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Gender Roles

Gendered Discourse About Climate Change Policies


Swim, Janet K., Theresa K. Vescio, Julia L. Dahl, and Stephanie J. Zawadzki. 2018. “Gendered Discourse About Climate Change Policies.” Global Environmental Change 48: 216–25.

Authors: Janet K. Swim, Theresa K. Vescio, Julia L. Dahl, Stephanie J. Zawadzki


Extending theory and research on gender roles and masculinity, this work predicts and finds that common ways of talking about climate change are gendered. Climate change policy arguments that focus on science and business are attributed to men more than to women. By contrast, policy arguments that focus on ethics and environmental justice are attributed to women more than men (Study 1). Men show gender matching tendencies, being more likely to select (Study 2) and positively evaluate (Study 3) arguments related to science and business than ethics and environmental justice. Men also tend to attribute negative feminine traits to other men who use ethics and environmental justice arguments, which mediates the relation between type of argument and men’s evaluation of the argument (Study 3). The gendered nature of public discourse about climate change and the need to represent ethical and environmental justice topics in this discourse are discussed.

Keywords: gender, climate change, political discourse, masculinity, environmental justice

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gendered Discourses, Justice

Year: 2018

Margins, Silences, and Bottom Rungs: How to Overcome the Underestimation of Power in the Study of International Relations


Enloe, Cynthia. 2004. “Margins, Silences, and Bottom Rungs: How to Overcome the Underestimation of Power in the Study of International Relations.” In The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire, 19–42. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Author: Cynthia Enloe


When I think about what it is that seems so unrealistic (yes, that loaded term) in most formal analyses of international politics, what strikes me is how far their authors are willing to go in underestimating the amounts and varieties of power it takes to form and sustain any given set of relationships between states. This conclusion, of course, rings oddly. So many analysts, after all, profess to be interested chiefly in power – who has it, how they got it, what they try to do with it. Their profession notwithstanding, I believe that by concentrating so single-mindedly on what is referred to euphemistically as the ‘centre’, scores of analysts have produced a naive portrait of how international politics really (there's that tricky concept again) work.
No individual or social group finds themselves on the ‘margins’ of any web of relationships – a football league, an industry, an empire, a military alliance, a state – without some other individual or group having accumulated enough power to create the ‘centre’ somewhere else. Beyond its creation, too, there is the yearly and daily business of maintaining the margin where it currently is and the centre where it now is. It is harder for those at the alleged centre to hear the hopes, fears and explanations of those on the margins, not because of physical distance – the margin may be two blocks from the White House, four stops on the Paris metro from the Quai d'Orsay – but because it takes resources and access to be ‘heard’ when and where it matters. (Summary from Cambridge University Press)

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy

Year: 2004

Gender and the Role of Women in Colombia’s Peace Process


Bouvier, Virginia M. 2016. Gender and the Role of Women in Colombia’s Peace Process. New York: UN Women.

Author: Virginia M. Bouvier


The promises and visions articulated in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and subsequent UN resolutions and position papers that recognize the connection between gender equity and women’s participation in all aspects of peace processes and peacebuilding on the one hand, and international peace and security on the other, have not been fulfilled. Nonetheless, these resolutions have opened the way for advocacy that has had some successes in specific contexts. Colombia offers one such case.
Through desk research, literature review, and personal interviews, this paper provides an overview of the Colombian internal armed conflict and the peace process currently underway to transform it. It begins with an historical overview of the conflict, and then explores some of its gender dimensions. It analyzes the differential impact of the internal armed conflict on the lives of women and men, LBGTI persons, and boys, girls and adolescents, as well as the intersectionality between multiple components of identity, including gender, class, age, ethnicity, and region. The paper then turns to the peace process. It explores the roles of women in preparing the ground for a political solution to Colombia’s internal armed conflict. It considers women’s official, semi-official, and unofficial roles at, around, and outside the peace talks that were launched in late 2012 between the Colombian government and the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC-EP). This paper underscores the essentially gendered nature of both war and peace. It assesses shifting gender roles and ideologies, and the ways that they intersect with a peace process and transitions in a post-Accord period, particularly in relation to issues of transitional justice. Finally, my paper explores how greater consideration of gendered dynamics, as well as increased participation of women in the peace process and all commissions and bodies created to implement peace accords, will better equip Colombia to address the challenges ahead and will help ensure a more sustainable peace. 

