Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

South Asia

Deconstructing Resilience: Why Gender and Power Matter in Responding to Climate Stress in Bangladesh

Citation:

Jordan, J. C. 2019. “Deconstructing Resilience: Why Gender and Power Matter in Responding to Climate Stress in Bangladesh.” Climate and Development 11 (2): 167–79. 

Author: J.C. Jordan

Abstract:

Resilience is increasingly becoming the new buzz word. This paper examines the utility of the concept of resilience for understanding the gendered experiences of women to climate stress, through case study research in South-west Bangladesh. It provides evidence that resilience, as commonly understood, is inadequate for understanding the intersecting vulnerabilities that women face because of embedded socio-cultural norms and practices. These vulnerabilities culminate in a gendered experience of climate stress, where some groups of women are more likely go without education, food and access to good quality water. Such circuits of control highlight the importance of a more radical, transformational, gendered and power sensitive frame for moving beyond coping mechanisms to strategies that deal with the fundamental root causes of vulnerability to climate stress. A failure to do so risks further reinforcing gender inequalities due to the reality of social difference and inequities within local power structures.

Keywords: Resilience, vulnerability, gender, climate stress, Bangladesh

Topics: Education, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2019

Are Climate Challenges Reinforcing Child and Forced Marriage and Dowry as Adaptation Strategies in the Context of Bangladesh?

Citation:

Alston, Margaret, Kerri Whittenbury, Alex Haynes, and Naomi Godden. 2014. “Are Climate Challenges Reinforcing Child and Forced Marriage and Dowry as Adaptation Strategies in the Context of Bangladesh?” Women’s Studies International Forum 47 (November): 137–44.

Authors: Margaret Alston, Kerri Whittenbury, Alex Haynes, Naomi Godden

Annotation:

Summary:
This paper outlines the link between child and forced marriage, dowry and climate changes in Bangladesh. Drawing on a three year research study on the gendered impacts of climate change, we argue that climate crises are creating significant economic hardships. This has led to dowry being viewed by the families of young men as a form of capital accumulation. For the families of girls, dowry has become a significant burden, a burden that increases with the age of the girl. We argue that the economic crises created by climate challenges are leading to an increase in child and forced marriages because the dowry is cheaper. We conclude that attention to climate challenges must take a much broader focus on social consequences in order to protect the human rights of women and girls in vulnerable communities. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2014

Property Rights and the Gender Distribution of Wealth in Ecuador, Ghana and India

Citation:

Deere, Carmen Diana, Abena D. Oduro, Hema Swaminathan, and Cheryl Doss. 2013. “Property Rights and the Gender Distribution of Wealth in Ecuador, Ghana and India.” Journal of Economic Inequality 11 (2): 249–65.

Authors: Cheryl Doss, Carmen Diana Deere, Abena D. Oduro, Hema Swaminathan

Abstract:

Women’s ability to accumulate wealth is often attributed to whether they have property rights; i.e., a legal personality to own and manage property. In this paper we argue that basic property rights are insufficient; whether women are able to accumulate wealth also depends upon the marital and inheritance regimes in particular contexts. Drawing upon surveys which collected individual level ownership data in Ecuador, Ghana and the state of Karnataka in India, we estimate married women’s share of couple wealth and relate it to how assets are owned within marriage as well as to different inheritance regimes and practices. In Ecuador, married women own 44 %, in Ghana, 19 %, and in Karnataka, 9 % of couple wealth. Ecuador is characterized by the partial community property regime in marriage while inheritance laws provide for all children, irrespective of sex, to be treated equally, norms that are largely followed in practice. In contrast, Ghana and India are characterized by the separation of property regime which does not recognize wives’ contribution to the formation of marital property, and by inheritance practices that are strongly male biased. Reforming marital and inheritance regimes must remain a top priority if gender economic equality is to be attained.

Keywords: inheritance regimes, marital regimes, women's property rights, asset ownership, wealth in developing countries

Topics: Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa, Americas, South America, Asia, South Asia Countries: Ecuador, Ghana, India

Year: 2013

The Hillary Doctrine: Sex and American Foreign Policy

Citation:

Hudson, Valerie M., and Patricia Leidl. 2015. The Hillary Doctrine: Sex and American Foreign Policy. New York: Columbia University Press. 

Authors: Valerie M. Hudson, Patricia Leidl

Annotation:

Summary:
Hillary Rodham Clinton was the first Secretary of State to declare the subjugation of women worldwide a serious threat to U.S. national security. Known as the Hillary Doctrine, her stance was the impetus behind the 2010 Quadrennial Diplomatic and Development Review of U.S. foreign policy, formally committing America to the proposition that the empowerment of women is a stabilizing force for domestic and international peace.
 
