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South Asia

Gender, Marriage, and the Dynamic of (Im)Mobility in the Mid-Western Hills of Nepal

Citation:

Zharkevich, Ina. 2019. “Gender, Marriage, and the Dynamic of (Im)Mobility in the Mid-Western Hills of Nepal.” Mobilities 14 (5): 681–95.

Author: Ina Zharkevich

Abstract:

This paper explores the relationship between gender, marriage, and (im)mobility in rural hilly areas of mid-Western Nepal, showing how (1) the mobility of men is predicated on the ‘immobility’ of women, with marriage being key to the gendered dynamic of (im)mobility, (2) how the construction of hegemonic masculinity, exemplified by a figure of a successful international migrant, is inseparable from an ideal of femininity vested in the figure of a virtuous domesticated housewife. Examining different scales of mobility, the paper cautions against posing a rigid dichotomy between ‘mobile men’ and ‘immobile’ women, illustrating that the ‘left behind’ wives experience an impressive degree of everyday mobility in contrast to their internationally mobile husbands.

Keywords: Nepal, gender, migration, marriage, mobility, immobility, masculinity, femininity

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Gender Roles, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2019

A Two-Step Approach to Integrating Gender Justice into Mitigation Policy: Examples from India

Citation:

Michael, Kavya, Manish Kumar Shrivastava, Arunima Hakhu, and Kavya Bajaj. 2020. “A Two-Step Approach to Integrating Gender Justice into Mitigation Policy: Examples from India.” Climate Policy 20 (7): 800–14.

Authors: Kavya Michael, Manish Kumar Shrivastava, Arunima Hakhu, Kavya Bajaj

Abstract:

Concerns over social justice cannot be separated from concerns over the environment, and vice-versa. Gender in the climate change literature is predominantly vulnerability and adaptation centric, with a glaring gap in research on understanding the relationship between mitigation and gender justice. Building on the insights from gender justice, environmental justice, and climate justice scholarship, this paper argues that mitigation policy should be conceived not only in terms of transition to a low carbon economy but also as an instrument for enhancing gender justice. To conceptualize such a mitigation policy, we propose a two-step approach, combining the works of Schlosberg, Fraser, and Sen. We argue that, to start with, it is important to identify relevant forms of exclusion, and then, in turn, to identify opportunities for ‘parity of participation’ of women in the mitigation policy cycle. This must be supplemented with identification of, and efforts at, building long-lasting supporting capabilities. Application of the proposed approach is illustrated through three examples from India: the National REDD+ Strategy, the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojna (PMUY) for cleaner fuels, and the International Solar Training Programme (Solar Mamas). We illustrate how the Solar Mamas scheme is closer to the proposed two-step approach and hence better integrates mitigation and gender justice objectives, whereas the REDD+ and the PMUY need revisiting with additional provisions and reconceptualization. The paper suggests that mainstreaming of gender justice into implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement is a promising new field of research.

Keywords: gender justice, gender mainstreaming, mitigation, capability

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Justice Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

Caregivers at the Frontline of Addressing the Climate Crisis

Citation:

Butt, Myrah Nerine, Saleha Kamal Shah, and Fareeha Ali Yahya. 2020. “Caregivers at the Frontline of Addressing the Climate Crisis.” Gender & Development 28 (3): 479–98.

Authors: Myrah Nerine Butt, Saleha Kamal Shah, Fareeha Ali Yahya

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
This article draws on Oxfam’s work in Pakistan. It explores the burdens of addressing the climate crisis on the unpaid labour of poverty-stricken women in Badin, Pakistan. A case study methodology has been used to highlight the experiences of four women farmers in Badin and understand the impact of climate change on their care workload. Seawater intrusion and rising temperatures are key stressors leading to acute shortages of water. This is increasing women’s time spent on key care activities like fodder and water collection, and livestock rearing. A severe negative impact has been observed on the drudgery of care work and, in turn, on the health and well-being of the women. In a context where prevalent gender inequality and social norms lead to unequal life chances for women, it has been observed that due to climate change, women have to travel further, work harder, and assume more care responsibilities. It has also been observed that care is primarily seen as a feminine task with residual care responsibilities falling on the shoulders of other women in the household, particularly girls, crippling their life chances. Despite all these challenges, women are organising and raising their voices on key issues around climate change. The article recommends that the four ‘Rs’ framework – recognise, reduce, redistribute, and represent –  developed by feminist economists and care experts, be integrated across mainstream climate policy and programmes to help women in poverty improve their well-being and exercise their social, economic, and political rights.

