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Africa

Gender, Patronage and Race in Modernist Agribusiness

Caitlin Ryan

November 26, 2018

Campus Center, Room 3540, UMass Boston

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This event is being cosponsored by the UMass Boston CLA Dean's Office; Department of Economics; Department of History; Department of Political Science; Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies; and the Honors College.

(Re)colonizing Agriculture in the Name of 'Development'

Caitlin Ryan

October 30, 2018

Campus Center, Room 3540, UMass Boston

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This event is being cosponsored by the UMass Boston CLA Dean's Office; Department of Economics; Department of History; Department of Political Science; and the Honors College.

Women, Climate Change and Liberation in Africa

Citation:

Steady, Filomina Chioma. 2014. “Women, Climate Change and Liberation in Africa.” Race, Gender & Class 21 (1/2): 312–33.

Author: Filomina Chioma Steady

Abstract:

Women in Africa have been among the first to notice the impact of climate change and its effects on the agricultural cycle, human and animal life; food production and food security. As major custodians and consumers of natural resources, the lives of women in rural areas are profoundly affected by seasonal changes, making them among the most vulnerable to climate change. Their pivotal role in any measure aimed at mitigation and adaptation is indisputable. Despite Africa's minimal emission of green house gases, it is one of the most vulnerable continents to climate change and climate variability and is prone to ecosystem degradation and complex natural disasters. (United Nations Environment Programme, 2006). This article examines women and climate change in Africa as an aspect of Africa's environmental problems. It is argued that the ideologies that drive the exploitation of the earth's resources are linked to the legacy of colonialism and its aftermath of economic globalization. Both have important implications for continuing oppression of the environment and people, with important implications for race, gender and class. Particular attention is given to women in rural areas in Africa, who are the main custodians of environmental conservation and sustainability and who are highly threatened by environmental degradation and climate change. Yet, they are often marginalized from the decision-making processes related to solving problems of Climate Change. The paper combines theoretical insights with empirical data to argue for more attention to women's important ecological and economic roles and comments on the policy implications for Climate Change. It calls for liberation that would bring an end to economic and ecological oppression through climate justice and gender justice.

Keywords: Africa's Vulnerability, women, natural resources, colonial legacies, hazardous waste dumping, land grabs, biofuels, mining, deforestation, liberation, gender justice, climate justice

Topics: Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Globalization, Justice, Land grabbing, Race Regions: Africa

Year: 2014

Gender, Climate Change and REDD+ in the Congo Basin Forests of Central Africa

Citation:

Peach Brown, H.C. 2011. “Gender, Climate Change and REDD+ in the Congo Basin Forests of Central Africa.” International Forestry Review 13 (2): 163–76.

Author: H.C. Peach Brown

Keywords: Congo Basin, climate change, REDD+, gender, africa

Annotation:

Summary: 
The Congo Basin region of Central Africa contains the second largest contiguous tropical rainforest in the world, which is an important source of livelihood for millions of people. It is also important for climate change adaptation, as well as mitigation policies Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). Men and women relate to and use the forest differently and so may experience the effects of climate change REDD+ policies differently. Investigations through semi-structured interviews and document reviews in three countries of the region revealed that women have had limited participation in discussion on issues of climate change or REDD+. There is some evidence that gender consideration will become part of future national REDD+ strategies. Strategies to foster the effective participation of all stakeholders are essential to ensure that gender dimensions are addressed in issues of climate change, forest access, forest management and distribution of carbon benefits. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Central Africa

Year: 2011

Resilience, Power, Culture, and Climate: A Case Study from Semi-Arid Tanzania, and New Research Directions

Citation:

Nelson, Valerie, and Tanya Stathers. 2009. “Resilience, Power, Culture, and Climate: A Case Study from Semi-Arid Tanzania, and New Research Directions.” Gender and Development 17 (1): 81–94.

Authors: Valerie Nelson, Tanya Stathers

Abstract:

Rapid changes to the climate are predicted over the next few years, and these present challenges for women's empowerment and gender equality on a completely new scale. There is little evidence or research to provide a reliable basis for gender-sensitive approaches to agricultural adaptation to climate change. This article explores the gender dimensions of climate change, in relation to participation in decision-making, divisions of labour, access to resources, and knowledge systems. It draws on insights from recent research on agricultural adaptation to climate change in Tanzania. The article then explains why future gender-sensitive climate-adaptation efforts should draw upon insights from 'resilience thinking', 'political ecology', and environmental anthropology - as a way of embedding analysis of power struggles and cultural norms in the context of the overall socio-ecological system.

Keywords: gender, climate, culture, Resilience, adaptation, agriculture, anthropology

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2009

Is Adaptation to Climate Change Gender Neutral? Lessons from Communities Dependent on Livestock and Forests in Northern Mali

Citation:

Djoudi, H., and M. Brockhaus. 2011. “Is Adaptation to Climate Change Gender Neutral? Lessons from Communities Dependent on Livestock and Forests in Northern Mali.” International Forestry Review 13 (2): 123–35.

