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Rights

Women’s Human Rights in a Changing Climate: Highlighting the Distributive Effects of Climate Policies

Citation:

Bendlin, Lena. 2014. “Women’s Human Rights in a Changing Climate: Highlighting the Distributive Effects of Climate Policies.” Cambridge Review of International Affairs 27 (4): 680–98. 

Author: Lena Bendlin

Abstract:

A women’s rights perspective can inform and structure research on climate policy impacts on women. To date, climate policy analysis has mostly considered women as agents of climate protection, that is, objects of mitigation policies, rather than subjects in their own right. However, climate change mitigation involves direct and indirect distributive effects depending on which sectors are involved, which instruments are chosen and how funds are obtained and allocated. Since gender roles impact on individual livelihoods and activities, distributive effects are likely to be gendered. This paper suggests that women’s human rights can be used as a framework for research aiming to fill this gap. They provide a well-developed, tested range of criteria for gender justice. Such assessments would allow for a more systematic and comprehensive understanding of the gendered distributive effects of climate policies, notably with regard to the particularly understudied situation in the industrialized world.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Justice, Livelihoods, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2014

Are Climate Challenges Reinforcing Child and Forced Marriage and Dowry as Adaptation Strategies in the Context of Bangladesh?

Citation:

Alston, Margaret, Kerri Whittenbury, Alex Haynes, and Naomi Godden. 2014. “Are Climate Challenges Reinforcing Child and Forced Marriage and Dowry as Adaptation Strategies in the Context of Bangladesh?” Women’s Studies International Forum 47 (November): 137–44.

Authors: Margaret Alston, Kerri Whittenbury, Alex Haynes, Naomi Godden

Annotation:

Summary:
This paper outlines the link between child and forced marriage, dowry and climate changes in Bangladesh. Drawing on a three year research study on the gendered impacts of climate change, we argue that climate crises are creating significant economic hardships. This has led to dowry being viewed by the families of young men as a form of capital accumulation. For the families of girls, dowry has become a significant burden, a burden that increases with the age of the girl. We argue that the economic crises created by climate challenges are leading to an increase in child and forced marriages because the dowry is cheaper. We conclude that attention to climate challenges must take a much broader focus on social consequences in order to protect the human rights of women and girls in vulnerable communities. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2014

From Male to Joint Land Ownership: Women's Experiences of the Land Tenure Reform Programme in Rwanda

Citation:

Bayisenge, Jeannette. 2018. "From Male to Joint Land Ownership: Women's Experiences of the Land Tenure Reform Programme in Rwanda." Journal of Agrarian Change 18 (3): 588-605.

Author: Jeannette Bayisenge

Abstract:

During the post‐genocide period, the Government of Rwanda embarked on a land tenure reform programme that culminated in a land registration and titling process in 2009. This paper intends to capture women's experiences in relation to this programme. The empirical data were collected in Musanze District using a household survey, semi‐structured interviews, and focus group discussions. The main findings reveal that there is support of the general idea that women should benefit from the land tenure reform in Rwanda. However, there is some criticism towards parts of the land laws, and women have limited actual knowledge about land‐related laws. With land titles, women mostly have a say on the land use decisions requiring each of the spounses' legal consents but not on the daily management of land and its produce. Finally, the paper reports the persistence of social norms and culturally biased gender ideologies affecting the effective implementation of land‐related laws and policies. Therefore, the paper underscores the need to build the implementation of new laws and policies on a good understanding of customary practices to strengthen women's land rights in Rwanda.

Keywords: land rights, land tenure reform, Rwanda, women's experiences

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2018

Falling Between Two Stools: How Women’s Land Rights are Lost between State and Customary Law in Apac District, Northern Uganda

Citation:

Adoko, Judy, and Simon Levine. 2008. "Falling Between Two Stools: How Women’s Land Rights are Lost between State and Customary Law in Apac District, Northern Uganda." In Women's Land Rights and Privatization in Eastern Africa, edited by Birgit Englert and Elizabeth Daley, 101-20. Woodbridge, Suffolk; Rochester, NY: Boydell & Brewer, James Currey. 