 

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
Cet article s’inspire des travaux menés par Oxfam au Pakistan. Il se penche sur le fardeau représenté par les efforts de la lutte contre la crise climatique sur le travail non rémunéré des femmes pauvres de Badin, au Pakistan. Une méthodologie d’étude de cas a été employée pour mettre en relief les expériences de quatre agricultrices de Badin et pour comprendre l’impact du changement climatique sur leur charge de travail liée aux soins. L’intrusion de l’eau de mer et la hausse des températures sont des facteurs de stress clés qui entraînent des pénuries aiguës d’eau. Cela a pour effet d’accroître le temps consacré par les femmes aux activités de soins comme la collecte de fourrage et d’eau, et l’élevage. Un grave impact négatif a été observé en ce qui concerne la pénibilité des activités de soins et, en conséquence, sur la santé et le bien-être des femmes. Dans un contexte où les inégalités existantes entre les sexes et les normes sociales donnent lieu à des chances de réussite inégales pour les femmes, on a observé qu’en raison du changement climatique, les femmes doivent parcourir de plus longues distances, travailler davantage et assumer plus de responsabilités de soins. On a également observé que les soins sont principalement perçus comme une tâche féminine et que les responsabilités résiduelles de soins reposent sur les épaules des autres femmes du foyer, en particulier les filles, ce qui compromet leurs perspectives de réussite. Malgré ces défis, les femmes s’organisent et se font entendre sur des questions clés relatives au changement climatique. Cet article recommande que le cadre des quatre « R » — reconnaître, réduire, redistribuer et représenter — mis au point par les économistes et les experts féministes en matière de soins, soit intégré dans tous les programmes et politiques généraux en matière de climat pour aider les femmes pauvres à améliorer leur bien-être et à faire valoir leurs droits sociaux, économiques et politiques.

 

SPANISH ABSTRACT:
Partiendo del trabajo realizado por Oxfam en Pakistán, el presente artículo examina la carga que supone para el trabajo no remunerado de las mujeres afectadas por la pobreza en Badin, Pakistán, abordar la crisis climática. Con este propósito se utilizó una metodología de estudio de casos para poner de relieve las experiencias de cuatro agricultoras de Badin, a fin de comprender el impacto del cambio climático en su carga de trabajo vinculada al cuidado. Tanto la filtración de agua de mar como la elevación de temperatura constituyen factores estresantes fundamentales que provocan una grave escasez de agua. Esto determina que las mujeres deban aumentar el tiempo que dedican a actividades clave de cuidado, como la recolección de forraje y agua, y la cría de ganado. Ello ha ocasionado un grave impacto negativo, tanto en el trabajo de cuidado como en la salud y el bienestar de las mujeres. En un contexto en que la desigualdad de género y las normas sociales predominantes dan lugar a desiguales oportunidades en la vida para las mujeres, se ha observado que, debido al cambio climático, las mujeres tienen que viajar más lejos, trabajar más duro y asumir más responsabilidades de cuidado. Además, se ha constatado que el cuidado es considerado sobre todo como una tarea de mujeres y que las responsabilidades residuales del cuidado recaen sobre los hombros de otras mujeres del hogar, en particular las niñas, lo que limita sus oportunidades en la vida. A pesar de todos estos desafíos, las mujeres se están organizando y alzando su voz en cuestiones clave relativas al cambio climático. El artículo recomienda que el marco de las cuatro “R” —reconocer, reducir, redistribuir y representar— desarrollado por economistas feministas y expertos en cuidados, se integre a la política y los programas climáticos principales para ayudar a las mujeres marginadas a mejorar su bienestar y ejercer sus derechos sociales, económicos y políticos.

Keywords: climate, care work, agriculture, Pakistan, water, WE-Care

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Girls, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Pakistan

Year: 2020

Bright as Night: Illuminating the Antinomies of ‘Gender Positive’ Solar Development

Citation:

Stock, Ryan. 2021. “Bright as Night: Illuminating the Antinomies of ‘Gender Positive’ Solar Development.” World Development 138. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.105196.

