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

Citation:

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

Abstract:

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

Women and Climate Change in Bangladesh

Citation:

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

Author: Margaret Alston

Annotation:

Summary: 
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

Environmental Social Work: Accounting for Gender in Climate Disasters

Citation:

Alston, Margaret. 2013. “Environmental Social Work: Accounting for Gender in Climate Disasters.” Australian Social Work 66 (2): 218–33.

Author: Margaret Alston

Abstract:

The person-in-the-environment concept has largely been interpreted by social workers to indicate social networks and relationships, ignoring the physical environment and its complex impact on human health and wellbeing. This article examines the environmental domain, noting the critical role social workers can have in this field as a consequence of climate events and global warming. The article notes the significance of gender as a key factor in vulnerability to disasters and outlines the need for social workers to consider gender as a critical indicator in their work in this emerging area. Embodiment, connection to place, poverty, and cultural awareness are also significant, but often overlooked, factors in a social work response to environmental disasters. Ecological and ecofeminist theories give a direction for social work theory and practice in the postdisaster space. The article challenges social workers to reconsider the person-in- the-environment as a complex and critical emerging domain of social work theories and practice, a domain where gender awareness is fundamental.

Keywords: environmental social work, accounting for gender in climate disasters

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Feminisms, Gender, Health, Mental Health

Year: 2013

Women Confronting Natural Disaster: From Vulnerability to Resilience

Citation:

Enarson, Elaine. 2006. Women Confronting Natural Disaster: From Vulnerability to Resilience. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Author: Elaine Enarson

Annotation:

Summary: 
Natural disasters push ordinary gender disparities to the extreme—leaving women not only to deal with a catastrophe's aftermath, but also at risk for greater levels of domestic violence, displacement, and other threats to their security and well-being. Elaine Enarson presents a comprehensive assessment, encompassing both theory and practice, of how gender shapes disaster vulnerability and resilience. (Summary from Lynne Rienner Publishers)
 
Table of Contents: 
1. Women and Disasters in the United States
 
2. Representations of Women in Disasters
 
3. How Gender Changes Disaster Studies
 
4. Measuring Vulnerability and Capacity 
 
5. Health and Well-Being 
 
6. Violence Against Women 
 
7. Intimacy and Family Life
 
8. Houses and Homes 
 
9. Work and Workplaces 
 
10. Grassroots Groups and Recovery 
 
11. Building Disaster Resilience 
 
12. Fighting for the Future

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Domestic Violence, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Health, Households, Livelihoods, Security, Violence

Year: 2006

Gender and Disasters

Citation:

Fordham, Maureen. 2011. “Gender and Disasters.” In Encyclopedia of Environmental Health, edited by J. O. Nriagu, 834–38. Burlington: Elsevier.

Author: Maureen Fordham

Abstract:

The gendered dimensions of disasters remain underreported and poorly managed. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that women and men (girls and boys) experience disasters and their aftermath in different ways. The differences arise, on the one hand, from women's frequent subordinate status, and on the other, from the socialization of boys and men to take risks and assume dominance, in societies around the world. This can lead to increased female workloads at one end of the scale, to gender-based violence (GBV) and excess female deaths at the extreme end. For men and boys it can create situations where their emotional needs are not met and they adopt negative coping behaviors. Key areas of environmental health including shelter/housing and livelihoods; water, sanitation, and waste management; general environmental health; and food safety and nutrition can be seen to have gender aspects in disaster contexts and require attention on both service delivery efficiency and equity grounds.

Keywords: Gender-based violence (GBV), Gender disaggregated data, gender mainstreaming, Rights-based transformative approach, Vulnerability approach, Women (and child) friendly space

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Health, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods

Year: 2011

Human Security and Disasters: What a Gender Lens Offers

Citation:

Enarson, Elaine. 2014. “Human Security and Disasters: What a Gender Lens Offers.” In Human Security and Natural Disasters, edited by Christopher Hobson, Paul Bacon, and Robin Cameron. London: Routledge.

Author: Elaine Enarson

Abstract:

Like sustainability and resilience, human security is a powerful discourse despite its elusive and contested quality. Is it also a useful rubric for guiding efforts to reduce the risk of disaster? In this chapter, I suggest it is but only to the extent that a gender lens informs our thinking about the interface between human security and disasters-natural, technological, or human-induced. Gender comes into play across all dimensions of disaster prevention, response, and recovery. 
 
