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Caste

Conflict, Disaster and Changing Gender Roles in Nepal: Women’s Everyday Experiences

Citation:

K.C., Luna. 2019. "Conflict, Disaster and Changing Gender Roles in Nepal: Women’s Everyday Experiences." PhD diss., Wageningen University.

Author: Luna K.C.

Annotation:

Summary:
Nepal suffered from the civil conflict from 1996 to 2006 as the Communist party of Nepal (so-called Maoist) sought to end the monarchical system that had been in place for 240 years and establish a People’s Republic. The Maoist-party ideology was highly focused upon the structural transformation of the country and had a strong message about women’s empowerment. The conflict brought a dramatic shift in the social, economic, and the political situation of Nepal. In November 2006, the peace agreement was signed, the country then started the post-conflict reconstruction process, such as writing a new constitution, constitution assembly election, state restructuring, and the policy formation.
 
The Maoist conflict produced multiple gendered effects upon women’s everyday lives. One category of women joined as Maoist combatants in search of equality and empowerment and performed roles equal to men in the war. Another category of women stayed behind when the men fled from the war to the cities or neighbouring countries, and their husbands, fathers or sons were killed, or became rebels or disappeared in the war. Women non-combatants experienced a situation where men’s work shifted onto their shoulders and they performed dual roles; at home and outside.
 
After the earthquake happened on 25 April 2015 in Nepal, women were impacted in a different way. When men were killed or became disabled, were away, or lost income in the earthquake, women took over men’s roles and responsibilities, such as rescued their family members, searched for the food, accommodation, financial support, jobs, health care, including took care of the children and elderly people. At the same time, women were also involved in a multiple role during post-earthquake settings.
 
The conflict/post-conflict/disaster period produces gendered effects; thus, gender analysis becomes fundamental during this time to understand how women and men deal with the rapid gender role change in the context of crisis and its aftermath, when there is a certain return to the normal situation.
 
This thesis is about women and changing gender roles in Nepal. The study traces the gendered effects of the Maoist war and the earthquake on women’s everyday lives. It examines how women experience the impact of the Maoist war and the post-conflict era in relation to shifting gender roles, responsibilities, challenges, and new openings. The thesis then asks similar questions about women affected by the earthquake, that happened while the country was still struggling with post-conflict issues.
 
Chapter 1 presents the introduction, which offers an overview of the main concern of the thesis and the theoretical perspectives (the sexual division of labour and power, ideology of gender, structural factors, and the role of the policy) that inform it. Chapter 2 outlines the methodology (in-depth interview, focuses group discussion, participant observation, and key informant interview) applied to conduct this study.
 
Chapter 3 examined how the Maoist conflict in Nepal affected women ex-combatants and non-combatants, looking at changes in gender roles during and after the conflict particularly from the standpoint of livelihood challenges in the post-war period. Major findings indicate that changing gender roles largely depend upon everyday practice of sexual division of labour and power as it evolved during and after the conflict. It also shows that the conflict produced different and contradictory effects on both categories of women who experienced shifts in gender roles. In post-war settings, these changes were partly reversed, and especially ex-combatant women faced severe livelihood challenges and returned to traditional gender roles.
 
Chapter 4 investigated how the Maoist armed conflict in Nepal was a struggle for the emancipation of women and it particularly looked at how women ex-combatants were engaged with ideas of gender equality and women’s empowerment during the Maoist war and afterwards. It further explores what happens to women’s ideological drive as gender roles ‘shift back’ after the war. The results demonstrate that in the Maoist war women ex-combatants were strongly committed to the Maoist gender ideology and experienced empowerment through this process, as they adopted non-traditional roles and crossed gender as well as caste lines. However, in the post-war, they felt ambivalent empowerment because there was a lack of commitment from the Maoist party to issues of gender equality and at the same time the patriarchal structures continued intact and, in some ways, even strengthened, and women faced multiple exclusions. 
 
Chapter 5 looked at how women ex-combatants experienced the reintegration process in the aftermath of war. The study found that the reintegration programming of Nepal lack gender framework due to which woman encountered a range of challenges in the post-war period. Mainly, the challenges were two-fold: At the societal level; they struggled to gain recognition, and at the family level they negotiated/renegotiated to rebuild relationships and safety-nets.
 
