Home Cointzio, Mexico Gender-related issues

Gender-related issues Print

Author: Christian Prat


Women in rural communities of Cointzio watershed, traditionally have the responsibility of the home and family while men are in charge of bringing money home.


Before and during DESIRE project, members of DESIRE team worked on the socio-economic situation of different rural communities of the Cointzio watershed.

One study was specifically focus on the women of these communities (Vidal, D., 2007. Estrategias de sobrevivencia: el caso de las comunidades de la microcuenca de Atecuaro, municipio de Morelia, Michoacán, México. Universidad de Concepción, Chile). The data presented here comes from official data, workshops and personal interviews of different rural communities of the study site.


Demography: More women than men, more children (3,5) than the national average (3,0) and low educational level

Population distribution by gender and age (%)


Education level

Income: Agriculture is just an extra income for most farmers! Money is coming from off farm activities (work, foreign remittances, government help)

Labour division: Women at home and men outside

Emigration: 86% of emigrants are men but, in recent years, women are also emigrating to the USA

A success story

Miss Carmen Campos-Domínguez is living in San Rafael Coapa, in the sub-watershed of El Calabozo-Potrerillos. While her husband works in the fields and abroad, she is in charge of the family and home. Thanks to the project of the SEMARNAT (Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources), she asked and obtained a "Patsari" ecological oven. This oven reduces wood consumption by more than 75% and so also reduces deforestation. It also reduces the time spent to go to pick this wood or, save the money needs to buy it. It is also healthier because the smoke is conducted outside the kitchen.

Miss Carmen Campos-Domínguez is promoting widely the benefits of the use of this oven to the community. In addition, she is looking for new economic incomes from women-related activities, she will start a new mushroom production (Pleurotus sp.) project, thanks to SEMARNAT and DESIRE actions.



  • Rural communities of Cointzio watershed are still very conservative and the role of women is mainly reduced to the home activities, except when the man is not at home for a long time or when he left his family…
  • Only 10 to 20% of the annual income comes from the agriculture for most of farmers. So they are not very interested to investing time and money to improve their production and fight against soil degradation.
  • For young people, the future is on the other side of the border. In recent years, men and women are emigrating to the states whereas before it was almost always men.
  • To develop a soil conservation strategy, it is necessary to guarantee new and appropriate income for families farming. Alternatives to save money and protect the environment (like the Patsari oven) have being developed. New activities to be developed at home that generates income (such as mushrooms) have been proposed. Life conditions of the communities (water, light, internet…) have been improved and the project has helped to change and develop new productions. One of these is an improvement in cattle quality which means a reduction of their movement and, consequently, a reduction in soil erosion.


More details ... download the poster

Gender-related issues: Cointzio, Mexico [1.86MB]





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