Parsing these (non-linear) phase distinctions is a daunting, and perhaps distracting, task. But sustainable and holistic recovery is the center beam upon which vulnerability reduction, hazard mitigation, capacity building, and hence prevention ultimately rest, so my discussion focuses there: all efforts to respond to urgent human needs are undone if we don’t get recovery right. The discussion also privileges women and girls due to the overarching gender hierarchies that constrain the lives of girls and women, and due also to the empirical knowledge base of past gender and disaster research. Unquestionably, boys and men are also hurt in disasters (Grabska 2012; Mishra 2009). They may be subject to gender-based violence; the environmental resources sustaining them may be contaminated, diminished, or destroyed, forcing relocation and new threats to personal security. Dominant masculinity norms (including pressure to provide) rob too many men of identity, livelihood, and well-being, putting them at risk of self-harm, too. A gender lens also brings these vital concerns to light as security threats.
 
I begin by explaining the need for gender analysis in the ostensibly gender-neutral domains of human security, disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaptation, emphasizing that gender is more than a “cross-cutting” concern and introducing the main outlines of the subfield of gender and disaster. In the second section, case material is used to illustrate the major “lessons (not) learned” that must be integrated into consideration of how to protect and enhance human security in disasters. A short third section on women’s grassroots mobilization after disasters foreshadows my conclusion. When the stars align, the brief postdisaster “window of opportunity” offers a critical moment for transformative adaptation-but only when women and men are fully and equally engaged. The chapter ends with reflections about how to move gender from the margins to the center of our thinking about human security. (Taylor & Francis)

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Health, Mental Health, Livelihoods, Security, Human Security

Year: 2014

Female Adolescents and their Sexuality: Notions of Honour, Shame, Purity and Pollution during the Floods

Citation:

Rashid, Sabina Faiz, and Stephanie Michaud. 2000. “Female Adolescents and their Sexuality: Notions of Honour, Shame, Purity and Pollution during the Floods.” Disasters 24 (1): 54–70.

Authors: Sabina Faiz Rashid, Stephanie Michaud

Abstract:

This paper explores the experiences of female adolescents during the 1998 floods in Bangladesh, focusing on the implications of socio‐cultural norms related to notions of honour, shame, purity and pollution. These cultural notions are reinforced with greater emphasis as girls enter their adolescence, regulating their sexuality and gender relationships. In Bangladeshi society, adolescent girls are expected to maintain their virginity until marriage. Contact is limited to one's families and extended relations. Particularly among poorer families, adolescent girls tend to have limited mobility to safeguard their ‘purity’. This is to ensure that the girl's reputation does not suffer, thus making it difficult for the girl to get married. For female adolescents in Bangladesh, a disaster situation is a uniquely vulnerable time. Exposure to the unfamiliar environment of flood shelters and relief camps, and unable to maintain their ‘space’ and privacy from male strangers, a number of the girls were vulnerable to sexual and mental harassment. With the floods, it became difficult for most of the girls to be appropriately `secluded'. Many were unable to sleep, bathe or get access to latrines in privacy because so many houses and latrines were underwater. Some of the girls who had begun menstruation were distressed at not being able to keep themselves clean. Strong social taboos associated with menstruation and the dirty water that surrounded them made it difficult for the girls to wash their menstrual cloths or change them frequently enough. Many of them became separated from their social network of relations, which caused them a great deal of anxiety and stress. Their difficulty in trying to follow social norms have had far‐reaching implications on their health, identity, family and community relations.

Keywords: Bangladesh, 1998 floods, adolescence, sexuality, gender, women

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Girls, Health, Mental Health, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Sexuality Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2000

Flood-Induced Vulnerabilities and Problems Encountered by Women in Northern Bangladesh

Citation:

Azad, Abul Kalam, Khondoker Mokaddem Hossain, and Mahbuba Nasreen. 2013. “Flood-Induced Vulnerabilities and Problems Encountered by Women in Northern Bangladesh.” International Journal of Disaster Risk Science 4 (4): 190–9.

