Skip to main content
Contribution to Book
Gender, climate change adaptation and livestock production in Tunisia
Gender, climate change and livelihoods: Vulnerabilities and Adaptations (2021)
  • Bipasha Baruah, Western University
Women’s contributions to rangeland cultivation in Tunisia and the effects upon their livelihoods of climate change are both policy blind spots. Despite women’s growing participation in rangeland management, an outcome at least in part of male-outmigration to urban areas and increased availability of nonfarming economic opportunities for men, women are assumed in policy circles to not be involved in livestock rearing activities, and in rangeland management at large. In order to make women’s contributions to rangeland cultivation more visible and to provide policy inputs based on women’s needs and priorities into the reforms currently being made in the pastoral code in Tunisia, we conducted fieldwork in two governorates of northern and southern Tunisia. We identified the roles played by women and men in rangeland management, their needs and priorities, and the impacts of climate change upon their lives and livelihoods. To inform our analysis, we conducted focus groups and interviews with a total of 220 individuals. We found that both men and women are negatively affected by rangeland degradation and water scarcity, but women are additionally disadvantaged by their inability to own land and access credit, and by drought-mitigation and rangeland rehabilitation training that only target men. Our findings reveal that women are involved in livestock grazing and rearing activities to a greater extent than is widely assumed in practitioner and policy circles, but they are involved in different ways than the men in the same households and communities. For example, women are more likely to graze livestock closer to home and less likely than men to stay away from home overnight. Understanding how women use rangelands is a necessary first step to ensuring that women benefit from rangeland management at par with men. Women’s feedback and priorities should be considered critical for the sustainable and equitable use and management of rangelands.
  • Gender,
  • livestock,
  • rangeland cultivation,
  • climate change adaptation,
  • pastoral reform,
  • Tunisia,
  • Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
Publication Date
Citation Information
Bipasha Baruah. "Gender, climate change adaptation and livestock production in Tunisia" Gender, climate change and livelihoods: Vulnerabilities and Adaptations (2021)
Available at: