Gender, sheep and trees in Zan Coulibaly, Mali: methodological approacheswca2014-1424 Nancy Gelinas 1,Marie-France Labrecque 2,Jean Bonneville 3,*Andreanne Lavoie 3,Alain Olivier 3 and ASAPAM 1Forest sciences, 2Anthropology, 3Phytology, Université Laval, Québec, Canada
Gender relations have been at the heart of a project about the integration of agroforestry and sheep feed in Mali. The aim of this project is to improve human food security through a better production of sheep feeded with woody fodder. In the commune of Zan Coulibaly, situated at some 50 km from Bamako, in Mali, both academics and general population assume that there is a clear-cut sexual division of labour in almost all areas of activities in this rural zone. For example, trees would be a masculine domain and sheep raising a feminine one. One of the challenges of this project has been to deconstruct these kinds of assumptions while engaging the population of the Zan Coulibaly commune in a participatory process. To meet this challenge, and taking into account a methodological engagement towards gender mainstreaming, we made sure to achieve an adequate representation of women both in the research team and in the samples used in the preliminary inquiries and the experimentation itself. We will present the methodology used to build the samples, how it was negotiated with the population, and how it was applied. Also, we will present the outcome of this inquiry in relation to deconstructing common knowledge about the gender and even generational division of labour in the areas of agroforestry and sheep raising.