Southern Africa

The Development of a Socio-Economic Model to Promote Women's Empowerment Initiatives in the Renewable Energy Sector of South Africa

Citation:

Adendorff, C. M., Harvey Keown, and Ric Amansure. 2020. “The Development of a Socio-Economic Model to Promote Women’s Empowerment Initiatives in the Renewable Energy Sector of South Africa.” Journal of Energy in Southern Africa 31 (2): 34-47.

Authors: C. M. Adendorff, Harvey Keown, Ric Amansure

Abstract:

This study investigates the main contributors that can positively influence the socio-economic empowerment of women in the renewable energy sector in the Republic of South Africa, and recommends new and innovative approaches to mainstream gender in the sector. Empirical evidence showed that ethical leadership positively influences good governance and successful women's empowerment. The results also indicated that social investment and broad-based black economic empowerment positively influence successful women's empowerment. Finally, the results indicated that sustainable programmes are a positive contributing factor to good governance. However, the respondents did not consider stakeholder engagement statistically significant to good governance or successful women's empowerment. This study also has the potential to contribute to the improvement of impoverished communities in South Africa and elsewhere.

Keywords: socio-economic empowerment, empowerment of women, mainstream gender, renewable energy, local economic development

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Governance, Infrastructure, Energy, Race Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2020

The Transformation of Governance in the South African Energy Sector: Critical Considerations for Gender Mainstreaming

Citation:

Nel, D., and C. Joel. 2019. “The Transformation of Governance in the South African Energy Sector: Critical Considerations for Gender Mainstreaming.” Journal of Contemporary Management 16 (1): 313-32.

Authors: D. Nel, C. Joel

Abstract:

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5, views gender equality as a basic human right. SDG 5 emphasises that the end of discrimination in all sectors across the globe, is essential to achieve SDG 5. SDG 7 calls for affordable and clean energy. Consequently, affordable energy and energy efficiency is a basic prerequisite for socio-economic development, whereas clean energy, is an essential component for preventing environmental degradation and resource depletion. Based on these SDGs, it is important that equal rights in terms of gender be reflected in the energy sector to achieve sustainable development. Gender inequality limits womans’ opportunities to participate in policy- and decision-making in terms of energy resource governance. Gender mainstreaming addresses the inequality of women and therefore implies a shift in the role of women in the energy sector. This article aims to discuss the interrelationship of the energy sector and gender mainstreaming, to work towards achieving SDGs 5 and 7. The analysis in this article is based on a qualitative approach, using unobtrusive research techniques. Data was collected through a desktop study, using secondary data, including scholarly papers and books, reports from the United Nations, ministerial websites, relevant news articles, unsolicited government reports and policies. An analysis was done to determine the development of the level of female representation at the executive decision-making level in the energy sector in South Africa. The results indicate that male representation is higher than female representation’, which may indicate, unequal access to participation in energy resource governance, which would reinforce an unequal gender power balance. Although there has been an improved effort from government in terms of gender mainstreaming and empowerment, a number of barriers remain, including a lack of gender-sensitive policies, awareness, information, and employment equity. The South African government has made some progress in terms of gender mainstreaming and there seems to be improvement in some areas in the energy value chain. However, these efforts have been fragmented and disjointed and not much has been achieved in terms of gender mainstreaming in the policy process and implementation.

Keywords: energy governance, energy resource management, gender mainstreaming, Sustainable Development Goals

Topics: Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Infrastructure, Energy, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2019

Gender, Culture and Energy Transitions in Rural Africa

Citation:

Johnson, Oliver W., Vanessa Gerber, and Cassilde Muhoza. 2019. “Gender, Culture and Energy Transitions in Rural Africa.” Energy Research & Social Science 49 (March): 169–79.