Chapter 6 investigated what challenges women faced in the wake of the earthquake and how these were related to their gender position. It asks how gender roles changed in relation to the earthquake in Nepal. Findings illustrate that different categories of women faced the effects of earthquake differently, especially with regards to the intersectionality of gender and migration and family composition. The earthquake provided women a window of opportunity to change gender roles. On the other hand, women encountered great difficulties in addressing their everyday needs and experienced gender-based exclusion.
 
Chapter 7 synthesises the outcomes of the four substantive chapters, discusses the findings, and offers four recommendations for policy implications.
 
Table of Contents:
Acknowledgements
Chapter 1: Introduction
 
Chapter 2: Methodology
 
Chapter 3: Changing Gender Role: Women’s Livelihoods, Conflict and Post-Conflict Security in Nepal
 
Chapter 4:Living Maoist Gender Ideology:Experiences of Women Ex-Combatants in Nepal 79
 
Chapter 5: Everyday Realities of Reintegration: Experiences of Maoist ‘Verified’ Women Ex- Combatants in the Aftermath of War in Nepal
 
Chapter 6: Exploring Gendered Effects of the 2015 Earthquake in Nepal through Women’s Eyes
 
Chapter 7: Conclusion and Discussion

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Caste, Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Displacement & Migration, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Intersectionality, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Peace Processes Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2019

Gender-Responsive Sanitation Solutions in Urban India

Citation:

Hartmann, Miriam, Suneeta Krishnan, Brent Rowe, Anushah Hossain, and Myles Elledge. 2015. Gender-Responsive Sanitation Solutions in Urban India. Research Brief. Research Triangle Park: RTI Press.

Authors: Miriam Hartmann, Suneeta Krishnan, Brent Rowe, Anushah Hossain, Myles Elledge

Annotation:

Summary:
"In this research brief, we provide an overview of recent literature on women and sanitation in urban India. In particular, we consider possible improvements to the design and location of toilet facilities based on articulated needs and current solutions. We also highlight the need for further research evaluating the potential benefits of female-targeted interventions for women and their communities. The issues we consider are context specific, because women’s preferences vary across caste, religion, and region. Furthermore, the improvements we discuss respond primarily to existing gender norms. Broader efforts are needed to transform gender norms and meet the dual goals of higher sanitation adoption and better outcomes for women" (Hartmann et al. 2015, 1).


 

Topics: Caste, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Religion Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2015

A Natural Disaster and Intimate Partner Violence: Evidence over Time

Citation:

Rao, Smitha. 2020. "A Natural Disaster and Intimate Partner Violence: Evidence over Time." Social Science & Medicine 247.

Author: Smitha Rao

Abstract:

Natural disasters affect about 200 million people annually. Heightened intimate partner violence (IPV) is a gendered impact of these disruptive events. This study examines prevalence and correlates of IPV in four Indian states—TamilNadu, Kerala, AndhraPradesh, and Karnataka-before and after the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. Drawing on three waves of National Family Health Surveys of India-six years before, immediately after, and a decade after disaster, this paper evaluates if TamilNadu and Kerala (severely affected) exhibited higher prevalence of IPV than AndhraPradesh (moderately affected) and Karnataka (not directly affected). Logistic regression analyses determine association between IPV, state of residence (proxy for experience of disaster), and other covariates. To test hypotheses guided by vulnerability theory, IPV was regressed on socio-economic and demographic predictors for states across waves. IPV increased by 48% between 2005 and 2015. Increase in physical (61%) and sexual (232%) violence was highest in TamilNadu; emotional violence increased by 122% in Karnataka. State of residence was associated with IPV in the aftermath of disaster. In 2005, compared to Karnataka, odds of IPV were 98% higher in TamilNadu and 41% higher in Kerala. A decade after, odds were two times higher in TamilNadu than in Karnataka. Belonging to disadvantaged groups predicted higher odds of IPV in the year after disaster. Higher socio-economic status predicted lower odds of IPV, except in Kerala. Data point to ways in which socio-economic and demographic vulnerabilities factor into risk of IPV after disaster. Demographic factors of religion and caste appear to lose significance over time, but socio-economic factors continue to matter. Disaster response strategies seldom work without tackling long-standing inequities. Appropriate support systems for women and minorities in non-disaster situations are critical to ensure their conditions are not exacerbated.

Keywords: disasters, Intimate partner violence, gender, vulnerability

Topics: Caste, Class, Domestic Violence, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender-Based Violence, Religion, Sexual Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

Living Maoist Gender Ideology: Experiences of Women Ex-Combatants in Nepal

Citation:

K.C., Luna, and Gemma Van Der Haar. 2019. “Living Maoist Gender Ideology: Experiences of Women Ex-Combatants in Nepal.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 21 (3): 434–53.

