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South Asia

Predicament of Landlessness: A Critical Study of Women’s Rights over Land in Assam

Citation:

Hazarika, Kanki, and V. Sita.  2020. “Predicament of Landlessness: A Critical Study of Women’s Rights over Land in Assam.” South Asian Survey 27 (1): 19–36.

Authors: Kanki Hazarika, V. Sita

Abstract:

Land rights to women is one of the significant markers of a gender-just society. It is a basic human right that provides welfare, economic and social security, strong bargaining power and various other benefits. Ownership right over land is also critical to the citizens in terms of exercising and availing rights guaranteed by the state. Based on a narrative from the fieldwork done among the Bodos in Assam, this paper explores the significance of land rights in accessing various rights and welfare programmes and how women are affected in this regard due to lack of land rights. It discusses how a woman’s lack of rights over land can lead to a status of homelessness and place her in a socially and economically precarious position. The landlessness or homelessness status restricts her from accessing various benefits provided by the state. In this context, the paper also looks into the social construction of gendered norms on land rights of the Bodo community. Construction of societal norms on individual’s rights over landed property, inheritance are generally determined by kinship and affinal ideologies of a community. Such norms are often gendered that deny rights to women over this material resource. The most affected are the single, widow and separated women who have no support from the families. Communities having patriarchal ideologies consider women as passive, dependent and secondary subject and accordingly, gendered norms are constructed. Even the state apparatuses, which is often male-dominated, locate woman within the realm of the family and design policies for women as ‘beneficiaries’ and ‘dependents.’ The gendered norms on land rights of a community have a broader impact that goes beyond the community level and enmeshed with the affairs of the state.

Keywords: Bodo, community, citizen, land rights, norms, state, women

Topics: Citizenship, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

The Gendered Transformation of Land Rights and Feminisation of Hill Agriculture in Arunachal Pradesh: Insights from Field Survey

Citation:

Upadhyay, Vandana. 2020. “The Gendered Transformation of Land Rights and Feminisation of Hill Agriculture in Arunachal Pradesh: Insights from Field Survey.” In Land and Livelihoods in Neoliberal India, edited by D. Mishra, and P. Nayak, 283-307. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan.

Author: Vandana Upadhyay

Abstract:

This chapter investigates the transformation of land rights and changing gender distribution of work and employment in rural Arunachal Pradesh. Using a two-period time-use survey data, it is argued that in the backdrop of commercialisation of agriculture and development of informal private property rights over agricultural land, women farmers are increasingly being marginalised. On average women are spending more labour days in farm operations than men and the weekly average time spent by them in primary agricultural activities are found to be more than men in recent years. Thus, male-centric private property rights over land have emerged and explicitly expanded during a period of increasing feminisation of agriculture and higher work burden of women in crop farming as men move out from the farm to other non-farm activities.

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Women, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture and its Mitigation through Climate Smart Agriculture Practices in Nepal

Citation:

Subedi, Nisha, and Samir Poudel. 2020. "Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture and its Mitigation through Climate Smart Agriculture Practices in Nepal." Tropical Agrobiodiverity 1(1): 47-51.

Authors: Nisha Subedi, Samir Poudel

Abstract:

Climate change has caused serious effect on agriculture production. The global population is increasing and to meet their demand for fuel, food, and fiber, Farmer should adopt sustainable agriculture practices which provides resilience to climate change and uplifts the farmers' livelihood. Climate-smart agriculture practices are taken as eco-friendly practices that help to enhance production sustainably with minimum effect on resources and environments. These practices include No-tillage, reduced tillage, Intercropping, integrated pest management, Rainwater harvesting, use of information and communication technology, etc. As women are an integral part of agriculture production and are more vulnerable to climate change, the Gender- responsive approach needs to be addressed which helps to close the gender gap in agriculture. Nepal, as a vulnerable country in terms of climate change, is adopting different programs and policies at the national and local level to tackle climate change. Climate-smart villages(CSV) in Nepal are practicing different CSA practices at the farm level to secure foods and livelihoods.

