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Green Practices Are Gendered: Exploring Gender Inequality Caused by Sustainable Consumption Policies in Taiwan

Citation:

Wang, Sumei. 2016. “Green Practices Are Gendered: Exploring Gender Inequality Caused by Sustainable Consumption Policies in Taiwan.” Energy Research & Social Science 18 (August): 88–95.

Author: Sumei Wang

Abstract:

In the context of climate change, governments and international organizations often promote a “sustainable lifestyle.” However, this approach has been criticized for underestimating the complexity of everyday life and therefore being inapplicable to households and consumers. In addition, procedures for promoting sustainable consumption seldom incorporate domestic workers’ opinions and often increase women’s housework loads. This article employs a practice-based approach to examine the “Energy-Saving, Carbon Reduction” movement, a series of sustainable consumption policies that have been advocated by the Taiwanese government since 2008. The goal of the movement is to encourage an eco-friendly lifestyle. On the basis of empirical data collected through ethnographic interviews, this article argues that existing policies unexpectedly increase women’s burdens and exacerbate gender inequality.

Keywords: sustainable consumption, gender inequality, Taiwan, global warming

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, International Organizations Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Taiwan

Year: 2016

Empowerment Through Energy? Impact of Electricity on Care Work Practices and Gender Relations

Citation:

Standal, Karina, and Tanja Winther. 2016. “Empowerment Through Energy? Impact of Electricity on Care Work Practices and Gender Relations.” Forum for Development Studies 43 (1): 27–45.

Authors: Karina Standal, Tanja Winther

Abstract:

Electricity provides a range of desirable services such as the electric light and the use of mobile phones and is regarded as a conditional factor for economic growth. Gender equality and women's empowerment are also promoted as a key to development on the international agenda. However, relatively little is known about how the advent of electricity in new contexts affects gender relations. The present analysis of electricity's impact on gender relations engages with the concepts of care work and empowerment. Based on two ethnographic case studies in rural communities in Uttar Pradesh, India, and Bamiyan, Afghanistan, we examine how and to what extent the introduction of electricity affected women’s care work practices and empowerment – and potentially transformed gender relations. We also draw on our own empirical material from other parts of India (West Bengal and Jharkhand). We find that electricity affected everyday life in terms of providing important resources and enhancing women’s opportunities to perform their expected role as care workers more efficiently and in a qualitatively better way. The women appreciated this positive effect of electricity in their everyday lives. However, we argue that in India, electricity at the same time reinforced structures of gender inequality such as patriarchy and dowry practices, and we trace this tendency to the conceptualisation of women as care workers in combination with conventional, gender ‘neutral’ electricity interventions. In contrast, there are signs that women’s status increased in the Afghanistan case, which we link to the unusual inclusion of women engineers in the electricity supply.

Keywords: electricity, gender relations, empowerment, care work, India, Afghanistan

Topics: Development, Economies, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, India

Year: 2016

Boarding Mumbai Trains: The Mutual Shaping of Intersectionality and Mobility

Citation:

Kusters, Annelies. 2019. “Boarding Mumbai Trains: The Mutual Shaping of Intersectionality and Mobility.” Mobilities 14 (6): 841–58.

Author: Annelies Kusters

Abstract:

This article analyses how intersectionality and mobility shape each other in the case of deaf women who board the Mumbai suburban trains, which have separate compartments reserved for women and for people with disabilities. These compartments being adjacent, deaf women often make last-minute decisions where to board, and even happen to switch compartments at a further station. Here, intersectionality shapes mobility in that it entails a complex and changeable, context-dependent set of strategies and decisions. Mobility shapes intersectionality in that by being mobile, people assert or develop different aspects of their lived experiences, preferences and aspirations.

Keywords: crowding, commuting, women, gender, deaf, ladies compartments

Topics: Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Information & Communication Technologies, Transportation, Intersectionality Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2019

Is Mom Energy Efficient? A Study of Gender, Household Energy Consumption and Family Decision Making in Indonesia

Citation:

Permana, Ariva Sugandi, Norsiah Abd. Aziz, and Ho Chin Siong. 2015. “Is Mom Energy Efficient? A Study of Gender, Household Energy Consumption and Family Decision Making in Indonesia.” Energy Research & Social Science 6 (March): 78–86.

Authors: Ariva Sugandi Permana, Norsiah Abd. Aziz, Ho Chin Siong

Abstract:

This study highlights gender-related factors and attempts to understand their influence in residential energy consumption. This pilot study was done in Bandung City, Indonesia. It employed a questionnaire survey and face to face interviews. Questionnaires were randomly distributed to the households in Bandung City. In this study, energy consumption included household uses of power for lighting, entertainment, thermal comfort and cooking. Energy consumption was estimated based upon electrical and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) consumption. The results showed that when the decisions about energy expenditure and control of energy consumption in the household were solely made by a woman, energy consumption tended to be the lowest. There are three possible ways decision can be made, by the wife, husband and a joint decision. This evidence suggests several things. They are that (1) women are good household energy managers, (2) men may be careless with respect to energy consumption, (3) women may be more cautious about household expenditures, and (4) when joint decisions were made the husband and wife relied-upon-each-other in reaching agreement. This suggests useful entry points for energy efficient initiatives. 

