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Women Feeding Cities – Mainstreaming gender in urban agriculture and food security (forthcoming book)

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Edited by Alice Hovorka, Henk de Zeeuw and Mary Njenga
The book (approx. 270 pages)
will be published by Practical Action Publishing, Rugby, UK.
Available: March 2009

Poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition have become critical urban problems. To confront this major challenge, food production in and around cities is an important strategy, contributing not only to food security and adequate nutrition but also stimulating supplementary income generation and social inclusion among low-income, vulnerable households in urban and peri-urban areas.

Women make up the majority of urban food producers in many cities around the world, especially predominating in household subsistence farming, with men playing a greater role in urban food production for commercial purposes.


This is tied to the primary role which women almost always take in feeding their families. Women produce vegetables and herbs in home gardens, community gardens, vacant urban spaces and peri-urban plots, raise animals, act as traders in bringing food from peri-urban and rural areas and selling it to urban consumers, either fresh or processed as dried, preserved or cooked foods eaten at street stalls.

However, the millions of women involved in urban and peri-urban food production, processing and marketing have mostly been invisible to city offi cials, economic planners and development practitioners. This invisibility of women in the urban food economy happened in parallel with the industrialisation of food along with other commodities.

Part I of this volume analyses the roles of women and men in urban food production, processing and marketing and presents various case studies from three developing regions.

In Part II, field tested guidelines and tools for bringing women more into the mainstream of urban agriculture research and development are presented.

See the complete flyer for this book here.