Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version


Globalization, Gender, and Poverty in the Senegal River Valley


Koopman, Jeanne E. 2009. “Globalization, Gender, and Poverty in the Senegal River Valley.” Feminist Economics 15 (3): 253–85. 

Author: Jeanne E. Koopman


In an impressive attempt to guarantee food security, well over two billion dollars have been invested in the modernization of the agrarian economy in the Senegal River Valley. But, even though two huge dams and thousands of village-based irrigation schemes have been constructed since the late 1970s, food security is still as illusive as ever. This study attempts to explain why. In doing so it focuses on the impact of donor-dominated macro-structural change on gender and class relations. This analytical perspective has two benefits: First, it reveals the risks posed by foreign domination of development programs for different segments of the rural population. Second, it points to a critical element in a new approach to improving farm productivity and food security - improving women's access to land and technology.

Keywords: food security, foreign aid, inequality, structural adjustment, women's land rights

Topics: Class, Development, Economies, Poverty, Food Security, Gender, Women, Infrastructure Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Senegal

Year: 2009

The Story of an African Famine: Gender and Famine in Twentieth-Century Malawi


Vaughan, Megan. 2007. The Story of an African Famine: Gender and Famine in Twentieth-Century Malawi. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Author: Megan Vaughan


This account of the 1949 famine in colonial Malawi employs a wide variety of historical sources, ranging from Colonial Office documentation to the songs of women who lived through the tragedy. The analysis of the causes and development of the famine takes the reader through a detailed agricultural and social history of Southern Malwai in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, focusing in particular on the nature of social and economic stratification, changes in kinship systems and the position of women and placing all this within the wider context of the impact of colonial rule. (Google Books)

Topics: Agriculture, Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Economies, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2007

Social Security and the Family: Coping with Seasonality and Calamity in Rural India


Agarwal, Bina. 1990. “Social Security and the Family: Coping with Seasonality and Calamity in Rural India.” The Journal of Peasant Studies 17 (3): 341–412. 

Author: Bina Agarwal


This article examines how poor rural families in India cope with the food insecurity associated with seasonal troughs in the agricultural production cycle, and with calamities such as drought and famine; the effectiveness of the coping mechanisms they adopt; the intra-household sharing of the burden of coping; and the appropriate state and nonstate interventions that would strengthen the survival mechanisms adopted by the families themselves. The family is seen here as a bargaining unit, the ability of different members to command food (among other resources) depending on their relative bargaining strengths, determined in turn by their ownership endowments (of land, labour, etc.), exchange entitlements, and external social and communal support systems. Gender and age both form the basis of intrafamily inequality in this respect. While seasonality reveals a face of the family which is one of cooperation, famine mirrors one of disintegration. In both contexts, the burden of coping falls disproportionately on female members within poor households, traceable to women's already weak and further weakened (during calamity) bargaining position within the family. A re‐interpretation of existing facts about the 1943 Bengal famine illustrates the process of family disintegration and the abandonment of wives and children during a severe calamity. State efforts complemented by nonstate interventions therefore need to be directed to programmes that ‘empower’ poor families and the more vulnerable members within them.

Topics: Age, Agriculture, Class, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Food Security, Gender, Women, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 1990

Silence as Possibility in Postwar Everyday Life


Eastmond, Marita, and Johanna Mannergren Selimovic. 2012. “Silence as Possibility in Postwar Everyday Life.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 6 (3): 502–24. doi:10.1093/ijtj/ijs026.

Authors: Marita Eastmond, Johanna Mannergren Selimovic


Silence is a form of communication as multifaceted as speech and as such conveys a broad range of contextually situated social meanings. Often silence is understood as a form of denial and inherently detrimental to processes of reconciliation, but it may help create a sense of ‘normality’ and facilitate encounters between former foes. This article enquires into the role and meanings of silence as tacit forms of communication in postwar social processes and everyday life among people of different ethnic groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly as used by the displaced and returnees. It argues that in these contentious settings, everyday social interaction employs silence in ways that empower by communicating respect and even trust, thus forming and sustaining relations important to viable local life. Silence can be used to affirm family continuity and protect close relationships. Silent claims may also ‘speak’ from a marginalized position in relation to hegemonic narratives and make moral claims. Silence may thus be understood as a pragmatic and at times successful strategy for coexistence even when reflecting continued division in the larger society.

Keywords: Bosnia and Herzegovina, silence, memory, displacement, returnees

Topics: Class, Gender, Women, Men, Justice, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2012

Analyzing Rape Regimes at the Interface of War and Peace in Peru


Boesten, Jelke. 2010. “Analyzing Rape Regimes at the Interface of War and Peace in Peru.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 4 (1): 110–29. doi:10.1093/ijtj/ijp029.

Author: Jelke Boesten


Using the political conflict in Peru as a case study, the author argues that the thesis that rape is a weapon of war obscures other rape regimes during political conflict. These include rape as consumption, opportunistic rape, rape by neighbors or family members, forced prostitution and rape in the aftermath of war. Neglect of forms of sexual violence that do not fit the rape-as-a-weapon-of-war script seriously impedes the transformative potential of processes of transitional justice, as it allows for the continuation of (sexual) violence against women that perpetuates hierarchies based on gender, race and class.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Class, Gender, Justice, Transitional Justice, Race, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Peru

Year: 2010

Gender in Post-Doi Moi Vietnam: Women, Desire, and Change


Drummond, Lisa. 2006. “Gender in Post-Doi Moi Vietnam: Women, Desire, and Change.” Gender, Place & Culture 13 (3): 247–50. doi:10.1080/09663690600700998.