Authors: H. Djoudi, M. Brockhaus

Keywords: gender, climate change, adaptation, Faguibine, Mali

Annotation:

Summary: 
The growing risk of vulnerability to climate change is widely discussed in the scientific and political sphere. More evidence from local case studies emerges that document this risk. Vulnerability to climate change and variability appears most likely to negatively affect poor people, particularly women. Tendencies to widen existing inequalities have been observed. In the Lake Faguibine area in Northern Mali the social, political and ecological conditions have drastically changed in the last three decades. We conducted 6 single gender participatory workshops using PRA in two communities. The workshops assessed vulnerability and adaptive strategies to climate variability and change for livestock and forest based livelihoods. Our results show divergences in the adaptive strategies of men and women. Migration represented one of the most important strategies for men. Women perceived this strategy more as a cause of vulnerability than an adaptive strategy. Traditionally male activities have been added to the workload of women (e.g. small ruminant herding). The historical axes show that development projects targeting women have not integrated climate change and variability into their planning. Most activities have been built around small scale agriculture. With the drying out of Lake Faguibine, those water dependent activities are no longer relevant. Women have developed their own adaptive strategies based on newly emerged forest resources in the former lake area (e.g. charcoal production). However, women are hindered from realizing the potential of these new activities. This is due to loss of person power in the household, unclear access to natural resources, lack of knowledge and financial resources. Lack of power to influence decision at the household and community levels as well as limited market opportunities for women are additional factors. Even though women's vulnerability is increasing in the short term, over the long term the emerging changes in women's roles could lead to positive impacts. These impacts could be both societal (division of labor and power, new social spaces), and economic (market access, livestock wealth). Locally specific gender sensitive analysis of vulnerability is needed to understand dynamics and interaction of divergent adaptive strategies. Societal and political change at broader scales is needed to realize potential benefits for women in the long term. (Summary from original source) 

Topics: Development, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Mali

Year: 2011

Gender and Resilience: From Theory to Practice

Citation:

Le Masson, Virginie. 2016. “Gender and Resilience: From Theory to Practice.” Working Paper, BRACED Knowledge Manager, London.

Author: Virginie Le Masson

Annotation:

Summary: 
This paper presents a synthesis of four case studies documenting strategies towards building gender equality through resilience projects. It draws on the experience of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) involved in the implementation of the Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) projects: Mercy Corps (Uganda), ActionAid (Myanmar), Concern (Sudan/Chad) and Christian Aid and King’s College London (Burkina Faso). The analysis also reflects on discussions held during a writeshop that brought together NGO practitioners, donor representatives and researchers, to examine different approaches to integrate gender and social equality as part of efforts to build communities’ resilience to climate change and disasters. 
 
The papers seeks to document how gender inequalities manifest themselves in all four contexts affected by climate change; how gender is conceptualised in project theories of change (ToCs); the operationalisation of objectives to tackle gender inequalities; internal and external obstacles to the implementation of gender-sensitive activities; and drivers that help NGOs transform gender relations and build resilience. 
 
The four case studies describe how disasters and climate change affect gender groups in different ways and also underscore the patriarchal social norms that disproportionately restrict women and girls’ equal access to rights and resources. The resulting inequalities are likely to undermine women and girls’ resilience, and ultimately that of their households and communities – an assumption that underpins projects’ ToCs. Hence, projects that aim to enhance people’s resilience capacities have to recognise social diversities, inequalities and their inter-sectionality. If they fail to do so, they risk further marginalising and undermining the capacities of those who lack access to decision-making or experience discrimination. 
 
Based on lessons from NGOs’ experience, and challenges they face in the particular contexts where they operate, this papers aims to inform practitioners on how to draw on promising practices to make resilience projects inclusive and equitable. It also provides a set of recommendations to point out areas where further research is required to increase understanding of resilience to climate extremes and longer-term changes, and to suggest how donors and funding can best support efforts to build communities’ resilience. 

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, intersectionality, Households, NGOs Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Myanmar, Sudan, Uganda

Year: 2016

Women and Land in Northern Nigeria: The Need for Independent Ownership Rights

Citation:

Abdullah, Hussaina J., and Aisha Fofana-Ibrahim. 2003. “Women and Land in Northern Nigeria: The Need for Independent Ownership Rights.” In Women and Land in Africa: Culture, Religion and Realizing Women’s Rights, edited by L. Muthoni Wanyeki. London: Zed Books.

Authors: Hussaina J. Abdullah, Aisha Fofana-Ibrahim

Annotation:

Summary: 
"This study is therefore intended to contribute to an understanding of land as it relates to women and as viewed from the human rights paradigm. The main objective is to undertake a critical, empirical study of women's land rights in northern Nigeria, and the manner in which these rights are shaped by religion, tradition and law. The purpose is not only to examine women's rights of access to, ownership of and control over land, including women's inheritance rights, but also to study how religion (canonical and Sharia), tradition and law (customary and non-customary) act and interact to condition the definition and practice of women's land rights. The primary focus is a review of historical practice and an analysis of empirical data on three categories of women (married, divorced, and widowed). Marriage is used as a determining variable in women's land rights because it is the major means by which women and men access land in Africa. However, whereas women's land rights are dependent on their relations with men, men's land rights are not dependent on their relations with women. Moreover, women are threatened with dispossession if divorced or widowed (Small 1997: 46)" (Abdullah and Fofana-Ibrahim 2003, 134).