Keywords: gender, control over expenditure, energy consumption

Topics: Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Indonesia

Year: 2015

Impacts of Renewable Energy on Gender in Rural Communities of North-West China

Citation:

Ding, Wenguang, Lijun Wang, Baoyu Chen, Luan Xu, and Haoxu Li. 2014. “Impacts of Renewable Energy on Gender in Rural Communities of North-West China.” Renewable Energy 69: 180–9.

Authors: Wenguang Ding, Lijun Wang, Baoyu Chen, Luan Xu, Haoxu Li

Abstract:

This investigation compares the traditional energy structure with improved energy structures, and evaluates the impact of renewable energy on gender relations in rural communities in north-west China. The traditional energy consumption structure in rural communities in north-west China was based on biomass and coal. However, the improved energy consumption structures consist of renewable energy based on solar energy cookers, biogas digesters and energy saving stoves. Compared with traditional biomass-based energy consumption, renewable energy could significantly improve energy use efficiency and alter women's labour intensity, health status, living standards and even men's share of some cooking tasks. The field investigation data revealed that: women are free from having to collect firewood after integration use of renewable energy including biogas digesters, energy saving biomass stoves and solar energy cookers; the frequency of firewood collection, firewood collection quantity, time spent in firewood collection and human energy consumption of women have greatly decreased when traditional energy consumption structures are improved; using biogas can daily save 50% of cooking time for women; 91% of women use surplus funds from energy saving to buy clothes and cosmetics products; 3.1% of them enjoy travelling; and also use of clean energy devices can further reduce the risk of women exposed to indoor smoke pollution, and hence prevent women from possibly getting respiratory diseases. Therefore, it can be concluded that: gender is an important aspect of energy, which has previously been ignored by many researchers; gender does matter in the area of access to, ways of use, opportunities and control over energy; energy and women are linked in many diverse ways; technology change can drive cultural change; appropriate policies are needed to encourage technology up-take.

Keywords: energy structure, renewable energy, gender, rural community, China

Topics: Environment, Gender, Health, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 2014

Energy for Women and Women for Energy (Engendering Energy and Empowering Women)

Citation:

Batliwala, Srilatha, and Amulya K. N. Reddy. 2003. “Energy for Women and Women for Energy (Engendering Energy and Empowering Women).” Energy for Sustainable Development 7 (3): 33–43.

Authors: Srilatha Batliwala, Amulya K. N. Reddy

Annotation:

Summary:
The women-energy nexus involves the challenge of engendering energy and the  challenge of empowering women through energy. The first challenge arises from the gender disaggregation of energy consumption patterns. A quantitative account of the  share of women in these patterns is presented through a description of the rural energy  consumption pattern of the village of Pura in South India. The results indicate that  women work more hours than men. Women also perform the back-breaking tasks and  are displaced by agricultural mechanisation. The energy output-input imbalance is  aggravated by the fact that, in developing countries, women traditionally eat last and  least in a family—women therefore take in less food energy than men. The gender  distribution of labour results in negative health impacts. The scarcity of energy services in rural areas has serious social and gender impacts. Tackling them requires energy  interventions to improve the quality of life for women. Examples of such energy  interventions are the community biogas plant at the village of Pura and the multi- purpose platforms of the Mali project.

Since technological opportunities exist for such energy interventions, attention is turned to the second challenge of empowering women through energy entrepreneurship. This requires a change of mind-set on the part of energy planners and activists -- they must promote the notion of women as managers and entrepreneurs, and not just beneficiaries, of improved energy services. The idea is to push the following sequence: women as deprived in energy consumption patterns → women as beneficiaries of energy interventions → women as managers of enterprises → women as energy entrepreneurs. This is nothing short of a paradigm shift—but once achieved and implemented, the results will speak for themselves. Such an approach will engender energy by converting it into a force for improving the quality of life as well as enhancing productive capacities—a virtuous circle of energy for women and women for energy. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2003

Gender and Generation in Engagements with Oil Palm in East Kalimantan, Indonesia: Insights from Feminist Political Ecology

Citation:

Elmhirst, Rebecca, Mia Siscawati, Bimbika Sijapati Basnett, and Dian Ekowati. 2017. "Gender and Generation in Engagements with Oil Palm in East Kalimantan, Indonesia: Insights from Feminist Political Ecology." Journal of  Peasant Studies 44 (6): 1135–57.

