Margaret A. Gilliam Fellowship recipient June Po is a PhD candidate in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences; June works on food security, focusing on the relationships between food security and women’s access to land resources in dryland Kenya. In early 2015, she returned to the rural communities in Kenya to report her research findings to smallholder farmers. This effort has so far been extremely valuable, as she learned multiple ways of translating research into practice.
“From a gender perspective, I found strong evidence to support mothers’ participation in making farm decisions along with other family members,” said Po. “By attending community public meetings, women gain more exposure and opportunities to community projects, agricultural training, and health and welfare services which then have direct impact on their children. Social norms, household dynamics and community networks are critical factors to early childhood nutrition and life-long well-being. Raising the awareness of farmers and regional government officers on the connections between agricultural decisions, access to land resources by women smallholder farmers, and health and well-being of future generations, communities will be empowered to adopt culturally respectful mechanisms for sustained food and nutritional security.”
Originally published in Focus on Macdonald Alumni Newsletter, August 2016