"What´s love got to do with it?" SDGs, gendered power, and place attachment

Project: Research

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • Gender Studies


  • gender equality, SDG, sustainability


In this project we seek to identify, describe and explain the importance of emotions for improved resource management, increased gender equality, and, subsequently, higher food security for sustainable development in a sub-Saharan context.

In sub-Saharan agricultural production, gender dynamics are crucial but scientific knowledge is partial. Research on societies where women depend on men for productive resources focuses more on gendered access to and control over material resources, such as land, than on immaterial resources such as emotions, negotiation power, or love. Love as an emotion is a perfect site for studying power since it binds people together through social practices and intimate contracts that are contingent on culture, historical processes and social trends. In household cooperation, decision-making, and time management, we study how women and men exercise intimacy in discussions and transactions of personal ties resulting in equality, emancipation, or oppression. We draw on three theoretical advances – love power, rights-in-person, and the love triangle – and apply interactive methods such as diaries, focus groups, interviews, and phone-apps.

Our focus is food insecure in Shona society (Zimbabwe) where polygyny reproduces women’s weak land and labour rights in comparison with Akan society (Ghana) where climate change adaptation maintains male authority at the expense of food security and women’s empowerment.
Effective start/end date2019/01/012021/12/31