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Civil Society

'It has to be a Miner's Wife!' Representing Women in Mining Activism

Citation:

Spence, Jean, and Carol Stephenson. 2019. " 'It has to be a Miner's Wife!' Representing Women in Mining Activism." In Shafted: the Miners, the Media and the Aftermath, edited by Granville Williams. Exeter: Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom. 

Authors: Jean Spence, Carol Stephenson

Abstract:

The question of identity permeates interest in women's activism within mining politics. It is implicit in requests from researchers and students to interview ‘miner’s wives' who were involved in the strike. It is foregrounded in commemorative events and articles that seek to honour women activists. It is central to characterisation in cultural productions representing the history of mining life and politics. Having been a miner, a miner's wife, a member of a miner's family, or at a stretch, a member of a mining community, carries its own authority. Insofar as the narratives offered by individuals who can claim a mining identity are taken as authentic, they are regarded as self-explanatory and generally 'true'. Three instances from our encounters in recent years illustrate this: an academic speaker at a Working Class Studies conference offered the information that she was a miner's daughter to add weight to her analysis; a PhD student prioritised contact with miners' wives to access understanding of the Orgreave Truth and Justice campaign; a writer at a symposium presented the intergenerational stories of one female strike activist as representative of the history of all women in mining life.

Activist miners' wives have come to be seen as symbolic of the potential of all female working class struggle to create a better world. The ideal of the 'miner's wife' contains within it qualities such as loyalty, endurance, forbearance, selflessness. The activist wife is additionally brave and strong. Her commitment to justice and collective well-being exemplify the values of working class organisation, socialism and trade unionism. Yet the narrative piquancy of these imputed virtues rests upon the historically unequal sexual division of labour in mining life in which the partnership between men and women was ultimately framed by male power. The designation 'miner's wife' contains implicit gendered constraints. In the miners' strike, these constraints were challenged by the realities of female activism that included typically 'feminist' strategies of independent organisation, decision-making, and action. The process of collective female activism involved conversation and consciousness raising. However, to have acknowledged the feminist implications of this process would have disrupted the terms in which women could support the miners. In a predominantly male strike struggling for male jobs, led by the overwhelmingly male NUM, it was incumbent upon the women to manage gaps between expectation and reality in ways that did not challenge the masculine power of mining. Foregrounding the leadership of 'miners' wives' and a particular trajectory of activism in representing the women's struggle was a useful mechanism for achieving this.

Keywords: women's activism

Topics: Civil Society, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women

Year: 2019

Gender and Patriarchy in Mining Communities

Citation:

Hebron, Sandra, and Maggie Wykes. 2018. "Gender and Patriarchy in Mining Communities." In Work and the Enterprise Culture, edited by Malcolm Cross and Geoff Payne, 160-72. London: Routledge.

Authors: Sandra Hebron, Maggie Wykes

Annotation:

Summary:
This chapter contains some preliminary findings from 'Coal and Community'; a research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and carried out in the Department of Communication Studies at Sheffield Polytechnic between November 1986 and December 1988. It proposes the social consequences of the 1984–5 coal dispute in three mining communities. The chapter explores how far this assumption was borne out in reality and to assess the way that the nature of mining communities and the roles of men and women reproduced traditional gender norms. Most women in mining communities, as elsewhere, tend not to be involved in political activism or campaigning. A major cause for speculation at the end of the strike concerned the extent to which women's lives would change as a consequence of their experiences during the strike. The chapter provides the little difference between the communities in terms of changed gender relations since the strike. (Summary from Routledge)

Topics: Civil Society, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Livelihoods Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2018

The Battle After the War: Gender Discrimination in Property Rights and Post-Conflict Property Restitution

Citation:

Mohan, Sharanya Sai. 2011. "The Battle After the War: Gender Discrimination in Property Rights and Post-Conflict Property Restitution." The Yale Journal of International Law 36 (2): 461-95.

Author: Sharanya Sai Mohan

Annotation:

Summary: 
“This note argues that property restitution programs in transitional justice settings need to correct barriers to women's property ownership. In so doing, efforts by government, civil society, and the displaced themselves to achieve transitional justice can also create long-lasting property rights reform that moves a post-conflict society toward both reconstruction and equality. After considering the existing international legal framework as well as several case studies of transitional justice schemes, this Note will argue that actors in transitional justice should take certain steps at the very beginning of the transitional process to ensure that women's property rights are protected as they return to their lives” (Mohan 2011, 463).

