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Economies

Women’s Land Rights and Working Conditions in Large-Scale Plantations in Sub-Saharan Africa

Citation:

Fonjong, Lotsmart. 2016. “Women’s Land Rights and Working Conditions in Large-Scale Plantations in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Africa Development 41 (3): 49–69.

Author: Lotsmart Fonjong

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Women’s land rights are fundamental for women’s economic empowerment. Increasingly, the nationalization of customary land and the current growth in private land ownership and commercial farming are exerting strong pressure on land and are a threat to women’s usufruct land rights. The discourse over land reforms in most poor African countries like Cameroon is embedded in the evolutionary models where customary landholding systems are changing into state land ownership with greater market integration. These changes are taking place within limited state protection of communal and women’s land rights in the process of land registration. This article discusses the evolution, actors and activities involved in large-scale land acquisitions in the sub region within the framework and women’s rights to land and working conditions in the plantations. Through simple mapping from an in-depth desktop review and some level of field observations and conversations with some of the actors involved in affected localities in Cameroon, the article highlights women’s experiences as customary communal land is transferred into private ownership. In fact, wherever land has been taken up for plantation agriculture, women’s access to land has reduced, making them more vulnerable to hunger, poverty and poor working conditions. This is because women’s land rights have not evolved with the customary evolution into private tenures. Current processes of large-scale land acquisitions should therefore create conditions for women’s participation through a fair degree of equal opportunities, transparency, and accountability to communities, and relevant institutions.
 
FRENCH ABSTRACT: 
Les droits fonciers des femmes sont fondamentaux pour leur autonomisation économique. De plus en plus, la nationalisation des terres coutumières et la croissance actuelle de la propriété foncière privée et de l’agriculture commerciale exercent une forte pression sur les terres et constituent une menace pour les droits d’usufruit fonciers des femmes. Le discours sur les réformes foncières dans la plupart des pays africains pauvres comme le Cameroun s’inscrit dans les modèles évolutifs où les systèmes fonciers coutumiers se transforment en propriété foncière étatique avec une plus grande intégration du marché. Ces changements se produisent dans le cadre d’une protection limitée de l’État sur les droits communaux et les droits fonciers des femmes dans le processus d’enregistrement foncier. Le présent article traite de l’évolution, des acteurs et des activités en matière d’acquisition de terres à grande échelle dans la sous- région ainsi que des droits fonciers des femmes et leurs conditions de travail dans les plantations. Grâce à une cartographie simple faite à partir d’une revue documentaire approfondie, d’observations sur le terrain et de conversations avec certains des acteurs impliqués dans les localités touchées au Cameroun, cet article souligne les expériences des femmes face à la transformation des terres communales coutumières en propriété privée. En fait, partout où la terre est utilisée pour l’agriculture, l’accès des femmes à celle-ci a diminué, les rendant plus vulnérables à la famine, la pauvreté et aux mauvaises conditions de travail. C’est parce que les droits fonciers des femmes n’ont pas évolué au rythme de la transformation des terres costumières en tenures privées. Les processus actuels d’acquisition de terres à grande échelle devraient donc créer des conditions propices à la participation des femmes, par l’équité des chances, la transparence et la reddition de comptes par les communautés et les institutions concernées.

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Land grabbing, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2016

Land Reform and Welfare in Vietnam: Why Gender of the Land Rights Holder Matters

Citation:

Menon, Nidhiya, Yana Van der Meulen Rodgers, and Alexis R. Kennedy. 2017. “Land Reform and Welfare in Vietnam: Why Gender of the Land Rights Holder Matters.” Journal of International Development 29 (4): 454–72.

Authors: Nidhiya Menon, Yana Van der Meulen Rodgers, Alexis R. Kennedy

Abstract:

Vietnam’s 1993 Land Law created a land market by granting households tradable land-use rights. This study uses mixed methods to analyze whether increased land titling led to improvements in household economic security and whether land titles in women’s and men’s names had different effects. Using a matched sample of households from Vietnam’s 2004 and 2008 Household Living Standards Survey, we find that land-use rights held exclusively by women or jointly by couples result in beneficial effects that include increased household expenditures, greater women’s self-employment, and lower household vulnerability to poverty. Results from interviews conducted in Vietnam support these conclusions by indicating that women with sole or joint ownership of land enjoyed greater well-being and higher status.

Keywords: Vietnam, Property Rights, land reform, gender, economic security, land-use certificates

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Households, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Vietnam

Year: 2017

Gender and Settler Colonialism in Palestinian Agriculture: Structural Transformations

Citation:

Awwad, Nida Abu. 2016. “Gender and Settler Colonialism in Palestinian Agriculture: Structural Transformations.” Arab Studies Quarterly 38 (3): 540–61.

