Labour migration and gendered agricultural asset shifts in southeastern Mexico : two stories of farming wives and daughters

Periodo de realización: 1900/01/01 al 2014/06/01

Tipo: Capítulo de libro

Resumen: "In this chapter, we present evidence of two gendered agricultural asset shifts asso- ciated with labour out-migration in the municipality of Calakmul, Campeche. The first is a shift in land rights from men to women (wives), which occurred as men’s labour out-migration, largely to the U.S., coincided with the process of land pri- vatisation and the reform of the ejidal system in Mexico. Ejidos are collective land tenure institutions dating back to the Mexican Revolution and the redistribution of land in the previous century. The second is a more recent shift—one that entails the labour migration of younger single women (daughters) from ejidal villages to nearby cities, the generation of cash earnings, and the subsequent household acquisition of land and cattle back in their home villages. Although Mexico initiated a process of ejidal land parcelisation and privatisation in the mid-1990s (De Janvry and Sadoulet 1997), the ejido remains the most important institution of community organisation and smallholder land tenure in Calakmul (Haenn 2006). Therefore, we focus on the ejidal sector to understand the dynamics of gendered changes in agricultural assets and labour out-migration for smallholder, semi-subsistence households in southeast- ern Mexico. Through two stories, we illustrate and assess the sudden and unexpected shifts that can occur in women’s productive asset control (in this case, land and cattle) with different patterns of gendered labour migration. In rural Calakmul, agricultural assets remain central to generating viable livelihoods in the area, even as smallholder agriculture wanes under difficult economic and environmental conditions."

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