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Gender and Economics in Muslim Communities: A Critical Feminist and Postcolonial Analysis

Citation:

Kongar, Ebru, Jennifer C. Olmsted, and Elora Shehabuddin. 2014. “Gender and Economics in Muslim Communities: A Critical Feminist and Postcolonial Analysis.” Feminist Economics 20 (4): 1–32. doi:10.1080/13545701.2014.982141.

Authors: Ebru Kongar, Jennifer C. Olmsted, Elora Shehabuddin

Abstract:

This contribution seeks to delineate the broad contours of a transnational, anti-imperial feminist perspective on gender and economics in Muslim communities by bringing together feminist analyses of Orientalist tropes, development discourses and policies, and macro- and microeconomic trends. The goal is to facilitate conversations among scholars who have tended to work within their respective disciplinary and methodological silos despite shared interests. This approach pays special attention to intersectionality, historicity, and structural constraints by focusing on the diversity of the experiences of women and men by religion, location, citizenship, class, age, ethnicity, race, marital status, and other factors. It recognizes the complex relationships between the economic, political, cultural, and religious spheres and the role of local and transnational histories, economies, and politics in shaping people's lives. Finally, it emphasizes that openness to different methodological approaches can shed clearer light on the question of how various structural factors shape women's economic realities.

Keywords: Islam, economic development, feminist economics, orientalism, neoliberalism

Topics: Age, Class, Economies, Feminist Economics, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Men, Race, Religion

Year: 2014

Gender, Globalization, and Violence: Postcolonial Conflict Zones

Citation:

Ponzanesi, Sandra. 2014. Gender, Globalization, and Violence: Postcolonial Conflict Zones. Routledge.

 

Author: Sandra Ponzanesi

Annotation:

"This wide-ranging collection of essays elaborates on some of the most pressing issues in contemporary postcolonial society in their transition from conflict and contestation to dialogue and resolution. It explores from new angles questions of violent conflict, forced migration, trafficking and deportation, human rights, citizenship, transitional justice and cosmopolitanism. The volume focuses more specifically on the gendering of violence from a postcolonial perspective as it analyses unique cases that disrupt traditional visions of violence by including the history of empire and colony, and its legacies that continue to influence present-day configurations of gender, race, nationality, class and sexuality. Part One maps out the gendered and racialized contours of conflict zones, from war zones, prisons and refugee camps to peacekeeping missions and humanitarian aid, reframing the field and establishing connections between colonial legacies and postcolonial dynamics. Part Two explores how these conflict zones are played out not just outside but also within Europe, demonstrating that multicultural Europe is fraught with different legacies of violence and postcolonial melancholia. Part Three gives an idea of the kind of future that can be offered to post-conflict societies, defined as contact zones, by exploring opportunities for dialogue, restoration and reconciliation that can be envisaged from a gendered and postcolonial perspective through alternative feminist practices and the work of art and their redemptive power in mobilizing social change or increasing national healing processes. Though strongly anchored in postcolonial critique, the chapters draw from a range of traditions and expertise, including conflict studies, gender theory, visual studies, (new) media theory, sociology, race theory, international security studies and religion studies." (From WorldCat)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Citizenship, Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Globalization, Humanitarian Assistance, Justice, Transitional Justice, Peacekeeping, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Race, Religion, Sexuality, Trafficking, Violence Regions: Europe

Year: 2014

Sexual Violence in Sierra Leone’s Civil War: ‘Virgination’, Rape, and Marriage

Citation:

Marks, Zoe. 2014. “Sexual Violence in Sierra Leone’s Civil War: ‘Virgination’, Rape, and Marriage.” African Affairs 113 (450): 67–87. doi:10.1093/afraf/adt070.