Authors: Oliver W. Johnson, Vanessa Gerber, Cassilde Muhoza

Abstract:

Research over the past two decades on links between energy, gender and development suggests that greater inclusion of gender concerns in energy sector decision-making improves development outcomes. In practice, this has typically led to gendered energy approaches that focus more on technological fixes rather than providing appropriate energy services, and on meeting women’s immediate needs rather than addressing the broader cultural, socio-economic and political contexts important for attaining genuine gender equity. In this paper, we take a systems perspective to explore gender issues in the context of a transition from traditional to modern energy services, such as lighting, powering appliances and charging mobile phones. Viewing gender through the lens of the Energy Cultures Framework, we analyse the case of the Mpanta solar mini-grid in rural northern Zambia. We find that the transition to more modern energy services is far from gender neutral: despite providing broad benefits within the community, the benefits derived from a new technology and service were not evenly distributed between men and women due to broader socio-cultural practices and norms. This paper extends the application of the Energy Cultures Framework in two important ways. Firstly, it incorporates an explicit gender dimension into the framework. Secondly, it applies the framework in a new context – rural energy transitions in low-income countries. In doing so, this paper offers important insights for research and practice in energy, gender and development.

Topics: Development, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zambia

Year: 2019

Struggles over Land, Livelihood, and Future Possibilities: Reframing Displacement through Feminist Political Ecology

Citation:

Vaz-Jones Laura. 2018. “Struggles over Land, Livelihood, and Future Possibilities: Reframing Displacement through Feminist Political Ecology.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 43 (3): 711-35.

Author: Laura Vaz-Jones

Abstract:

In this article I challenge conventional conceptions of displacement, which focus narrowly on its large-scale, top-down, and physical dimensions. I draw on insights from feminist political ecology in order to reframe displacement as multiscalar, micropolitical, and differentiated. Drawing on fieldwork conducted on the Ithemba land occupation on the peripheries of Cape Town, South Africa, I examine how land-insecure people have contested their eviction by the state through everyday practices and ongoing negotiations that strengthen their presence on the land. In bringing a feminist political ecology approach to studies of displacement, I develop a more expansive theorization of displacement that accounts for the overlooked practices, bodies, spaces, and scales through which displacements occur. This intervention thereby seeks to better align theories of displacement with the messy and uneven ways people experience and contest the loss of their land, livelihoods, and future possibilities. 

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2018

Taxation and Gender Equity: A Comparative Analysis of Direct and Indirect Taxes in Developing and Developed Countries

Citation:

Valodia, Imraan and Caren Grown. 2010. Taxation and Gender Equity: A Comparative Analysis of Direct and Indirect Taxes in Developing and Developed Countries. New York: Routledge; Ottawa: International Development Research Centre.

Authors: Imraan Valodia, Caren Grown

Annotation:

Summary:
Around the world, there are concerns that many tax codes are biased against women, and that contemporary tax reforms tend to increase the incidence of taxation on the poorest women while failing to generate enough revenue to fund the programs needed to improve these women’s lives. Because taxes are the key source of revenue governments themselves raise, understanding the nature and composition of taxation and current tax reform efforts is key to reducing poverty, providing sufficient revenue for public expenditure, and achieving social justice. This book presents original research on the gender dimensions of personal income taxes, value-added excise and fuel taxes in Argentina, Ghana, India, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa, Uganda, and the United Kingdom. It will be of interest to postgraduates and researchers studying public finance, international economics, development studies, gender studies, and international relations, among other disciplines. (Summary from International Development Research Centre)

Topics: Development, Economies, Public Finance, Poverty, Gender, Women Regions: Africa, MENA, East Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, Americas, North America, South America, Asia, South Asia Countries: Argentina, Ghana, India, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa, Uganda, United States of America

Year: 2010

Gender Differences in Time and Energy Costs of Distance for Regular Domestic Chores in Rural Zimbabwe: A Case Study in the Chiduku Communal Area

Citation:

Mehretu, Assefa, and Chris Mutambirwa. 1992. “Gender Differences in Time and Energy Costs of Distance for Regular Domestic Chores in Rural Zimbabwe: A Case Study in the Chiduku Communal Area.” World Development 20 (11): 1675–83.

Authors: Assefa Mehretu, Chris Mutambirwa

Abstract:

Rural women spend excessive time and energy costs of distance to carry out routine domestic chores. The drain these chores have caused on daily time and energy budgets has adversely affected nutritional needs and health maintenance in most rural settings of sub-Saharan Africa. Survey results in a rural study site in Zimbabwe based on selecting and quantifying routine trip generating chores indicate that such trips, often with head or back loads, make heavy demands on time and energy particularly of female members of the household. As women’s labor is critical in agriculture in Zimbabwe, the opportunity cost of time and energy used up in trips has significant implications not only for household food production but also for overall welfare of the household.

