(Bos primigenius)

Cattle (Bos primigenius) have long been the most privileged animal in Botswana. They constitute a major form of Tswana social status, economic wealth and political power; they are drivers of land-use patterns and decision-making at household, regional and national scales. Erin MacIver-Must joined our research team in 2012 as a PhD student and her dissertation was awarded the OP Dwivedi Prize for International Development at the University of Guelph.

Erin's project explores women's associations with and access to cattle in contemporary Batswana society where cattle have traditionally been associated with and accessed by men. Erin conducted fieldwork in and around Maun from March through August 2014 and returned to Botswana in July 2015 to conduct a knowledge mobilization workshop for research participants. The workshop focused on linking women cattle farmers and government stakeholders, with particular emphasis on empowering women through learned strategies for proactive cattle healthcare, information dissemination, and peer networking opportunities.

Erin's research was generously supported by a Vanier Scholarship, an IDRC Doctoral Research Award and a research permit from the Ministry of Agriculture. We were fortunate to collaborate with Andrea Petitt, a doctoral student at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences whose PhD work focuses on women cattleowners in Ghanzi and Charleshill.