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South Asia

Sovereignty, Vulnerability, and a Gendered Resistance in Indian-Occupied Kashmir

Citation:

Osuri, Goldie. 2018. “Sovereignty, Vulnerability, and a Gendered Resistance in Indian-Occupied Kashmir.” Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal 3 (2): 228–43.

Author: Goldie Osuri

Abstract:

Drawing on Iffat Fatima’s documentary film, Khoon Diy Baarav or Blood Leaves its Trail (2015), this paper explores how a gendered Kashmiri activism against human rights violations allows for reenvisioning the concept of an authoritarian and violent Westphalian sovereignty concerned with exclusive political authority and territory. Previous studies of gendered resistance are examined as are reformulations of sovereignty through feminist and Indigenous critiques. Through these examinations, the paper offers a way to rethink sovereignty through the theoretical concept of vulnerability. Such a rethinking of sovereignty may point to an interrelational model of sovereignty where the vulnerability of gendered bodies and the environment may be emphasised. In the context of human rights violations in Kashmir, this reenvisioning of sovereignty may be a necessary counter to the repetitious cycles of necropolitical sovereign power.

Keywords: Gender and sovereignty, Kashmir, human rights, vulnerability, resistance and activism

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Governance, Rights, Human Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Pakistan

Year: 2018

Securing the 'Gender Legitimacy' of the UN Security Council: Prising Gender from Its Historical Moorings

Citation:

Otto, Dianne. 2004. “Securing the 'Gender Legitimacy' of the UN Security Council: Prising Gender from Its Historical Moorings.” Legal Studies Research Paper 92, Faculty of Law, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne.

Author: Dianne Otto

Abstract:

Recent feminist efforts to engage with the UN Security Council might well be dismissed as a futile attempt to employ the master's tools to dismantle the master's house. That these efforts have born fruit, was evidenced by the Council's unanimous adoption of Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in October 2000. Since its adoption, the Resolution has been the focus of continuing engagement between women's peace advocates and the Council. 
 
The Resolution can be understood as one of a range of measures adopted by the Council in an effort to tackle its legitimacy deficit; specifically, its gender legitimacy. While the Resolution's promotion of the increased involvement of women in decision-making opens the possibility of clawing back some of the ground lost to military ways of thinking, and legitimating emancipatory understandings of peace based on gender equality and social justice, it also runs the risk of lending a renewed legitimacy to the old ways of getting things done, just as women's participation in the colonial civilizing mission helped to make imperialism possible.  
 
The examples of Afghanistan and East Timor, reveal that there has been slow but measured progress towards increasing the participation of women in formal decision-making processes, and that the progress that has been made has depended in large part on the extensive mobilization of local and trans-national women's peace networks. At the same time, most Afghan and East Timorese women were unaffected by the increased formal participation of women, as they faced heightened levels of gendered violence and economic insecurity. This experience confirms the need use the Resolution to move beyond issues of participation, important as they are, to changing the militarized and imperial gender stereotypes that have played such a central role in maintaining militarism and the secondary status of women. Only then will the Council's deficit in gender legitimacy be reversed in an emancipatory way. (Abstract from Social Sciences Research Network) 

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, International Organizations, Militarism, Political Participation, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Asia, South Asia, Oceania Countries: Afghanistan, Timor-Leste

Year: 2004

New Patriotisms: The Beauty Queen and the Bomb

Citation:

Sangari, Kumkum. 2004. “New Patriotisms: The Beauty Queen and the Bomb.” In From Gender to Nation, edited by Rada Ivekovic and Julie Mostov, 153–70. New Dehli: Zubaan.

Author: Kumkum Sangari

Annotation:

Summary:
"The significant literature on gender and nationalism generated in the past decade shows that the emphasis on women as biological reproducers or members of a bounded collectivity, and the centrality of womanhood to the ideological reproduction of the nation are common to a variety of nationalisms. Yet the ideological distinctions between nationalisms remain significant. Given the intertwined legacies of colonialism, the patriarchal assumptions in nationalism, and the particularism of the Hindu right-wing, definitions of Indian culture have always been problematic, especially in the way they cast the "nation" as an entity affected and endangered by the "west". The secular, multireligious or more inclusive nationalisms that emerged in the colonial period were implicated in the specific types of antifeminism and new conservatism that crystallized around anticolonialism; however, they cannot be confused with the obsessive particularisms that attempted to seize nationalism and twist it to their own ends. These particularisms sought the aura of nationalism but pushed for a single majoritarian religious identity, and a tighter patriarchy by polarizing an alien, "selfgenerated" and modem "west". Neither anticolonialism, nor antiwesternism, nor antimodernity could guarantee national authenticity since they were shaped in a two-way cultural traffic marked by recursivity, transformation, resistance and ideological collaboration. They, did however, produce a powerful imaginary India exemplified in its nonmodern or antimodern areas (notably a subsuming religiosity and chaste, self-sacrificing women) to be preserved, an India that was most emphatically (though not exclusively) deployed by the Hindu right" (Sangari 2004, 153).

