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Southern Africa

Whose Feminism(s)? Overseas Partner Organizations’ Perceptions of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy

Citation:

Rao, Sheila, and Rebecca Tiessen. 2020. “Whose Feminism(s)? Overseas Partner Organizations’ Perceptions of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. International Journal 75 (3): 349–66.

Authors: Sheila Rao, Rebecca Tiessen

Abstract:

Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, introduced in 2017, is an ambitious and forward-thinking policy focussed on gender equality and women’s empowerment. The emphasis on a feminist vision, however, raises questions about how feminism is defined and interpreted by Canada’s partners in the Global South. In this article, we examine the interpretations of feminism(s) and a feminist foreign policy from the perspective of NGO staff members in East and Southern Africa. The research involved interviews with 45 Global South partner country NGO staff members in three countries (Kenya, Uganda, and Malawi). We consider the partner organization reflections on Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy using a transnational feminist lens. Our findings provide insights into future considerations for Canada’s feminist foreign policy priorities, consultations, and programme design. 

Keywords: feminist foreign assistance policy, partnerships, gender equality, Canadian Aid

Topics: Feminisms, Feminist Foreign Policy, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, North America Countries: Canada, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda

Year: 2020

Producing Homonormativity in Neoliberal South Africa: Recognition, Redistribution, and the Equality Project

Citation:

Oswin, Natalie. 2007. “Producing Homonormativity in Neoliberal South Africa: Recognition, Redistribution, and the Equality Project.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 32 (3): 649–69. 

Author: Natalie Oswin

Keywords: homosexuality, homonormativity, neoliberalism, South Africa, LGBTQ+

Annotation:

"When the NCGLE came into being, it opted to pursue a politics of strategic essentialism that ignored the ways in which class, race, and gender issues are inevitably intertwined with sexuality. Thus, it deepened community schisms along these lines and made its self- imposed task of building a strong, cohesive gay and lesbian movement in the postapartheid era that much more difficult. I suggest that its subsequent flawed attempts to bridge a politics of recognition with a meaningful politics of redistribution should not be read as a failure to address the needs of 'poor, black gays and lesbians'. Rather, it should be read as the only possible outcome. The NCGLE/EP did not manage to shake off the yoke of the binary that divides South Africa’s gay and lesbian community into haves and have-nots because it played a role in producing this binary. By serving as a euphemism for community in South African gay and lesbian political discourse, this figure offered a way for the NCGLE/EP to make itself relevant to its intended audience while molding that audience into a cohesive group. The 'poor, black gay and lesbian' is a caricature that played a starring role in the NCGLE/EP’s performance of recognition and redistribution. This figure is the product of the overlay of divisions within the gay and lesbian community onto the strategy of the organization that exacerbated them” (Oswin 2007, 666).

Topics: Intersectionality, LGBTQ, Political Participation Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2007

Gendered (In)Security in South Africa: What Can Ubuntu Feminism Offer?

Citation:

du Plessis, Gretchen Erika. 2019. “Gendered Human (In)Security in South Africa: What Can Ubuntu Feminism Offer?” Acta Academica 51 (2): 41–63.

Author: Gretchen Erika du Plessis

Abstract:

Gendered human security as a focus for protracted violence against women in a society in transition calls for urgent attention, especially in South Africa. The author summarises some tenets of ubuntu feminism and juxtaposes them with state-centric and people-centric discourses of human security and their link to development, gendered well-being and interpersonal violence. Inadequate attention paid to human interdependency as seen through an ubuntu feminist lens is linked to poor responses in addressing interpersonal and gender violence. The argument is made that an individualised, human-rights based approach is inadequate as a frame to find sustainable solutions to intractable gendered human insecurity. Looking at human insecurity and violence against women in South Africa, this article offers three arguments in favour of ubuntu feminism for renewed efforts to analyse the issue and locate adequate responses.

Keywords: South Africa, African feminism, violence

Topics: Development, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Rights, Human Rights, Security, Human Security, Violence Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2019

From Cradle to Chain? Gendered Struggles for Cassava Commercialisation in Mozambique

Citation:

Gengenbach, Heidi. 2019. “From Cradle to Chain? Gendered Struggles for Cassava Commercialisation in Mozambique.” Canadian Journal of Development Studies / Revue canadienne d'études du développement. doi:10.1080/02255189.2019.1570088.

Author: Heidi Gengenbach

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
This article draws on survey data, interviews and archival research to analyse women’s mixed responses to a cassava commercialisation scheme in Zavala district, Mozambique. As an example of the “Green Revolution for Africa” (GR4A) approach to development, which holds that women farmers’ participation in “value chains” will reduce rural poverty and hunger, this initiative seeks to transform cassava from a food staple into raw material for cassava-based commercial beer. The study evaluates the contradictory claims and outcomes of the GR4A model, as the bumpy roll-out of the value chain in Zavala reveals the risks of overlooking the historical context and gendered knowledge in neoliberal development interventions.

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
Cet article s’appuie sur des données d’enquête, des entretiens et des recherches dans les archives pour analyser les réponses mitigées des femmes à un programme de commercialisation du manioc dans le district de Zavala, au Mozambique. Comme exemple de l’approche de développement « Révolution verte pour l’Afrique » (GR4A), selon laquelle la participation des agricultrices à des « chaînes de valeur » doit réduire la pauvreté et la faim en milieu rural, cette initiative vise à convertir le manioc d’un aliment de base à une matière première pour la production commerciale de la bière. L’étude évalue les prétentions et les résultats contradictoires du modèle GR4A, et illustre par la description de la mise en place chaotique de la chaîne de valeur à Zavala les risques de négliger le contexte historique et les connaissances différenciées selon le sexe dans le cadre d’interventions de développement néolibérales.

Keywords: Mozambique, cassava, smallholder agriculture, commercialisation, gender

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Economies, Environment, Gender, Women Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 2019

Land, Labour and Gendered Livelihoods in a 'Peasant' and a 'Settler' Economy

Citation:

Amanor-Wilks, Dede-Esi. 2009. “Land, Labour and Gendered Livelihoods in a 'Peasant' and a 'Settler' Economy. Feminist Africa 12: 31-50.

Author: Dede-Esi Amanor-Wilks

Annotation:

“Africa historically has been land-abundant and labour-scarce. The situation in Africa contrasts with that in Asia, which has historically been labour-abundant and land-scarce. And it means that until relatively recently, land scarcity was not a major problem for African producers. In spite of this, we can surmise that access to land for women, or more crucially control over land, has been an issue for as long as patriarchy has existed. This is because labour applied to land creates capital; therefore land is a crucial source of power, whereas patriarchy is essentially the monopolisation of power by men. Yet there exists a perception that women in West Africa have more secure land rights than do women in East and Southern Africa. This article seeks explanations for this perception, from a framework of the peasant-settler dichotomy in Africa. While there is a growing literature on women’s land rights in Africa that makes no distinction between the former “peasant” and “settler” colonies, in African historiography generally, a major distinction has been drawn between them. We thus have separate literatures on “peasant” and “settler” economies of Africa that rarely speak to each other, and comparative African studies rarely cross the peasant-settler divide (Amanor-Wilks, 2006 and forthcoming). The main difference between “peasant” (or “peasant export”) and “settler” colonies is that in the former, land remained in the hands of African producers, who dominated local and export agricultural production. In the settler colonies by contrast, prime lands were expropriated to European settlers, who competed directly with Africans in both food and export production. Alongside the question of differential gender access to land across the peasant-settler divide, this article considers two sets of questions on which there is division in the literature on land tenure and gender justice. Is customary law harmful to women’s land rights or should it be codified to protect women’s land rights? Is access to land for women “negotiated”, or are access and control products more of social conflict? The hypothesis of this article is that the assumption that access is negotiated works best in conditions of relative land abundance and that in conditions of scarcity, it is social conflict that produces change.” (Amanor-Wilks 2009, 31-2).

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa

Year: 2009

Vulnerabilities and Inequalities Experienced by Women in the Climate Change Discourse in South Africa’s Rural Communities: Implications for Social Work

Citation:

Nyahunda, Louis, Jabulani Calvin Makhubele, Vincent Mabvurira, and Frans Koketso Matlakala. 2020. “Vulnerabilities and Inequalities Experienced by Women in the Climate Change Discourse in South Africa’s Rural Communities: Implications for Social Work.” The British Journal of Social Work. doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcaa118.

Authors: Louis Nyahunda, Jabulani Calvin Makhubele, Vincent Mabvurira, Frans Koketso Matlakala

Abstract:

Women’s vulnerability to climate-induced shocks hinges on a high dependence on climate-sensitive livelihoods and a natural resource base aggravated by the acute inequalities that they experience due to patriarchal dominance. This article’s purpose is to unpack the vulnerabilities and inequalities that rural women experience in the climate change terrain which necessitates the involvement of the social work profession. This study adopted a qualitative methodology guided by a multi-case study design. A sample of twenty-five participants, including community members and social workers, participated in the study. These participants were selected through simple purposive and convenient sampling techniques. Data were collected using focus group discussions and individual interviews. The thematic content analysis was followed to analyse the findings. The study established that rural women are impacted by various vulnerabilities and inequalities in the climate change discourse, which serve as barriers to their effective adaptation. The vulnerabilities and inequalities manifest through lack of land and property rights, discrimination from decision-making processes, poverty and lack of adequate knowledge about climate change mitigation and adaptation. Social work involvement to address these catastrophes is scant in the Vhembe district in Limpopo province, South Africa. The study recommends that all climate change interventions should put an end to inequalities women experience in order for them to be effective and social workers should be at the frontline of such initiative.

Keywords: climate change, Inequalities, rural women, social work, Vhembe district, vulnerabilities

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2020

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

Lost and Found Crops: Agrobiodiversity, Indigenous Knowledge, and a Feminist Political Ecology of Sorghum and Finger Millet in Northern Malawi

Citation:

Kerr, Rachel Bezner. 2011. “Lost and Found Crops: Agrobiodiversity, Indigenous Knowledge, and a Feminist Political Ecology of Sorghum and Finger Millet in Northern Malawi.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 104 (3): 577-93.

Author: Rachel Bezner Kerr

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
This article tells the story of two indigenous, drought-tolerant grains, finger millet and sorghum, once grown in northern Malawi. Sorghum essentially disappeared from the landscape, replaced by maize. Finger millet persisted, despite being discouraged by colonial and postcolonial governments, but is now in decline. This case study of these two crops in northern Malawi uses data from in-depth interviews, focus groups, archival documents, and observations. I suggest that sorghum almost disappeared due to a combination of maize promotion, male migration, and pest problems. An upsurge of tobacco production, in part due to neoliberal policies, combined with gender dynamics that favor maize are reducing finger millet production. Drawing on theories of feminist political ecology, resilience, and indigenous knowledge, I argue that agrobiodiversity and related indigenous knowledge are situated in material and gendered practices. Efforts to improve social resilience in these vulnerable regions need to pay attention to processes and the intersectionality of gender, class, and other subjectivities at different scales that produce particular agricultural practices and knowledge in a given place.

SPANISH ABSTRACT:
Este artículo relata la historia de dos granos indígenas adaptados a la sequía, el millo (mijo) perla y el sorgo, que tradicionalmente han sido cultivados en la parte norte de Malawi. El sorgo esencialmente desapareció del paisaje, remplazado por el maíz. El millo perla persistió, pese a que su cultivo fue desestimulado por los gobiernos colonial y poscolonial, pero ahora está en declive. El estudio de caso sobre estas dos cosechas en el norte de aquel país utiliza datos generados en entrevistas a profundidad, grupos focales, documentos de archivo y observaciones de campo. Pienso que el sorgo casi desapareció debido a las campañas de promoción del maíz, combinadas con otros factores como la migración de varones y problemas de plagas. En lo que se refiere al millo perla, su producción se ha reducido por la competencia de la reactivación de cultivos de tabaco, debida en parte a políticas neoliberales, combinado todo esto con dinámicas de género que favorecen el cultivo del maíz. A partir de teorías de ecología política feminista, resiliencia y conocimiento indígena, arguyo que la agro-biodiversidad y el conocimiento indígena pertinente son factores situacionales en las prácticas de materialidad y género. Los esfuerzos para mejorar la resiliencia social en estas regiones vulnerables deben poner atención sobre los procesos y la interseccionalidad de género, clase y otras subjetividades, a diferentes escalas, que producen prácticas agrícolas particulares y conocimiento en un lugar dado.

