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Gender

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

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

The failure to include gender in the economic history of rural development has severely limited our understanding of the colonial, privatizing and collectivist economic policies that disrupted and transformed the lives of rural women and men in the modern world. This talk will rewrite a piece of that history, exploring rural development in 20th-century Kenya through the lens of women’s labor and land claims. In the course of the 20th-century, Kikuyu women resisted efforts by husbands, fathers, brothers, tribal authorities and the state to control women-cultivated lands. Were these women seeking private land of their own, or were they advancing claims that didn't fit neatly into preconceived capitalist or pre-capitalist categories?

Esther Kingston Mann is the Ford Service Professor of History Emerita and the founder of Kingston-Mann Awards for Undergraduate Student Excellence in Diversity Inclusion Scholarship 2004-2019. Her research has focused on three related areas. She has used Comparative Studies to look at the relationship between "modernizers" and the rural women and men they attempt to "modernize" (In Search of the True West: Culture, Economics and Problems of Rural Development, 1999). Her research on Female Economic Agency is found in her book, Women, Land Rights and Rural Development: How Much Land Does a Woman Need? (2018). And she has explored Claiming Property ("The Return of Pierre Proudhon: Privatization, Crime, and the Rules of Law," 2006.)

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This event is being cosponsored by the UMass Boston CLA Dean's Office; Economics Dept; History Dept; Political Science Dept; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Dept; the Honors College; the Sociology Club; and the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy.

Gender, Generations, and Guns Where the State Does Not Govern: The Political Economy of Justice and Rights in Rural South Africa

Sindiso Mnisi Weeks

March 4, 2019

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

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This event is being cosponsored by the UMass Boston CLA Dean's Office; Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance Dept; History Dept; Political Science Dept; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Dept; the Honors College; the Sociology Club; the William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences; and the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy.

Towards Inclusive Peace: Analysing Gender-Sensitive Peace Agreements 2000–2016

Citation: True, Jacqui, and Yolanda Riveros-Morales. 2019. “Towards Inclusive Peace: Analysing Gender-Sensitive Peace Agreements 2000–2016.” International Political Science Review 40 (1): 23–40.

Authors: Jacqui True, Yolanda Riveros-Morales

Abstract: The presence of gender provisions in peace agreements affects women’s participation in post-conflict societies as well as the chances that a post-conflict society will move towards gender equality. While there is an overall upward trend in the number of references to women’s rights and gender equality in peace agreements, gender-sensitive agreements are not a given. Why and how are peace agreements with gender provisions adopted? We use statistical analysis to explain why some peace agreements adopt gender provisions while others have no such provisions. Based on an analysis of 98 peace agreements across 55 countries between 2000 and 2016, we find that peace agreements are significantly more likely to have gender provisions when women participate in elite peace processes. Our study also shows that the likelihood of achieving a peace agreement with gender provisions increases when women’s representation in national parliaments increases and when women’s civil society participation is significant.

Keywords: Peace agreeements, women, peace and security, women's political participation, inclusive peace processes, gender equality norms

Topics: Civil Society, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, Governance, Constitutions, Quotas, NGOs, Peace Processes, Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2019

Fertile Memory (Al Dhakira al Khasba)

The first full length film to be shot within the disputed Palestinian West Bank "Green Line," Fertile Memory is the feature debut of Michel Khleifi, acclaimed director of the Cannes Film Festival triumph, Wedding in Galilee. Lyrically blending both documentary and narrative elements, Khleifi skillfully and lovingly crafts a portrait of two Palestinian women whose individual struggles both define and transcend the politics that have torn apart their homes and their lives.

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.

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

The Women's Rights in Land Workshop

Citation:

Mogale, Constance, and Sophie Phoshoko. 1997. “The Women’s Rights in Land Workshop.” Agenda:Empowering Women for Gender Equity, no. 32, 66-8.

Authors: Constance Mogale, Sophie Phoshoko

Annotation:

Summary:
“On November 21-22, 1996, the Department of Land Affairs’ (DLA) Women’s Rights in Land Sub-Directorate hosted a consultative workshop, the first of its kind to be organized by Government. 
 
“The workshop aimed to achieve the following: 
  • To determine the factors which inhibit women’s participation in the land reform programmes; 
  • To stimulate national awareness and debate on women’s rights in land and related matters; 
  • To explore women’s relationship to land; 
  • To determine women’s hopes and expectations in relation to land reform; 
  • To facilitate an evaluation of land reform policies and programmes; 
  • To enhance the relationship between all stakeholders with regard to women’s access to land” (Mogale and Phoshoko 1997, 66).

Topics: Gender, Women, Governance, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 1997

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

Land Reform: Still a Goal Worth Pursuing for Rural Women?

Citation:

Jacobs, Susie. 2002. “Land Reform: Still a Goal Worth Pursuing for Rural Women?” Journal of International Development 14 (6): 887-98. 

Author: Susie Jacobs

Abstract:

Land reform has recently become a topic of interest to the media. Given historical experience and current changes, are land reform policies still worthwhile objects of struggle for rural women? The article discusses arguments ‘against’: for instance, women have been excluded from most past land reforms, and many rural people have had to diversify their livelihood bases, so that agriculture has diminished in importance. Despite these and other points, the article argues that land reform which includes women would be of great benefit: it would increase food security, would allow wives to keep better control over their own incomes, and would increase women's status more generally.

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Households, Livelihoods

Year: 2002

Empowering Women: Land and Property Rights in Latin America

Citation:

Deere, Carmen Diana, and Magdalena León. 2001. Empowering Women: Land and Property Rights in Latin America. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Authors: Carmen Diana Deere, Magdalena León

Annotation:

Summary: 
The expansion of married women’s property rights was a main achievement of the first wave of feminism in Latin America. As Carmen Diana Deere and Magdalena Leon reveal, however, the disjuncture between rights and actual ownership remains vast. This is particularly true in rural areas, where the distribution of land between men and women is highly unequal. In their pioneering, twelve-country comparative study, the authors argue that property ownership is directly related to women’s bargaining power within the household and community, point out changes resulting from recent gender-progressive legislation, and identify additional areas for future reform, including inheritance rights of wives. (Summary from JSTOR)

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, Central America, South America

Year: 2001

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