Author: Ryan Stock

Abstract:

India is undergoing a rapid transition to renewable energy; the Gujarat Solar Park typifies this transition. In addition to mitigating climate change, the Gujarat Solar Park boasts female empowerment through social development schemes. This manuscript is inspired by the following research question: To what extent are ‘gender positive’ processes and projects associated with solar development in India realized on the ground? Utilizing mixed methods fieldwork and drawing on literature from feminist political ecology, this paper demonstrates how the modalities of solar park development represent an antinomy of a nature-society relation. New configurations of labor under the political economy of solar have produced a gendered surplus population of landless peasants who are not absorbed into wage-labor employment in the solar park. Further, associated social development schemes actually disempower women, despite mandates of ‘gender positive’ outcomes by UN-based climate treaties to which this project is beholden. The opportunity to participate in one such scheme for female empowerment was reserved for only women of middle-to-high class status and those of dominant castes, thereby reproducing class and caste-based social power asymmetries. Female (dis)empowerment eclipses ‘gender positive’ guarantees of the solar park. This study highlights some unintended consequences of sustainable energy transitions in the Global South at the local scale. Designing development interventions related to climate change mitigation that boast ‘gender positive’ outcomes must be careful not to exacerbate gender disparities and economic exclusion in rural areas.

Keywords: energy transition, solar park, antinomy, feminist political ecology, gender, intersectionality

Topics: Caste, Class, Development, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2021

Caste, Class and Gender in Determining Access to Energy: A Critical Review of LPG Adoption in India

Citation:

Patnaik, Sasmita, and Shaily Jha. 2020. “Caste, Class and Gender in Determining Access to Energy: A Critical Review of LPG Adoption in India.” Energy Research & Social Science 67. doi:10.1016/j.erss.2020.101530.

Authors: Sasmita Patnaik, Shaily Jha

Abstract:

Complex interrelationships between caste, class and gender in India define opportunities and access to energy for certain social groups differently than others. An understanding of access to energy through these lenses allows us to design energy policies differently, accounting for the socio-economic inequality in pricing, subsidies and implementation of policies. This paper attempts to evaluate access to energy through the lens of caste, class and gender. We use an integrated framework (Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) ) to analyse Government of India's most recent and possibly the largest initiative for the provision of clean cooking energy - Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), and assess the extent to which PMUY is able to enhance use of LPG by overcoming the existing caste, class and gender-based exclusion. The analysis of PMUY has been supported through theoretical insights from the literature and empirical evidence from India's largest multidimensional energy access database – ACCESS 2018. Though the scheme recognises the pre-existing inequities, our analysis suggests a focus on caste, class and gender in the implementation procedures would be imperative for the scheme along with others focused on LPG access to achieve its objective.

Topics: Caste, Class, Gender, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

Energy Technology Innovation in South Asia: Implications for Gender Equality and Social Inclusion

Citation:

Mohideen, Reihana. 2018. “Energy Technology Innovation in South Asia: Implications for Gender Equality and Social Inclusion.” Working paper, Asian Development Bank, Manila.

Author: Reihana Mohideen

Abstract:

This working paper addresses how energy systems and services in South Asia can improve women’s economic empowerment and well-being. It focuses on integrating gender equity considerations into technology design and on drawing women into this process for equal employment opportunities. South Asia’s low-carbon energy transition has significant implications for gender equality and social inclusion. The rising energy demand and the commitment to mitigate climate change are the driving force in energy technology innovation. This paper is the beginning of an ongoing research project that will also include a pilot program to field test a gender equality and social inclusion reference energy system.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Asia, South Asia

Year: 2018

Rural Electrification, Gender and the Labor Market: A Cross-Country Study of India and South Africa

Citation:

Rathi, Sambhu Singh, and Claire Vermaak. 2018. “Rural Electrification, Gender and the Labor Market: A Cross-Country Study of India and South Africa.” World Development 109: 346-59.