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Economies, Gender, Women, Health, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zimbabwe

Year: 1992

Homophobic Violence in Armed Conflict and Political Transition

Citation:

Serrano-Amaya, José Fernando. 2018. Homophobic Violence in Armed Conflict and Political Transition. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Author: José Fernando Serrano-Amaya

Annotation:

Summary:
This book argues that homophobia plays a fundamental role in disputes for hegemony between antagonists during political transitions. Examining countries not often connected in the same research—Colombia and South Africa—the book asserts that homophobia, as a form of gender and sexual violence, contributes to the transformation of gender and sexual orders required by warfare and deployed by armed groups. Anti-homosexual violence also reinforces the creation of consensus around these projects of change. The book considers the perspective of individuals and their organizations, for whom such hatreds are part of the embodied experience of violence caused by protracted conflicts and social inequalities. Resistance to that violence are reason to mobilize and become political actors. This book contributes to the increasing interest in South-South comparative analyses and the need of theory building based on case-study analyses, offering systematic research useful for grass root organizations, practitioners, and policy makers. (Summary from Palgrave Macmillian)

Table of Contents:
1. Introduction

2. Sex, Violence and Politics: The Research Problem

3. Armed Conflict and Sexual Para-politics in Colombia

4. Homophobia in Apartheid and Post-apartheid South Africa

5. The Chiaroscuro of Sexual Politics

6. Telling Truths About Violence

7. Gender and Sexual Orders Making the New Society

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Post-Conflict, Sexuality, Sexual Violence, Violence Regions: Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, South America Countries: Colombia, South Africa

Year: 2018

A Political Ecology of Women, Water and Global Environmental Change

Citation:

Buechler, Stephanie, and Anne-Marie S. Hanson, eds. 2015. A Political Ecology of Women, Water and Global Environmental Change. New York: Routledge.

Authors: Stephanie Buechler, ed. , Anne-Marie S. Hanson, ed.

Annotation:

Summary:
This edited volume explores how a feminist political ecology framework can bring fresh insights to the study of rural and urban livelihoods dependent on vulnerable rivers, lakes, watersheds, wetlands and coastal environments. Bringing together political ecologists and feminist scholars from multiple disciplines, the book develops solution-oriented advances to theory, policy and planning to tackle the complexity of these global environmental changes. Using applied research on the contemporary management of groundwater, springs, rivers, lakes, watersheds and coastal wetlands in Central and South Asia, Northern, Central and Southern Africa, and South and North America, the authors draw on a variety of methodological perspectives and new theoretical approaches to demonstrate the importance of considering multiple layers of social difference as produced by and central to the effective governance and local management of water resources. This unique collection employs a unifying feminist political ecology framework that emphasizes the ways that gender interacts with other social and geographical locations of water resource users. In doing so, the book further questions the normative gender discourses that underlie policies and practices surrounding rural and urban water management and climate change, water pollution, large-scale development and dams, water for crop and livestock production and processing, resource knowledge and expertise, and critical livelihood studies. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of environmental studies, development studies, feminist and environmental geography, anthropology, sociology, environmental philosophy, public policy, planning, media studies, Latin American and other area studies, as well as women’s and gender studies. (Summary from Routledge)
 
Table of Contents: 
1. Introduction: Towards a Feminist Political Ecology of Women, Global Change and Vulnerable Waterscapes

Anne-Marie Hanson and Stephanie Buechler

2. Interrogating Large-Scale Development and Inequality in Lesotho: Bridging Feminist Political Ecology, Intersectionality and Environmental Justice Frameworks
Yvonne Braun

3. The Silent (and Gendered) Violence: Understanding Water Access in Mining Areas
Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt

4. Urban Water Visibility in Los Angeles: Legibility and Access for All
Kathleen Kambic

5. Advances and Setbacks in Women’s Participation in Water Management in Brazil
Andrea Moraes

6. Climate-Water Challenges and Gendered Adaptation Strategies in Rayon, a Riparian Community in Sonora, Mexico
Stephanie Buechler

7. International Partnerships of Women for Sustainable Watershed Governance in Times of Climate Change
Patricia E. (Ellie) Perkins and Patricia Figuieredo Walker

8. Women’s Contributions to Climate Change Adaptation in Egypt’s Mubarak Resettlement Scheme through Cactus Cultivation and Adjusted Irrigation
Dina Najjar