Keywords: climate change, Climate smart Agriculture(CSA), Climate smart villages(CSV)

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2020

Inclusive Education in a Fragile Context: Redesigning the Agricultural High School Curriculum in Afghanistan with Gender in Mind

Citation:

Salm, Mundie, Khalida Mukhlid, and Hamdullah Tokhi. 2020. "Inclusive Education in a Fragile Context: Redesigning the Agricultural High School Curriculum in Afghanistan with Gender in Mind." Gender and Education 32 (5): 577-93.

Authors: Mundie Salm, Khalida Mukhlid, Hamdullah Tokhi

Abstract:

This paper examines attempts by a joint Dutch-Afghan capacity development project to bring more gender-responsive elements into the Agricultural High School (AHS) curriculum in the fragile context of Afghanistan. It reviews the gender-specific results of semester-long piloting (including classroom observation and interviews) of the redesigned textbooks and accompanying teachers' instructions at ten AHSs. It also examines experiences of teaching on gender themes. The findings show that it is possible to introduce more gender-responsiveness in the Afghan curriculum, but because it is used nationwide, great limitations on terminology and the kinds of female representation are imposed determined by the most conservative regions where schools are also located. These limitations and how to get around them are analysed in the article, through concrete examples showing the complex interactions with different layers involved when initiating change in such a 'fragile context'. This article can be useful to those designing and teaching courses with elements of gender, illustrating how particular contexts demand a flexible and creative approach when delving into inclusivity issues.

Topics: Education, Gender, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan

Year: 2020

Renegotiating Gender Roles and Cultivation Practices in the Nepali Mid-Hills: Unpacking the Feminization of Agriculture

Citation:

Spangler, Kaitlyn, and Maria Elisa Christie. 2019. "Renegotiating Gender Roles and Cultivation Practices in the Nepali Mid-Hills: Unpacking the Feminization of Agriculture." Agriculture and Human Values 37: 415-32.

Authors: Kaitlyn Spangler, Maria Elisa Christie

Abstract:

The feminization of agriculture narrative has been reproduced in development literature as an oversimplified metric of empowerment through changes in women’s labor and managerial roles with little attention to individuals’ heterogeneous livelihoods. Grounded in feminist political ecology (FPE), we sought to critically understand how labor and managerial feminization interact with changing agricultural practices. Working with a local NGO as part of an international, donor-funded research-for-development project, we conducted semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, and participant observation with over 100 farmers in Mid-Western Nepal in 2017. Household structure and headship are dynamic in the context of male out-migration, pushing women to take on new agricultural duties and increasing household labor responsibilities. In this context, decision-making processes related to agricultural management and new cultivation practices illustrate ongoing renegotiations of gender and cultivation practices within and beyond the household. We contend that the heterogeneity of household power dynamics muddies the empowering impacts of migration and emphasize the importance of community spaces as a locus of subjectivity formation and social value. We conclude that FPE can illuminate complexities of power, space, and individual responses to socio-ecological conditions that challenge the current feminization of agriculture framework.

Topics: Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Femininity/ies, Households Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2019

Urbanization, Climate Linked Water Vulnerability as Impediments to Gender Equality: A Case Study of Delhi, India

Citation:

Kher, Jagriti, Savita Aggarwal, Geeta Punhani, and Sakshi Saini. "Urbanization, Climate Linked Water Vulnerability as Impediments to Gender Equality: A Case Study of Delhi, India." In Handbook of Climate Change Resilience, edited by Walter Leal Filho, 2097-124. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Authors: Jagriti Kher, Savita Aggarwal, Geeta Punhani, Sakshi Saini

Abstract:

Poor urban and rural women bear the brunt of climate change as the dwindling availability of water and other natural resources makes their lives full of drudgery. They trudge longer distances and head load water for the family and struggle with poor water quality and unsafe sanitation. Climatic changes and the non-climatic drivers such as rapid urbanization and high rate of population growth will further confound the scenario and make the lives of poor women harder.

The present study has been conducted to assess the vulnerability of poor women residing in slums of Delhi, the capital city of India, to water- and climate-linked stresses using quantitative and qualitative approaches. An index called CVI-WH was used to quantify vulnerability of the slum women; the qualitative study was done using various participatory approaches. The study has shown very high vulnerability of the slum women to climate-linked water stresses as reflected by high CVI-WH values ranging between 0.62 and 0.67 across different regions.

Therefore, if the quality of life of poor women has to be improved, it is extremely important to enhance the adaptive capacity of women to face climatic stresses and to invest in water- and sanitation-related infrastructure.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

Intimate Infrastructures: The Rubrics of Gendered Safety and Urban Violence in Kerala, India

Citation:

Datta, Ayona, and Nabeela Ahmed. 2020. "Intimate Infrastructures: The Rubrics of Gendered Safety and Urban Violence in Kerala, India." Geoforum 110: 67-76.

Authors: Ayona Datta, Nabeela Ahmed

Abstract:

Urban infrastructures can enable and embody multiple forms of violence against women; from the spectacular and immediate, to the slow, everyday and intimate. Disconnections and absences of infrastructure - such as water and sanitation, to public transport and toilets - fracture peripheries and low-income neighbourhoods from resources, rights and mobility within the city, and in everyday life, enacting some of the largest tolls on women. This 'infrastructural violence' () is experienced in intimate ways by women in low-income neighbourhoods. While they lack access to adequate resources in urban settlements they simultaneously face all forms of physical violence during access to and use of water, toilets, public transport, energy use and walkways. Drawing from empirical fieldwork in the city of Thiruvanathapuram, Kerala, in southern India, we adopt an expanded notion of infrastructure that is mutually constitututive of gender-based relations of power and violence from the home to the city. Developing the rubrics of gendered safety and urban violence, we argue first, that lack of access to infrastructure is a form of intimate violence and second, that this violence is experienced and constituted through multiple scales, forms, sites and temporalities of infrastructural absence. In doing so, we further contribute to the extension of debates in feminist critical geography to critique binary constructions of gender based violence, by collapsing hierarchies of intimate and structural violence as the violence of infrastructure.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Infrastructure, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

Photons vs. Firewood: Female (Dis)Empowerment by Solar Power in India

Citation:

Stock, Ryan, and Trevor Birkenholtz. 2020. “Photons vs. Firewood: Female (Dis)Empowerment by Solar Power in India.” Gender, Place and Culture 27 (11): 1628-51.

Authors: Ryan Stock, Trevor Birkenholtz

Abstract:

Renewable energy transitions are accelerating in the Global South. Yet many large-scale renewable energy infrastructures are developed on public lands with unknown impacts on commons access and usage. A prime example of this is the Gujarat Solar Park (GSP) in India, which is one of the world’s largest solar photovoltaic facilities. The GSP is situated on 2,669 acres of previously common property, which has historically been used by female pastoralists for firewood collection. In this paper, we examine the following research questions: How do gender and caste power shape natural resource access in this region?; Does the Gujarat Solar Park exacerbate already gendered social-economic-political asymmetries? Our study utilizes a feminist political ecology framework to analyze the social dimensions of the GSP, drawing on recent work in this vein that uses a postcolonial and intersectional approach to examine the production of social difference through the spatial processes and political economy of solar energy generation. We find that the enclosure of public ‘wastelands’ to develop the Gujarat Solar Park has dispossessed resource-dependent women of access to firewood and grazing lands. This spatial dislocation is reinforcing asymmetrical social power relations at the village scale. Intersectional subject-positions are (re)produced vis-à-vis the exclusion of access to firewood in the land enclosed for the solar park. Affected women embody this dispossession through inter- and intra-village emotional geographies that cut across caste, class and gender boundaries.

