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Mastering the Struggle: Gender, Actors and Agrarian Change in a Mexican Ejido


Brunt, Dorien. 1992. “Mastering the Struggle: Gender, Actors and Agrarian Change in a Mexican Ejido.” PhD diss., the Agricultural University in Wageningen.

Author: Dorien Brunt


"This book is about power and about the social order, but it is approached through the struggles of men and women, members of an ejido in Western Mexico (highly integrated in national and international product and labour markets) to improve the quality of their lives. It explores the possibilities they see and the limitations they are confronted with, and how they try to overcome these limitations. As James Scott (1985:XV-XVII) puts it: 'Most subordinate classes throughout most of history have rarely been afforded the luxury of open political activity. Most subordinated classes are far less interested in changing the larger structures and the law than what Hobsbawm has appropriately called "working the system... to their minimum disadvantage. ... For these reasons it seems to be more important to understand what we might call everyday forms of ... resistance.'
"In this case, the everyday struggles are about access to land, access to credit and irrigation water, and keeping control over the land and the production process. But by no means are they only economic struggles, they are also struggles over influence, identity, ideology, creating support. Nor are these struggles only between the local population and the 'representatives of die state', but also take place within the local population itself, between men and women, between those with and those without land, between older and younger generations" (Brunt 1992, 4). 

Topics: Age, Class, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 1992

Women, Climate Change and Liberation in Africa


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

Author: Filomina Chioma Steady


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

The Influence of Caste, Class and Gender in Surviving Multiple Disasters: A Case Study from Orissa, India


Ray-Bennett, Nibedita S. 2009. “The Influence of Caste, Class and Gender in Surviving Multiple Disasters: A Case Study from Orissa, India.” Environmental Hazards 8 (1): 5–22.

Author: Nibedita S. Ray-Benett


Sociological and anthropological studies in India reveal that caste, class and gender in everyday life are both rigid and dynamic, but little is known about how they influence the survival mechanisms of women during ‘multiple disasters’, nor about how women negotiate with these structural mores to meet their cultural and biological needs. This is explored through the experiences of 12 women-headed households from different social castes in Orissa, India. Multiple disasters or disasters that occur in ‘one specific place’ (such as floods, cyclone and drought) are regular events in coastal parts of the state of Orissa. The super-cyclone of 1999, two floods of 2001 and 2003 and drought of 2000 and 2002 form the case study. Participant observation, in-depth interviews and documentary evidence complement the fieldwork. The findings suggest a complex interplay of caste, class and gender in surviving the multiple disasters including structural mutability under the purview of social organization. In doing so, women demonstrated their individual and collective agencies in order to meet their cultural and biological needs under severe crisis. This research stresses that gender and disaster studies must include a consideration of caste and class for effective disaster management and social vulnerability reduction.

Keywords: gender, multiple disasters, Orissa, women-headed households, class, caste

Topics: Caste, Class, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Households Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2009

Gender and Disaster: Foundations and Directions


Enarson, Elaine, Alice Fothergill, and Lori Peek. 2007. “Gender and Disaster: Foundations and Directions.” In Handbook of Disaster Research, edited by Havidan Rodriguez, Enrico Quarantelli, and Russell Dynes. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Authors: Elaine Enarson, Alice Fothergill, Lori Peek


“Gendered disaster social science rests on the social fact of gender as a primary organizing principle of societies and the conviction that gender must be addressed if we are to claim that knowledge about all people living in risky environments. Theoretically, researchers in the area are moving toward a more nuanced, international, and comparative approach that examines gender relations in the context of other categories of social difference and power such as race, ethnicity, nationality, and social class. At a practical level, researchers seek to bring to the art and science of disaster risk reduction a richer appreciation of inequalities and differences based on sex and gender. As the world learns from each fresh tragedy, gender relations are part of the human experience of disasters and may under some conditions lead to the denial of the fundamental human rights of women and girls in crisis. 
“We begin by briefly discussing the dominant theoretical frameworks that have guided gender disaster research to date and seem likely to develop further. We then organize and review the extant literature around seven interrelated themes. The literature review is designed to highlight published research conducted on human behavior and social consequences in primarily natural disasters and thus does not include, for example, armed conflict and displacement, HIV/AIDS, and other related literatures. The third section of the chapter examines international perspectives in the gender and disaster field. Finally we point out knowledge gaps and some new directions we hope will guide the endeavors of those who produce and use knowledge about disasters” (Enarson, Fothergill and Peek 2007, 130).