9. Shoes in the Seaweed and Bottles on the Beach: Global Garbage and Women’s Oral Histories of Socio-Environmental Change in Coastal Yucatán
Anne-Marie Hanson

10. Heen Kas’ el’ti Zoo: Among the Ragged Lakes – Storytelling and Collaborative Water Research with Carcoss/Tagish First Nation (Yukon Territory, Canada)
Eleanor Hayman with Mark Wedge and Colleen James

11. Pamiri Women and the Melting Glaciers of Tajikistan: A Visual Knowledge Exchange for Improved Environmental Governance
Citt Williams and Ivan Golovnev

12. Conclusion: Advancing Disciplinary Scholarship on Gender, Water and Environmental Change through Feminist Political Ecology
Stephanie Buechler, Anne-Marie Hanson, Diana Liverman and Miriam Gay-Antaki

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Intersectionality, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, MENA, Central Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, North America, South America, Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Lesotho, Mexico

Year: 2015

Gardening Matters: a Political Ecology of Female Horticulturists, Commercialization, Water Access, and Food Security in Botswana

Citation:

Fehr, Rachel, and William G. Moseley. 2017. “Gardening Matters: a Political Ecology of Female Horticulturists, Commercialization, Water Access, and Food Security in Botswana.” African Geographical Review 38 (1): 67-80.

Authors: Rachel Fehr, William G. Moseley

Abstract:

The Government of Botswana and its partners have sought to address household food insecurity and poverty by experimenting with gardening initiatives of various sizes and commercial orientation. We use a multi-method approach, incorporating both econometric analysis and qualitative data, viewed through the theoretical lens of feminist political ecology, to determine how effective these women’s gardening initiatives are in addressing household food insecurity. We compare the relationship between commercial orientation and food security for women who rely on borehole water, tap water, and river water. We find that food security status improves with commercial orientation only when women are already experienced with the commercial market and/or when commercialization helps cover unavoidable water costs. When women have access to a reliable source of inexpensive water (as the river water users do), they can sustainably pursue subsistence-oriented horticulture and may in fact see greater food security benefits from consuming what they grow than from selling it. This study’s results call into question claims that commercialized horticulture will improve food security without first addressing the gendered dynamics of water access.

Keywords: commercial agriculture, feminist political ecology, food security, horticulture, water access, Botswana

Annotation:


 

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Botswana

Year: 2017

‘Spaces of Exclusion’ in Community Water Governance: a Feminist Political Ecology of Gender and Participation in Malawi’s Urban Water User Associations

Citation:

Adams, Ellis Adjei, Luke Juran, and Idowu Ajibade. 2018. “‘Spaces of Exclusion’ in Community Water Governance: a Feminist Political Ecology of Gender and Participation in Malawi’s Urban Water User Associations.” Geoforum. doi: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2018.06.016

Authors: Ellis Adjei Adams, Luke Juran, Idowu Ajibade

Abstract:

Much of the literature on gender dimensions of community-based water governance focuses on irrigation systems in rural areas. Largely overlooked is how gender dynamics influence participation in community-based urban water governance systems. To address this gap, we use insights from Feminist Political Ecology (FPE) to examine whether and how community-based governance of drinking water in an urban context leads to (in) equitable gender participation and decision making. Using household surveys (n = 415), key informant interviews (n = 19), focus-group discussions (n = 14), we explore gender dynamics and power relations underpinning participation, decision making processes, and employment and benefit sharing arrangements among Water User Associations (WUAs) in the urban informal settlements of Lilongwe, Malawi. We find that WUAs do not guarantee equitable gender participation. Rather, inequitable participation is simply reified through: (1) gendered representation in WUA structures; (2) socio-cultural practices and women’s self-exclusion; and (3) community micro-politics and power relations. Our findings contradict the notion that community-based governance of water leads to equitable participation and empowerment of women. The policy implications are that without systematic efforts to incorporate women’s needs, interests, and voices, so-called participatory approaches to water governance will only serve to suppress women’s agency and reinforce existing gender-based inequalities. Future work will explore the pathways to women’s leadership in the WUAs and interrogate how women on the board and executive committees navigate their way up the hierarchy, their experiences in a male-dominated water governance scheme and their recommendations for how WUAs can improve women’s participation.

Keywords: feminist political ecology, water users associations, gender, participation, urban water governance, Malawi

Topics: Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2018

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