Blending history, fieldwork, theory, and policy analysis while incorporating perspectives from officials and activists on the front lines of implementation, this book is the first to thoroughly investigate the Hillary Doctrine in principle and practice. Does the insecurity of women make nations less secure? How has the doctrine changed the foreign policy of the United States and altered its relationship with other countries such as China and Saudi Arabia? With studies focusing on Guatemala, Afghanistan, and Yemen, this invaluable policy text closes the gap between rhetoric and reality, confronting head-on what the future of fighting such an entrenched enemy entails. The research reports directly on the work being done by U.S. government agencies, including the Office of Global Women's Issues, established by Clinton during her tenure at the State Department, and explores the complexity and pitfalls of attempting to improve the lives of women while safeguarding the national interest. (Summary from Columbia University Press) 
 
Table of Contents:
1. How Sex Came to Matter in U.S. Foreign Policy
2. Should Sex Matter in U.S. Foreign Policy?
3. Guatemala: A Case Study
4. A Conspicuous Silence: U.S. Foreign Policy, Women, and Saudi Arabia
5. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Implementing the Hillary Doctrine
6. Afghanistan: The Litmus Test for the Hillary Doctrine
7. The Future of the Hillary Doctrine: Realpolitik and Fempolitik

Topics: Gender, Governance, Security Regions: MENA, Americas, Central America, North America, Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Guatemala, Saudi Arabia, United States of America

Year: 2015

Sovereignty, Vulnerability, and a Gendered Resistance in Indian-Occupied Kashmir

Citation:

Osuri, Goldie. 2018. “Sovereignty, Vulnerability, and a Gendered Resistance in Indian-Occupied Kashmir.” Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal 3 (2): 228–43.

Author: Goldie Osuri

Abstract:

Drawing on Iffat Fatima’s documentary film, Khoon Diy Baarav or Blood Leaves its Trail (2015), this paper explores how a gendered Kashmiri activism against human rights violations allows for reenvisioning the concept of an authoritarian and violent Westphalian sovereignty concerned with exclusive political authority and territory. Previous studies of gendered resistance are examined as are reformulations of sovereignty through feminist and Indigenous critiques. Through these examinations, the paper offers a way to rethink sovereignty through the theoretical concept of vulnerability. Such a rethinking of sovereignty may point to an interrelational model of sovereignty where the vulnerability of gendered bodies and the environment may be emphasised. In the context of human rights violations in Kashmir, this reenvisioning of sovereignty may be a necessary counter to the repetitious cycles of necropolitical sovereign power.

Keywords: Gender and sovereignty, Kashmir, human rights, vulnerability, resistance and activism

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Governance, Rights, Human Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Pakistan

Year: 2018

Securing the 'Gender Legitimacy' of the UN Security Council: Prising Gender from Its Historical Moorings

Citation:

Otto, Dianne. 2004. “Securing the 'Gender Legitimacy' of the UN Security Council: Prising Gender from Its Historical Moorings.” Legal Studies Research Paper 92, Faculty of Law, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne.

Author: Dianne Otto

Abstract:

Recent feminist efforts to engage with the UN Security Council might well be dismissed as a futile attempt to employ the master's tools to dismantle the master's house. That these efforts have born fruit, was evidenced by the Council's unanimous adoption of Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in October 2000. Since its adoption, the Resolution has been the focus of continuing engagement between women's peace advocates and the Council. 
 
The Resolution can be understood as one of a range of measures adopted by the Council in an effort to tackle its legitimacy deficit; specifically, its gender legitimacy. While the Resolution's promotion of the increased involvement of women in decision-making opens the possibility of clawing back some of the ground lost to military ways of thinking, and legitimating emancipatory understandings of peace based on gender equality and social justice, it also runs the risk of lending a renewed legitimacy to the old ways of getting things done, just as women's participation in the colonial civilizing mission helped to make imperialism possible.  
 
The examples of Afghanistan and East Timor, reveal that there has been slow but measured progress towards increasing the participation of women in formal decision-making processes, and that the progress that has been made has depended in large part on the extensive mobilization of local and trans-national women's peace networks. At the same time, most Afghan and East Timorese women were unaffected by the increased formal participation of women, as they faced heightened levels of gendered violence and economic insecurity. This experience confirms the need use the Resolution to move beyond issues of participation, important as they are, to changing the militarized and imperial gender stereotypes that have played such a central role in maintaining militarism and the secondary status of women. Only then will the Council's deficit in gender legitimacy be reversed in an emancipatory way. (Abstract from Social Sciences Research Network) 

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, International Organizations, Militarism, Political Participation, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Asia, South Asia, Oceania Countries: Afghanistan, Timor-Leste

Year: 2004

New Patriotisms: The Beauty Queen and the Bomb

Citation:

Sangari, Kumkum. 2004. “New Patriotisms: The Beauty Queen and the Bomb.” In From Gender to Nation, edited by Rada Ivekovic and Julie Mostov, 153–70. New Dehli: Zubaan.