Topics: Class, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Ethnicity, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2007

The Role of Microcredit in Reducing Women’s Vulnerabilities to Multiple Disasters


Ray-Bennett, Nibedita S. 2010. “The Role of Microcredit in Reducing Women’s Vulnerabilities to Multiple Disasters.” Disasters 34 (1): 240-60.

Author: Nibedita S. Ray-Bennett


This article explores the relationship between microcredit and vulnerability reduction for women-headed households in ‘multiple disasters’. Here multiple disasters are understood as disasters that occur in one specific place and cause severe devastation. The case study covers the super-cyclone in 1999, floods in 2001 and 2003, and drought in 2002 in Orissa, India. The study entailed eight months fieldwork and interviews with several governmental and non-governmental officials and 12 women-headed households from different social castes. The findings suggest that micro-credit is a useful tool to replace women’s livelihood assets that have been lost in multiple disasters. But inefficient microcredit delivery can cause microdebts and exacerbate caste, class and gender inequalities. It is posited that microcredit delivery cannot achieve vulnerability reduction for women in multiple disasters unless it is complemented by effective financial services, integrated policy planning and disaster management between government, non-governmental organisations and the community.

Keywords: microcredit, multiple disasters, Orissa, vulnerability, women-headed households

Topics: Caste, Class, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Livelihoods, NGOs Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2010

Left Out in the Cold While the Planet Heats Up: How Can Feminists Contribute to Climate Change and Energy Debates and Policy in South Africa Today?


Annecke, Wendy, Yvette Abrahams, and Nthabiseng Mohlakoana. 2010. “Left Out in the Cold While the Planet Heats Up: How Can Feminists Contribute to Climate Change and Energy Debates and Policy in South Africa Today?” Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equity 24 (83): 36–45.

Authors: Wendy Annecke, Yvette Abrahams, Nthabiseng Mohlakoana


The issue of climate change is one of the most critical issues confronting feminism today. Since energy use and in particular burning fossil fuels is the largest contributor to greenhouse gases and global warming, feminist input to determine what sources of energy South Africa should develop for the future is fundamental to the debate.
To facilitate feminist responses, a workshop was held by the Gender and Energy Network South Africa in collaboration with the Commission for Gender Equality on 18–19 May 2010 to examine some of the new State initiatives to formulate relevant policy. Policies concerned are the Draft National Climate Change Policy, the Renewable Energy policy and the Integrated Resource Plan II.
Interestingly enough, the most critical problems to emerge from this workshop were not issues around the substance of the policies (although there are plenty of those), but how to relate to a State that is deaf to its constituencies, and how to deal with the lack of women's voices in constructing guidelines which are going to determine not only our national energy production for the next 20 years, but also the welfare of our planet itself. It is clear that the State is currently preparing these policies with substantial input from male-dominated sectors such as mining, engineering and Eskom (the State-owned enterprise which generates approximately 95% of the electricity used in South Africa and approximately 45% of the electricity used in Africa), but very little from women. Poor women are even further removed from the policy processes that middle-class women are struggling to be part of. The aim of this Focus is to present the deliberations of this workshop and follow-up activities in broadening the impact of feminist activism.

Keywords: gender, climate change, governance and participation

Topics: Class, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Governance, Infrastructure, Energy, Political Participation Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2010

Gendering Climate Change: Geographical Insights


Sultana, Farhana. 2014. “Gendering Climate Change: Geographical Insights.” The Professional Geographer 66 (3): 372–81.

