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West 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.

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

Forging Ahead without an Affirmative Action Policy: Female Politicians in Sierra Leone's Post‐War Electoral Process

Citation:

Abdullah, Hussaina J. 2010. “Forging Ahead without an Affirmative Action Policy: Female Politicians in Sierra Leone's Post‐War Electoral Process.” IDS Bulletin 41 (5): 62-71.

Author: Hussaina J. Abdullah

Abstract:

In contemporary post-conflict Sierra Leone, women have managed to secure 13.5 per cent of seats in parliament – without affirmative action in place, thanks to women’s groups’ and coalitions’ mobilisation and activism. While the political resistance to Sierra Leone having a quota was high, the women’s movement has succeeded in forcing the political parties and the government to recognise that it is no longer politically viable to sidestep women’s rights, should they wish to capitalise on women’s voting power. As women’s organisations, in particular the 50/50 group, continue the struggle to introduce a quota, the challenge for Sierra Leonean women is how to ensure that the quota project is not hijacked by the male-dominated political establishment. To this aim, this article examines the ongoing efforts to politically consciencise women parliamentarians, society and political parties.

Topics: Gender, Governance, Quotas, Elections, Post-conflict Governance, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2010

Religious Revivalism, Human Rights Activism and the Struggle for Women's Rights in Nigeria

Citation:

Abdullah, Hussaina J. 2000. "Religious Revivalism, Human Rights Activism and the Struggle for Women's Rights in Nigeria." In Beyond Rights Talk and Culture Talk: Comparative Essays on Political Rights and Culture, edited by Mahmood Mamdani, 96-120. Cape Town: David Philip Publishers.

Author: Hussaina J. Abdullah

Annotation:

Summary:
“Within the context of economic crisis, structural adjustment and political authoritarianism which have characterized Nigeria since the 1980s there has been a growth of human rights and civil liberties activism, together with a process of religious revivalism and a rising and institutionalized "State" feminism. From their different positions, the various associations have either shown total disregard for women's rights issues or proved incapable of dealing with them. The struggles of activist women's organizations, such as Women in Nigeria (WIN), which emerged in 1983, have involved the articulation of strategies for responding to the de-politicizing thrust and consequences of "State" feminism/"femocracy", whilst simultaneously attempting to tap potentially positive elements from the process for the benefit of Nigerian women. At another level, they have entailed the broadening of the campaign for women's rights with regard to issues of legal and constitutional reform. International networking has also been employed to advance the interests of Nigerian women, especially as they pertain to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Furthermore, there has been an attempt by some women's groups, such as the Federation of Muslim Women's Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN), to use the idiom of religion and contestations over doctrinal interpretation to press the case for reforms. However, the struggles of Nigerian women for change still have to contend with resilient patriarchal structures, which aspects of religious revivalism have tended to reinforce and which the explosion of human rights activism has, so far, been insufficient to challenge significantly” (Abdullah 2000, 162-3).

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

Year: 2000

Gender, Peacebuilding, and Reconstruction

Citation:

Sweetman, Caroline, ed. 2005. Gender, Peacebuilding, and Reconstruction. Oxfam Focus on Gender. Oxford: Oxfam GB.

Author: Caroline Sweetman

Abstract:

This collection of articles examines the impact of armed conflict on women, men, and gender relations. Gender stereotypes of conflict depict women and children as powerless victims, while men are presented either as saviours of the weak and powerless, or as agents of violence and destruction. Reality is more complex. Women, girls, and boys also wage war as soldiers, often against their will. Atrocities committed against them give rise to desperate physical, mental, and material need, which reconstruction and peace initiatives must recognise and address. In addition, women need to be involved as decision makers in peace and reconstruction processes. These must founded on a vision of equality in governance and everyday social interactions, if a sustainable peace is to come about. Case studies included here come from India, Kosovo, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, and Uganda.

Keywords: conflict, Disasters, protection, reconstruction

Annotation:

Table of Contents:
1. Editorial
Caroline Sweetman
 
2. Counter-revolutionary women: gender and reconciliation in post-war Nicaragua
Julie Cupples
 
3. Reconstructing fragile lives: girls’ social reintegration in northern Uganda and Sierra Leone
Susan McKay
 
4. Post-conflict programmes for women: lessons from the Kosovo Women’s Initiative
Agnes Kalungu-Banda
 
5. Mainstreaming gender in conflict reduction: from challenge to opportunity
Jasmine Whitbread
 
6. Promoting a gender-just peace: the roles of women teachers in peacebuilding and reconstruction
Jackie Kirk
 
7. Gender, participation, and post-conflict planning in northern Sri Lanka
Simon Harris
 
8. The gender dimensions of post-conflict reconstruction: an analytical framework for policymakers
Elaine Zuckerman and Marcia Greenberg
 
9. Building capacity to resolve conflict in communities: Oxfam experience in Rwanda
Rosemarie McNairn
 
10. Sustaining peace, re-building livelihoods: the Gujarat Harmony Project
Sara Ahmed

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Americas, Central America, Asia, South Asia, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: India, Kosovo, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Uganda

Year: 2005

The Power of Mixed Messages: Women, Peace, and Security Language in National Action Plans from Africa

Citation:

Hudson, Heidi. 2017. “The Power of Mixed Messages: Women, Peace, and Security Language in National Action Plans from Africa.” Africa Spectrum 52 (3): 3-29.

Author: Heidi Hudson

Abstract:

Against the backdrop of global and continental women, peace, and security discourses, this contribution analyses the gender and women-focused language of national action plans from four African countries (Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and Uganda), which were drafted with a view to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. I argue that national action plans have the potential to transcend the soft-consensus language of Security Council resolutions because they create new spaces for feminist engagement with policy and practice. The analysis reveals three discursive themes – namely, the making of “womenandchildren,” women civilising war, and making women responsible for preventing gender-based violence. The themes relate to the construction of, respectively, gender(ed) identities, security, and violence. To varying degrees, the plans reflect a combination of predominantly liberal-feminist language interspersed with some examples of critical insight. I conclude that the ambiguous nature of the messages sent out by these plans serves as a reminder that discourses are fragmented and therefore offer an opening for nuanced contextual analyses and implementation.

Keywords: Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda, peace and conflict research, women, women's politics, action programmes/action plans, UN Security Council Resolution (2000-10-31)

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Gender-Based Violence, peace and security, Peacebuilding, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda

Year: 2017

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