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Care Economies

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

Caring for More Than Humans: Ecofeminism and Care Ethics in Conversation

Citation:

Pettersen, Tove. 2020. “Caring for More Than Humans: Ecofeminism and Care Ethics in Conversation.” In Between Closeness and Evil, edited by Odin Lysaker, 183-213. Oslo, Norway: Scandinavian Academic Press.

Author: Tove Pettersen

Abstract:

Over the last four decades, both ecofeminism and care ethics have profoundly theorized the link between oppression and what is viewed as Others, such as women, non-human animals and nature. After uncovering and analyzing some important commonalities and differences between these two branches of feminist ethical theories and their critiques of dominant Western philosophy and ethics, Tove Pettersen also identifies some clear thematic and methodological overlaps with Arne Johan Vetlesen’s philosophy. She explores three topics in particular where ecofeminism and care ethics may benefit from an exchange, and which is also relevant to Vetlesen’s scholarship: the relationship between reason and emotion, the relational ontology, and the emphasis on lived experience. In addition to challenging traditional conceptualizations of reality, conventional value hierarchies, and established power configurations, ecofeminism and care ethics also propose alternatives to oppressive arrangements and new ideals for the future, which are also discussed in this chapter. By integrating ecofeminism and care ethics into one conversation, Pettersen argues, these theories can enhance each other’s philosophical foundations and provide a powerful framework for analyzing the interconnection between the unjustified domination of women, other Others, and nature. They can also contribute toward kindling the radical shift in mindset and urgent action that Arne Johan Vetlesen calls for in his environmental philosophy.

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality

Year: 2020

Beyond Mothering Earth: Ecological Citizenship and the Politics of Care

Citation:

MacGregor, Sherilyn. 2007. Beyond Mothering Earth: Ecological Citizenship and the Politics of Care. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Author: Sherilyn MacGregor

Abstract:

Summary:
Women’s environmental activism is often described in maternalist terms – as if motherhood and caring for the environment go hand in hand. While feminists celebrate this connection, women and all those who care for people and environments are facing increasing burdens and decreasing time for civic engagement. 
In Beyond Mothering Earth, MacGregor argues that celebrations of “earthcare” as women’s unique contribution to the search for sustainability often neglect to consider the importance of politics and citizenship in women’s lives. Drawing on interviews with women who juggle private caring with civic engagement in quality-of-life concerns, she proposes an alternative: a project of feminist ecological citizenship that affirms the practice of citizenship as an intrinsically valuable activity while recognizing the foundational aspects of caring labour and natural processes that allow its specificity to flourish. (Summary from UBC Press)

Table of Contents

Part One: Theoretical Interrogations

2. The Roots and Rhetoric of Ecomaternalism

3. Down among the Women: Ecofeminism and Identity Politics at the Grassroots

4. From Care to Citizenship: Calling Ecofeminism Back to Politics

5. The Problems and Possibilities of Ecological Citizenship

Part Two: Conversations

6. Conversations with Activist Women: Towards a Counter-Narrative

7. The Private, the Public, and the Planet: Juggling Care and Activism in Daily Life

8. Activist Women Theorize the Green Political

9. No Motherhood Issue: The Project of Feminist Ecological Citizenship

Topics: Citizenship, Economies, Care Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology

Year: 2007

Structural Transformations for Gender, Economic and Ecological Justice

Citation:

Bidegain, Nicole, and Anita Nayar. 2012. “Structural Transformations for Gender, Economic and Ecological Justice.” In Sustainable Economy and Green Growth: Who Cares?, edited by Ulrike Röhr and Conny van Heemstra, 38-40. Berlin: GENANET.

Authors: Nicole Bidegain, Anita Nayar

Annotation:

Summary:
Nicole Bidegain and Anita Nayar criticise the Green Economy concept and explore how issues of care are linked to environmental sustainability and alternatives to the current inequitable economic model. They ask what alternatives sustainability of livelihoods and the planet promote, rather than private accumulation, growth and efficiency. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Ecological Economics, Environment, Climate Change, Livelihoods

Year: 2012

SDG 5: Gender Equality: A Precondition for Sustainable Forestry

Citation:

Arora-Jonsson, Seema, Shruti Agarwal, Carol J. Pierce Colfer, Stephanie Keene, Priya Kurian, and Anne M. Larson. 2019. “SDG 5: Gender Equality: A Precondition for Sustainable Forestry.” In Sustainable Development Goals: Their Impacts on Forests and Peoples, edited by Pia Katila, Carol J. Pierce Colfer, Wil de Jong, Glenn Galloway, Pablo Pacheco, and Georg Winkel, 146-77. London: Cambridge University Press.

Authors: Seema Arora-Jonsson, Shruti Agarwal, Carol J. Pierce Colfer, Stephanie Keene, Priya Kurian, Anne M. Larson

Annotation:

Summary:
Taking SDG 5 seriously in relation to forests brings to the forefront what is usually taken for granted in forest debates: people, their relationships to one another and to the forests that determine forest outcomes. In this chapter, we bring to light the invisible labour and relations that underpin good forest management. We show how systemic and contextual factors such as health, gender-based violence and unpaid care work by forest peoples in the forests and outside are crucial to the welfare of forests and forest dependent peoples. So far, little progress has been made in implementing SDG5 targets within forestry. Political will is needed to transform unequal relationships and to support demands for forest justice. There is a need to challenge privilege based on sex, class, ethnicity or caste and to destabilize inequitable micro- and macro-economic structures such as commodification and support democratic forest governance to work towards greater sustainability. It is also important to keep in mind that well-intentioned efforts, such as gender programmes can have adverse effects if not cognisant of contextual power relations. The welfare and dignity that achieving SDG 5 would bring to forest peoples and livelihoods is essential to ensuring better managed and sustainable forests. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Caste, Class, Economies, Care Economies, Environment, Ethnicity, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Year: 2019

Untenable Dichotomies: De-Gendering Political Economy

Citation:

Prügl, Elisabeth. 2020. “Untenable Dichotomies: De-Gendering Political Economy.” Review of International Political Economy. doi: 10.1080/09692290.2020.1830834.

Author: Elisabeth Prügl

Abstract:

Political Economy is inundated with foundational dichotomies, which constitute central concepts in its theorizing. Feminist scholarship has problematized the gender subtext of these dichotomies and the resulting blind spots, including the positioning of women’s labour, processes of reproduction, and private households as marginal to the economy. The paper offers a reading of contemporary writings in Feminist Political Economy that is attuned to disrupting binaries. It interrogates first, how the opposition between production and reproduction is today put into question through the development of a care economy and through new theorizations of social reproduction. Second, it questions the spatial opposition between the public and the private, the state and the household, an opposition that has long been a problem for those earning income in private spaces and that is increasingly rendered untenable in feminist literature that historicizes household governance. By destabilizing the gendered binaries of production/reproduction and public/private Feminist Political Economy brings into view blind spots in existing scholarship, including imbrications between logics of accumulation and public purpose, self-interest and care, and private household governance and the state, thereby opening up new thinking space for alternatives.

Keywords: gender, social reproduction, household governance, care economy, home-based work, binary thinking

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Households

Year: 2020

Counting on Marilyn Waring: New Advances in Feminist Economics

Citation:

Bjørnholt, Margunn and Ailsa McKay, eds. 2014. Counting on Marilyn Waring: New Advances in Feminist Economics. Ontario, Canada: Demeter Press.