Author: Farhana Sultana


Although climate change is expected to increase vulnerabilities, marginalization, and sufferings of many in the Global South, impacts will be unevenly felt across social strata. Intersectionalities of social difference, especially along gender and class lines, differentiate the ways in which impacts of climate change are experienced and responded to. Feminist political ecology and feminist geography insights can explain how different groups of people understand, respond to, and cope with variability and uncertainties in nuanced and critical ways, thereby elucidating the gendered implications of climate change. With a regional focus on South Asia, the article underscores the key issues that can be applied geographically elsewhere. Gendered implications of climate change in South Asia are particularly poignant as patriarchal norms, inequities, and inequalities often place women and men in differentiated positions in their abilities to respond to and cope with dramatic changes in socioecological relations but also foreground the complex ways in which social power relations operate in communal responses to adaptation strategies. This is particularly evident in water-related productive and reproductive tasks in agrarian societies that constitute the majority of South Asia. As climate change is expected to exacerbate both ecological degradation (e.g., water shortages) and water-related natural hazards (e.g., floods, cyclones), thereby transforming gender–water geographies, it becomes imperative to undertake careful multiscalar and critical analyses to better inform policymaking. This article elucidates the complex ways that climate change will affect gender and social relations, thereby highlighting the ways that existing policy narratives and adaptation programs might be better informed by geographical insights. To this end, the article encourages feminist and critical geographers to more forcefully and fruitfully engage with global debates on climate change. 
儘管气候变迁预期会增加众多全球南方人口的脆弱性、边缘化与苦难, 但不同的社会阶层将不均地感受到这些冲击。社会差异的多元交织, 特别是性别与阶级的轴线, 差异化了气候变迁冲击被感知与回应的方式。女性主义政治生态学与女性主义地理学的洞见, 可以透过细緻且批判的方式, 解释不同的社群如何理解、回应与处理变异性及不确定性, 因而阐明了气候变迁的性别化意涵。本文透过聚焦南亚区域, 凸显在地理上亦适用于其他地方的议题。气候变迁在南亚的性别化意涵特别深切, 因为父权常规、不均与不平等, 经常将女性和男性回应及处理社会经济关係剧烈变革的能力, 置放在差异化的位置, 但也同时凸显了社区对调节策略的回应中, 社会权力关係运作的复杂方式。此一现象, 在与水资源相关的生产工作与再生产工作的农业社会中特别显着, 而此般农业社会构成了南亚的绝大部份。当气候变迁预期会同时加剧生态退化 (例如水资源短缺) 以及与水相关的自然灾害 (例如洪水和飓风), 并因而改变性别与水的地理时, 着手从事仔细的多尺度与批判性分析以更佳地告知政策制定, 便显得格外重要。本文阐明气候变迁将会影响性别与社会关係的复杂方式, 从而凸显地理学洞见得以更佳地影响政策叙事和调适计画的方式。为此, 本文鼓励女性主义与批判地理学者更有力且多产地涉入气候变迁的全球辩论。
Aunque es de esperarse que con el cambio climático aumenten las vulnerabilidades, la marginalización y el sufrimiento de muchos en el Sur Global, los impactos se sentirán de manera desigual a través de los estratos sociales. Las interseccionalidades de diferencia social, en especial a lo largo de líneas de género y clase, diferencian las maneras como se experimentan los impactos del cambio climático, y cómo se reacciona ante los mismos. La perspicacia propia de la ecología política feminista y de la geografía feminista puede explicar el modo como diferentes grupos de gente entienden, reaccionan y se amoldan a la variabilidad e incertidumbres, con estilos variados y críticos, elucidando así las implicaciones que pueda tener el cambio climático por género. Tomando como área de estudio focal al Sur de Asia, el artículo hace énfasis sobre puntos clave que pudiesen tener aplicación geográfica en otras partes. Las implicaciones de género del cambio climático en aquella región son particularmente conmovedoras en cuanto normas patriarcales, inequidades y desigualdades, a menudo colocan a las mujeres y los hombres en posiciones diferenciadas en lo que concierne a su capacidad de responder y amoldarse a cambios dramáticos en las relaciones socioecológicas, pero que también ponen en primer plano las maneras complejas como las relaciones de poder social obran en las respuestas comunales sobre estrategias de adaptación. Esto es evidente particularmente en las tareas productivas y reproductivas relacionadas con el agua en las sociedades agrarias que predominan en el Sur de Asia. En la medida en que se espera que el cambio climático empeore tanto la degradación ecológica (por ejemplo, escasez hídrica) como los riesgos naturales relacionados con agua (por ejemplo, inundaciones, ciclones), transformando así las geografías de género-agua, se hace imperativo emprender cuidadosos análisis críticos y a escalas múltiples para documentar mejor los procesos formuladores de políticas. Este artículo esclarece el muy complejo panorama del modo como el cambio climático afectará las relaciones sociales y de género, destacando así las maneras como las actuales narrativas de políticas públicas y programas de adaptación podrían estar mejor fundamentados en los aportes de la ciencia geográfica. Con este propósito en mente, el artículo alienta a los geógrafos feministas y críticos a comprometerse más decidida y fructíferamente en los debates globales sobre cambio climático.

Keywords: adaptation, climate change, gender, geography, vulnerability, 调适, 气候变迁, 性别, 地理, 脆弱性, adaptación, cambio climático, geografía, vulnerabilidad, gênero

Topics: Class, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Asia, South Asia

Year: 2014

Gender Dimension in Disaster Situations: A Case Study of Flood Prone Women in Malabon City, Metro Manila


Reyes, Daniella Dominique, and Jinky Leilanie Lu. 2016. “Gender Dimension in Disaster Situations: A Case Study of Flood Prone Women in Malabon City, Metro Manila.” International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 15: 162–68.

