Forty Years of Gender Research and Environmental Policy: Where Do We Stand?

Citation:

Arora-Jonsson, Seema. 2014. “Forty Years of Gender Research and Environmental Policy: Where Do We Stand?” Women’s Studies International Forum, Special Issue on Gender, Mobility and Social Change - Guest Edited by Lena Nare and Parveen Akhtar 47: 295–308.

Author: Seema Arora-Jonsson

Annotation:

Summary:
Forty years of gender research has ensured that gender is an important category that needs to be taken into account in environmental policy and practice. A great deal of finances and attention are currently being directed to gender in development and environmental organizations. At the same time, as gender research has become more sophisticated and theoretically strong, there is also frustration among academic researchers as well as practitioners and policy makers that it appears to have had a marginal effect on environmental practice on the ground.

Policies have turned to gender mainstreaming, attempted to include women and other marginalized social groups in environmental management and markets. Change has been mixed. Mainstreaming can become a technocratic exercise. The assumption that competing interests can be negotiated by adding women to organizations for environmental governance, in disregard for social relations, is problematic. Stereo-types about women and men, sometimes buttressed by gender research predominate in policy and programs. Inclusion in markets offer new options but can further curb women's agency. Contradictions arise - as gender becomes a part of the official machinery, when women are regarded as a collective but addressed as individuals in programs and when the focus is on the governance of gender with little attention on the gender of neoliberal governance. Yet, support for ‘gender programs’ has also led to unintended openings for empowerment. It is clear that the meaning of gender is far from settled and there are intensified efforts to define what ‘gender’ is in each context. I discuss the renewed interest in gender and what this engagement with power might mean for gender research, policy and practice and where we might go from here. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Development, Environment, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gender Mainstreaming

Year: 2014

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