 

Author: Zoe Marks

Abstract:

Rape and sexual violence loom large in the study of civil war in Africa. Sierra Leone has been one of the most prominent cases for establishing rape as a ‘weapon of war,' yet little is known about how sexual violence was understood by commanders or combatants within the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). Mainstream analyses of armed groups and civil war rarely engage with gender dynamics, despite their centrality to war making, power, and violence; and research that does focus on sexual violence tends to overlook the complex internal dynamics of the groups responsible. This article examines the internal gender dynamics of the RUF from the perspective of male and female members in seeking to understand the perpetration of sexual violence. It shows that both formal and informal laws and power structures existed to regulate gender relations and control sexual behaviour within the group. It identifies four categories of women – non-wives, unprotected wives, protected wives, and senior women – and shows that women's interests and experiences of sexual violence were not homogeneous, but were instead shaped by their status within the group. In this way, sexual violence, examined in social context, provides an entry point for understanding how power, protection, and access to resources are brokered in rebellion.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Class, Combatants, Gender-Based Violence, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2014

Victims of Time, Warriors for Change: Chilean Women in a Global, Neoliberal Society

Citation:

Clark, Evelyn A. 2013. Victims of Time, Warriors for Change: Chilean Women in a Global, Neoliberal Society. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Author: Evelyn A. Clark

Abstract:

This book explores how women in the Chilean workforce and social activists describe and understand globalization and neoliberalism and their impact on their nation and the lives of Chilean women. By examining national policies, quantitative measures of development, and how various women in the labor force and political and community organizations perceive and live within the Chilean economy, Clark shows the dynamic relationship between national and international policies and gender inequality and women's empowerment. In addition to historic and contemporary data analysis on Chile's economic commitment to neoliberalism since the 1970s, Clark discusses how women have gained in neoliberal Chile through wage labor and how that has impacted their relationships within the home and within their communities. In addition to working full time, these women were committed to full-time activism to promote equality and provide a backlash against neoliberal economic policies. Overall, therefore, globalization and neoliberalism have had a profound impact on women in Chilean society. On the one hand, opportunities have been opened for many women, but, on the other, limitations and suffering have been imposed on just as many, if not more. An unfortunate consequence of these processes is that class differences among women have been exacerbated. In particular, most women have become Victims of Time. Still, many women remain Warriors for Change whose political and social activism provide hope for a better Chile.
 
(Cambridge Scholars Publishing)

Topics: Civil Society, Class, Democracy / Democratization, Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Women, Globalization, Political Participation, Post-Conflict Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Chile

Year: 2013

Where Women are Leaders: The SEWA Movement in India

Citation:

Rose, Kalima. 1992. Where Women Are Leaders: The SEWA Movement in India. Zed Books Ltd. 

Author: Kalima Rose

Abstract:

"Where Women are Leaders is a narrative history of the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) the 40,000-strong union of India's poorest women which has increasingly become an inspiration to and living example of a new development model relevant to low-income women worldwide. SEWA's unique organizing tactics focus on the poorest and most vulnerable women in Indian society - those who are self-employed or working in the informal sector and who have been marginalized by mainstream development strategies.
 
Ela Bhatt, SEWA's founder and inspiration for two decades, and other long-standing members and organizers reveal the process of organizing for social change. Small inputs, SEWA's experience shows, can bring about significant socio-economic changes; and a strategy of combining union organizing with the formation of cooperatives, supported by childcare and health services as well as access to credit through a women's bank, can transform the lives of even the very poorest women.
 
This work traces SEWA's work from its initial organizing of women around basic wage and credit issues to its subsequence research and lobbying activists on larger development policy questions and its current national and international influence on employment and resource strategy. It integrates accounts of the exploitation, abuse and brutality unorganized women experience at the hands of the 'bosses', traders and the police, with interviews with the women responsible for the creative organizing SEWA has done; and analysis of the models SEWA has developed to serve its members both in Ahmedabad, where it first started, and elsewhere in the country." (Zed Books)

Topics: Class, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 1992

'They Have Embraced a Different Behaviour': Transactional Sex and Family Dynamics in Eastern Congo's Conflict

Citation:

Maclin, Beth, Jocelyn Kelly, Justin Kabanga, and Michael VanRooyen. 2015. “'They Have Embraced a Different Behaviour’: Transactional Sex and Family Dynamics in Eastern Congo’s Conflict.” Culture, Health & Sexuality 17 (1): 119-31. 