Author: Nida Abu Awwad

Abstract:

The gendered nature of the agricultural sector is significantly influenced by the political and socio-economic and cultural structure of any society. The division of labor between males and females within the family farm is seriously affected as a response to economic pressures along with the impact of other restrictions imposed by predetermined gender roles. In the Palestinian context, economic pressures were created mainly by the structural transformation in Palestinian agriculture following the Zionist settler colonization of Palestine, along with other minor factors related to the Palestinian neo-liberal economic policies dictated by the international financial institution and Zionist interests. This article argues that the gendered nature of the Palestinian agriculture sector has been transformed and has promoted women’s exploitation as follows: First, restructure of the agricultural employment by the decline of both women’s and men’s employment of the total Palestinian labor force within serious exploitive and fluctuating conditions; second, changes in tasks and division of labor, women’s property rights for agricultural land resources and services provided by the Palestinian Authority; and finally increasing women’s burden by increasing their time allocation for agricultural tasks. The data presented in the article are based on a comprehensive analysis of secondary information on Palestinian agriculture, and primary data collected in 2010 with the help of a few households case studies (life history) from two locations in the central region of the West Bank.

Keywords: gender, settler colonialism, structural transformation, West Bank, Gaza Strip, Zionist settlements, Palestinian agriculture, women's contribution, palestine

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Gender Roles, International Financial Institutions, Rights, Property Rights Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2016

Introduction: Reclaiming Feminism: Gender and Neoliberalism

Citation:

Cornwall, Andrea, Jasmine Gideon, and Kalpana Wilson. 2008. "Introduction: Reclaiming Feminism: Gender and Neoliberalism." IDS Bulletin 39 (6): 1-9.

Authors: Andrea Cornwall, Jasmine Gideon, Kalpana Wilson

Abstract:

Neoliberalism -- that 'grab-bag of ideas based on the fundamentalist notion that markets are self-correcting, allocate resources efficiently and serve the public interest well' as Stiglitz (2008) puts it -- has been a focal point for contestation in development. Feminists have highlighted its deleterious effects on women's lives and on gender relations. They have drawn attention to the extent to which the institutions promoting neoliberal economic and social policies have undermined a more progressive agenda, as they have come to appropriate words such as 'empowerment' and 'agency' and eviscerate them of any association with a project of progressive social change. This collection of articles brings together reflections from a diversity of locations on prospects for reclaiming these ideas and using them to reframe and revitalise feminist engagement with development. To reclaim feminist concepts like 'agency' and 'empowerment', we argue, we need to return to and reaffirm their 'liberating' dimensions, reaffirming their association with forms of collective action that involve resisting and transgressing repressive social norms.

Topics: Development, Economies, Gender

Year: 2008

Feminist Economies and the Analysis of the Global Economy: The Challenge That Awaits Us

Citation:

Floro, Maria Sagrario, and John Willoughby. 2016. "Feminist Economies and the Analysis of the Global Economy: The Challenge That Awaits Us." Fletcher Forum on World Affairs 40 (2): 15-27.

Authors: Maria Sagrario Floro, John Willoughby

Annotation:

“Over the past half-century, feminist economists have transformed our understanding of how the world economy functions. They have critiqued the gender-blindness of traditional economic models and challenged analytic descriptions of development and globalization that ignore much of women’s economic activity. Feminist economists have developed analytical frameworks for examining gender relations that permeate political, social, and economic institutions including markets, governments, households, and firms. They have produced new methodologies that incorporate women’s experiences in economic models, statistics, and the evaluation of economic phenomena. Their research has pushed the boundaries of knowledge by challenging conventional paradigms and concepts, ideas and categories that were engrained and therefore rarely scrutinized.

“The result has been the emergence of a new consensus. Well-documented studies have shown that the erosion of systems of patriarchy not only empowers women economically, but also has demonstrably positive impacts on alleviating poverty and promoting human development. These changes in our understanding of the development process have produced a new politics as well as new forms of economic development policy. Key international institutions, donor agencies, and governments have adopted gender-sensitive policies in their development programs as part of ‘gender mainstreaming,’ or the process of institutionalizing gender-sensitive analysis and policy in governments and organizations. Advocates have also used feminist knowledge of development to strengthen women’s groups raising gender issues in broader social and political movements. Knowledge of feminism allows for greater clarity of the vision of social change and has served as a guide for consciousness-raising, thus enabling feminist research to be transformative at the grassroots level. This dynamic interaction between feminist thinking and feminist activism has revealed tensions regarding the intersections of knowledge, power, and development outcomes. It has led to debates among feminist economists in terms of what needs to be done and how best to accomplish gender equality. These tensions and debates are necessary and vital in pushing the boundaries of knowledge and in deepening our understanding of development.

“Despite this headway, several important challenges remain. The progress we can document has been halting and uneven. Moreover, in certain key areas of economic policy-making, gender-sensitive economic policy is absent, and approaches used in gender mainstreaming to assess the differential effects of a policy on women and men can sometimes legitimize women’s subordinate roles. Rather than treating the promotion of human rights and women’s well-being as ends in themselves, their labor and productivity potential are viewed mainly as means to further increase economic growth. The important focus on long-run transformation of gender relations toward equality in the context of regional, national, and global economic processes is, more often than not, neglected, particularly when countries face economic crises. The very real setbacks women experience as a result of the gender-blind management of the economy during booms and downturns have long-term consequences. In this time of increasing economic disruptions, it will be important to systematically integrate the promotion of gender equality in the implementation of appropriate economic stabilization policies.

“First, we explore the link between dismantling systems of male dominance and our understanding of the development process, with a particular focus on what is required to achieve the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We then turn to interventions from key international organizations in order to illustrate the impact that feminist economics has had on development policymaking. We then argue that, despite some advancements, several missing elements in the development of economic policy still allow unequal gender relations to persist or create new forms of gender inequalities. We conclude with a discussion of the challenges that we still face in developing inclusive and sustainable economic policy that promotes equality and expanded cooperation to address urgent global issues.” (Floro & Willoughby 2016, 15-17)

 

Topics: Development, Economies, Feminisms, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations

Year: 2016

Unheard Voices: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Millennium Development Goals' Evolution into the Sustainable Development Goals

Citation:

Carant, Jane Briant. 2017. "Unheard Voices: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Millinnium Development Goals' Evolution into the Sustainable Development Goals." Third World Quarterly 38 (1): 16-41.

Author: Jane Briant Carant

Abstract:

The United Nations’ 2001 Millennium Development Goals and 2015 Sustainable Development Goals are of major importance for worldwide development. This article explores the construction of poverty and development within and across these documents, specifically focusing on the influence of dominant economic discourses – Keynesianism and neoliberalism – in the development paradigm. It assesses the failures of the Millennium Development Goals, as articulated by oppositional liberal feminists and World Social Forum critics, who embody competing values, representations and problem-solution frames that challenge and resist the dominant economic discourses. Finally, it evaluates responsiveness of the UN in the constitution of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Keywords: Millennium Development Goals, Sustainable Development Goals, World Social Forum, Liberal Feminism, neoliberalism, Keynesianism

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Feminisms, International Organizations

Year: 2017

A Feminist Perspective on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Citation:

Abelenda, Ana Ines. 2014. "A Feminist Perspective on the Post-2015 Development Agenda." The Equal Rights Review 13: 117-28.

Author: Ana Ines Abelenda

Abstract:

World leaders and diverse development actors are currently embroiled in a series of negotiations around a new global development agenda to follow the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) once they expire in 2015. The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) has been heavily involved in seeking to shape the new agenda to ensure that it adequately addresses human rights, including women’s rights and gender equality. The negotiation process has been complex, frustrating at times for civil society and women’s rights advocates, yet a historical opportunity to re-shape global understandings of development in the struggle towards social, economic, ecological and gender justice. As the world navigates a context of multiple intersecting global crises coupled with increasing inequality and militarism, it becomes clear that business as usual is not an option. A paradigm shift is needed. This position paper presents a feminist analysis to help unpack what is at stake for people and the planet by pushing the envelope on the kind of world we want to live in. This approach is one which both AWID and  the author believe is key to systemic change. A mere look at the ‘shopping list’ of goals and targets currently on the negotiating table is not enough. Feminist and progressive social movements must not bypass the opportunity to challenge the systemic root causes in the current economic system that continue to undermine women’s autonomy and the achievement of human rights for all.

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2014

Love and Money in an Age of Neoliberalism: Gender, Work, and Single Motherhood in Postrevolutionary Nicaragua

Citation:

Cupples, Julie. 2005. “Love and Money in an Age of Neoliberalism: Gender, Work, and Single Motherhood in Postrevolutionary Nicaragua.” Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space 37 (2): 305–22.