Authors: Rebecca Elmhirst, Mia Siscawati, Bimbika Sijapati Basnett, Dian Ekowati

Abstract:

Across many parts of Indonesia, investment in oil palm has brought accelerated forms of land acquisition and market engagement for communities, signaling far-reaching implications for equity and well-being of current and future generations. This paper uses a conjunctural feminist political ecology approach to explore gendered and generational engagements with oil palm in Indonesia. The paper compares four communities in East Kalimantan that form part of an ongoing study of the gendered impacts of large-scale and independent smallholder investments in oil palm in the context of corporate zero deforestation commitments in West and East Kalimantan. We show how different pathways of engagement with oil palm – adverse or otherwise – reflect the interplay between modes of incorporation into oil palm systems with landscape history, gender, life stage and ethnic identity. Whilst our findings complicate singular ‘victim’ narratives, they also challenge the ‘cruel optimism’ that is accompanying the current oil palm boom.

Keywords: oil palm, gender, youth, Indonesia, forests, feminist political ecology

Topics: Age, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Indonesia

Year: 2017

Ambivalences of Collective Farming: Feminist Political Ecologies from Eastern India and Nepal

Citation:

Leder, Stephanie, Fraser Sugden, Manita Raut, Dhananjay Ray, and Panchali Saikia. 2019. “Ambivalences of Collective Farming: Feminist Political Ecologies from Eastern India and Nepal.” International Journal of the Commons 13 (1): 105–29.

Authors: Stephanie Leder , Fraser Sugden, Manita Raut, Dhananjay Ray, Panchali Saikia

Abstract:

Collective farming has been suggested as a potentially useful approach for reducing inequality and transforming peasant agriculture. In collectives, farmers pool land, labor, irrigation infrastructure, agricultural inputs and harvest to overcome resource constraints and to increase their bargaining power. Employing a feminist political ecology lens, we reflect on the extent to which collective farming enables marginalized groups to engage in smallholder agriculture. We examine the establishment of 18 farmer collectives by an action research project in the Eastern Gangetic Plains, a region characterised by fragmented and small landholdings and a high rate of marginalised and landless farmers. We analyze ambivalances of collective farming practices with regard to (1) social relations across scales, (2) intersectionality and (3) emotional attachment. Our results in Saptari/ Eastern Terai in Nepal, Madhubani/Bihar, and Cooch Behar/West Bengal in India demonstrate how intra-household, group and community relations and emotional attachments to the family and neighbors mediate the redistribution of labor, land, produce and capital. We find that unequal gender relations, intersected by class, age, ethnicity and caste, are reproduced in collective action, land tenure and water management, and argue that a critical feminist perspective can support a more reflective and relational understanding of collective farming processes. Our analysis demonstrates that feminist political ecology can complement commons studies by providing meaningful insights on ambivalences around approaches such as collective farming. 

Keywords: agriculture, collective action, collective farming, commons, feminist political ecology, FPE, gender, India, irrigation, land, Nepal, water

Topics: Age, Agriculture, Caste, Class, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Intersectionality, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Nepal

Year: 2019

Gender Gaps in Landownership Across and Within Households in Four Asian Countries

Citation:

Kieran, Caitlin, Kathryn Sproule, Agnes R. Quisumbing, and Cheryl R. Doss. 2017. "Gender Gaps in Landownership Across and Within Households in Four Asian Countries." Land Economics 93 (2): 342-70.

Authors: Caitlin Kieran, Kathryn Sproule, Agnes R. Quisumbing, Cheryl R. Doss

Abstract:

Using nationally representative data from Bangladesh, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam, this paper investigates which individual and household characteristics influence men’s and women’s landownership across and within households. Often neglected in household-level statistics, married women in all countries are landowners. Across different household structures, women own less land than men, and less land relative to the household average as household landholdings increase. Increasing gender inequality with household wealth cannot be consistently explained by an increasing share of household land devoted to crops. Findings support the need to strengthen women’s land rights within marriage and to protect them should the marriage dissolve.

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania Countries: Bangladesh, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Vietnam

Year: 2017

Examining Gender Inequalities in Land Rights Indicators in Asia

Citation:

Kieran, Caitlin, Kathryn Sproule, Cheryl Doss, Agnes Quisumbing, and Sung Mi Kim. 2015. "Examining Gender Inequalities in Land Rights Indicators in Asia." Agricultural Economics 46 (S1): 119-38.

Authors: Caitlin Kieran, Kathryn Sproule, Cheryl Doss, Agnes Quisumbing, Sung Mi Kim

Abstract:

A broad consensus has emerged that strengthening women’s property rights is crucial for reducing poverty and achieving equitable growth. Despite its importance, few nationally representative data exist on women’s property rights in Asia, hindering formulation of appropriate policies to reduce gender gaps in land rights. This paper reviews existing micro-level, large sample data on men’s and women’s control of land, using this information to assess gaps in land rights. Utilizing nationally representative individual- and plot-level data from Bangladesh, Tajikistan, Vietnam, and TimorLeste, we calculate five indicators:  incidence of landownership and distribution of landownership by sex, and distribution of plots owned, mean plot size, and distribution of land area, all by sex of owner. The results reveal large gender gaps in landownership across countries. However, the limited information on joint and individual ownership are among the most critical data gaps and are an important area for future data collection and analysis.

Keywords: gender, land rights, property ownership, bundles of rights, Asia

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia Countries: Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Vietnam

Year: 2015

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