Authors: Beth Maclin, Jocelyn Kelly, Justin Kabang, Michael VanRooyen

Abstract:

The decades-long conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has resulted in major changes to local economies, strained social networks and insecurity. This environment forces many to pursue unconventional and, at times, socially stigmatised avenues for income. This paper explores the ways in which individuals in eastern DRC engage in, and are affected by, the commoditisation of sex within the context of decades of violent conflict. Focus group discussions conducted with men and women in 2009–2010 highlight how the war in the region has placed individuals, particularly women, in dire economic circumstances, while also changing their roles within families. In the face of severe poverty, women and girls may choose to engage in transactional sex in order to support themselves and their families. Discussants detailed how engaging in transactional sex due to an economic imperative has nonetheless damaged women’s relationships with family members between spouses as well as parents and their children through breach of trust and failure to provide. These focus group discussions elucidate how transactional sex is both a symptom of, and a catalyst for, changes within family dynamics in eastern DRC.

Keywords: family dynamics, transactional sex, conflict, DRC

Topics: Civil Society, Class, Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Gender, Women, Households, Livelihoods, Sexual livelihoods, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexuality Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2014

Low Schooling for Girls, Slower Growth for All? Cross-Country Evidence on the Effect of Gender Inequality in Education on Economic Development

Citation:

Klasen, Stephen. 2002. “Low Schooling for Girls, Slower Growth for All? Cross-Country Evidence on the Effect of Gender Inequality in Education on Economic Development.” The World Bank Economic Review 16 (3): 345–73.

Author: Stephen Klasen

Abstract:

Using cross-country and panel regressions, this article investigates how gender inequality in education affects long-term economic growth. Such inequality is found to have an effect on economic growth that is robust to changes in specifications and controls for potential endogeneities. The results suggest that gender inequality in education directly affects economic growth by lowering the average level of human capital. In addition, growth is indirectly affected through the impact of gender inequality on investment and population growth. Some 0.4-0.9 percentage points of differences in annual per capita growth rates between East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East can be accounted for by differences in gender gaps in education between these regions.

Topics: Class, Economies, Economic Inequality, Education, Gender, Women, Girls Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, Asia, East Asia, Middle East, South Asia

Year: 2002

Women and Decentralized Water Governance: Issues, Challenges and the Way Forward

Citation:

Kulkarni, Seema. 2011. “Women and Decentralised Water Governance: Issues, Challenges and the Way Forward.” Review of Women’s Studies 46 (18): 64–72.

Author: Seema Kulkarni

Abstract:

Based on a study of water rights and women’s rights in decentralised water governance in Maharashtra and Gujarat, this paper argues that decentralisation will fail to meet its desired objectives unless the value systems, culture and the nature of institutions, including the family, change. While the policy initiative of introducing quotas for women in public bodies is welcome and necessary, it is certainly not sufficient for the success of decentralisation in a society ridden with discrimination based on class, caste and patriarchy, and where the culture of political patronage is dominant. The presence of vibrant social and political movements that propose alternative cultural, social and political paradigms would be a necessary foundation for major social changes. The success of decentralised water governance is constrained by the conceptualisation of the larger reform in water at one level and the notions of the normative woman, community, public and the private domains, and institutions at another. Unless all of these are altered, decentralised processes will not be truly democratic.

Topics: Caste, Class, Corruption, Democracy / Democratization, Environment, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Governance, Quotas Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2011

Women in Peace Politics

Citation:

Banerjee, Paula. 2008. Women in Peace Politics. New Delhi: SAGE Publications.

Author: Paula Banerjee

Annotation:

"Women in Peace Politics explores the role of women as agents and visionaries of peace in South Asia. