rural areas (Brown, 1993)
Trend continues (2 decades and beyond)
Permanent feature of Jas development?
Prevalence of poverty continued to be greater
(2 3 times) in rural areas compared to the
other two regions (urban and other towns)
Background (contd)
Region 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

KMA 9.9 7.6 10.4 9.5 14.3 9.6 9.4 6.2 7.0 12.8

Other 16.6 13.3 18.7 15.8 7.8 7.2 9.2 4.0 10.7 10.2

Rural 25.1 24.1 25.1 24.2 22.1 21.1 19.8 15.3 17.0 22.5

Jamaica 18.7 16.9 19.7 19.1 16.9 14.8 14.3 9.9 12.3 16.5

Source: Compiled by the PIOJ from data supplied by STATIN, 2000-2009 (JSLC 2009, 2.7)
Background (contd)
Who are the poorest in rural areas?
Feminine face of rural poverty (Kabeer 2003; JSLC 2006,
2007, 2008, 2009; Thinh 2009; IFAD 2010)

- Female-headed households 46% (JSLC 2006, 2007,
2008, 2009)

- Increased prevalence of poverty in the past 2

years; highest levels in rural areas and among
women, children and elderly (PIOJ priority issues for MTF
What is Resilience?
The ability of communities not only to cope
with internal and external stresses and
disturbances as a result of social, economic,
political and environmental change but also to
turn changing circumstances to advantage
(Centre for Applied Research in Social Science 2008)
The ability and capacity to deal with and adapt to
changing conditions and continue to
developindividual, community, country, etc
What is Rural Womens Empowerment?

Vision 2030 , NPGE & SRDP:

1. Identify alternative opportunities for Decent Work
2. Expand skills training programmes
3. Promote re-organization of the health services in
rural areas
4. Address structural barriers that create & reinforce
sex segregation of the labour market
What is Rural Womens Empowerment?

CEDAW (article 14):

ensure that the particular needs of rural women
are met and act to eliminate discrimination against
1. Participate in development planning;
2. Access to adequate health-care facilities;
3. Benefit from social security programmes;
4. Access to training and education;
5. Equal access to economic opportunities;
6. Participate in community activities;
7. Access to agricultural land, credit, loan and marketing;
8. Adequate living conditions
Factors Enabling Rural Resilience
Agricultural growth and production (FAO, 2010)
Govt transfers and remittances have not helped to reduce rural poverty

Rights-based and equitable development

policies (womens empowerment)
Territorial development/spatial continuum
linking urban and rural for territorial and social cohesion

Management of public policies with

stakeholder participation (end the privacy of public
Factors Enabling Rural Resilience
Access to

Policies for
Generational achieving
relay in rural greater social
social policies
areas and territorial

Policies for
Factors Enabling Rural Resilience
Management of the environment and
effective implementation of climate change
adaptation strategies (most rural livelihoods derive from the
land and environment)
Case studies
Rural development in St. Ann (poorest parish, JSLC 2002,
2001 Population Census )

Limited arable land; bauxite; mined-out land;

hilly terrain; coastal
Rural women (poorest in Jamaica, JSLC 2007-09)
Poverty reduction strategies (GOJ):
1. RADA agro processing
2. JSIF Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI)
3. MLSS Programme of Advancement Through Health & Education (PATH)
Case studies (structure)

RADA Agricultural production; inter-agency; IDP funding;

female beneficiaries (<30%>); island-wide

Cash transfer & craft/agro production; inter-agency; IDP

JSIF funding;
Female beneficiaries (50%); 7 parishes (-St. Ann, >St.
Elizabeth & Manchester 60%)

Conditional cash transfer; inter-agency; IDP funding;
female beneficiaries (awaiting data); island-wide
Case studies (structure)


Threat Opportunity
Case studies (enabling factors)
Preliminary findings:
Limited focus on womens empowerment
Limited focus on climate change adaptation
Impact on female beneficiaries
Includes climate change adaptation strategies
Public-private partnership
Minimal capacity building
Women earn <J$1,000> per month less than
US$1 per day
Next step:
Continue analysis of secondary data
Collect and analyze primary data from JSIF and
MLSS female beneficiaries
Methodology:focus group discussions, PRA,
elite interviews