Authors: Sambhu Singh Rathi, Claire Vermaak

Abstract:

This cross-country study estimates the effect of household electrification on labor market outcomes for rural individuals in India and South Africa, two developing countries that have implemented large-scale rural electrification schemes in recent decades. Two identification strategies are used: propensity score matching and panel fixed effects estimation. We focus on three indicators of labor market success: employment, earnings and hours worked. We find that electrification raises the annual incomes earned by those who work in paid employment, for both men and women in both countries. For India, both genders work fewer hours, suggesting that electricity raises productivity. For South Africa, where the labor market has less absorptive capacity, there is no employment benefit of electrification. But women who work benefit the most from the productivity gains of electrification: they have greater increases in earnings than men. Our findings suggest that the benefits of electrification do not accrue universally, but rather depend on gender roles, supporting policies and the labor absorptive capacity of the economy.

Keywords: rural electrification, labor market, gender, India, South Africa

Topics: Economies, Gender, Gender Roles, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Africa, Southern Africa, Asia, South Asia Countries: India, South Africa

Year: 2018

Electrification and Socio-Economic Empowerment of Women in India

Citation:

Sedai, A. K., R. Nepal, and T. Jamasb. 2020. “Electrification and Socio-Economic Empowerment of Women in India.” Cambridge Working Papers in Economics, Cambridge University, London.

Authors: A. K. Sedai, R. Nepal, T. Jamasb

Abstract:

This study examines the effect of quality of electrification on empowerment of women in terms of economic autonomy, agency, mobility, decision-making abilities, and time allocation in fuel collection in India. It moves beyond the consensus of counting electried households as a measure of progress in gender parity, and analyzes how the quality of electrification affects women's intra-household bargaining power, labor supply decision and fuel collection time. We develop a set of indices using principal component analysis from a large cross-section of gender-disaggregated survey. We use two stage least squares instrumental variables regression to assess the causal effect of access and hours of electricity on women's empowerment using geographic instrumental variables along with district and caste fixed effects. The results show that quality of electrication has significant positive effects on all empowerment indices. However, the effect differs at the margin of defficiency, location, living standards and education. The study recommends revisiting the paradigm of access to electrification and women empowerment by focusing on the quality of not only extensive but also intensive electrification to enhance life and economic opportunities for women and their households.

Keywords: electrification, socio-economic empowerment of women, India

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

Electrification and Women's Empowerment: Evidence from Rural India

Citation:

Samad, Hussain A., and Fan Zhang. 2019. “Electrification and Women's Empowerment: Evidence from Rural India.” Policy Research Working Papers, World Bank Group, Washington, D.C.

Authors: Hussain A. Samad, Fan Zhang

Abstract:

Electrification has been shown to accelerate opportunities for women by moving them into more productive activities, but whether improvements in economic outcomes also change gender norms and practices within the household remains unclear. This paper investigates the causal link between electricity access and women's empowerment, using a large gender-disaggregated data set on India. Empowerment is measured by women's decision-making ability, mobility, financial autonomy, reproductive freedom, and social participation. Using propensity score matching, the study finds that electrification enhances all measures of women's empowerment and is associated with an 11-percentage point increase in the overall empowerment index. Employment and education are identified as the two most important causal channels through which electrification enables empowerment.

Topics: Economies, Education, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2019

Assessing Gender Responsiveness of Forest Policies in India

Citation:

Tyagi, Niharika, and Smriti Das. 2018. “Assessing Gender Responsiveness of Forest Policies in India”. Forest Policy and Economics 92: 160–68. 

Authors: Niharika Tyagi, Smriti Das

Abstract:

Gender Research spread over the last three decades in South Asia has positioned gender as an imperative in forest policy and practice. Policy attempts have been made to improve women's participation in forest governance at the local level. However, this has had insignificant effect on women's inclusion in forestry as it neglected the structural problems of power and inequity. This paper examines how forest policy has attended to gender concerns in India. It maps the gender trajectory within policy positions and identifies the gap in policy and research. It provides an analytical framework to analyse the Gender Responsiveness of forest policies. The framework helps classifying post-independence forest policies as Gender Blind, Gender Aware and Gender Responsive, based on the gender specific provisions. Analysis indicates that except for few provisions in the FRA, 2006, none of the forest policies appear to be categorically Gender Responsive. This could possibly be because of the limited engagement with structural issues; and, failure to design enabling institutions. Finally, our findings suggest that forest policies need to be grounded in a more nuanced understanding of gender relations and gender roles for sustainable socio-ecological outcomes.

Keywords: Forest policy, gender responsive, gender needs, content, discourse analysis

Topics: Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Discourses, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Political Participation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2018

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