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Women

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

How Much Land Does a Woman Need? Women, Land Rights and Rural Development

Esther Kingston-Mann

April 18, 2019

Integrated Sciences Complex, 3rd Floor, Conference Room 3300, UMass Boston

The failure to include gender in the economic history of rural development has severely limited our understanding of the colonial, privatizing and collectivist economic policies that disrupted and transformed the lives of rural women and men in the modern world. This talk will rewrite a piece of that history, exploring rural development in 20th-century Kenya through the lens of women’s labor and land claims. In the course of the 20th-century, Kikuyu women resisted efforts by husbands, fathers, brothers, tribal authorities and the state to control women-cultivated lands. Were these women seeking private land of their own, or were they advancing claims that didn't fit neatly into preconceived capitalist or pre-capitalist categories?

Esther Kingston Mann is the Ford Service Professor of History Emerita and the founder of Kingston-Mann Awards for Undergraduate Student Excellence in Diversity Inclusion Scholarship 2004-2019. Her research has focused on three related areas. She has used Comparative Studies to look at the relationship between "modernizers" and the rural women and men they attempt to "modernize" (In Search of the True West: Culture, Economics and Problems of Rural Development, 1999). Her research on Female Economic Agency is found in her book, Women, Land Rights and Rural Development: How Much Land Does a Woman Need? (2018). And she has explored Claiming Property ("The Return of Pierre Proudhon: Privatization, Crime, and the Rules of Law," 2006.)

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This event is being cosponsored by the UMass Boston CLA Dean's Office; Economics Dept; History Dept; Political Science Dept; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Dept; the Honors College; the Sociology Club; and the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy.

Djamilah

Egyptian historical film about one of the most important figures in the history of Algeria, Djamila Bouhired. This film is regarded as not only highlighting the story of an important female revolutionary, but also showing the struggle of the Algerian people against the French occupation.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051539/

The Women's Rights in Land Workshop

Citation:

Mogale, Constance, and Sophie Phoshoko. 1997. “The Women’s Rights in Land Workshop.” Agenda:Empowering Women for Gender Equity, no. 32, 66-8.

Authors: Constance Mogale, Sophie Phoshoko

Annotation:

Summary:
“On November 21-22, 1996, the Department of Land Affairs’ (DLA) Women’s Rights in Land Sub-Directorate hosted a consultative workshop, the first of its kind to be organized by Government. 
 
“The workshop aimed to achieve the following: 
  • To determine the factors which inhibit women’s participation in the land reform programmes; 
  • To stimulate national awareness and debate on women’s rights in land and related matters; 
  • To explore women’s relationship to land; 
  • To determine women’s hopes and expectations in relation to land reform; 
  • To facilitate an evaluation of land reform policies and programmes; 
  • To enhance the relationship between all stakeholders with regard to women’s access to land” (Mogale and Phoshoko 1997, 66).

Topics: Gender, Women, Governance, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 1997

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

Women, Climate Change and Liberation in Africa

Citation:

Steady, Filomina Chioma. 2014. “Women, Climate Change and Liberation in Africa.” Race, Gender & Class 21 (1/2): 312–33.

Author: Filomina Chioma Steady

Abstract:

Women in Africa have been among the first to notice the impact of climate change and its effects on the agricultural cycle, human and animal life; food production and food security. As major custodians and consumers of natural resources, the lives of women in rural areas are profoundly affected by seasonal changes, making them among the most vulnerable to climate change. Their pivotal role in any measure aimed at mitigation and adaptation is indisputable. Despite Africa's minimal emission of green house gases, it is one of the most vulnerable continents to climate change and climate variability and is prone to ecosystem degradation and complex natural disasters. (United Nations Environment Programme, 2006). This article examines women and climate change in Africa as an aspect of Africa's environmental problems. It is argued that the ideologies that drive the exploitation of the earth's resources are linked to the legacy of colonialism and its aftermath of economic globalization. Both have important implications for continuing oppression of the environment and people, with important implications for race, gender and class. Particular attention is given to women in rural areas in Africa, who are the main custodians of environmental conservation and sustainability and who are highly threatened by environmental degradation and climate change. Yet, they are often marginalized from the decision-making processes related to solving problems of Climate Change. The paper combines theoretical insights with empirical data to argue for more attention to women's important ecological and economic roles and comments on the policy implications for Climate Change. It calls for liberation that would bring an end to economic and ecological oppression through climate justice and gender justice.

