Coercive Harmony in Land Acquisition: The Gendered Impact of Corporate ‘Responsibility’ in the Brazilian Amazon

Citation:

Miyasaka Porro, Noemi, and Joaquim Shiraishi Neto. 2014. “Coercive Harmony in Land Acquisition: The Gendered Impact of Corporate ‘Responsibility’ in the Brazilian Amazon.” Feminist Economics 20 (1): 227–48. doi:10.1080/13545701.2013.876507.

Authors: Noemi Miyasaka Porro, Joaquim Shiraishi Neto

Abstract:

In rural development, women’s access to land is recognized as a condition for reaching gender equality. This contribution discusses the tension between this formal recognition and concrete realities in rural development for traditional Amazonian communities by examining large-scale land acquisitions in Brazil, a land-abundant developing country, in the wake of the 2007–08 global food price crises. This study applies anthropological and legal perspectives to analyze problems related to gender inequality caused by large-scale land acquisitions. It argues that inequalities cannot be resolved by simply changing regulations related to traditional communities’ and women’s rights and that gender relations and land tenure issues reflect interconnected social arrangements based on historical specificities of traditional communities. Case studies show that land acquisitions by outsiders disrupt these arrangements, despite stated commitments to social and environmental responsibility. Such “coercive harmony” is only unmasked when communities are conscious of their rights, enabling effective use of the legal apparatus.

Keywords: gender, food security, land, development, Amazon

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Land grabbing, Multi-national Corporations, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Brazil

Year: 2014

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