Topics: Age, Armed Conflict, Class, Ethnicity, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, peace and security, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2016

Gender Differences in Climate Change Adaptation Strategies and Participation in Group-based Approaches: An Intra-household Analysis From Rural Kenya


Ngigi, Marther W., Ulrike Mueller, and Regina Birner. 2017. “Gender Differences in Climate Change Adaptation Strategies and Participation in Group-Based Approaches: An Intra-Household Analysis from Rural Kenya.” Ecological Economics 138: 99-108.

Authors: Marther W. Ngigi, Ulrike Mueller, Regina Birner


Existing studies on adaptation to climate change mainly focus on a comparison of male-headed and female-headed households. Aiming at a more nuanced gender analysis, this study examines how husbands and wives within the same household perceive climate risks and use group-based approaches as coping strategies. The data stem from a unique intra-household survey involving 156 couples in rural Kenya. The findings indicate that options for adapting to climate change closely interplay with husbands' and wives' roles and responsibilities, social norms, risk perceptions and access to resources. A higher percentage of wives were found to adopt crop-related strategies, whereas husbands employ livestock- and agroforestry-related strategies. Besides, there are gender-specific climate information needs, trust in information and preferred channels of information dissemination. Further, it turned out that group-based approaches benefit husbands and wives differently. Policy interventions that rely on group-based approaches should reflect the gender reality on the ground in order to amplify men's and women's specific abilities to manage risks and improve well-being outcomes in the face of accelerating climate change. 

Keywords: perceptions, adaptation, Group-based approaches, gender, Intra-household analysis, Kenya

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Households Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2017

Local Gender Contract and Adaptive Capacity in Smallholder Irrigation Farming: A Case Study from the Kenyan Drylands


Caretta, Martina Angela, and Lowe Börjeson. 2015. “Local Gender Contract and Adaptive Capacity in Smallholder Irrigation Farming: A Case Study from the Kenyan Drylands.” Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography 22 (5): 644–61.

Authors: Martina Angela Caretta, Lowe Börjeson


This article presents the local gender contract of a smallholder irrigation farming community in Sibou, Kenya. Women’s role in subsistence farming in Africa has mostly been analyzed through the lens of gender division of labor. In addition to this, we used the concept of ‘local gender contract’ to analyze cultural and material preconditions shaping gender-specific tasks in agricultural production, and consequently, men’s and women’s different strategies for adapting to climate variability. We show that the introduction of cash crops, as a trigger for negotiating women’s and men’s roles in the agricultural production, results in a process of gender contract renegotiation, and that families engaged in cash cropping are in the process of shifting from a ‘local resource contract’ to a ‘household income contract.’ Based on our analysis, we argue that a transformation of the local gender contract will have a direct impact on the community’s adaptive capacity climate variability. It is, therefore, important to take the negotiation of local gender contracts into account in assessments of farming communities’ adaptive capacity.
Este trabajo presenta el contrato local de género de una comunidad de pequeños agricultores de agricultura de riego en Sibou, Kenia. El rol de las mujeres en la agricultura de subsistencia en África ha sido mayormente analizado con una óptica de la división generizada del trabajo. Además de esto, utilizamos el concepto de “contrato de género local” para analizar las precondiciones culturales y materiales que dan forma a las tareas específicas de cada género en la producción agrícola, y consecuentemente, las diferentes estrategias de hombres y mujeres para adaptarse a la variabilidad del clima. Mostramos que la introducción de cultivos comerciales, como disparador para la negociación de los roles de las mujeres y los hombres en la producción agrícola, resulta en un proceso de renegociación del contrato de género, y que las familias que participan del cultivo comercial se encuentran en el proceso de cambio de un “contrato local de recursos” a un “contrato de ingresos del hogar”. Basado en nuestro análisis, sostenemos que una transformación del contrato local de género tendrá un impacto directo en la capacidad adaptativa de la comunidad a la variabilidad del clima. Es por lo tanto importante tener en cuenta a los contratos de género locales al evaluar la capacidad adaptativa de las comunidades agricultoras.

Keywords: local gender contract, climate variability, East African drylands, smallholder irrigation farming, gendered adaptive capacity, contrato de género local, variabilidad climática, tierras secas del África Oriental, agricultura de riego a pequeña escala, capacidad adaptativa generizada, 在地性别契约, 气候变异, 东非旱地, 小农灌溉农作, 性别化的调适能力

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2015

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

Women’s Bigger Burden: Disparities in Outcomes of Large Scale Land Acquisition in Sierra Leone


Armah, Frederick Ato, Karin Steen, and Genesis Tambang Yengoh. 2015. “Women’s Bigger Burden: Disparities in Outcomes of Large Scale Land Acquisition in Sierra Leone.” Gender Issues 32 (4): 221–44.

