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Households

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

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

Mastering the Struggle: Gender, Actors and Agrarian Change in a Mexican Ejido

Citation:

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

Annotation:

Summary:
"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

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

Gender Differences in Farmers’ Responses to Climate Change Adaptation in Yongqiao District, China

Citation:

Jianjun, Jin, Wang Xiaomin, and Gao Yiwei. 2015. “Gender Differences in Farmers’ Responses to Climate Change Adaptation in Yongqiao District, China.” Science of the Total Environment 538: 942–8.

Author: Jin Jianjun

Abstract:

This study examines the gender differences in farmers' responses to climate change adaption in Yongqiao District, China. A random sampling technique was used to select 220 household heads, while descriptive statistics and binary logit models were used to analyze the data obtained from the households. We determine that male and female respondents are not significantly different in their knowledge and perceptions of climate change, but there is a gender difference in adopting climate change adaptation measures. Male-headed households are more likely to adopt new technology for water conservation and to increase investment in irrigation infrastructure. The research also indicates that the adaptation decisions of male and female heads are influenced by different sets of factors. The findings of this research help to elucidate the determinants of climate change adaptation decisions for male and female-headed households and the strategic interventions necessary for effective adaptation. 

Keywords: adaptation, climate change, farmer, gender, China

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 2015

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

Citation:

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

Annotation:

Summary: 
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

Gender, Agrobiodiversity, and Climate Change: A Study of Adaptation Practices in the Nepal Himalayas

Citation:

Bhattarai, Basundhara, Ruth Beilin, and Rebecca Ford. 2015. “Gender, Agrobiodiversity, and Climate Change: A Study of Adaptation Practices in the Nepal Himalayas.” World Development 70: 122–32.

Authors: Basundhara Bhattarai, Ruth Beilin, Rebecca Ford

Keywords: gender, agrobiodiversity management, climate change, adaptation, Nepal

Annotation:

Summary: 
Gender is seminal to agrobiodiversity management, and inequities are likely to be exacerbated under a changing climate. Using in-depth interviews with farmers and officials from government and non-government organizations in Nepal, we explore how gender relations are influenced by wider socio-economic changes, and how alterations in gender relations shape responses to climate change. Combining feminist political ecology and critical social-ecological systems thinking, we analyze how gender and adaptation interact as households abandon certain crops, adopt high-yielding varieties and shift to cash crops. We argue that the prevailing development paradigm reinforces inequitable gender structures in agrobiodiversity management, undermining adaptation to the changing climate. (Summary from original source) 

Topics: Development, Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Governance, Households, NGOs Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2015

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

The Influence of Caste, Class and Gender in Surviving Multiple Disasters: A Case Study from Orissa, India

Citation:

Ray-Bennett, Nibedita S. 2009. “The Influence of Caste, Class and Gender in Surviving Multiple Disasters: A Case Study from Orissa, India.” Environmental Hazards 8 (1): 5–22.

Author: Nibedita S. Ray-Benett

Abstract:

Sociological and anthropological studies in India reveal that caste, class and gender in everyday life are both rigid and dynamic, but little is known about how they influence the survival mechanisms of women during ‘multiple disasters’, nor about how women negotiate with these structural mores to meet their cultural and biological needs. This is explored through the experiences of 12 women-headed households from different social castes in Orissa, India. Multiple disasters or disasters that occur in ‘one specific place’ (such as floods, cyclone and drought) are regular events in coastal parts of the state of Orissa. The super-cyclone of 1999, two floods of 2001 and 2003 and drought of 2000 and 2002 form the case study. Participant observation, in-depth interviews and documentary evidence complement the fieldwork. The findings suggest a complex interplay of caste, class and gender in surviving the multiple disasters including structural mutability under the purview of social organization. In doing so, women demonstrated their individual and collective agencies in order to meet their cultural and biological needs under severe crisis. This research stresses that gender and disaster studies must include a consideration of caste and class for effective disaster management and social vulnerability reduction.

Keywords: gender, multiple disasters, Orissa, women-headed households, class, caste

Topics: Caste, Class, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Households Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2009

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