Printer-friendly version Send by email PDF version

Women's Rights

Gender and Disaster: Foundations and Directions

Citation:

Enarson, Elaine, Alice Fothergill, and Lori Peek. 2007. “Gender and Disaster: Foundations and Directions.” In Handbook of Disaster Research, edited by Havidan Rodriguez, Enrico Quarantelli, and Russell Dynes. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Authors: Elaine Enarson, Alice Fothergill, Lori Peek

Annotation:

Summary:
“Gendered disaster social science rests on the social fact of gender as a primary organizing principle of societies and the conviction that gender must be addressed if we are to claim that knowledge about all people living in risky environments. Theoretically, researchers in the area are moving toward a more nuanced, international, and comparative approach that examines gender relations in the context of other categories of social difference and power such as race, ethnicity, nationality, and social class. At a practical level, researchers seek to bring to the art and science of disaster risk reduction a richer appreciation of inequalities and differences based on sex and gender. As the world learns from each fresh tragedy, gender relations are part of the human experience of disasters and may under some conditions lead to the denial of the fundamental human rights of women and girls in crisis. 
 
“We begin by briefly discussing the dominant theoretical frameworks that have guided gender disaster research to date and seem likely to develop further. We then organize and review the extant literature around seven interrelated themes. The literature review is designed to highlight published research conducted on human behavior and social consequences in primarily natural disasters and thus does not include, for example, armed conflict and displacement, HIV/AIDS, and other related literatures. The third section of the chapter examines international perspectives in the gender and disaster field. Finally we point out knowledge gaps and some new directions we hope will guide the endeavors of those who produce and use knowledge about disasters” (Enarson, Fothergill and Peek 2007, 130).

Topics: Class, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Ethnicity, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2007

Women and Land in Northern Nigeria: The Need for Independent Ownership Rights

Citation:

Abdullah, Hussaina J., and Aisha Fofana-Ibrahim. 2003. “Women and Land in Northern Nigeria: The Need for Independent Ownership Rights.” In Women and Land in Africa: Culture, Religion and Realizing Women’s Rights, edited by L. Muthoni Wanyeki. London: Zed Books.

Authors: Hussaina J. Abdullah, Aisha Fofana-Ibrahim

Annotation:

Summary: 
"This study is therefore intended to contribute to an understanding of land as it relates to women and as viewed from the human rights paradigm. The main objective is to undertake a critical, empirical study of women's land rights in northern Nigeria, and the manner in which these rights are shaped by religion, tradition and law. The purpose is not only to examine women's rights of access to, ownership of and control over land, including women's inheritance rights, but also to study how religion (canonical and Sharia), tradition and law (customary and non-customary) act and interact to condition the definition and practice of women's land rights. The primary focus is a review of historical practice and an analysis of empirical data on three categories of women (married, divorced, and widowed). Marriage is used as a determining variable in women's land rights because it is the major means by which women and men access land in Africa. However, whereas women's land rights are dependent on their relations with men, men's land rights are not dependent on their relations with women. Moreover, women are threatened with dispossession if divorced or widowed (Small 1997: 46)" (Abdullah and Fofana-Ibrahim 2003, 134).

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Religion, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2003

Women and the African Peace and Security Architecture

Citation:

Abdullah, Hussaina J. 2017."Women and the African Peace and Security Architecture." African Peacebuilding Network Working Paper 12, Social Science Research Council, New York.

Author: Hussaina J. Abdullah

Annotation:

Summary: 
"The objective of this study is to provide a comprehensive overview and analysis of how women’s rights in situations of armed conflict and post-conflict contexts have been mainstreamed into various mechanisms, structures, and instruments of the AU’s African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). As part of this exercise, this study conducts a critical examination of the links between APSA’s goal of promoting peace and security and the AU’s Gender Equality Architecture’s (GEA) goal of promoting and protecting the rights of women on the continent.
 