Author: Lisa Drummond


On the eve of doi moi's twentieth anniversary, this group of papers examines the impact of ‘economic renovation’ on the lives of Vietnam's women. Economically, the transformation is unarguable. Socially, the impacts have been as deep, but more uneven and possibly less predictable. These four papers examine different aspects of contemporary Vietnamese women's experience through the lens of desire: mothers confronting the age-old desire for sons under the government's small-family policy, young women's desire to explore sexuality in the strict moral environment of the countryside, piece-workers' desire for better conditions and better lives but unable to mobilize their proletarian class position in a socialist regime, and the desire of authors to evoke women's war-time roles to create a shared national remembrance of suffering, sacrifice, and loss. In their diverse ways, these papers offer unusual insights and rare glimpses into the lives of women in post-doi moi Vietnam.

Topics: Civil Society, Class, Economies, Gender, Women, Political Economies, Post-Conflict, Sexuality Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Vietnam

Year: 2006

The Intersection of Gender and Social Class in Disaster: Balancing Resilience and Vulnerability


Fordham, Maureen. 1999. “The Intersection of Gender and Social Class in Disaster: Balancing Resilience and Vulnerability.” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 17 (1): 15–36.

Author: Maureen Fordham


Those who experience disaster are widely regarded as an undifferentiated group, labeled "victims."  In the immediate crisis period, it is difficult for professionals to differentiate, except crudely, between varying levels of need and still carry out urgent duties and responsibilities. However, it soon becomes apparent that some are hit harder than others and that disasters are not the great levelers they are sometimes considered to be. Close examination reveals complex variations within, and not just between, social groups broadly understood as middle- and working- class. This paper examines the intersection of gender and social class in two major flood events and argues for a more nuanced appreciation of these factors, at both the conceptual and the practical level, to be incorporated throughout the disaster process.

Topics: Class, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women

Year: 1999

Lost Boys, Invisible Girls: Stories of Sudanese Marriages across Borders


Grabska, Katarzyna. 2010. “Lost Boys, Invisible Girls: Stories of Sudanese Marriages across Borders.” Gender, Place & Culture 17 (4): 479–97. doi:10.1080/0966369X.2010.485839.

Author: Katarzyna Grabska


Forced migration challenges and changes gender relations. The transnational activities of refugees resettled in the West create gender asymmetries among those who stay behind. This article explores the transnational marriages of young southern Sudanese women (‘invisible girls’), who either stayed in Sudan or remained in refugee camps in Kenya, to Sudanese men who were resettled to America, Canada or Australia (‘lost boys’). Incorporating gender as a relational category into the analysis of transnational practices that migrants and refugees engage in is important. The article argues that there is a need to put feminist analysis at the centre of transnational processes resulting from (forced) migration. It looks at the connections between different geographical locations, the impacts of the migration of young refugee men on bridewealth and marriage negotiations and the gender consequences for young women, men and their families. It is argued that transnational activities, such as marriage, contest, reconfigure and reinforce the culturally inscribed gender norms and practices in and across places. Transnational marriage results in ambiguous benefits for women (and men) in accessing greater freedoms. Anthropological analyses of marriage need a geographical focus on the transnational fields in which they occur. The article seeks to deepen understanding of the nuanced gendered consequences of transnationalism. It shows how gender analysis of actions taken across different locations can contribute to the theorisation of transnational studies of refugees and migrants.

Keywords: transnational marriage, transnationalism, refugee displacement, gender, Sudan, migration

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Class, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Economies, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Households Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Sudan

Year: 2010

Spatial Agendas for Decision-Making in Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh: The Influence of Place, Class and Caste on Women’s Role in Environmental Management


Jewitt, Sarah, and Kathleen Baker. 2011. “Spatial Agendas for Decision-Making in Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh: The Influence of Place, Class and Caste on Women’s Role in Environmental Management.” In Gendered Geographies: Space and Place in South Asia. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Authors: Sarah Jewitt, Kathleen Baker

Topics: Caste, Class, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Political Participation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2011

Globalization and Third World Women: Exploitation, Coping and Resistance


Lindio-McGovern, Ligaya, and Isidor Wallimann, eds. 2009. Globalization and Third World Women: Exploitation, Coping and Resistance. Burlington, VT: Routledge.

Authors: Ligaya Lindio-McGovern, Isidor Wallimann


Adopting the notion of 'third world' as a political as well as a geographical category, this volume analyzes marginalized women's experiences of globalization. It unravels the intersections of race, culture, ethnicity, nationality and class which have shaped the position of these women in the global political economy, their cultural and their national history. In addition to a thematically structured and highly informative investigation, the authors offer an exploration of the policy implications which are commonly neglected in mainstream literature. The result is a must have volume for sociological academics, social policy experts and professionals working within non-governmental organizations.


Topics: Armed Conflict, Class, Democracy / Democratization, Development, Economies, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Globalization, Political Economies, Post-Conflict, Religion

Year: 2009


© 2019 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at

Subscribe to RSS - Class