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Women's Rights

Incorporating Gender into Low-Emission Development: A Case Study from Vietnam

Citation:

Farnworth, Cathy Rozel, Trần Thu Hà, Björn Ole Sander, Eva Wollenberg, Nicoline C. de Haan, and Shawn McGuire. 2017. “Incorporating Gender into Low-Emission Development: A Case Study from Vietnam.” Gender, Technology and Development 21 (1-2): 5-30.

Authors: Cathy Rozel Farnworth, Trần Thu Hà, Björn Ole Sander, Eva Wollenberg, Nicoline C. de Haan, Shawn McGuire

Abstract:

Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture is needed to meet global climate policy targets. A number of low emission development (LED) options exist in agriculture, which globally emits 10–12% of GHG emissions. In paddy rice production, alternative wetting and drying (AWD) can reduce emissions by up to 48%. Co-benefits of AWD include lower water consumption, lower use of fertilizer and seeds, and higher resistance to some pests and diseases. These are expected to result in improved benefits for individual farmers while lowering the sector’s overall contribution to GHG emissions. Women are strongly involved in rice production, hence improving their access to AWD technology, participation in decisions about it, and capacity to use it influences AWD adoption and resulting emissions. Involving women in AWD and LED more broadly also can provide distributional and procedural justice gains for women. The authors develop a conceptual model to show how these issues can be integrated. They suggest that intermediary organizations such as farmer associations and women’s organizations are central to enabling women to realize their personal goals while allowing gender to be taken to scale in LED, as is the case for other technology interventions. This requires work to expand their social capacities. A case study developed from work on taking gender-responsive LED to scale in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, illustrates the model.

Keywords: low-emission development, alternative wetting and drying, rice, Vietnam, gender

Topics: Development, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Infrastructure, Livelihoods, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Vietnam

Year: 2017

Contextualising and Conceptualising Gender and Climate Change in Africa

Citation:

Bob, Urmilla, and Agnes Babugura. 2014. “Contextualising and Conceptualising Gender and Climate Change in Africa.” Agenda 28 (3): 3-15.

Authors: Urmilla Bob, Agnes Babugura

Abstract:

This overview provides the conceptual and contextual foundation for the issue on ‘Gender and climate change’. Drawing on a literature review and appraisal of the contributions in this issue, we foreground the current key climate change debates. There is consensus that climate change is a global challenge with devastating impacts at different scales. It is also established in the literature that some communities and groups are more vulnerable than others. In mapping the issues we provide an overview of the gender and climate change debates, as the thematic focus. The importance of engendering policy development, research as well as adaptation and mitigation strategies are underscored. The discussion then provides a brief overview of climate change trends and dynamics in Africa, the continent which is viewed as the most vulnerable to climate change impacts due to persistent poverty (including socio-economic inequalities), unsustainable and insecure livelihoods, high reliance on the natural resource base, limited access to information and technologies, and weak institutions and state fragility. This is followed by a thematic examination of the key issues related to gender and climate change in Africa which include women as consumers, access to land and natural resources, agricultural production and food security, health aspects, security issues and adaptation and mitigation support. Finally, concluding remarks are forwarded which resonate with the contributions by writers in the issue.

Keywords: gender, women, climate change, vulnerability, africa

Topics: Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Livelihoods, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa

Year: 2014

Coping with History and Hydrology: How Kenya's Settlement and Land Tenure Patterns Shape Contemporary Water Rights and Gender Relations in Water

Citation:

Onyango, Leah, Brent Swallow, Jessica L. Roy, and Ruth Meinzen-Dick. 2007. “Coping with History and Hydrology: How Kenya’s Settlement and Land Tenure Patterns Shape Contemporary Water Rights and Gender Relations in Water.” In Community-Based Water Law and Water Resource Management Reform in Developing Countries, edited by Barbara van Koppen, Mark Giordano, and John Butterworth, 173–95. Oxfordshire: CAB International.