Authors: Judy Adoko, Simon Levine

Annotation:

Summary: 
"As in other countries in Africa, there are two parallel and competing histories of land tenure in Uganda. The indigenous systems evolved to suit the needs of different local groups, or at least certain elite members in those groups, in a variety of different ecological and economic circumstances. They worked on rules which have never been written down, making it easy for outsiders to consider all these systems as ‘customary tenure’ a single, unchanging system of rules and administration. Another, written, history began with British colonialism. The British introduced a system of freehold title under which client chiefs and kingdoms (as well as missions) were granted formal land rights. All land which was not registered was considered by the British to be ‘crown land’. Although customary tenure continued to operate on this land, the customary owners had little protection from the arbitrary expropriation of their property. The British colonial administrators regarded customary ownership as backward and a constraint to economic development, which by the 1950s they intended to replace with the ‘modern’ system of freehold. However, colonialism ended before this could be implemented" (Adoko and Levine 2008, 101). 

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Governance, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2008

Empowering Women Through Land Tenure Reform: The Rwanda Experience

Citation:

Ngoga, Thierry Hoza. 2012."Empowering Women Through Land Tenure Reform: The Rwanda Experience." Paper presented at the Expert Group Meeting Good Practices in Realizing Women's Rights to Productive Resources, With a Focus on Land, Geneva, Switzerland, June 25-27.

Author: Thierry Hoza Ngoga

Abstract:

Since 2004, Rwanda has embarked on an ambitious land tenure reform programme (LTR) aimed at increasing security of tenure to all land owners and the elimination of all forms of discrimination. This has largely been achieved through the establishment and implementation of a new legal, regulatory and institutional framework.
 
This paper discusses the ongoing land tenure reform programme and its impact on women’s land rights. It focuses on the role of women in the decision making in the course of developing the legal and regulatory framework, the rights that those tools provide to women and the inclusiveness and protection of women’s land rights in the ongoing land registration programme. The aim of the paper is then to draw on some best practices gleaned from the programme in protecting women’s rights to land.

Topics: Gender, Women, peace and security, Justice, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2012

Feminist Foreign Policy as State-Led Expansion of Human Rights

Citation:

Hudson, Valerie M. 2017. “Feminist Foreign Policy as State-Led Expansion of Human Rights.” In Expanding Human Rights: 21st Century Norms and Governance, edited by Alison Brysk and Michael Stohl, 177–94. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Author: Valerie M. Hudson

Abstract:

The purpose of the chapter is to trace the arc of the idea that there could be a “feminist” state foreign/security policy, and then to assess both the promise and the pitfalls of such a stance. In this case, the state would become the main agent promoting this human rights expansion. A feminist foreign/security policy (FFSP) would embrace the idea that human rights and national security are not contradictory goals of state policy unless we choose to see them as such. However, an FFSP would go further and also propose that women’s empowerment, women’s voice, and women’s security constitute the great bridge between the two aspirations. The selection of Hillary Clinton as US Secretary of State in 2009, and her tenure until early 2013, provides a rich case study of how the “women, peace, and security” standpoint articulated by the United Nations could be translated into a state agenda. However, given the state’s top-down nature, there will always be problems with utilizing the state to expand and secure human rights. Understanding the nature and source of the problems faced in this case is instructive, including moral quandaries, state inconsistency, insincere genuflection, distorted participation, and perverse incentives. (Abstract from Elgar Online) 

Topics: Feminisms, peace and security, International Organizations, Rights, Human Rights, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS

Year: 2017

Swedish Feminist Foreign Policy in the Making: Ethics, Politics, and Gender

Citation:

Aggestam, Karin, and Annika Bergman-Rosamond. 2016. “Swedish Feminist Foreign Policy in the Making: Ethics, Politics, and Gender.” Ethics & International Affairs 30 (3): 323–34. 

Authors: Karin Aggestam, Annika Bergman-Rosamond

Annotation:

Summary: 
"In this essay, we argue that the launching of a “feminist” foreign policy is distinct for two reasons. First, by adopting the “f-word” it elevates politics from a broadly consensual orientation of gender mainstreaming toward more controversial politics, and specifically toward those that explicitly seek to renegotiate and challenge power hierarchies and gendered institutions that hitherto defined global institutions and foreign and security policies. As Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström has noted, “It’s time to become a little braver in foreign policy. I think feminism is a good term. It is about standing against the systematic and global subordination of women.” Second, it contains a normative reorientation of foreign policy that is guided by an ethically informed framework based on broad cosmopolitan norms of global justice and peace. The content of Sweden’s feminist foreign policy is still in the making, and is currently focused on incremental change in two areas: (1) international agenda-setting through a gender-sensitive lens that allows for the reframing and mobilization of international policy action; and (2) normative entrepreneurship, which is guided by an ethically informed framework of cosmopolitanism and human rights that seeks to shape global developments in a gender-sensitive direction" (Aggestam and Bergman-Rosamond 2016, 323). 
 

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, International Organizations, Justice, Rights, Human Rights

Year: 2016

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