Authors: Luna K.C., Gemma Van Der Haar

Abstract:

Studies of women’s participation in civil conflict as armed combatants have attributed diverse motivations to such participation and examined the implications of participation for women’s empowerment in the aftermath. The authors contribute to these studies through an in-depth analysis of female combatants’ struggles for equality and empowerment during and after Nepal’s decade-long Maoist conflict. Scholars have argued that the emphasis of Maoist ideology in Nepal on the emancipation of women and on ending gender discrimination attracted a large number of women to the cause. Based on narratives of Maoist female ex-combatants, the authors investigate women’s engagement with Maoist ideology during and after the conflict. These narratives reveal that despite discourses of gender equality in Nepal’s Maoist struggle, promises around gender equality remain unkept in the period after the war. A reintegration program has offered women ex-combatants few options and has pushed women back into traditional gender roles. Struggles continue in this terrain. Incorporating intersectionality, the paper highlights how women ex-combatants’ gender identities intersect with caste and other social locations to produce diverse challenges for their lives.

Keywords: Maoist armed conflict, gender ideology, empowerment, women ex-combatants, post-conflict Nepal

Topics: Caste, Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Intersectionality, Post-Conflict Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2019

“Without Land You Are Nobody”: Critical Dimensions of Women‟s Access to Land and Relations in Tenure in East Africa

Citation:

Verma, Ritu. 2007. Without Land You Are Nobody': Critical Dimensions of Women‟s Access to Land and Relations in Tenure in East Africa. International Development Research Centre. 

Author: Ritu Verma

Annotation:

Table of Contents:
1. Dedication & Acknowledgements
 
2. List of Acronyms 
 
3. Introduction 
 
4. Conceptual and Methodological Points of Departure 
 
5. Common Themes and Issues Across Country Contexts
 
6. Country Specific Issues and Differences 
 
7. Conclusions: Identifying Gaps, Gender-Positive Action & the Way Forward 
 
8. Bibliography

Topics: Caste, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Land Tenure, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict, Political Participation, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda

Year: 2007

Living Maoist Gender Ideology: Experiences of Women Ex-Combatants in Nepal

Citation:

K.C., Luna, and Gemma Van Der Haar. 2019. "Living Maoist Gender Ideology: Experiences of Women Ex-combatants in Nepal." International Feminist Journal of Politics 21 (3): 434-53.

Authors: Luna K.C., Gemma Van Der Haar

Abstract:

Studies of women’s participation in civil conflict as armed combatants have attributed diverse motivations to such participation and examined the implications of participation for women’s empowerment in the aftermath. The authors contribute to these studies through an in-depth analysis of female combatants’ struggles for equality and empowerment during and after Nepal’s decade-long Maoist conflict. Scholars have argued that the emphasis of Maoist ideology in Nepal on the emancipation of women and on ending gender discrimination attracted a large number of women to the cause. Based on narratives of Maoist female ex-combatants, the authors investigate women’s engagement with Maoist ideology during and after the conflict. These narratives reveal that despite discourses of gender equality in Nepal’s Maoist struggle, promises around gender equality remain unkept in the period after the war. A reintegration program has offered women ex-combatants few options and has pushed women back into traditional gender roles. Struggles continue in this terrain. Incorporating intersectionality, the paper highlights how women ex-combatants’ gender identities intersect with caste and other social locations to produce diverse challenges for their lives.

Keywords: Maoist armed conflict, gender ideology, empowerment, women ex-combatants, post-conflict Nepal

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Caste, Combatants, Female Combatants, Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Post-Conflict Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2019

Climate Change, Migration and Women: Analysing Construction Workers in Odisha

Citation:

Patel, Amrita and Jasmine Giri. 2019. "Climate Change, Migration and Women: Analysing Construction Workers in Odisha." Social Change 49 (1): 97-113.

