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Africa

Decoupling Local Ownership? The Lost Opportunities for Grassroots Women's Involvement in Liberian Peacebuilding

Citation:

Gizelis, Theodora-Ismene and Jonathan Joseph. 2016. “Decoupling Local Ownership? The Lost Opportunities for Grassroots Women's Involvement in Liberian Peacebuilding.” Cooperation and Conflict 51 (4): 539-56.

Authors: Theodora-Ismene Gizelis, Jonathon Joseph

Abstract:

Civil society organizations and grassroots groups are often unable to play an active role in postconflict reconstruction and peacebuilding. A possible explanation for the observed challenges in peacebuilding is the gap or decoupling between international expectations and norms from practical action, local norms and capacities. External actors are often overly instrumental and operate according to a general template that fails to start from what the local capacities might actually be. This often leads to the decoupling of general values from practical action, which helps account for the observed barriers of engaging local civil and community organizations in reconstruction. We examine the different types of decoupling and the challenges these present. We evaluate our general theoretical argument using evidence based on the experiences of Liberian women’s civil society organizations. Given the compliance of the Liberian government with international norms, we should expect external actors to have an easier task in incorporating civil society and women’s organizations in the post-conflict reconstruction process; yet, the record appears to be the opposite. While we present the ‘tragic’ aspect of this relationship between international norms and local practice, we also suggest opportunities for ‘hybrid’ alternatives.

Keywords: gender, Liberia, peacebuilding, post-conflict society

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, conflict, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2016

Inventing Bushcraft: Masculinity, Technology, and Environment in Central Africa, ca. 750-1250

Citation:

de Luna, Kathryn M. 2017. “Inventing Bushcraft: Masculinity, Technology, and Environment in Central Africa, ca. 750-1250.” RCC Perspectives: Transformations in Environment and Society 4: 51–60.

Author: Kathryn M. de Luna

Abstract:

Kathryn M. de Luna explores the micropolitics of knowledge production through a case study of the history of bushcraft. She highlights the special status given to practitioners of bush technologies—specifically Central Eastern Botatwe speakers—in south central Africa. The invention of a new landscape category, isokwe, and the novel status of seasonal technicians marked the development of a virile, sexualized masculinity available to some men; but it was also a status with deeply sensuous, material, and social meanings for women.

Keywords: fishing, gender, hunting, indigenous knowledge, technology

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Masculinity/ies Regions: Africa, Central Africa

Year: 2017

Pathways Out of Poverty: Women - 'the forgotten Gender' - and the Artisanal Fisheries Sector of Sierra Leone

Citation:

Baio, Andrew, Roberta Curiazi, Ndomahina Lebbie, Thomas Lebbie, Ranita Sandi, Andy Thorpe, and David Whitmarsh. 2013. “Pathways Out of Poverty: Women - the ‘forgotten Gender’ - and the Artisanal Fisheries Sector of Sierra Leone.” African Historical Review 45 (1): 46–61.

Authors: Andrew Baio, Roberta Curiazi, Ndomahina Lebbie, Thomas Lebbie, Ranita Sandi, Andy Thorpe, David Whitmarsh

Abstract:

In a number of low-income countries the fisheries sector has been shown to be instrumental in meeting key development goals, specifically in combating malnutrition, but the crucial contribution of women within this sector has been largely overlooked. This is particularly true in Sierra Leone, despite gender featuring prominently in the country’s poverty reduction strategy. This article therefore examines the history of female involvement in the sector, how this involvement was transformed by the civil war, and assesses whether the various current initiatives to support women in the post-harvest sector offer a realistic ‘pathway out of poverty’.

Keywords: fish distribution chain, food security, women, poverty alleviation, Sierra Leone

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Security Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2013

How Much Land Does a Woman Need? Women, Land Rights and Rural Development

Esther Kingston-Mann

April 18, 2019

Integrated Sciences Complex, 3rd Floor, Conference Room 3300, UMass Boston

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Djamilah

"Egyptian historical film about one of the most important figures in the history of Algeria, Djamila Bouhired. This film is regarded as not only highlighting the story of an important female revolutionary, but also showing the struggle of the Algerian people against the French occupation."

Source: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051539/

Gender Equality and Land Administration: The Case of Zambia

Citation:

Spichiger, Rachel, and Edna Kabala. 2014. “Gender Equality and Land Administration: The Case of Zambia.” DIIS Working Paper 4, Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), Copenhagen.

Authors: Rachel Spichiger, Edna Kabala

Abstract:

Land, and in particular agricultural land, is central to livelihoods in rural Zambia. Zambia is characterised by a dual legal system of customary and statutory law and by dual land tenure, with state land and customary land. A first wave of socialist-oriented reforms took place after independence in 1964, which abolished previously existing freehold land in favour of lease-hold. Subsequent changes in government policies under the influence of structural adjustment programmes and a new government in 1991 paved the way for a market-driven land reform. The 1995 Lands Act introduced the privatization of land in Zambia and provided for the conversion of customary into state land, with the hope of attracting investors. However, the Act has been unevenly implemented, at least in rural areas, in part due to problems plaguing the land administration institutions and their work, in part due to opposition to the main tenets of the Act from chiefs, the population and civil society. Civil society, with donor support, calls for more attention towards women’s precarious situations with regard to access to and ownership of land under customary tenure, but it still expresses a desire for customary tenure to remain. However, civil society also recognizes that customary practices are often also discriminatory towards women who depend on male relatives for access to land.
 
A gender policy, passed in 2000, and two subsequent draft land policies tried to address women’s lack of access to land by stipulating that 30% of the land should be allocated to women. What has been the role of donors in these developments? Both on the government’s side and for civil society, NGOs and donor agencies, gender has increasingly come to the fore. Donors have certainly pushed for policies and changes in legislation. In particular, the recent Anti Gender-Based Violence Act has been hailed as a huge step for gender equality, and was heavily supported by donors. The land sector, however, does not receive much donor support. While it is notable that donors (e.g. USAID and the World Bank) supported the process leading to the 1995 Lands Act, no donor supported gender issues within that sector in that period. Some donors do take issues related to women’s access to land into account within their agricultural programmes or through their work on democracy and governance, however. Over the last five years, several programmes implemented by NGOs (national and international) and civil-society organisations have focused entirely on women’s land rights. Despite registering some positive outcomes, especially in areas of knowledge and capacity-building, these programmes have met some challenges. Apart from technical and financial issues, it was observed that changes with regard to land tenure are slow to be institutionalised, if at all, and that mechanisms to enhance the accountability of land administrators on both customary and state land are lacking. These initiatives are taking place against a changing background, as Zambia is now at an important juncture at the policy and legal levels, with attempts to codify customary law and to take steps to strengthen tenure security on customary land. How and when this will be done, and how this codified customary law will be enforced, as well as what impact it will have on women remains to be seen. What is also uncertain is what impact this will have on current policies that are under review (e.g. gender and land policies) and the direction that will be taken with regard to issues of tenure security for women living under customary tenure. Whether and, if so, to what extent donors will adopt a defining role in these coming endeavours is not yet clear, especially in a changing aid landscape, since several donor agencies have now withdrawn from Zambia. 

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Livelihoods, NGOs, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zambia

Year: 2014

Gender, Patronage and Race in Modernist Agribusiness

Caitlin Ryan

November 26, 2018

Campus Center, Room 3540, UMass Boston

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

Caitlin Ryan

October 30, 2018

Campus Center, Room 3540, UMass Boston

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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

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