Transnational Land Deals and Gender Equality: Utilitarian and Human Rights Approaches

Citation:

Wisborg, Poul. 2013. “Transnational Land Deals and Gender Equality: Utilitarian and Human Rights Approaches.” Feminist Economics 20 (1): 24–51.

Author: Poul Wisborg

Abstract:

Transnational land deals pose vexing normative (ethical) questions, not least concerning gendered participation and outcomes. This article explores utilitarian and human rights approaches to gender equality in selected policy initiatives on the land deals. While global policy literature manifests growing attention to women in agriculture, the review found the analysis of gender in early policy initiatives to be absent or weak. Utilitarian arguments were used to justify deals but rarely presented women's participation as a means of social progress or so-called smart economics. Human rights documents were more likely to be critical of the deals and to mention gender, though with little elaboration. While to some extent amended by the emphasis on gender equality in the 2012 Voluntary Guidelines on tenure governance, failures to mobilize the feminist potential in utilitarian and human rights approaches call for more proactive gender analysis and advocacy when addressing transnational land deals as gendered power struggles.

Keywords: equality, ethics, gender, human rights, land, policy

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Land grabbing, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights

Year: 2013

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