Topics: Caste, Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Energy, Intersectionality Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

Unfulfilled Promises: Women and Peace in Post-Taliban Afghanistan

Citation:

Farhoumand-Sims, Cheshmak. 2007. “Unfulfilled Promises: Women and Peace in Post-Taliban Afghanistan.” International Journal: Canada’s Journal of Global Policy Analysis 62 (3): 643–63.

Author: Cheshmak Farhoumand-Sims

Annotation:

"Following 30 years of protracted conflict, Afghanistan has begun a slow and laborious path to peace, and Canada has been one of its most staunch supporters both in words and deeds. Understanding the root causes of the conflict is a difficult task requiring analysis of a plethora of issues, actors, motivations, and other complexities" (Farhoumand-Sims 2007, 643).
 
"As already mentioned, the complexities resulting from militarism and violence are beyond the scope of this article. Instead, I would like to touch on three main issues that are particularly relevant to discussions of peace in Afghanistan" (646). 
 
"The first is the deteriorating security situation that poses a severe challenge to development and reconstruction efforts, particularly in the rural areas" (647).
 
"The second ongoing concern is the undeserved and continued power and authority bestowed upon warlords who support and benefit from the drug trade and who use threats, intimidation, and injury to secure support" (648).
 
"The third concern is the lack of progress on the advancement of women and the international community’s failure to deliver on promises made to Afghan women five years ago. The status of women is a litmus test for success in Afghanistan. The ability of women to enjoy equal rights and access equal opportunities in any given society is an important—though less talked-about—characteristic of sustainable peace" (649).

Topics: Conflict, Development, Economies, War Economies, Gender, Women, Peace and Security, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan

Year: 2007

Climate Change, Gender, and Rethinking Military Operations

Citation:

Jody M. Prescott. 2014. “Climate Change, Gender, and Rethinking Military Operations.” Vermont Journal of Environmental Law 15 (4): 766–802.

Author: Jody M. Prescott

Annotation:

Summary:
"The linkages between climate change, gender, and military operations are not necessarily immediately obvious. This article argues, however, that a particular type of unit, the Agricultural Development Team (“ADT”), developed and deployed to Afghanistan since 2007, has not only demonstrated the capability to address the gender-differentiated, climate change-related sources of insecurity at the tactical level, but that it could also serve as a model to effectively factor the gender-differentiated impacts of climate change across the broad spectrum of U.S. military operations.  To support this argument, this article will first explore the gender- and sex differentiated impacts of climate change upon populations, and why women, particularly in developing countries, tend to be more vulnerable to these impacts. Mindful of this operational reality for U.S. forces deployed to these areas, this article reviews current U.S. military doctrine setting out the means and methods by which the U.S. military interacts with local civilian populations in foreign nations. In particular, this article further assesses the significance of DoD’s failure to meaningfully address the environment and gender in military-civilian operations. The third section of this article explains the role of the ADT in the context of other types of military-civilian interface units that the U.S. military has developed and used in Afghanistan. In the fourth section, this article briefly describes various ADT projects to highlight ways in which wartime missions can mitigate climate change’s effects and enable vulnerable population cohorts such as women to adapt to its effects. These descriptions are based in part upon interviews with National Guard officers that recently led different ADTs in Afghanistan. In conclusion, more fully factoring the process of climate change and the importance of its gender-differentiated impacts into modern military operations would help create the conditions which could lead to sustainable social and economic stability in countries challenged by the effects of armed conflict and climate change. Such stability is crucial for the reestablishment and growth of the rule of law, a cornerstone of U.S. stability and reconstruction policy" (Prescott 2014, 768-769).

 

Topics: Agriculture, Armed Conflict, Combatants, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Security Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan

Year: 2014

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