Authors: Margunn Bjørnholt, Ailsa McKay

Annotation:

Summary:
This second edition, which includes an epilogue by Marilyn Waring, maps new advances in theories and practices in feminist economics and the valuation of women, care and nature since Marilyn Waring’s 1988 groundbreaking critique of the system of national accounts, If Women Counted. It features theoretical, practical and policy oriented contributions, empirical studies, and new conceptualizations, theorizations and problematizations of defining and accounting for the value of nature and unpaid household work, eco-feminism, national and international policy processes, unpaid care and HIV/AIDS policy, activism and artwork, and mirrors the wide-ranging impact and resonance of Waring’s work as well as the current frontiers of feminist economics. (Summary from Amazon)

 

Table of Contents:

1. Advances in feminist economics in times of economic crisis
Margunn Bjørnholt and Ailsa Mckay

2. Feminist economics as vision for a sustainable future
Iulie Aslaksen, Torunn Bragstad, and Berit Ås

3. Everything needs care : toward a context-based economy
Sabine O'Hara

4. Reflections on unpaid household work, economic growth, and consumption possibilities
Iulie Aslaksen and Charlotte Koren

5. Women's unpaid work was counted but ...
Johanna Varjonen and Leena M. Kirjavainen

6. Accounting for death : infant mortality, the MDGs, and women's (dis)empowerment
Monica J. Casper and William Pual Simmons

7. Substantive equality, Stockholm Syndrome and the costs of child sexual abuse
Shirley Jülich

8. A Pacific way of counting
Tagaloate Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop

9. Narrative trumps numbers : Marilyn Waring in the world
Rod Dobell and Jodie Walsh

10. If mothers counted : status symbols for the invisible art of mothering
Hadara Scheflan Katzav and Shira Richter

11. Whose rights count? : a research journey with Marilyn Waring on unpaid HIV care and the economics of dignity
Meena Shivdas and Anit N. Mukherjee

12. Rural, northern Canadian women's caregiving experiences in the context of economic values
Heather I. Peters, Dawn Hemingway, and Jo-Anne Fiske

13. Creating conceptual tools for change : Marilyn Waring's influence in Australia
Marty Grace and Lyn Craig

14. Making mothers' milk count
Julie P. Smith

15. Resilient feminism : social movement strategy in a conservative regnum
Mara Fridell and Lorna Turnbull

16. Counting embodied learning : Marilyn Waring and feminist pedagogical practice
Jill Eichhorn

17. Post-graduate supervision with MJW
Karen Webster

18. Epilogue: Wow! Marilyn Waring


Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Feminist Economics, Gender Regions: Americas, North America, Oceania Countries: Australia, Canada

Year: 2014

Derechos territoriales de mujeres y revalorización de sistemas alimentarios indígenas y agroecológicos del Chaco Cruceño en Bolivia

Citation:

Llanque, Aymara, y Freddy Delgado. 2018. “Derechos territoriales de mujeres y revalorización de sistemas alimentarios indígenas y agroecológicos del Chaco Cruceño en Bolivia.” Cadernos de Agroecologia 13 (1).

Authors: Aymara Llanque, Freddy Delgado

Abstract:

SPANISH ABSTRACT:
El empuje al agro negocio en Bolivia durante la última década está presionando las formas tradicionales de producción y consumo de alimentos, manejadas principalmente por mujeres campesinas e indígenas. El artículo se enfoca en las múltiples actividades desarrolladas por mujeres de tres comunidades en el Municipio de Cabezas, para analizar configuraciones institucionales que posibilitan la tenencia territorial y los desafíos en sustentabilidad alimentaria, frente a las presiones del sistema alimentario agroindustrial, en el Chaco cruceño de Bolivia, una región caracterizada por su alta vulnerabilidad climática. Entre los años 2015 y 2016 se aplicaron 16 entrevistas con enfoque transdisciplinar, para aproximarnos a las dinámicas territoriales. Los Resultados muestran que los derechos territoriales de las mujeres dependen sobre todo del reconocimiento social y de los mecanismos consuetudinarios construidos en sus comunidades; a pesar de la persistencia de inseguridad jurídica, las mujeres ejercen sus derechos territoriales con la diversidad de actividades desarrolladas por mujeres campesinas e indígenas hacia la economía del cuidado. Este estudio da indicios sobre las dinámicas pro- positivas de las mujeres, como respuestas a las crisis económicas, ambientales, socioculturales que se desarrollan ampliamente en sus territorios.
 
ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
The push to agro-business in Bolivia over the last decade is pressing traditional forms of food production and consumption, mainly managed by peasant and indigenous women. The article focuses on the multiple activities carried out by women from tree rural communities in Cabezas Municipality, to analyze institutional configurations that make possible territorial tenure and challenges in food sustainability, as opposed to the pressures of the food system Agro industrial, in the Chaco cruceño of Bolivia, a region characterized by its high climatic vulnerability. Between 2015 and 2016, we applied 16 interviews with a trans-disciplinary focus, in order to approach the territorial dynamics. The results show that the territorial rights of women depend mainly on social recognition and customary mechanisms built in their communities; despite the persistence of legal uncertainty, women apply their territorial rights with the diversity of activities developed by peasant and indigenous women towards the economy of care. This study provides clues about the women’s purposefully dynamics, as responses to economic, environmental, socio-cultural crises that are widely developed with agribusiness. 
 

Keywords: Mujeres, tenencia, diversificación, sistemas alimentarios, women, tenure, diversification, foodsystems

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Care Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Land Tenure, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Bolivia

Year: 2018

Energy Poverty and Gender in England: A Spatial Perspective

Citation:

Robinson, Caitlin. 2019. “Energy Poverty and Gender in England: A Spatial Perspective.” Geoforum 104: 222-33.

Author: Caitlin Robinson

Abstract:

A growing research agenda has sought to understand the substantial inequalities that exist in domestic energy provision. One way in which these inequalities are shaped is through socio-spatially contingent gender relations, an area underexplored with regards to energy poverty. This paper aims to uncover the spatialities of gender and energy poverty. It argues that established energy vulnerability frameworks can challenge the assumption that gender inequality is synonymous with energy poverty, but to do so these framings must move beyond a focus upon the household to recognise the vulnerability of individuals. Gendered vulnerabilities likely to enhance energy poverty are delineated for a case study of England, underpinned by socio-spatial analyses of gender-sensitive indicators. Five dimensions of gendered, socio-spatial energy vulnerability are evidenced in this context: exclusion from the economy; time-consuming and unpaid reproductive, caring or domestic roles; exposure to physiological and mental health impacts; a lack of social protection during a life course; and coping and helping others to cope. The findings demonstrate that whilst it is possible to draw initial conclusions about the spatialities of gendered energy vulnerability associated with health and economic activity, this is more complex concerning gendered aspects of energy vulnerability related to infrastructure that tend to be measured at the scale of the household, or those aspects of vulnerability that are relatively private or personal.

Keywords: gender inequality, energy poverty, energy vulnerability, gender-sensitive indicators, spatial analysis

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Poverty, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Mental Health, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2019

Lingu, Bomba Talu and Naombo: Triple Disaster in Central Sulawesi: A Gender Analysis

Citation:

Fatimah, Dati, and Fiona Roberts. 2019. Lingu, Bomba Talu and Naombo: Triple Disaster in Central Sulawesi: A Gender Analysis. Oxfam.

Authors: Dati Fatimah, Fiona Roberts

Annotation:

Summary:
On 28 September 2018, a major earthquake (lingu in the local language) with a magnitude of 7.4 struck Central Sulawesi in Indonesia, triggering a near-field tsunami (bomba talu), large-scale soil liquefaction (naombo) and landslides. As part of the subsequent humanitarian response, Oxfam and humanitarian networking partners JMK, including local organizations LBH APIK Palu and PKBI Palu, conducted research in camps for internally displaced persons in affected areas. The aim was to find out how the impacts of the disaster differed for women, men, boys and girls, as well as the variations in their roles and their access to and control of resources. As part of the assessment, the researchers carried out a rapid analysis of care work and also made efforts to identify how different groups might participate in the humanitarian response. This gender analysis is based on those research findings. It makes recommendations on how to respond to immediate and life-saving practical and strategic needs, with a focus on gender. It can also be used to inform and improve future responses to similar disasters in the same geographical area. (Summary from Oxfam)

 

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, IDPs, Refugee/IDP Camps, Economies, Care Economies, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Humanitarian Assistance Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Indonesia

Year: 2019

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