"This paper argues that while the AU has shown its commitment to the issues of peace and security and gender equality through the creation of various structures and the adoption of legal instruments to push through its agenda, the lack of a well-coordinated organizational strategy integrating these two sectors has resulted in limited success in achieving its goals and actualizing its vision. Furthermore, although the AU’s peace and security and gender equality agendas are closely linked to the global women, peace, and security (WPS) discourse, there is very little synergy in the institution’s engagement with and articulation of the global framework. As a result, the expected transformation in the lives of African women in conflict and post- conflict settings has not been realized. Women are still subjected to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and other human rights violations and marginalized in peace negotiations and post-war reconstruction processes; simultaneously, impunity for SGBV and other crimes is still rife in these societies. To move the institution’s gender equality agenda forward, a comprehensive gender-responsive organizational strategy and culture are needed to strengthen inter-departmental cooperation at all levels. This will encourage programs and policies that are in sync with the institution’s broad vision of a continent where women and men have equal access to opportunities, rights, and resources.
 
"This paper outlines the significant progress made at the country level as well as the gaps regarding women’s safety and security during and after armed conflict, including their participation in peace processes and post- conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding. It provides an assessment of the achievements and limitations of the gender mainstreaming process,2 particularly in relation to practical measures for promoting gender equality in the APSA, alongside those for implementing policies for the promotion of peace and security within the framework of the Gender Equality Architecture (GEA). It concludes with a set of recommendations for AU policymakers and civil society practitioners" (Abdullah 2017, 1-2).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, conflict, peace and security, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Africa

Year: 2017

Forging Ahead without an Affirmative Action Policy: Female Politicians in Sierra Leone's Post‐War Electoral Process

Citation:

Abdullah, Hussaina J. 2010. “Forging Ahead without an Affirmative Action Policy: Female Politicians in Sierra Leone's Post‐War Electoral Process.” IDS Bulletin 41 (5): 62-71.

Author: Hussaina J. Abdullah

Abstract:

In contemporary post-conflict Sierra Leone, women have managed to secure 13.5 per cent of seats in parliament – without affirmative action in place, thanks to women’s groups’ and coalitions’ mobilisation and activism. While the political resistance to Sierra Leone having a quota was high, the women’s movement has succeeded in forcing the political parties and the government to recognise that it is no longer politically viable to sidestep women’s rights, should they wish to capitalise on women’s voting power. As women’s organisations, in particular the 50/50 group, continue the struggle to introduce a quota, the challenge for Sierra Leonean women is how to ensure that the quota project is not hijacked by the male-dominated political establishment. To this aim, this article examines the ongoing efforts to politically consciencise women parliamentarians, society and political parties.

Topics: Gender, Governance, Quotas, Elections, Post-conflict Governance, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2010

Religious Revivalism, Human Rights Activism and the Struggle for Women's Rights in Nigeria

Citation:

Abdullah, Hussaina J. 2000. "Religious Revivalism, Human Rights Activism and the Struggle for Women's Rights in Nigeria." In Beyond Rights Talk and Culture Talk: Comparative Essays on Political Rights and Culture, edited by Mahmood Mamdani, 96-120. Cape Town: David Philip Publishers.

Author: Hussaina J. Abdullah

Annotation:

Summary:
“Within the context of economic crisis, structural adjustment and political authoritarianism which have characterized Nigeria since the 1980s there has been a growth of human rights and civil liberties activism, together with a process of religious revivalism and a rising and institutionalized "State" feminism. From their different positions, the various associations have either shown total disregard for women's rights issues or proved incapable of dealing with them. The struggles of activist women's organizations, such as Women in Nigeria (WIN), which emerged in 1983, have involved the articulation of strategies for responding to the de-politicizing thrust and consequences of "State" feminism/"femocracy", whilst simultaneously attempting to tap potentially positive elements from the process for the benefit of Nigerian women. At another level, they have entailed the broadening of the campaign for women's rights with regard to issues of legal and constitutional reform. International networking has also been employed to advance the interests of Nigerian women, especially as they pertain to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Furthermore, there has been an attempt by some women's groups, such as the Federation of Muslim Women's Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN), to use the idiom of religion and contestations over doctrinal interpretation to press the case for reforms. However, the struggles of Nigerian women for change still have to contend with resilient patriarchal structures, which aspects of religious revivalism have tended to reinforce and which the explosion of human rights activism has, so far, been insufficient to challenge significantly” (Abdullah 2000, 162-3).