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gendered Discourses, Nationalism, Religion, Security, Weapons /Arms Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2004

The Little Mermaid’s Silent Security Dilemma and the Absence of Gender in the Copenhagen School

Citation:

Hansen, Lene. 2000. “The Little Mermaid’s Silent Security Dilemma and the Absence of Gender in the Copenhagen School.” Millennium: Journal of International Studies 29 (2): 285–306.

Author: Lene Hansen

Annotation:

Summary:
"The article proceeds in three parts, the first introduces the Copenhagen School’s theory of securitization and security as a speech act in more detail. The second part argues the importance of the ‘security as silence’ and ‘subsuming security’ problems. It confronts the common response to calls for the inclusion of gender in security analysis: that it falls under the category of social security, not ‘proper’ national security, and that it concerns individual, not collective security. Through a discussion of the case of honour killings in Pakistan, both of these claims are countered, and it is shown that gender insecurity concerns not only social redistribution but fundamental questions of survival, and that the security of particular individuals is deeply embedded in collective constructions of subjectivity and security. Drawing on the work of Judith Butler, the third part suggests that a theory of gender and security should consider the importance of the body within the speech act. Second, that the focus on whether to expand the concept of security should be supplemented with a theory of what conditions the construction of ‘security problems’. This involves an approach to security which foregrounds the role of practice, in particular how political practices depend upon and reinforce subjectivity, and how practices of security might strive to individualise security problems thereby taking them out of the public and political domain" (Hansen 2000, 287).

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Gender-Based Violence, Security, Sexual Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Pakistan

Year: 2000

Inventing Saffron History: A Celibate Hero Rescues an Emasculated Nation

Citation:

Chakravarti, Uma. 2000. “Inventing Saffron History: A Celibate Hero Rescues an Emasculated Nation.” In A Question of Silence? The Sexual Economies of Modern India, edited by Janaki Nair and Mary E. John, 243–68. London and New York: Zed Books.

Author: Uma Chakravarti

Annotation:

Summary:
"A standard and well-rehearsed method of dealing with the crisis of the present is to write about or 're'construct the 'nation's' 'glorious' past...Today's political and social crisis and the panacea for it, are not being expressed through powerful writing but through the visual media, cinema and television" (Chakravarti 2000, 244). 

Topics: Caste, Class, Gender, Governance Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2000

Mundane Heroines: Conflict, Ethnicity, Gender, and Female Headship in Eastern Sri Lanka

Citation:

Ruwanpura, Kanchana N., and Jane Humphries. 2004. “Mundane Heroines: Conflict, Ethnicity, Gender, and Female Headship in Eastern Sri Lanka.” Feminist Economics 10 (2): 173–205.

Authors: Kanchana N. Ruwanpura, Jane Humphries

Abstract:

For the last twenty years, eastern Sri Lanka has witnessed a bitter and bloody civil conflict. This paper explores the experience of female-headed households in the region. Only partially the product of war, such households cannot be bundled together as a social problem with a single solution. Our study endorses the feminist suspicion of falsely homogenizing accounts of women's lives and suggests instead an alternative emphasis on the many ways in which gendered relations of dominance and subordination are maintained. With its co-existing Muslim, Tamil, and Sinhala groups, eastern Sri Lanka facilitates the exploration of ethnicity as a source of variation. The households included in this study share a common structure and face the same economic problems, yet ethnic differences divide them. The paper charts the problems, strategies, and partial triumphs of these lone mothers and proposes policies to help them in their mundane but heroic struggle.

Keywords: female headship, gender, ethnicity, eastern Sri Lanka, conflict, kinship and community

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Economies, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Post-Conflict Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 2004

Property Rights and Gender Bias: Evidence from Land Reform in West Bengal

Citation:

Bhalotra, Sonia, Abhishek Chakravarty, Dilip Mookherjee, and Francisco J. Pino. 2016. “Property Rights and Gender Bias: Evidence from Land Reform in West Bengal.” IZA Discussion Paper 9930, The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Bonn, Germany. 