Authors: Abul Kalam Azad, Khondoker Mokaddem Hossain, Mahbuba Nasreen

Abstract:

This study examines flood-induced vulnerabilities among women in northern Bangladesh. Poor and disadvantaged women are more vulnerable to disasters than men due to the conditions that predispose them to severe disaster impacts. Women suffer from physical injuries and are often evicted from their dwellings due to floods. Difficulties in finding adequate shelter, food, safe water, and fuel for cooking, as well as problems in maintaining personal hygiene and sanitation, prevent women from performing their usual roles at home. All of these are problems related to women’s gender identity and social roles. Many poor and destitute women remain unemployed during and after floods. Women also suffer from domestic violence and are subject to harassment when taking shelter or refuge at community centers. These particular vulnerabilities and problems interrupt women’s mitigation efforts and adaptation capacities in disaster risk reduction.

Keywords: Bangladesh, flood, flood-induced vulnerability, vulnerability of women

Topics: Domestic Violence, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Health, Households Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2013

Women, E-Waste, and Technological Solutions to Climate Change

Citation:

McAllister, Lucy, Amanda Magee, and Benjamin Hale. 2014. “Women, E-Waste, and Technological Solutions to Climate Change.” Health and Human Rights Journal 16 (1): 166–78.

Authors: Lucy McAllister, Amanda Magee, Benjamin Hale

Abstract:

In this paper, we argue that a crossover class of climate change solutions (which we term “technological solutions”) may disproportionately and adversely impact some populations over others. We begin by situating our discussion in the wider climate discourse, particularly with regard to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Basel Convention. We then suggest that many of the most attractive technological solutions to climate change, such as solar energy and electric car batteries, will likely add to the rapidly growing stream of electronic waste (“e-waste”). This e-waste may have negative downstream effects on otherwise disenfranchised populations. We argue that e-waste burdens women unfairly and disproportionately, affecting their mortality/morbidity and fertility, as well as the development of their children. Building on this, we claim that these injustices are more accurately captured as problems of recognition rather than distribution, since women are often institutionally under-acknowledged both in the workplace and in the home. Without institutional support and representation, women and children are deprived of adequate safety equipment, health precautions, and health insurance. Finally, we return to the question of climate justice in the context of the human right to health and argue for greater inclusion and recognition of women waste workers and other disenfranchised groups in forging future climate agreements.

Topics: Development, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, Justice, Rights, Human Rights

Year: 2014

Using Life Histories to Explore Gendered Experiences of Conflict in Gulu District, Northern Uganda: Implications for Post-Conflict Health Reconstruction

Citation:

Ssali, Sarah N., and Sally Theobald. 2016. “Using Life Histories to Explore Gendered Experiences of Conflict in Gulu District, Northern Uganda: Implications for Post-Conflict Health Reconstruction.” South African Review of Sociology 47 (1): 81-98.

Authors: Sarah N. Ssali, Sally Theobald

Abstract:

The dearth of knowledge about what life was like for different women and men, communities and institutions during conflict has caused many post-conflict developers to undertake reconstruction using standardised models that may not always reflect the realities of the affected populations. There is a need to engage with and understand the life experiences, transformations and social concerns of people affected by conflict before, during and after the conflict in order to develop appropriate and context embedded post-conflict reconstruction strategies. This article discusses how life histories were deployed to explore how the 20-year conflict in northern Uganda transformed people's lives. It presents how 47 men and women lived, experienced and remembered the war in northern Uganda, and the implications for health care reconstruction. By focusing on what the respondents considered major life events in their narratives of war experiences, the article shows how through using life histories, the respondents were empowered to narrate in their own voices their experiences of war; how gender and power(lessness) shaped their experiences and their ‘situatedness’ within the conflict and thereafter; and the implications this has for post-conflict health reconstruction. The life history method enabled the researchers to surmount the subjective nature of narratives of war and its after effects, permitting the researchers to construct a picture of how experiences and challenges to well-being, health and health care seeking changed through time and what needs to be done to ensure post-conflict development prioritises the multiple health care needs of those most impoverished by the war.

Keywords: Uganda, conflict, life histories, gender, health

Topics: Development, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, conflict, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Health, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2016

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