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Constitutions, Religion, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2000

The Politics of Property: Gender, Land and Political Authority in Solomon Islands

Citation:

Monson, Rebecca. 2017. “The Politics of Property: Gender, Land and Political Authority in Solomon Islands.” In Kastom, Property and Ideology: Land Transformations in Melanesia, edited by Siobhan McDonnell, Matthew G. Allen, and Colin Filer, 383-404. Canberra: ANU Press.

Author: Rebecca Monson

Annotation:

Summary: 
"This chapter links questions about social differentiation in land relations in Solomon Islands to debates about gender inequality in the exercise of formal political authority. I demonstrate that, although land tenure is dynamic and contested, different people are differently positioned to influence the outcomes of negotiations over land. In particular, once contests over land enter the arenas established by the state, it is primarily male leaders—often referred to as ‘chiefs’—who perform, endorse and reject claims to land as property. While the dominance of senior men in these arenas is often perceived by foreign observers as rooted in ‘customary’ ideas about ‘who may talk’ about land matters, I suggest that it is also linked to long-term processes of colonial intrusion, missionisation, and capitalist models of development" (Monson 2017, 385). 

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Development, Economies, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Oceania Countries: Solomon Islands

Year: 2017

Holding African States to Task on Gender and Violence: Domesticating UNSCR 1325 in the Sierra Leone National Action Plan

Citation:

Beoku-Betts, Josephine. 2016. “Holding African States to Task on Gender and Violence: Domesticating UNSCR 1325 in the Sierra Leone National Action Plan.” Current Sociology Monograph 64 (4): 654–70.

Author: Josephine Beoku-Betts

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
This article assesses efforts to combat sexual violence in Sierra Leone through its National Action Plan (SILNAP) passed in 2010 to implement UN Resolution 1325. The article examines specifically pillars two and three, which address protection of women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence and prevention of violence against women through strengthening women’s legal rights and supporting women’s local peace initiatives. In spite of legislative measures and sustained activism by women’s NGOs, efforts to promote gender equality and reduce institutionalized violence affecting women’s daily lives are limited. Failure to account for structural inequalities such as poverty, illiteracy, income disparities, violence against women in private and public spheres, and limited budget allocation to implement the plan are contributing factors. The article is informed by feminist scholarship on sexual violence and implementation of UNSCR 1325 in national action plans. Implementation mechanisms, monitoring, evaluation, and enforcement measures, and accomplishments and shortfalls are discussed.
 
FRENCH ABSTRACT:
Cet article examine les efforts déployés par la Sierra Léone pour lutter contre les violences sexuelles dans le cadre de son plan d’action national (SILNAP), instauré en 2010 et visant à mettre en œuvre la résolution 1325 de l’ONU. Il examine deux éléments du triptyque portant sur la protection des femmes et des petites filles contre les violences sexuelles et sexistes et la prévention de la violence sexuelle par le renforcement des droits juridiques des femmes et le soutien aux initiatives de paix prises par des groupes locaux de femmes. En dépit des mesures législatives et de l’action militante des organisations non gouvernementales féminines, les efforts visant à promouvoir l’égalité des sexes et à réduire les violences institutionnalisées affectant les femmes dans leur vie quotidienne restent limités. Les principaux facteurs expliquant cette situation sont la non-prise en compte des inégalités structurelles, telles que la pauvreté, l’analphabétisme, les disparités de revenus, la violence contre les femmes dans la sphère privée et publique, et le budget limité alloué à la mise en œuvre du plan. Cet article s’appuie sur des études féministes portant sur la violence sexuelle et la mise en œuvre de la résolution 1325 dans les plans d’action nationaux. Il examine les mécanismes d’application, de suivi, d’évaluation et de contrôle des mesures, ainsi que leurs réussites et leurs échecs.
 
