Anger and Sadness: Gendered Emotional Responses to Climate Threats in Four Island Nations


Du Bray, Margaret, Amber Wutich, Kelli L. Larson, Dave D. White, and Alexandra Brewis. 2019. "Anger and Sadness: Gendered Emotional Responses to Climate Threats in Four Island Nations." Cross-Cultural Research 53 (1): 58-86.

Authors: Margaret du Bray, Amber Wutich, Kelli L. Larson, Dave D. White, Alexandra Brewis


Climate change presents an important threat to community livelihoods and well-being around the world. Biophysical vulnerability to the effects of climate change, such as sea level rise, coastal erosion, changing flora and fauna, and changing precipitation patterns are predicted to affect island nations in particular. Emotional geographies offers a theoretical entry point to understand how changing landscapes, which are often imbued with emotion and personal significance, may result in heightened emotional states and result in different outcomes depending on the severity of these changes and the biophysical vulnerability that produces them. Historically, emotion and gender have been closely linked; we use biophysical vulnerability to climate change, along with emotion and gender, to argue for a differentiated perspective on how men and women in different places may experience different emotional responses to climate change. Using a cross-cultural analysis of qualitative data from four island countries (Fiji, Cyprus, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom; total N = 272), this article explores how different sensitivities to climate change may produce differentiated emotional responses among men versus women across these four sites. Our results indicate that gender does affect the emotional response of respondents in these sites, but that local sensitivity plays an important role in differentiating these emotional responses, and their causes, between the four sites.

Keywords: climate change, gender, emotion, island nations

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Livelihoods Regions: Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Oceania Countries: Cyprus, Fiji, New Zealand, United Kingdom

Year: 2019

Impact of Tropical Cyclone Winston on Women Mud Crab Fishers in Fiji


Thomas, Alyssa S., Sangeeta Mangubhai, Chloe Vandervord, Margaret Fox, and Yashika Nand. 2019. "Impact of Tropical Cyclone Winston on Women Mud Crab Fishers in Fiji." Climate and Development 11 (8): 699-709.

Authors: Alyssa S. Thomas, Sangeeta Mangubhai, Chloe Vandervord, Margaret Fox, Yashika Nand


Communities dependent on natural resources for food and livelihoods are extremely vulnerable to climate change and its impacts. Tropical cyclones are a frequent occurrence in the Pacific and can have devastating impacts on coastal communities, particularly in remote or isolated areas. However, most post-cyclone studies focus on damages and losses to infrastructure and services, and do not quantify the impact on fishers or community fisheries. We conducted a study to assess the social and economic effects of Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston on mud crab fishers in Bua Province, Fiji. The study methodology was one-on-one surveys with mud crab fishers, mostly women, in 16 villages who had previously participated in a 2015 value chain analysis survey. Post-cyclone, 52% of the fishers had stopped harvesting crabs because many were focussed on repairing their homes and had difficulties accessing collection sites and markets. Fishers that continued reported less frequent collection, and fewer and smaller crabs. To obtain income for house repairs, 65% of the fishers still harvesting sold the crabs to local traders, rather than consuming them. Understanding mud crab fishers’ vulnerability to natural disasters, the barriers to adaptation and how their livelihoods are affected is key to effective mitigation and adaptation.

Keywords: adaptive capacity, Pacific, mangroves, fisheries, gender, natural disasters, climate change

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Livelihoods Regions: Oceania Countries: Fiji

Year: 2019

Pacific Women Building Peace: A Regional Perspective


George, Nicole. 2011. “Pacific Women Building Peace: A Regional Perspective.” The Contemporary Pacific 23 (1): 37–71.

Author: Nicole George


Contemporary analysis of Pacific Islands regionalism is commonly focused on the institutional realm and examines how frameworks of regional governance have evolved and been strengthened. This article, by contrast, provides insight into the less well understood political content of more informal modes of Pacific Islands regional integration. In particular, it examines Pacific women's regional peacebuilding collaborations since the 1960s and 1970s. It demonstrates the political impact of Pacific women's collective responses to conflict in the region during the past forty years while also discussing the varying nature of this activity over time. Consideration is therefore given both to Pacific women's differing conceptual approaches to peacebuilding and to the differing geopolitical scope of their regional peacebuilding networks. The significance of this discussion is two-fold. First, this research provides insight into the history of "bottom-up" forms of regional engagement in the Pacific, a realm of political activity that might, if more broadly recognized, positively complement existing programs that aim to secure future security in the Pacific through regional institutional consolidation. Second, it challenges conventional perspectives on women and peacebuilding that tend to suggest that women respond to conflict in ways that are singular, homogenous, and marginal to the political mainstream.

Keywords: pacific regionalism, women, peacebuilding, pacific security, advocacy

Topics: Gender, Women, Conflict, Governance, Peacebuilding, Security Regions: Oceania Countries: Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu

Year: 2011

Do Natural Disasters Decrease the Gender Gap in Schooling?


Takasaki, Yoshito. 2017. “Do Natural Disasters Decrease the Gender Gap in Schooling?” World Development 94 (1): 75–89.

