Gender and Agrobiodiversity Conservation: Maize in the Bajio of Mexico

Recent research on women and biodiversity has emphasized the importance of women’s knowledge in plant domestication and agrobiodiversity conservation. This paper presents a case study of the differences in women and men’s knowledge of landraces of maize in the Bajío of Mexico. Research on crop diversity and conservation needs to include knowledge from both men and women. Gendered knowledge results from men and women in a household being responsible for different tasks and sometimes farming separate plots. In addition, economic pressures are increasingly forcing males to be away from the home for extended periods of time, resulting in women becoming the primary agricultural decision-makers.