Gendered Homegardens: A Study in Three Mountain Areas of the Iberian Peninsula

Victoria Reyes-García, Sara Vila, Laura Aceituno-Mata, Laura Calvet-Mir, Teresa Garnatje, Alexandra Jesch, Juan José Lastra, Montserrat Parada, Montserrat Rigat, Joan Vallès, Manuel Pardo-de-Santayana

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60 Citations (Scopus)


Gendered Homegardens: A Study in Three Mountain Areas of the Iberian Peninsula. As an example of the importance of gender relations in the use of natural resources, several authors have analyzed the role of women in homegardens. Gendered differences in homegarden management have been difficult to disentangle due to the often-shared nature of gardening. Here, we use an innovative approach to analyze gendered differences in the characteristics and management of homegardens. Specifically, we use information on the prevalence of different household members in gardening activities to classify homegardens as women's, men's, or shared. Then, we compare several garden characteristics across the three types of homegardens. For the case study, we use data from homegardens in three rural areas of the Iberian Peninsula. We found that household members generally share homegarden responsibilities in these three regions and that many homegarden characteristics vary with the distribution of gardening tasks. Specifically, we discovered that gardens managed mainly by men were larger, more distant from the dwelling, and better exposed than gardens managed by women. Men and women also used different management techniques; organic fertilizers and traditional pest control management systems predominated in gardens managed by women. Men and women also differed in how they reportedly use garden products, with women favoring household consumption versus sale or gifting. Last, gardens managed mainly by women had a larger diversity of uses for species and a larger diversity of species per unit area. Cultural norms of what is considered appropriate behavior for men and women help explain differences in garden characteristics and their plant composition and structure. © 2010 The New York Botanical Garden.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-247
JournalEconomic Botany
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • Catalan Pyrenees
  • Central Asturias
  • diversity index
  • gendered division of labor
  • kitchen gardens
  • Sierra Norte de Madrid


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