Authors: Leah Onyango, Brent Swallow, Jessica L. Roy, Ruth Meinzen-Dick

Abstract:

Like many other African countries described in this volume, Kenya has recently enacted several new policies and public-sector reforms that affect its water sector. This chapter considers those reforms in the context of the country's particular history of land tenure and settlement, a history that continues to have a profound influence on contemporary patterns of land and water management as well as on gender relations in water. The chapter focuses on the particular case of a river basin in Western Kenya, the Nyando river basin (3517 km 2), that has its outlet in Lake Victoria. Over the last century, the Nyando river basin has experienced a history that has shaped spatial patterns of land tenure, settlement and water management. The plural land management systems that exist in the basin today are the product of three distinct periods of historical change: (i) the pre-colonial era that was dominated by customary landholding and land rights systems; (ii) the colonial era in which large areas of land were alienated for specific users and the majority of the Kenyan population confined to native reserve areas; and (iii) the post-colonial era that has encouraged large-scale private ownership of land by men and a small public-sector ownership of irrigation land, all against the backdrop of customary norms and the colonial pattern of settlement and land use. Both colonial and post-colonial institutions have largely disre-garded women's rights to land and water resources. Although customary norms are consistent in ensuring access to water for all members of particular ethnic groups, in practice access and management of water points vary across the basin depending upon the historically defined pattern of landownership and settlement. Customary norms that secure the rights of women to water resources tend to have most impact in former native reserve areas and least impact in ethnically heterogeneous resettlement areas held under leasehold tenure. Recommendations are made on how new policies, legislation and government institutions could be more effec-tive in promoting the water needs of rural communities in Kenya.

Keywords: legal pluralism, land tenure, water tenure, gender roles, integrated natural resource management, Property Rights, policy framework, community participation

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Development, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2007

Climate Change and Gender Equality in Developing States

Citation:

Eastin, Joshua. 2018. "Climate Change and Gender in Developing States." World Development 107: 289-305.

Author: Joshua Eastin

Abstract:

It is commonly accepted that women can be more vulnerable than men to the adverse environmental effects of climate change. This paper evaluates whether the unequal distribution of costs women bear as a result of climate change are reflected across broader macro-social institutions to the detriment of gender equality and women's rights. It argues that gender disparities in climate change vulnerability not only reflect preexisting gender inequalities, they also reinforce them. Inequalities in the ownership and control of household assets and rising familial burdens due to male out-migration, declining food and water access, and increased disaster exposure can undermine women's ability to achieve economic independence, enhance human capital, and maintain health and wellbeing. Consequences for gender equality include reductions in intra-household bargaining power, as women become less capable of generating independent revenue. Outside the home, norms of gender discrimination and gender imbalances in socio-economic status should increase as women are less able to participate in formal labor markets, join civil society organizations, or collectively mobilize for political change. The outcome of these processes can reduce a society's level of gender equality by increasing constraints on the advancement of laws and norms that promote co-equal status. I empirically test this relationship across a sample of developing states between 1981 and 2010. The findings suggest that climate shocks and climatic disasters a broadly negative impact on gender equality, as deviations from long-term mean temperatures and increasing incidence of climatological and hydro-meteorological disasters are associated with declines in women's economic and social rights. These effects appear to be most salient in states that are relatively less-democratic, with greater dependence on agriculture, and lower levels of economic development.

Keywords: climate change, gender equality, women's rights, development, vulnerability, developing states

Topics: Development, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2018

Post-Conflict Ruptures and the Space for Women's Empowerment in Bangladesh

Citation:

Hossain, Naomi. 2018. “Post-Conflict Ruptures and the Space for Women's Empowerment in Bangladesh.” Women's Studies International Forum 68: 104–12.