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Religion, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2003

Advancing Women's Empowerment or Rolling Back the Gains? Peace Building in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone

Citation:

Abdullah, Hussaina J. 2014. “Advancing Women’s Empowerment or Rolling Back the Gains? Peace Building in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone.” In Feminisms, Empowerment and Development: Changing Women’s Lives, edited by Andrea Cornwall and Jenny Edwards. London: Zed Books.

Author: Hussaina J. Abdullah

Annotation:

Summary: 
“Sierra Leone’s reconstruction and peace consolidation policies and programmes are pursued within the post-conflict peace-building framework (UN 1992). Within this framework, women and gender issues have been articulated through a series of UN Security Council resolutions, such as 1325 (in 2000), 1820 (in 2008), 1888 and 1889 (in 2009), 1960 (in 2010) and 2106 and 2122 (in 2013). These resolutions specifically address women’s rights in post-conflict societies, their participation in reconstruction processes, their protection from violence, and the strengthening of justice systems. For instance, resolution 1325, the premier declaration on Women, Peace and Security, clearly links sexual violence as a weapon of war with the pursuit of peace and security, and outlines a legal structure for addressing these concerns at various levels” (Abdullah 2014, 67-68).
 
“To further consolidate the Women, Peace and Security agenda, the UN released two reports – ‘Report of the Secretary- General on Women, Peace and Security’ and ‘Report of the Secretary-General on Women’s Participation in Peacebuilding’ – on the tenth anniversary of the adoption of resolution 1325. The outstanding element in the latter report, which looked at women’s needs and participation in post-conflict reconstruction and transformation and peace-building processes, was the stipulation that 15 per cent of all UN-managed post-conflict financing funds should support projects that ‘address women’s specific needs, advance gender equality or empower women’ (UN 2010). While this framework has a transformatory edge, it does not go far enough to ensure women’s empowerment. Its application in post-conflict Sierra Leone is disjointed and full of loopholes that can be used to roll back whatever gains women have achieved. This chapter explores and reflects on this outcome” (68-69).

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, Justice, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, UNSCR 1820, UNSCR 1888, UNSCR 1889, UNSCR 1960, UNSCR 2106, UNSCR 2122, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2014

Women and the African Peace and Security Architecture

Citation:

Abdullah, Hussaina J. 2017."Women and the African Peace and Security Architecture." African Peacebuilding Network Working Paper 12, Social Science Research Council, New York.

Author: Hussaina J. Abdullah

Annotation:

Summary: 
"The objective of this study is to provide a comprehensive overview and analysis of how women’s rights in situations of armed conflict and post-conflict contexts have been mainstreamed into various mechanisms, structures, and instruments of the AU’s African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). As part of this exercise, this study conducts a critical examination of the links between APSA’s goal of promoting peace and security and the AU’s Gender Equality Architecture’s (GEA) goal of promoting and protecting the rights of women on the continent.
 
"This paper argues that while the AU has shown its commitment to the issues of peace and security and gender equality through the creation of various structures and the adoption of legal instruments to push through its agenda, the lack of a well-coordinated organizational strategy integrating these two sectors has resulted in limited success in achieving its goals and actualizing its vision. Furthermore, although the AU’s peace and security and gender equality agendas are closely linked to the global women, peace, and security (WPS) discourse, there is very little synergy in the institution’s engagement with and articulation of the global framework. As a result, the expected transformation in the lives of African women in conflict and post- conflict settings has not been realized. Women are still subjected to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and other human rights violations and marginalized in peace negotiations and post-war reconstruction processes; simultaneously, impunity for SGBV and other crimes is still rife in these societies. To move the institution’s gender equality agenda forward, a comprehensive gender-responsive organizational strategy and culture are needed to strengthen inter-departmental cooperation at all levels. This will encourage programs and policies that are in sync with the institution’s broad vision of a continent where women and men have equal access to opportunities, rights, and resources.
 
"This paper outlines the significant progress made at the country level as well as the gaps regarding women’s safety and security during and after armed conflict, including their participation in peace processes and post- conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding. It provides an assessment of the achievements and limitations of the gender mainstreaming process,2 particularly in relation to practical measures for promoting gender equality in the APSA, alongside those for implementing policies for the promotion of peace and security within the framework of the Gender Equality Architecture (GEA). It concludes with a set of recommendations for AU policymakers and civil society practitioners" (Abdullah 2017, 1-2).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, conflict, peace and security, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Africa

Year: 2017

Pages

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