Topics: Civil Society, Conflict, Peace and Security, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, International Law, Justice, Transitional Justice, Land grabbing, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2011

Decoupling Local Ownership? The Lost Opportunities for Grassroots Women's Involvement in Liberian Peacebuilding

Citation:

Gizelis, Theodora-Ismene and Jonathan Joseph. 2016. “Decoupling Local Ownership? The Lost Opportunities for Grassroots Women's Involvement in Liberian Peacebuilding.” Cooperation and Conflict 51 (4): 539-56.

Authors: Theodora-Ismene Gizelis, Jonathon Joseph

Abstract:

Civil society organizations and grassroots groups are often unable to play an active role in postconflict reconstruction and peacebuilding. A possible explanation for the observed challenges in peacebuilding is the gap or decoupling between international expectations and norms from practical action, local norms and capacities. External actors are often overly instrumental and operate according to a general template that fails to start from what the local capacities might actually be. This often leads to the decoupling of general values from practical action, which helps account for the observed barriers of engaging local civil and community organizations in reconstruction. We examine the different types of decoupling and the challenges these present. We evaluate our general theoretical argument using evidence based on the experiences of Liberian women’s civil society organizations. Given the compliance of the Liberian government with international norms, we should expect external actors to have an easier task in incorporating civil society and women’s organizations in the post-conflict reconstruction process; yet, the record appears to be the opposite. While we present the ‘tragic’ aspect of this relationship between international norms and local practice, we also suggest opportunities for ‘hybrid’ alternatives.

Keywords: gender, Liberia, peacebuilding, post-conflict society

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Conflict, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2016

Anarchism and Feminism: A Historical Survey

Citation:

Gemie, Sharif. 1996. “Anarchism and Feminism: A Historical Survey.” Women’s History Review 5 (3): 417–44.

Author: Sharif Gemie

Abstract:

This article discusses a double paradox: first, that the anarchists, so proud of their genuine commitment to anti-authoritarian politics, were yet so blind to the oppressive effects of patriarchy. However, secondly, within this generally male-orientated culture, there were still ambivalences in anarchist politics, with some pockets of real sympathy for feminism. Material is drawn from the experience of anarchists within Europe, 1840–1940.

Topics: Civil Society, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy Regions: Europe

Year: 1996

Towards Inclusive Peace: Analysing Gender-Sensitive Peace Agreements 2000–2016

Citation: True, Jacqui, and Yolanda Riveros-Morales. 2019. “Towards Inclusive Peace: Analysing Gender-Sensitive Peace Agreements 2000–2016.” International Political Science Review 40 (1): 23–40.

Authors: Jacqui True, Yolanda Riveros-Morales

Abstract: The presence of gender provisions in peace agreements affects women’s participation in post-conflict societies as well as the chances that a post-conflict society will move towards gender equality. While there is an overall upward trend in the number of references to women’s rights and gender equality in peace agreements, gender-sensitive agreements are not a given. Why and how are peace agreements with gender provisions adopted? We use statistical analysis to explain why some peace agreements adopt gender provisions while others have no such provisions. Based on an analysis of 98 peace agreements across 55 countries between 2000 and 2016, we find that peace agreements are significantly more likely to have gender provisions when women participate in elite peace processes. Our study also shows that the likelihood of achieving a peace agreement with gender provisions increases when women’s representation in national parliaments increases and when women’s civil society participation is significant.

Keywords: Peace agreeements, women, peace and security, women's political participation, inclusive peace processes, gender equality norms

Topics: Civil Society, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peace and Security, Governance, Constitutions, Quotas, NGOs, Peace Processes, Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2019

Gender Equality and Land Administration: The Case of Zambia

Citation:

Spichiger, Rachel, and Edna Kabala. 2014. “Gender Equality and Land Administration: The Case of Zambia.” DIIS Working Paper 4, Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), Copenhagen.

Authors: Rachel Spichiger, Edna Kabala

Abstract:

Land, and in particular agricultural land, is central to livelihoods in rural Zambia. Zambia is characterised by a dual legal system of customary and statutory law and by dual land tenure, with state land and customary land. A first wave of socialist-oriented reforms took place after independence in 1964, which abolished previously existing freehold land in favour of lease-hold. Subsequent changes in government policies under the influence of structural adjustment programmes and a new government in 1991 paved the way for a market-driven land reform. The 1995 Lands Act introduced the privatization of land in Zambia and provided for the conversion of customary into state land, with the hope of attracting investors. However, the Act has been unevenly implemented, at least in rural areas, in part due to problems plaguing the land administration institutions and their work, in part due to opposition to the main tenets of the Act from chiefs, the population and civil society. Civil society, with donor support, calls for more attention towards women’s precarious situations with regard to access to and ownership of land under customary tenure, but it still expresses a desire for customary tenure to remain. However, civil society also recognizes that customary practices are often also discriminatory towards women who depend on male relatives for access to land.
 
A gender policy, passed in 2000, and two subsequent draft land policies tried to address women’s lack of access to land by stipulating that 30% of the land should be allocated to women. What has been the role of donors in these developments? Both on the government’s side and for civil society, NGOs and donor agencies, gender has increasingly come to the fore. Donors have certainly pushed for policies and changes in legislation. In particular, the recent Anti Gender-Based Violence Act has been hailed as a huge step for gender equality, and was heavily supported by donors. The land sector, however, does not receive much donor support. While it is notable that donors (e.g. USAID and the World Bank) supported the process leading to the 1995 Lands Act, no donor supported gender issues within that sector in that period. Some donors do take issues related to women’s access to land into account within their agricultural programmes or through their work on democracy and governance, however. Over the last five years, several programmes implemented by NGOs (national and international) and civil-society organisations have focused entirely on women’s land rights. Despite registering some positive outcomes, especially in areas of knowledge and capacity-building, these programmes have met some challenges. Apart from technical and financial issues, it was observed that changes with regard to land tenure are slow to be institutionalised, if at all, and that mechanisms to enhance the accountability of land administrators on both customary and state land are lacking. These initiatives are taking place against a changing background, as Zambia is now at an important juncture at the policy and legal levels, with attempts to codify customary law and to take steps to strengthen tenure security on customary land. How and when this will be done, and how this codified customary law will be enforced, as well as what impact it will have on women remains to be seen. What is also uncertain is what impact this will have on current policies that are under review (e.g. gender and land policies) and the direction that will be taken with regard to issues of tenure security for women living under customary tenure. Whether and, if so, to what extent donors will adopt a defining role in these coming endeavours is not yet clear, especially in a changing aid landscape, since several donor agencies have now withdrawn from Zambia. 

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Livelihoods, NGOs, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zambia

Year: 2014

Women and Water Management in Times of Climate Change: Participatory and Inclusive Processes

Citation:

Figueiredo, Patricia, and Patricia E. Perkins. 2013. “Women and Water Management in Times of Climate Change: Participatory and Inclusive Processes.” Journal of Cleaner Production 60: 188–94.

Authors: Patricia Figueiredo, Patricia E. Perkins

Abstract:

This paper focuses on community engagement, and particularly the inclusion of women, in water management as a response to climate change. Addressing water-related problems is central to climate change adaptation, and civil society, marginalized populations and women, in particular, must be involved. This is for both moral and pragmatic reasons: not only are the marginalized the first and worst affected by extreme weather events, but they also possess local ecological, social and political knowledge which can inform and contribute significantly to climate change adaptation strategies. Because of their social roles and position worldwide, women are greatly affected by water scarcity and flooding, and tend to be gravely impacted by poor water management, yet they face great difficulties in participating effectively in governance bodies. Sustainable long-term management of water resources in the face of climate change requires the participation of women, who possess knowledge of effective social technologies for coping with and adapting to climate change. Community-based environmental education is therefore required in order to expand the equitable involvement of women in water-related climate change adaptation activities and policy development. Environmental non-governmental organizations worldwide, working on shoestring budgets at the local level, are developing a range of methods to organize, raise consciousness and confidence, and help local activists create successful climate defense programs. This paper discusses South-North initiatives and models for community-based environmental and climate change education which are using the democratic opening provided by watershed-based governance structures to broaden grassroots participation, especially of women, in political processes. We outline the activities and results of two international projects: the Sister Watersheds project, with Brazilian and Canadian partners (2002-2008); and a Climate Change Adaptation in Africa project with partners in Canada, Kenya, Mozambique, and South Africa (2010-2012).