SPANISH (CASTILIAN) ABSTRACT:
Este trabajo evalúa los esfuerzos para combatir la violencia sexual en Sierra Leona a través de su Plan de Acción Nacional (SILNAP) aprobado en 2010 para implementar la Resolución 1325 de la ONU. Examino los fundamentos dos y tres que se ocupan de la protección de las mujeres y niñas de la violencia sexual y de género y la prevención de la violencia contra las mujeres mediante el fortalecimiento de los derechos legales de las mujeres y el apoyo a las iniciativas de paz locales de las mujeres. A pesar de las medidas legislativas y el activismo sostenido por organizaciones no gubernamentales de mujeres, los esfuerzos para promover la igualdad de género y reducir la violencia institucionalizada afectando la vida cotidiana de las mujeres son limitadas. No tomar en cuenta las desigualdades estructurales, como la pobreza, el analfabetismo, las desigualdades de ingresos, la violencia contra las mujeres en los ámbitos público y privado, y la limitada asignación de presupuesto para implementar el plan son factores que contribuyen. El estudio es informado por estudios feministas sobre la violencia sexual y la aplicación de la Resolución 1325 del Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas en planes de acción nacionales. Discuto mecanismos de implementación, monitoreo, evaluación y medidas de ejecución, así como los logros y deficiencias.

Keywords: peace-building, sexual violence, Sierra Leone, UNSCR 1325, women's political activism, Militantisme politique féminin, promotion de la paix, RCSNU 1325, violence sexuelle, Activismo político de mujeres, consolidación de la paz, Resolución 1325 del Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas, violencia sexual

Topics: Domestic Violence, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, International Organizations, NGOs, Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2016

Women, Land and Justice in Tanzania

Citation:

Dancer, Helen. 2015. Women, Land and Justice in Tanzania. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer. 

Author: Helen Dancer

Annotation:

Summary: 
Recent decades have seen a wave of land law reforms across Africa, in the context of a "land rush" and land-grabbing. But how has this been enacted on the ground and, in particular, how have women experienced this? This book seeks to re-orientate current debates on women's land rights towards a focus on the law in action. Drawing on the author's ethnographic research in the Arusha region of Tanzania, it explores how the country's land law reforms have impacted on women's legal claims to land. Centring on cases involving women litigants, the book considers the extent to which women are realising their interests in land through land courts and follows the progression of women's claims to land - from their social origins through processes of dispute resolution to judgment. Dancer's work explores three central issues. First, it considers the nature of women's claims to land in Tanzanian family contexts, the value of land in an era of land reform and the 'land rush' across Africa, and the extent to which the social issues raised are addressed by Tanzania's current laws and legal system. Secondly, it examines how agency and power relations between social and legal actors engaged in legal processes affect women's access to justice and the progression of claims. Thirdly, it explores Tanzanian concepts of justice and rights and how women's claims have been judged by land courts in practice. Helen Dancer is a lecturer in Law at the University of Brighton. She practised as a barrister in England specialising in family legal aid cases prior to training as a legal anthropologist. She is also a consultant for Future Agricultures at IDS, University of Sussex. Her areas of research interest include law and development, gender and land, and human rights and legal pluralism. (Summary from JSTOR)

Topics: Gender, Women, Justice, Land grabbing, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2015

Women’s Land Rights and Working Conditions in Large-Scale Plantations in Sub-Saharan Africa

Citation:

Fonjong, Lotsmart. 2016. “Women’s Land Rights and Working Conditions in Large-Scale Plantations in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Africa Development 41 (3): 49–69.

Author: Lotsmart Fonjong

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Women’s land rights are fundamental for women’s economic empowerment. Increasingly, the nationalization of customary land and the current growth in private land ownership and commercial farming are exerting strong pressure on land and are a threat to women’s usufruct land rights. The discourse over land reforms in most poor African countries like Cameroon is embedded in the evolutionary models where customary landholding systems are changing into state land ownership with greater market integration. These changes are taking place within limited state protection of communal and women’s land rights in the process of land registration. This article discusses the evolution, actors and activities involved in large-scale land acquisitions in the sub region within the framework and women’s rights to land and working conditions in the plantations. Through simple mapping from an in-depth desktop review and some level of field observations and conversations with some of the actors involved in affected localities in Cameroon, the article highlights women’s experiences as customary communal land is transferred into private ownership. In fact, wherever land has been taken up for plantation agriculture, women’s access to land has reduced, making them more vulnerable to hunger, poverty and poor working conditions. This is because women’s land rights have not evolved with the customary evolution into private tenures. Current processes of large-scale land acquisitions should therefore create conditions for women’s participation through a fair degree of equal opportunities, transparency, and accountability to communities, and relevant institutions.
 
FRENCH ABSTRACT: 
Les droits fonciers des femmes sont fondamentaux pour leur autonomisation économique. De plus en plus, la nationalisation des terres coutumières et la croissance actuelle de la propriété foncière privée et de l’agriculture commerciale exercent une forte pression sur les terres et constituent une menace pour les droits d’usufruit fonciers des femmes. Le discours sur les réformes foncières dans la plupart des pays africains pauvres comme le Cameroun s’inscrit dans les modèles évolutifs où les systèmes fonciers coutumiers se transforment en propriété foncière étatique avec une plus grande intégration du marché. Ces changements se produisent dans le cadre d’une protection limitée de l’État sur les droits communaux et les droits fonciers des femmes dans le processus d’enregistrement foncier. Le présent article traite de l’évolution, des acteurs et des activités en matière d’acquisition de terres à grande échelle dans la sous- région ainsi que des droits fonciers des femmes et leurs conditions de travail dans les plantations. Grâce à une cartographie simple faite à partir d’une revue documentaire approfondie, d’observations sur le terrain et de conversations avec certains des acteurs impliqués dans les localités touchées au Cameroun, cet article souligne les expériences des femmes face à la transformation des terres communales coutumières en propriété privée. En fait, partout où la terre est utilisée pour l’agriculture, l’accès des femmes à celle-ci a diminué, les rendant plus vulnérables à la famine, la pauvreté et aux mauvaises conditions de travail. C’est parce que les droits fonciers des femmes n’ont pas évolué au rythme de la transformation des terres costumières en tenures privées. Les processus actuels d’acquisition de terres à grande échelle devraient donc créer des conditions propices à la participation des femmes, par l’équité des chances, la transparence et la reddition de comptes par les communautés et les institutions concernées.

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Land grabbing, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2016

'Localising the Global' - Resolution 1325 as a Tool for Promoting Women's Rights and Gender Equality in Rwanda

Citation:

Højlund Madsen, Diana. 2018. "'Localising the Global' - Resolution 1325 as a Tool for Promoting Women's Rights and Gender Equality in Rwanda." Women's Studies International Forum 66: 70-77.

Author: Diana Højlund Madsen

Abstract:

Much work on Resolution 1325 and the agenda of ‘women, peace and security’ has its focus on how Res 1325 has ‘trickled down’ from the global to the local level in a specific context. This article will reverse the gaze highlighting women's local perspectives asking what the ‘women, peace and security agenda’ have done for respectively the national women's organisations and local women's groups in a specific African post-conflict setting - Rwanda. The article sheds light on the local/global dynamics in the processes of translating Res 1325 with a focus on the gender language and practices. Thus, it explores how the global gender language and the global norms laid out in Resolution 1325 has been used by national women's organisations working as ‘localising agents’ in transformative processes where the gender norms laid out have become part of the gender vocabulary of the women's organisations and been appropriated. The article also explores to which extent Resolution 1325 has worked as promoting women's rights and gender equality at the level of local women's groups and identifies some tension with local understandings of gender and local practices indicating that further localising is needed.

Keywords: gender, norm translation, Resolution 1325, Rwanda, women

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, conflict, peace and security, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2018

Pages

© 2018 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.

Subscribe to RSS - Women's Rights