Author: Naomi Hossain

Abstract:

Bangladesh is widely deemed to have made rapid progress on gender equality and women's empowerment. How to understand the apparent advances of women in a poor, populous, Muslim-majority country in the belt of classic patriarchy? This paper locates the origins of these changes in the immediate aftermath of Bangladesh's struggle for independence in 1971, when a series of visible ruptures to the patriarchal bargain dramatized the ongoing crisis of social reproduction. This drew elite attention to the conditions of landless rural women, creating space for their programmatic inclusion in the political settlement, within a newly biopolitical project of national development. The paper argues that it is possible to make sense of the gains women have made as well as old and new obstacles to gender justice - including women's continuing responsibility for care - in this critical juncture in the political history of gender relations in Bangladesh.

Keywords: Bangladesh, women's empowerment, biopower, patriarchal bargains, post-conflict gender relations

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2018

Joint Titling in Rural Peru: Impact on Women’s Participation in Household Decision-Making

Citation:

Wiig, Henrik. 2013. “Joint Titling in Rural Peru: Impact on Women’s Participation in Household Decision-Making.” World Development 52: 104-19.

Author: Henrik Wiig

Keywords: land titling, gender, empowerment, intra-household decisions, Peru, Latin America

Annotation:

Summary: 
Peru has implemented joint property rights between spouses and cohabitants on 57% of 1.5 million formalized agricultural plots. Bargaining theory indicates such redistribution of assets should empower women. This project measures influence on decision-making in 1,280 rural households, interviewing men and women separately. A historical coincidence during the land reform of the 1960–70s made only some communities eligible for plot titling. The process was exogenous and independent of both household and community characteristics. The significantly positive impact on female empowerment in simple mean comparison and econometric models including pre-titling historic variables is hence unbiased. (Summary from original source) 


Topics: Gender, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Peru

Year: 2013

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

Contesting Customary Law in the Eastern Cape: Gender, Place and Land Tenure

Citation:

Weinberg, Tara. 2013. "Contesting Customary Law in the Eastern Cape: Gender, Place and Land Tenure." Acta Juridica 2013 (1): 110-7.

Author: Tara Weinberg

Abstract:

This paper explores how government interventions to restrict African access to land in the 'Ciskei' in South Africa between 1930-1960 impacted disproportionately on women. It focuses on events in three districts, Fort Beaufort, Keiskammahoek and Peddie, making use of archival research to show how African people, particularly women, responded to government interventions that progressively rendered them landless. The paper interrogates how Africans' contestation of customary law and their relationship to the land was intricately tied up with the gendered nature of their family positions, privileges and responsibilities. Since the arenas in which women could voice their issues were limited, men sometimes articulated these issues (albeit in a mediated form) when the interest of a woman who approached them coincided with their own. Male Bunga Councillors appealed to a 'living' form of customary law in attempts to win greater rights to land inheritance for women and younger sons. They positioned their children as 'responsible' daughters and 'responsible' sons. In a context in which the state frequently used the language of 'African custom', in distorted ways, to justify its land policies, men and women contested not only the restraints on Africans' access to land, but also the nature and content of customary law. 

Topics: Governance, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2013

Land Registration and Gender Equality in Ethiopia: How State–Society Relations Influence the Enforcement of Institutional Change

Citation:

Lavers, Tom. 2017. “Land Registration and Gender Equality in Ethiopia: How State–Society Relations Influence the Enforcement of Institutional Change.” Journal of Agrarian Change 17 (1): 188–207.

Author: Tom Lavers

Abstract:

In recent years, the Ethiopian government has introduced reforms to promote gender equality in land rights, including legislative changes and a land registration programme that requires the names of both husbands and wives on certificates. This paper examines implementation of these reforms through a case‐based approach that links national policy processes to analysis of two village‐level case studies, based on fieldwork conducted in 2009–10. In both cases, government initiatives do appear to have enhanced women's land rights to a certain degree. However, the causal process involved is considerably more complex than the direct link between titling and women's land rights that is assumed in much of the existing literature. The cases suggest that government initiatives are contingent upon state–society relations, and that change to informal institutions and power relations within society can constitute an important complement to land registration. 

Keywords: ethiopia, land tenure, gender, political economy, state-society relations

Topics: Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia

Year: 2017

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