Authors: Frederick Ato Armah, Karin Steen, Genesis Tambang Yengoh


Women farmers make up a majority of small-scale food producers in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite their important role in the food and livelihood security of their households and communities, women continue to face substantial challenges in their rights of and access to land resources in the region. In a number of countries such as Sierra Leone where large-scale land acquisition is ongoing, we posit that women’s predicament may further deteriorate. Using data drawn from a survey of household and livelihood activities, focus groups and interviews we examine the outcomes of large-scale land acquisitions on women at the local level in two districts in Sierra Leone. We found that first, women depend more on land-based natural resources that directly affect the day-to-day welfare of households (such as firewood and medicinal plants) than men. Second, land acquisitions have led to a significant fall in the incomes of women and men. The effects of the fall of women’s income have more direct and profound consequences on household wellbeing compared with men. Third, men tend to rank the effects of land acquisitions on women lower than women do. We conclude that current social and cultural norms and women’s role in rural societies is complex and predisposes women to negative livelihood processes and outcomes associated with large-scale land acquisitions. Policy interventions designed to address local and national challenges to socio- economic and cultural development should recognize the crucial role played by women and be responsive to their special needs.

Keywords: women, livelihoods, land acquisition, gender, land rights, land resources

Topics: Development, Gender, Gender Roles, Households, Land grabbing, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2015

Gender and the Privatization of Security: Neoliberal Transformation of the Militarized Gender Order


Eichler, Maya. 2013. “Gender and the Privatization of Security: Neoliberal Transformation of the Militarized Gender Order.” Critical Studies on Security 1(3): 311-25.

Author: Maya Eichler


The increasing reliance on private military and security companies (PMSCs) in contemporary military conflict marks a historic shift in the state’s organization of military violence. This transformation has gendered underpinnings and entails gender-specific outcomes, at the same time as it reveals a gendered continuum between public and private military and security organizations. As the US example illustrates, security privatization was facilitated by the broader neoliberal transformation of the militarized gender order and itself has had negative implications for gender equality in the military and security sphere. Based on original research, this article argues that PMSCs are deeply gendered organizations whose employment practices tends to intensify the gendered division of labour that is characteristic of public militaries. While business and operational needs may allow for temporary disruptions of gender norms, masculinism remains not only vital but is reinvigorated by privatization. Political goals such as gender equality are sidelined in a sector premised on de-regulation and free markets. In contrast to problem-solving approaches that view gender as a problem of accountability or operational effectiveness in regards to PMSCs, this article shows that gender is deeply implicated in the expansion and organization of private force at the turn of the twenty-first century.

Keywords: private security, privatization of military security, PMSCs, gender, feminist security studies, neoliberalism, militarization, United States

Topics: Armed Conflict, "New Wars", Economies, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Masculinism, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Militarization, Privatization, Violence Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2013

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

Resilience in a Cultural Context: Taiwanese Female Earthquake Survivors


Liu, Chu-Li Julie, and Faye Mishna. 2014. “Resilience in a Cultural Context: Taiwanese Female Earthquake Survivors.” Qualitative Social Work 13 (2): 288–303.

Authors: Chu-Li Julie Liu, Faye Mishna


The aim of the current study was to examine how females survive natural disaster in non-western culture and to gain understanding of their unique experiences in rebuilding their lives. In September 1999, a major earthquake, named ‘921 Earthquake,’ measuring 7.3 on the Richter Scale occurred in Taiwan. Many people survived, struggling a great deal in their efforts to reconstruct their lives. Five years after this earthquake, many survivors, including women, were reported to have rebuilt self-sufficient lives. Given the vulnerability of women and their greater difficulties in resuming their lives, an important question was how these women were able to be successful in this endeavor. Utilizing a grounded theory approach, 16 female 921 Earthquake survivors who had been helped by social workers, no longer received government aid and had successfully regained their selfsufficiency, voluntarily participated in this study. The study findings revealed that the coping strategies guided by female gender norms in the family, embedded in Taiwanese culture, including: children’s needs are the first priority as a maternal role norm; men working outside and women working inside; and female gender norms of supporting the family when husbands could not, were the major resources participants accessed and utilized to successfully cope with the difficulties after the 921 Earthquake. The participants’ narratives demonstrated that cultural norms can serve as coping resources for survivors. Implications for social work practice are addressed.

Keywords: coping strategies, cultural norms, female earthquake survivors, grounded theory approach, Taiwan

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Gender Roles Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Taiwan

Year: 2014


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