Author: Yoshito Takasaki

Keywords: gender gap in schooling, child labor, natural disaster, disaster aid, Pacific, Fiji


Rapidly decreasing gender gaps in schooling in some developing countries can be partly explained by a gendered division of child farm labor as a coping response to natural disasters. This paper makes a case for this conjecture by analyzing original household survey data from rural Fiji. Boys, not girls, contribute to farming only among cyclone victims with dwelling damage, independent of housing-aid receipt. Boys’ school enrollment is significantly lower than girls’ only among victims who did not receive aid early enough. Boys with no elder brother and an educated father are particularly vulnerable in their progression to higher level schools.

Topics: Education, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Households Regions: Oceania Countries: Fiji

Year: 2017

Indigenous Fijian Women’s Role in Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation


Charan, Dhrishna, Manpreet Kaur, and Priyatma Singh. 2016. “Indigenous Fijian Women’s Role in Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation.” Pacific Asia Inquiry 7 (1): 106–22.

Authors: Dhrishna Charan, Manpreet Kaur, Priyatma Singh


Climate change is progressively being identified as a global challenge and this has immediate repercussions for Fiji Islands due to its geographical location being prone to natural hazards. The intensity and frequency of natural hazards are projected to increase in the future. In light of such projections, climate change adaptation and disaster risk management should form integral structures in any response plans to reduce the vulnerability and increase the resilience to these potentially adverse impacts of climate changes. In the Pacific, it is common to find significant differences between men and women, in terms of their roles and responsibilities. In the pursuit of prudent preparedness before disasters, Fijian women’s engagement is constrained due to socially constructed roles and expectation of women in Fiji. The focus of this study is to outline ways in which indigenous Fijian women can be actively engaged in disaster risk management, articulating in decision-making and empowering them to overcome the existent barriers that limit their capacity to effectively adapt to a changing climate. The study aims at highlighting social constraints that limit women’s access to practical disaster management strategic plan. This paper outlines the importance of gender mainstreaming in disaster risk reduction and the ways of mainstreaming gender based on a literature review. It analyses theoretical study of academic literature as well as papers and reports produced by various national and international institutions and explores ways to better inform and engage women for climate change per ser disaster management in Fiji.

Keywords: climate change, women empowerment, social constraints, gender mainstreaming, Disaster Risk Management

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gender Roles, Men, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Indigenous Regions: Oceania Countries: Fiji

Year: 2016

Translating and Internalising International Human Rights Law: The Courts of Melanesia Confront Gendered Violence


Zorn, Jean G. 2016. "Translating and Internalising International Human Rights Law: The Courts of Melanesia Confront Gendered Violence." In Gender Violence & Human Rights: Seeking Justice in Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, edited by Aletta Biersack, Margaret Jolly, and Martha Macintyre, 229-70. Australia: ANU Press.

Author: Jean G. Zorn


"CEDAW has had a salutary effect on the island nations of the South Pacific, including Papua New Guinea. To say that, however, is not to say very much. To date, CEDAW’s effect has been limited— and the problems of women’s subordination and of widespread, systemic violence against women remain obdurate and intractable. Nevertheless, it is a beginning. Guided by the analyses of Meyersfeld and Koh, who pointed out that the first impact of an international law on the politics, economy and social ordering of any culture will most likely be found in the legal practices of that culture, I sought for evidence of CEDAW in the decisions handed down by judges of the state courts. And, indeed, I found a number of cases—still scattered, but potentially influential—in which judges have not only mentioned CEDAW’s existence, but have actually relied upon it in framing the common law and in applying domestic statutes. In other words, in the Meyersfeld/Koh terminology, judges are aiding the infiltration of this crucially important piece of international law into the domestic legal system" (Zorn, 2016, p. 262).

Topics: Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Law, International Human Rights, Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, SV against Women, Violence Regions: Oceania Countries: Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu

Year: 2016

Martial Races and Enforcement Masculinities of the Global South: Weaponising Fijian, Chilean, and Salvadoran Postcoloniality in the Mercenary Sector


Higate, Paul. 2012. "Martial Races and Enforcement Masculinities of the Global South: Weaponising Fijian, Chilean, and Salvadoran Postcoloniality in the Mercenary Sector." Globalizations 9 (1): 35-52.

Author: Paul Higate


Set against the backdrop of the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, the private militarised security industry has grown rapidly over the last decade. Its growth into a multi-billion dollar enterprise has attracted the interest of scholars in international relations, legal studies, political science, and security studies who have debated questions of regulation and accountability, alongside the state's control on the monopoly of violence. While these contributions are to be welcomed, the absence of critical sociological approaches to the industry and its predominantly male security contracting workforce has served to occlude the gendered and racialised face of the private security sphere. These dimensions are important since the industry has come increasingly to rely on masculine bodies from the global South in the form of so-called third country and local national men. The involvement of these men is constituted in and through the articulation of historical, neocolonial, neoliberal, and militarising processes. These processes represent the focus of the current article in respect of Fijian and Latin American security contractors. Their trajectories into the industry are considered in respect of both "push" and "pull" factors, the likes of which differ in marked ways for each group. Specifically, states and social groups in Fiji, Chile, and El Salvador are appropriating what is described in the article as an ethnic bargain as one way in which to make a contribution to the global security sector, or "in direct regard to the Latin American context” to banish its more dangerous legacies from the domestic space. In conclusion, it is argued that the use of these contractors by the industry represents a hitherto unacknowledged gendered and racialised instance of the contemporary imperial moment.

Keywords: masculinities, security industry, mercenary, global security sector

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Livelihoods, Militarized Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Security Regions: Americas, Central America, South America, Oceania Countries: Chile, El Salvador, Fiji

Year: 2012

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