Authors: Amrita Patel, Jasmine Giri

Abstract:

The research article seeks to focus on the status of women from the coastal districts of Odisha who have become migrants essentially because of repeated floods and extreme climatic events. Fluctuating weather conditions, the consequent depletion of agricultural work and availability of other forms of employment in their place of origin are some reasons behind the migration of these women. The study particularly looks at Bhubaneswar where women, largely illiterate and landless, mostly belonging to Scheduled Caste groups, have been able to find work on construction sites. Despite evident hardship, they have been able to meet the challenges of living in new urban destinations and in the process better their living conditions. This can be seen in the improvement of their financial status, a new-found focus of educating their daughters, the development of levels of self-confidence and the overcoming of some deeply entrenched social barriers. However, in other areas, the marginalisation of such groups continues, and vulnerabilities prevail in many forms, evident, for instance, in the lack of land ownership by women, the absence of opportunities to upgrade skills to access better work opportunities and issues of safety and security of young girls.

Keywords: women, migrants, climate change, construction workers

Topics: Agriculture, Caste, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Climate Displacement, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2019

Ambivalences of Collective Farming: Feminist Political Ecologies from Eastern India and Nepal

Citation:

Leder, Stephanie, Fraser Sugden, Manita Raut, Dhananjay Ray, and Panchali Saikia. 2019. “Ambivalences of Collective Farming: Feminist Political Ecologies from Eastern India and Nepal.” International Journal of the Commons 13 (1): 105–29.

Authors: Stephanie Leder , Fraser Sugden, Manita Raut, Dhananjay Ray, Panchali Saikia

Abstract:

Collective farming has been suggested as a potentially useful approach for reducing inequality and transforming peasant agriculture. In collectives, farmers pool land, labor, irrigation infrastructure, agricultural inputs and harvest to overcome resource constraints and to increase their bargaining power. Employing a feminist political ecology lens, we reflect on the extent to which collective farming enables marginalized groups to engage in smallholder agriculture. We examine the establishment of 18 farmer collectives by an action research project in the Eastern Gangetic Plains, a region characterised by fragmented and small landholdings and a high rate of marginalised and landless farmers. We analyze ambivalances of collective farming practices with regard to (1) social relations across scales, (2) intersectionality and (3) emotional attachment. Our results in Saptari/ Eastern Terai in Nepal, Madhubani/Bihar, and Cooch Behar/West Bengal in India demonstrate how intra-household, group and community relations and emotional attachments to the family and neighbors mediate the redistribution of labor, land, produce and capital. We find that unequal gender relations, intersected by class, age, ethnicity and caste, are reproduced in collective action, land tenure and water management, and argue that a critical feminist perspective can support a more reflective and relational understanding of collective farming processes. Our analysis demonstrates that feminist political ecology can complement commons studies by providing meaningful insights on ambivalences around approaches such as collective farming. 

Keywords: agriculture, collective action, collective farming, commons, feminist political ecology, FPE, gender, India, irrigation, land, Nepal, water

Topics: Age, Caste, Class, Agriculture, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Land Tenure, Households, Intersectionality, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Nepal

Year: 2019

Diverting the Flow: Gender Equity and Water in South Asia

Citation:

Zwarteveen, Margreet, Sara Ahmed, and Suman Rimal Gautam, eds. 2012. Diverting the Flow: Gender Equity and Water in South Asia. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Authors: Margreet Zwarteveen, Sara Ahmed, Suman Rimal Guatam

Annotation:

Summary:
South Asia's significant water resources are unevenly distributed, with about a fifth of the population lacking adequate access. Across the region this vital substance determines livelihoods and in some cases even survival. By revealing the extent to which water access depends on power relations and politics, Diverting the Flow offers new perspectives on the relationship between gender equity and water issues in South Asia.
 
Drawing on empirical research and relevant theoretical frameworks, the contributors show how gender intersects with other axes of social difference--such as class, caste, ethnicity, age, and religion--to shape water use and management practices. Each of the volume's six thematic sections begins by introducing key concepts, debates, and theories before moving on to parse such issues as rights, policies, technologies, and intervention strategies. Taken together, they demonstrate that gender issues are the key to understanding and improving water distribution and management practices in the region. Featuring work by leading scholars in the field, this volume will be essential reading for students and scholars of water, gender, and development in South Asia. (Summary from University of Chicago Press
 
Table of Contents
1. Gender and Water in South Asia: Revisiting Perspectives, Policies and Practice
Sara Ahmed and Margreet Zwarteveen
 