Keywords: Africa's Vulnerability, women, natural resources, colonial legacies, hazardous waste dumping, land grabs, biofuels, mining, deforestation, liberation, gender justice, climate justice

Topics: Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Globalization, Justice, Land grabbing, Race Regions: Africa

Year: 2014

Women and Water Management in Times of Climate Change: Participatory and Inclusive Processes

Citation:

Figueiredo, Patricia, and Patricia E. Perkins. 2013. “Women and Water Management in Times of Climate Change: Participatory and Inclusive Processes.” Journal of Cleaner Production 60: 188–94.

Authors: Patricia Figueiredo, Patricia E. Perkins

Abstract:

This paper focuses on community engagement, and particularly the inclusion of women, in water management as a response to climate change. Addressing water-related problems is central to climate change adaptation, and civil society, marginalized populations and women, in particular, must be involved. This is for both moral and pragmatic reasons: not only are the marginalized the first and worst affected by extreme weather events, but they also possess local ecological, social and political knowledge which can inform and contribute significantly to climate change adaptation strategies. Because of their social roles and position worldwide, women are greatly affected by water scarcity and flooding, and tend to be gravely impacted by poor water management, yet they face great difficulties in participating effectively in governance bodies. Sustainable long-term management of water resources in the face of climate change requires the participation of women, who possess knowledge of effective social technologies for coping with and adapting to climate change. Community-based environmental education is therefore required in order to expand the equitable involvement of women in water-related climate change adaptation activities and policy development. Environmental non-governmental organizations worldwide, working on shoestring budgets at the local level, are developing a range of methods to organize, raise consciousness and confidence, and help local activists create successful climate defense programs. This paper discusses South-North initiatives and models for community-based environmental and climate change education which are using the democratic opening provided by watershed-based governance structures to broaden grassroots participation, especially of women, in political processes. We outline the activities and results of two international projects: the Sister Watersheds project, with Brazilian and Canadian partners (2002-2008); and a Climate Change Adaptation in Africa project with partners in Canada, Kenya, Mozambique, and South Africa (2010-2012).

Keywords: climate justice, gender, watershed management, climate change, equity, public participation, civil society, women, community-based environmental education, civil society engagement, Resilience, bottom-up climate change adaptation

Topics: Civil Society, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, NGOs, Political Participation

Year: 2013

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

Women and Peacebuilding

Citation:

Lazarus, Alison and Claire Taylor. 1999. "Women and Peacebuilding." Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equity 15 (40): 91-4. 

Authors: Alison Lazarus, Claire Taylor

Abstract:

Women from around the country participated in a workshop to explore the unique role of women in peace efforts, write Alison Lazarus and Claire Taylor. 

Topics: Gender, Women, Peacebuilding

Year: 1999

Gender and Environmental Change in the Developing World

Citation:

Bradshaw, Sarah, and Brian Linneker. 2014. “Gender and Environmental Change in the Developing World.” Working Paper, International Institute for Environment and Development, Human Settlement’s Group, London.  

Authors: Sarah Bradshaw, Brian Linneker

Abstract:

This report reviews the literature and evidence within the fields of gender, climate change and disasters, suggesting that although there are gaps in existing knowledge, policy is often not based on the existing evidence but on stereotypical notions. Drawing lessons from the gender and development literature, it outlines some of the key areas of debate common across the three literatures. In particular how best to ensure the inclusion of women in sustainable development policy so they are served by these policies, rather than being at the service of these policies. It concludes by highlighting gaps in knowledge, noting that studies that look at both climate change and disasters, which consider short and long term climatic risks, are necessary if the issues raised are to be tackled in a way that improves, rather than harms, the position and situation of women. 

Keywords: environmental change, climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, policy processes, green economy

Topics: Development, Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women

Year: 2014

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