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Gender Equality/Inequality

Feminism, Fairness, and Welfare: An Invitation to Feminist Law and Economics


Hadfield, Gillian K. 2005. “Feminism, Fairness, and Welfare: An Invitation to Feminist Law and Economics.” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 1 (1): 285–306.

Author: Gillian K. Hadfield


In recent years there has been a renewed effort to ground conventional law and economics methodology, with its exclusive focus on efficiency and income redistribution through the tax system, in modern welfare economics (Kaplow & Shavell 1994, 2001). This effort raises a challenge to the possibility of a feminist law and economics: Is it possible to be a good (welfare) economist and still maintain the ethical and political commitments necessary to address feminist concerns with, for example, rights, inequality, and caring labor? In this review, I argue that modern welfare economics, rather than supporting the ethical minimalism of conventional methodology advocated by Kaplow and Shavell, ratifies the need for an ethically and politically informed economic analysis. Feminists can, and should, use the tools of both positive and normative economics to analyze feminist issues in law.

Keywords: welfare economics, care, justice, efficiency, normative, ethics

Topics: Class, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Justice, Rights

Year: 2005

Gender Equality, Economic Growth, and Women’s Agency: The “Endless Variety” and “Monotonous Similarity” of Patriarchal Constraints


Kabeer, Naila. 2016. “Gender Equality, Economic Growth, and Women’s Agency: The ‘Endless Variety’ and ‘Monotonous Similarity’ of Patriarchal Constraints.” Feminist Economics 22 (1): 295–321.

Author: Naila Kabeer


Macroeconometric studies generally find fairly robust evidence that gender equality has a positive impact on economic growth, but reverse findings relating to the impact of economic growth on gender equality are far less consistent. The high level of aggregation at which these studies are carried out makes it difficult to ascertain the causal pathways that might explain this asymmetry in impacts. Using a feminist institutional framework, this contribution explores studies carried out at lower levels of analysis for insights into the pathways likely to be driving these two sets of relationships and a possible explanation for their asymmetry.

Keywords: agency, empowerment, development, growth, inequality, gender

Topics: Development, Economies, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity

Year: 2016

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

Gender Equality and Land Administration: The Case of Zambia


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


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

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

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


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


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

Resilience, Power, Culture, and Climate: A Case Study from Semi-Arid Tanzania, and New Research Directions


Nelson, Valerie, and Tanya Stathers. 2009. “Resilience, Power, Culture, and Climate: A Case Study from Semi-Arid Tanzania, and New Research Directions.” Gender and Development 17 (1): 81–94.

Authors: Valerie Nelson, Tanya Stathers


Rapid changes to the climate are predicted over the next few years, and these present challenges for women's empowerment and gender equality on a completely new scale. There is little evidence or research to provide a reliable basis for gender-sensitive approaches to agricultural adaptation to climate change. This article explores the gender dimensions of climate change, in relation to participation in decision-making, divisions of labour, access to resources, and knowledge systems. It draws on insights from recent research on agricultural adaptation to climate change in Tanzania. The article then explains why future gender-sensitive climate-adaptation efforts should draw upon insights from 'resilience thinking', 'political ecology', and environmental anthropology - as a way of embedding analysis of power struggles and cultural norms in the context of the overall socio-ecological system.

Keywords: gender, climate, culture, Resilience, adaptation, agriculture, anthropology

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2009

Biodiversity Loss and Climate Change: Gender Issues in International Law and Policy


Broeckhoven, Nicky. 2014. “Biodiversity Loss and Climate Change: Gender Issues in International Law and Policy.” DiGeSt. Journal of Diversity and Gender Studies 1 (2): 23–38.

Author: Nicky Broeckhoven


“Dangerous climate change and large-scale biodiversity loss present major challenges to the international community. As a result, these global issues have been firmly placed on the international agenda and have increasingly become the subject of international environmental law and policy. At first sight, biodiversity loss and climate change, as well as the laws and policies adopted in response to them, seem gender neutral (i.e. affecting both women and men in similar ways). However, nothing could be further from the truth. Although all of us will be affected by the impacts of environmental degradation, disparities along gender lines clearly exist. On the one hand, men and women often face different risks and vulnerabilities due to existing gender-based inequalities and pervasive discrimination (Arora-Jonsson, 2011; MacGregor, 2010; UNDP, 2012; Skinner, 2011; Raczek, Blomstrom & Owren, 2010; Dankelman, 2012). In practice, this means that women are more likely to lose out in the face of environmental degradation than men. On the other hand, both women and men play a crucial role as agents of change in dealing with these global concerns (e.g. IFAD, 2014). If we want our responses to climate change and biodiversity loss to be efficient and effective, it is paramount to integrate a gender perspective into international environmental law and policy on these issues. The available literature discussing this legal and policy dimension tends to be rather fragmented and limited in time and scope. This essay aims to reduce a gap in the literature by providing an up-to-date and comprehensive overview of the extent to which gender has been integrated into the international legal frameworks on biodiversity conservation and climate change. First, the linkages between gender issues and the environment are put into context (Sections 1 and 2). Second, the author provides a critical overview of the “gender” language adopted in the frame of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Sections 3 and 4). The essay includes recent gender-related developments, and highlights the specific role of women’s and gender organizations in this process. Finally, it discusses whether a “real” integration of a gender perspective has taken place” (Broeckhoven 2014, 23-24). 

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Law, International Organizations

Year: 2014

Is Adaptation to Climate Change Gender Neutral? Lessons from Communities Dependent on Livestock and Forests in Northern Mali


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


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

Women and Climate Change in Bangladesh


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

Author: Margaret Alston


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


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