Keywords: feminist political ecology, gender, indigenous knowledge, Malawi, resilience, ecología política feminista, conocimiento indígena, resiliencia

Topics: Agriculture, Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Economies, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2011

Differentiations in Women’s Land Tenure Experiences: Implications for Women’s Land Access and Tenure Security in Sub-Saharan Africa

Citation:

Chigbu, Uchendu Eugene, Gaynor Paradza, and Walter Dachaga. 2019. “Differentiations in Women’s Land Tenure Experiences: Implications for Women’s Land Access and Tenure Security in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Land 8 (2). https://doi.org/10.3390/land8020022

Authors: Uchendu Eugene Chigbu, Gaynor Paradza, Walter Dachaga

Abstract:

Most literature on land tenure in sub-Saharan Africa has presented women as a homogenous group. This study uses evidence from Ghana, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe to show that women have differentiated problems, needs, and statuses in their quest for land access and tenure security. It illustrates how women-to-women differences influence women’s access to land. By investigating differentiations in women’s land tenure in the three countries, the study identifies multiple and somewhat interlinked ways in which differentiations exist in women’s land tenure. It achieved some key outcomes. The findings include a matrix of factors that differentiate women’s land access and tenure security, a visualisation of women’s differentiation in land tenure showing possible modes for actions, and an adaptable approach for operationalising women’s differentiation in land tenure policies (among others). Using these as evidence, it argues that women are a highly differentiated gender group, and the only thing homogenous in the three cases is that women are heterogeneous in their land tenure experiences. It concludes that an emphasis on how the differentiation among women allows for significant insight to emerge into how they experience tenure access differently is essential in improving the tenure security of women. Finally, it makes policy recommendations. 

Keywords: differentiation, gender, land, land access, land rights, land tenure, tenure security, social tenure, Sub-Saharan Africa, women, women's differentiation

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe

Year: 2019

Gender Differences in the Relationship between Land Ownership and Managerial Rights: Implications for Intrahousehold Farm Labor Allocation

Citation:

Kang, Munsu, Benjamin Schwab, and Jisang Yu. 2020. “Gender Differences in the Relationship between Land Ownership and Managerial Rights: Implications for Intrahousehold Farm Labor Allocation”. World Development 125. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2019.104669.

Authors: Munsu Kang, Benjamin Schwab, Jisang Yu

Abstract:

Recent research has increased interest in the intersection of land tenure and gender roles in African agriculture. While formalization of land ownership has been found to have important gender impacts, time use and management remain critical to both the productivity of agricultural operations as well as the welfare of household members. Thus, it is important to understand how gender intersects with the relationship between the ownership and operation of plots. We use plot level data from nationally representative household surveys in Ethiopia and Malawi to characterize the structure (sole male; sole female; or joint) and domain (plot ownership; plot management; or output management) of control over land in each household. We then answer the following research questions: 1) are there any gender gaps in the degrees of the concordance among different domains of controls? and 2) how does the structure of ownership and managerial rights affect labor allocations on plots? We find that for both males and females, sole managerial rights are most likely to occur in plots owned exclusively by either gender. However, on jointly owned plots, instances of sole planting rights are almost exclusively male. We also find that while females supply more of their own labor to plots they control, the pattern of own-gender bias in labor allocation varies with each structure-domain combination. The heterogeneity suggests gender inequality analyses related to land rights are sensitive to the choice of domain of control. 

Keywords: land rights, gender equality, farm labor, LSMS, Ethiopia, Malawi

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Hierarchies, Households, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Ethiopia, Malawi

Year: 2020

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