Authors: Sonia Bhalotra, Abhishek Chakravarty, Dilip Mookherjee, Francisco J. Pino

Abstract:

While land reforms are typically pursued in order to raise productivity and reduce inequality across households, an unintended consequence may be increased within-household gender inequality. We analyse a tenancy registration programme in West Bengal, and find that it increased child survival and reduced fertility. However, we also find that it intensified son preference in families without a first-born son to inherit the land title. These families exhibit no reduction in fertility, an increase in the probability that a subsequent birth is male, and a substantial increase in the survival advantage of subsequent sons over daughters.

Keywords: land reform, gender, infant mortality, sex ratio, fertility, Property Rights

Topics: Development, Economies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Reproductive Health, Households, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2016

Gender, Agrobiodiversity, and Climate Change: A Study of Adaptation Practices in the Nepal Himalayas

Citation:

Bhattarai, Basundhara, Ruth Beilin, and Rebecca Ford. 2015. “Gender, Agrobiodiversity, and Climate Change: A Study of Adaptation Practices in the Nepal Himalayas.” World Development 70: 122–32.

Authors: Basundhara Bhattarai, Ruth Beilin, Rebecca Ford

Keywords: gender, agrobiodiversity management, climate change, adaptation, Nepal

Annotation:

Summary: 
Gender is seminal to agrobiodiversity management, and inequities are likely to be exacerbated under a changing climate. Using in-depth interviews with farmers and officials from government and non-government organizations in Nepal, we explore how gender relations are influenced by wider socio-economic changes, and how alterations in gender relations shape responses to climate change. Combining feminist political ecology and critical social-ecological systems thinking, we analyze how gender and adaptation interact as households abandon certain crops, adopt high-yielding varieties and shift to cash crops. We argue that the prevailing development paradigm reinforces inequitable gender structures in agrobiodiversity management, undermining adaptation to the changing climate. (Summary from original source) 

Topics: Development, Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Governance, Households, NGOs Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2015

Women and Climate Change in Bangladesh

Citation:

Alston, Margaret. 2015. Women and Climate Change in Bangladesh. London: Routledge.

Author: Margaret Alston

Annotation:

Summary: 
Bangladesh is by no means a high emitter of carbon, but it is nevertheless one of the countries most critically affected. There is a significant risk of damage to lives and livelihoods due to climate change in the form of cyclones, flooding and storm surges, and slow-onset impacts such as droughts, sea level rises and river basin erosion. Moreover, Bangladeshis are especially vulnerable as a high proportion of people live in extreme poverty. This book assesses the impact of climate change in Bangladesh, and presents the findings of a three-year, in-depth study undertaken at village level in different districts of the country. It examines national policies, contrasting them with what is actually happening at village level. It outlines the impact of climate change on livelihood strategies and health, and focuses particularly on the impact on gender relations, showing that although women have a significant role to play in helping communities cope with the effects of climate change, cultural customs and practices often work against this. The book argues for, and puts forward policy proposals for, recognising women’s active contribution and supporting gender equality as a critical strategy in global adaptation to climate challenges. (Summary from Taylor & Francis Group) 

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2015

Flood Early Warning Systems in Nepal: A Gendered Perspective

Citation:

Shrestha, Mandira Singh, Shesh Kanta Kafle, Min Bahdur Gurung, Hari Krishna Nibanupudi, Vijay Ratan Khadgi, and Gautam Rajkarnikar. 2014. “Flood Early Warning Systems in Nepal: A Gendered Perspective.” ICIMOD Working Paper 2014/4, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Authors: Mandira Singh Shrestha, Shesh Kanta Kafle, Min Bahdur Gurung, Hari Krishna Nibanupudi, Vijay Ratan Khadgi, Gautam Rajkarnikar

Keywords: early warning, gender, flood, Nepal

Annotation:

Summary: 
This publication captures the findings of a study on flood early warning systems in Nepal that assessed the institutional arrangements, key stakeholders, legal provisions, coordination and linkage mechanisms, and four key elements of early warning systems from a gender perspective. It also gathered experience from two villages with functioning community-based flood early warning systems.
 
This report aims to improve understanding of the existing flood early warning systems in Nepal, and suggests ways to make early warning systems more effective and responsive to the needs of vulnerable groups, and women in particular. By promoting the integration of the gender perspective into disaster risk management efforts, this study contributes to the Hyogo Framework for Action. The report can be a valuable tool for use by key national stakeholders, policy makers, planners, and community members who are risk from flood hazards in Nepal. (Summary from Prevention Web)

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2014

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