Authors: Daniella Dominique Reyes, Jinky Leilanie Lu


This study looked into the gendered experiences of women in a disaster-prone area in Metro Manila, and at the relations of both the cultural, and socio-economic factors on women's vulnerability to disasters. The research strategy was sequential where understanding of the target area was done through situational analysis and interviews, and then quantitative data were gathered through a survey of 68 women. In this study, the women said that their responsibilities during disasters exceeded those of their partners. These were looking and providing food for the family (77.9%), keeping up hope for the family midst the disaster situation (70.6%), taking care of the sick or injured members of the family (55.9%), among others. Majority of the women belonged to the lower income group, and a considerable number were single parents. Being tied to the home while their male counterparts were away for work is detrimental to the women because they immediately encountered the brunt of the effects of the disaster. While men were recognized as the household heads and leaders, it is evident from the data gathered that women took more roles and responsibilities before, during, and after disasters. Both the poverty of the women, and their traditional roles at home put them in a vulnerable position. Hence, there is a need not only to include gender in disaster planning, but also to reconceptualize what gender means and how it should be applied in disaster reduction planning in particular, and in the development process in general.

Keywords: disaster, Women in disasters, Gender dimension in disaster

Topics: Class, Development, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gender Roles, Households Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Philippines

Year: 2016

Gendered Access to Formal and Informal Resources in Postdisaster Development in the Ecuadorian Andes


Faas, A. J., Eric Jones, Linda Whiteford, Graham Tobin, and Arthur Murphy. 2014. “Gendered Access to Formal and Informal Resources in Postdisaster Development in the Ecuadorian Andes.” Mountain Research and Development 34 (3): 223–34.

Authors: A.J. Faas, Eric Jones, Linda Whiteford, Graham Tobin, Arthur Murphy


The devastating eruptions of Mount Tungurahua in the Ecuadorian highlands in 1999 and 2006 left many communities struggling to rebuild their homes and others permanently displaced to settlements built by state and nongovernmental organizations. For several years afterward, households diversified their economic strategies to compensate for losses, communities organized to promote local development, and the state and nongovernmental organizations sponsored many economic recovery programs in the affected communities. Our study examined the ways in which gender and gender roles were associated with different levels and paths of access to scarce resources in these communities. Specifically, this article contrasts the experiences of men and women in accessing household necessities and project assistance through formal institutions and informal networks. We found that women and men used different types of informal social support networks, with men receiving significantly more material, emotional, and informational support than women. We also found that men and women experienced different challenges and advantages when pursuing support through local and extralocal institutions and that these institutions often coordinated in ways that reified their biases. We present a methodology that is replicable in a wide variety of disaster, resettlement, and development settings, and we advocate an inductive, evidence-based approach to policy, built upon an understanding of local gender, class, and ethnic dynamics affecting access to formal and informal resources. This evidence should be used to build more robust local institutions that can resist wider social and cultural pressures for male dominance and gendered exclusion.

Keywords: disaster, resettlement, gender, social support, reciprocity, Andes

Topics: Class, Development, Displacement & Migration, Economies, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, NGOs Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Ecuador

Year: 2014

Producing Participants: Gender, Race, Class, and Women, Peace and Security


Martin de Almagro, Maria. 2017. "Producing Participants: Gender, Race, Class, and Women, Peace and Security." Global Society. doi: 10.1080/13600826.2017.1380610.

Author: Maria Martin de Almagro


Recent efforts to implement the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda and the creation of National Action Plans (NAPs) in post-conflict countries have resulted in a set of international policy discourses and practices on gender, peace and security. Critics have challenged the WPS agenda for its focus on “adding women and stir” and its failure to be transformative. This article contributes to this debate by showing that the implementation of the WPS agenda is not only about adding women, but also about gendering in racialised, sexualised and classed ways. Drawing on poststructuralist and postcolonial feminist theory and on extensive fieldwork in post-conflict contexts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Burundi and Liberia, the article examines the subject position of the woman participant. I demonstrate how NAPs normalise certain subject positions in the Global South while rendering invisible and troubling others, contributing to (re)producing certain forms of normativity and hierarchy through a powerful set of policy practices. Deconstructing such processes of discursive inclusion and exclusion of troubled representations is essential as it allows for the identification of sites of contestation and offers a better understanding of the everyday needs and experiences of those the WPS agenda regulates.

Topics: Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Women, Gender Balance, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, peace and security, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Race, Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia

Year: 2017


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