Author: Kumkum Sangari

Annotation:

Summary:
"The significant literature on gender and nationalism generated in the past decade shows that the emphasis on women as biological reproducers or members of a bounded collectivity, and the centrality of womanhood to the ideological reproduction of the nation are common to a variety of nationalisms. Yet the ideological distinctions between nationalisms remain significant. Given the intertwined legacies of colonialism, the patriarchal assumptions in nationalism, and the particularism of the Hindu right-wing, definitions of Indian culture have always been problematic, especially in the way they cast the "nation" as an entity affected and endangered by the "west". The secular, multireligious or more inclusive nationalisms that emerged in the colonial period were implicated in the specific types of antifeminism and new conservatism that crystallized around anticolonialism; however, they cannot be confused with the obsessive particularisms that attempted to seize nationalism and twist it to their own ends. These particularisms sought the aura of nationalism but pushed for a single majoritarian religious identity, and a tighter patriarchy by polarizing an alien, "selfgenerated" and modem "west". Neither anticolonialism, nor antiwesternism, nor antimodernity could guarantee national authenticity since they were shaped in a two-way cultural traffic marked by recursivity, transformation, resistance and ideological collaboration. They, did however, produce a powerful imaginary India exemplified in its nonmodern or antimodern areas (notably a subsuming religiosity and chaste, self-sacrificing women) to be preserved, an India that was most emphatically (though not exclusively) deployed by the Hindu right" (Sangari 2004, 153).

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gendered Discourses, Nationalism, Religion, Security, Weapons /Arms Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2004

The Little Mermaid’s Silent Security Dilemma and the Absence of Gender in the Copenhagen School

Citation:

Hansen, Lene. 2000. “The Little Mermaid’s Silent Security Dilemma and the Absence of Gender in the Copenhagen School.” Millennium: Journal of International Studies 29 (2): 285–306.

Author: Lene Hansen

Annotation:

Summary:
"The article proceeds in three parts, the first introduces the Copenhagen School’s theory of securitization and security as a speech act in more detail. The second part argues the importance of the ‘security as silence’ and ‘subsuming security’ problems. It confronts the common response to calls for the inclusion of gender in security analysis: that it falls under the category of social security, not ‘proper’ national security, and that it concerns individual, not collective security. Through a discussion of the case of honour killings in Pakistan, both of these claims are countered, and it is shown that gender insecurity concerns not only social redistribution but fundamental questions of survival, and that the security of particular individuals is deeply embedded in collective constructions of subjectivity and security. Drawing on the work of Judith Butler, the third part suggests that a theory of gender and security should consider the importance of the body within the speech act. Second, that the focus on whether to expand the concept of security should be supplemented with a theory of what conditions the construction of ‘security problems’. This involves an approach to security which foregrounds the role of practice, in particular how political practices depend upon and reinforce subjectivity, and how practices of security might strive to individualise security problems thereby taking them out of the public and political domain" (Hansen 2000, 287).

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Gender-Based Violence, Security, Sexual Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Pakistan

Year: 2000

Inventing Saffron History: A Celibate Hero Rescues an Emasculated Nation

Citation:

Chakravarti, Uma. 2000. “Inventing Saffron History: A Celibate Hero Rescues an Emasculated Nation.” In A Question of Silence? The Sexual Economies of Modern India, edited by Janaki Nair and Mary E. John, 243–68. London and New York: Zed Books.

Author: Uma Chakravarti

Annotation:

Summary:
"A standard and well-rehearsed method of dealing with the crisis of the present is to write about or 're'construct the 'nation's' 'glorious' past...Today's political and social crisis and the panacea for it, are not being expressed through powerful writing but through the visual media, cinema and television" (Chakravarti 2000, 244). 

Topics: Caste, Class, Gender, Governance Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2000

Mundane Heroines: Conflict, Ethnicity, Gender, and Female Headship in Eastern Sri Lanka

Citation:

Ruwanpura, Kanchana N., and Jane Humphries. 2004. “Mundane Heroines: Conflict, Ethnicity, Gender, and Female Headship in Eastern Sri Lanka.” Feminist Economics 10 (2): 173–205.

Authors: Kanchana N. Ruwanpura, Jane Humphries

Abstract:

For the last twenty years, eastern Sri Lanka has witnessed a bitter and bloody civil conflict. This paper explores the experience of female-headed households in the region. Only partially the product of war, such households cannot be bundled together as a social problem with a single solution. Our study endorses the feminist suspicion of falsely homogenizing accounts of women's lives and suggests instead an alternative emphasis on the many ways in which gendered relations of dominance and subordination are maintained. With its co-existing Muslim, Tamil, and Sinhala groups, eastern Sri Lanka facilitates the exploration of ethnicity as a source of variation. The households included in this study share a common structure and face the same economic problems, yet ethnic differences divide them. The paper charts the problems, strategies, and partial triumphs of these lone mothers and proposes policies to help them in their mundane but heroic struggle.

Keywords: female headship, gender, ethnicity, eastern Sri Lanka, conflict, kinship and community

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Economies, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Post-Conflict Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 2004

Pages

© 2019 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 - South Asia