Author: Julie Cupples

Abstract:

Based on qualitative research conducted in 1999 and 2001 with a group of single mothers in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, this paper examines the contradictory impacts of neoliberalism on work, based on the understanding that economic restructuring can generate both crisis and a space for changes in gender identities. By focusing on the broader picture of women's work and on the intersections between paid and unpaid work, it discusses what happens to these intersections in times of intense political and economic change. Despite the hardships caused by neoliberalism, it appears that work is a site in which gender ideologies can be challenged. The paper has four main sections. First, it explores the ways in which certain cultural processes are intensified under neoliberalism which affects the relationship between constructions of masculinity and femininity. Second, it assesses the impact of neoliberalism on domestic work and the implications of this for GAD (gender and development) understandings of the double burden and of how the balance of women's paid and unpaid work changes under neoliberalism. Third, it examines the ways in which hegemonic understandings of femininities and motherhood and revolutionary legacies can be resistant to the neoliberal present. Finally, it discusses how work under neoliberalism can be a site of female empowerment or self-esteem.

Topics: Development, Economies, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Nicaragua

Year: 2005

Woman's Role in Economic Development

Citation:

Boserup, Ester, Nazneen Kanji, Su Fei Tan, and Camilla Toulmin. 2007. Woman's Role in Economic Development. London: Earthscan.

Authors: Ester Boserup, Nazneen Kanji, Su Fei Tan, Camilla Toulmin

Annotation:

Summary:
This classic text by Ester Boserup was the first investigation ever undertaken into what happens to women in the process of economic and social growth throughout the developing world, thereby serving as an international benchmark. In the context of the ongoing struggle for women's rights, massive urbanization and international efforts to reduce poverty, this book continues to be a vital text for economists, sociologists, development workers, activists and all those who take an active interest in women's social and economic circumstances and problems throughout the world. A substantial new Introduction by Nazneen Kanji, Su Fei Tan and Camilla Toulmin reflects on Boserup's legacy as a scholar and activist, and the continuing relevance of her work. This highlights the key issue of how the role of women in economic development has or has not changed over the past four decades in developing countries, and covers crucial current topics including: women and inequality, international and national migration, conflict, HIV and AIDS, markets and employment, urbanization, leadership, property rights, global processes, including the Millennium Development Goals, and barriers to change. (Summary from Taylor and Francis Group)
 

Table of Contents:

Introduction

Part I: In the Village

1. Male and Female Farming Systems

2. The Economics of Polygamy

3. Loss of Status Under European Rule

4. The Casual Worker

Part II: In the Town

5. Women in a Men's World

6. Industry: From the Hut to the Factory

7. The Educated Woman

8. Women in the Urban Hierarchy

Part III: From Village to Town

9. The Lure of the Towns

10. Urban Job Opportunities for Women

11. The Unemployment Scare

12. The Design of Female Education

Topics: Armed Conflict, Development, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Education, Gender, Health, HIV/AIDS, Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2007

Realizing Socially-Responsible Investments in Land from a Gender Perspective: Unpacking 'Zero Tolerance' to Identify Barriers and Practical Steps to Achieve Equitable and Sustainable Investments

Citation:

Hannay, Leslie, David Bledsoe, and Mina Manuchehri. 2016. "Realizing Socially-Responsible Investments in Land from a Gender Perspective: Unpacking 'Zero Tolerance' to Identify Barriers and Practical Steps to Achieve Equitable and Sustainable Investments." Paper presented at 2016 World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty: Scaling Up Responsible Land Governance, Washington, DC, March 14-18.

Authors: Leslie Hannay, David Bledsoe, Mina Manuchehri

Abstract:

To be socially responsible, land-related investments must ensure that women and men are not harmed, are meaningfully consulted and give consent where their rights are affected, are fairly compensated for lost land and resource rights, and benefit equitably from the investment. Importantly, socially responsible investments should not contribute to “gender gaps” by systematically disenfranchising women or men. Realizing corporate commitments to socially responsible investments requires an understanding of and affirmative steps to address gender differences, yet companies may view addressing women’s issues as a step beyond their core commitments on land. They are not. Understanding the gender dimensions of their commitments to socially responsible land-based investments is a necessary first step for many investors to make good on their commitments.

To date, many leading agribusiness companies, notably Cargill, Illovo Sugar, Nestle, PepsiCo, the CocaCola Company, and Unilever, have made statements or commitments regarding land. This paper will analyze these companies’ public statements, commitments, and policies on land from a gender perspective in order to demonstrate what gender-sensitive socially responsible investments carried out under these commitments would entail, and to shed light on the challenges and pragmatic implications that such commitments present.

This paper will ‘unpack’ these companies’ commitments to socially responsible investments to analyze the challenges and concrete steps that are needed to realize a “zero-tolerance” commitment for both men and women affected by land-related investments in order to ensure that:

  • Women are equal beneficiaries of investments in land;
  • Economic and social practices that disadvantage women are not further entrenched by investments; and
  • Women are not worse off as a result of such investments.

Keywords: gender, large-scale investments, social responsibility, women

Topics: Economies, Gender, Gender Analysis, Land grabbing, Rights, Land Rights

Year: 2016

Pages

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