2. Understanding Gendered Agency in Water Governance
Frances Cleaver
 
3. Gender, Water Laws and Policies: An Introduction
Margreet Zwarteveen and Sara Ahmed
 
4. Decentralising or Marginalising Women: Gender Relations and Sector Reforms in India
Seema K. Kulkarni and K.J. Joy
 
5. The Right to Water in Different Discourses
Priya Sangameswaran
 
6. Water Rights and Gender Rights: The Sri Lanka Experience
Kusum Athukorala and Ruana Rajepakse
 
7. Gender in Drinking Water and Sanitation: An Introduction
Deepa Joshi and Margreet Zwarteveen
 
8. Sanitation for the Urban Poor: Gender Matters
Deepa Joshi, Ben Fawcett and Fouzia Mannan
 
9. Reducing a Community’s Water and Sanitation Burden: Insights from Maharashtra
Nitish Jha
 
10. Gendered Waters, Poisoned Wells: Political Ecology of the Arsenic Crisis in Bangladesh
Farhana Sultana
 
11. Modern Water for Modern Women: Questioning the Relationship between Gender, Empowerment and Participation
Kathleen O’Reilly
 
12. Gender, Water and Agrarian Change: An Introduction
Margreet Zwarteveen
 
13. Groundwater Vending and Appropriation of Women’s Labour: Gender, Water Scarcity and Agrarian Change in a Gujarati Village, India
Anjal Prakash
 
14. Highlighting the User in Waste Water Irrigation Research: Gender, Class and Caste Dynamics of Livelihoods near Hyderabad, India
Stephanie Buechler and Gayathri Devi Mekala
 
15. Gender and Water Technologies: An Introduction
Margreet Zwarteveen
 
16. Farming Women and Irrigation Technology: Cases from Nepal
Bhawana Upadhyay
 
17. Gender and Water Technologies: Linking the Variables in Arsenic and Fluoride Mitigation
Nandita Singh
 
18. Perspectives on Gender and Large Dams
Lyla Mehta
 
19. Large Water Control Mechanisms: Gender Impact of the Damodar Valley Corporation, India
Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt
 
20. Strategies to Address Gendered Water Concerns: An Introduction
Suman Rimal Gautam and Margreet Zwarteveen
 
21. Improving Processes of Natural Resources Management at the Grassroots: The Case of the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)
Smita Mishra Panda and Ravi Sannabhadti
 
22. Thinking and Acting on Gender Issues: The Interface of Policy, Culture and Identity
Pranita Bhushan Udas
 
23. Adopting a Gender Approach in a Water and Sanitation Project: The Case of the 4WS Project in Coastal Communities in South Asia
Christine Sijbesma, Kochurani Mathew, Rashika Nishshanka, Palitha Jayaweera, Marielle Snel, Helvi Heinonen-Tanski, Avizit Reaz Quazi, M.D. Jakariya

Topics: Caste, Class, Development, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Religion Regions: Asia, South Asia

Year: 2012

Agrarian Stress and Climate Change in the Eastern Gangetic Plains: Gendered Vulnerability in a Stratified Social Formation

Citation:

Sugden, Fraser, Niki Maskey, Floriane Clement, Vidya Ramesh, Anil Philip, and Ashok Rai. 2014. “Agrarian Stress and Climate Change in the Eastern Gangetic Plains: Gendered Vulnerability in a Stratified Social Formation.” Global Environmental Change 29: 258-69. 

Authors: Fraser Sugden, Niki Maskey, Floriane Clement, Vidya Ramesh, Anil Philip, Ashok Rai

Abstract:

This paper reviews the complex impact of climate change on gender relations and associated vulnerability on the Eastern Gangetic Plains of Nepal and India. Field research has identified that gendered vulnerability to climate change is intricately connected to local and macro level political economic processes. Rather than being a single driver of change, climate is one among several stresses on agriculture, alongside a broader set of non-climatic processes. While these pressures are linked to large scale political- economic processes, the response on the ground is mediated by the local level relations of class and caste, creating stratified patterns of vulnerability. The primary form of gendered vulnerability in the context of agrarian stress emerges from male out-migration, which has affected the distribution of labour and resources. While migration occurs amongst all socio-economic groups, women from marginal farmer and tenant households are most vulnerable. While the causes of migration are only indirectly associated with climate change, migration itself is rendering women who are left behind from marginal households, more vulnerable to ecological shocks such as droughts due to the sporadic flow of income and their reduced capacity for investment in off-farm activities. It is clear that policies and initiatives to address climate change in stratified social formations such as the Eastern Gangetic Plains, will be ineffective without addressing the deeper structural intersections between class, caste and gender.

Keywords: climate change, vulnerability, Eastern Gangetic Plains, gender, class, caste

Topics: Agriculture, Caste, Class, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Gender Regions: Asia, South Asia

Year: 2014

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