Keywords: climate justice, gender, watershed management, climate change, equity, public participation, civil society, women, community-based environmental education, civil society engagement, Resilience, bottom-up climate change adaptation

Topics: Civil Society, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, NGOs, Political Participation

Year: 2013

Women and the African Peace and Security Architecture

Citation:

Abdullah, Hussaina J. 2017."Women and the African Peace and Security Architecture." African Peacebuilding Network Working Paper 12, Social Science Research Council, New York.

Author: Hussaina J. Abdullah

Annotation:

Summary: 
"The objective of this study is to provide a comprehensive overview and analysis of how women’s rights in situations of armed conflict and post-conflict contexts have been mainstreamed into various mechanisms, structures, and instruments of the AU’s African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). As part of this exercise, this study conducts a critical examination of the links between APSA’s goal of promoting peace and security and the AU’s Gender Equality Architecture’s (GEA) goal of promoting and protecting the rights of women on the continent.
 
"This paper argues that while the AU has shown its commitment to the issues of peace and security and gender equality through the creation of various structures and the adoption of legal instruments to push through its agenda, the lack of a well-coordinated organizational strategy integrating these two sectors has resulted in limited success in achieving its goals and actualizing its vision. Furthermore, although the AU’s peace and security and gender equality agendas are closely linked to the global women, peace, and security (WPS) discourse, there is very little synergy in the institution’s engagement with and articulation of the global framework. As a result, the expected transformation in the lives of African women in conflict and post- conflict settings has not been realized. Women are still subjected to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and other human rights violations and marginalized in peace negotiations and post-war reconstruction processes; simultaneously, impunity for SGBV and other crimes is still rife in these societies. To move the institution’s gender equality agenda forward, a comprehensive gender-responsive organizational strategy and culture are needed to strengthen inter-departmental cooperation at all levels. This will encourage programs and policies that are in sync with the institution’s broad vision of a continent where women and men have equal access to opportunities, rights, and resources.
 
"This paper outlines the significant progress made at the country level as well as the gaps regarding women’s safety and security during and after armed conflict, including their participation in peace processes and post- conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding. It provides an assessment of the achievements and limitations of the gender mainstreaming process,2 particularly in relation to practical measures for promoting gender equality in the APSA, alongside those for implementing policies for the promotion of peace and security within the framework of the Gender Equality Architecture (GEA). It concludes with a set of recommendations for AU policymakers and civil society practitioners" (Abdullah 2017, 1-2).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Conflict, Peace and Security, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Africa

Year: 2017

Victims, Soldiers, Peacemakers and Caretakers: The Neoliberal Constitution of Women in the EU's Security Policy

Citation:

Muehlenhoff, Hanna L. 2017. “Victims, Soldiers, Peacemakers and Caretakers: The Neoliberal Constitution of Women in the EU’s Security Policy.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 19 (2): 153–67.

Author: Hanna L. Muehlenhoff

Abstract:

Feminist scholars praise and criticize the UNSC Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security for its considerations of women and gender in conflicts. Poststructuralist feminists show how gender is constructed in the UN’s security policies and how these constructions reproduce gendered dichotomies between women and men and representations of women as victims, part of civil society and neoliberal subjects. Although the UNSC Resolutions 1325 and 1820 are implemented by the EU, there is no literature on how the EU is taking up the UN’s discourse. Scholars studying gender policies in and of the EU mainly analyze the (in)effectiveness of EU gender mainstreaming but rarely interrogate its discursive foundations. Using a governmentality perspective, I argue that on the one hand the EU produces a binary and stereotypical understanding of gender, and on the other hand constitutes women as neoliberal subjects responsible for their own well-being, ignoring broader structures of (gender) inequality and war and making gender equality solely an instrument to achieve more security and development.

Keywords: governmentality, EU, gender, security, neoliberal

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peace and Security, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, UNSCR 1820

Year: 2017

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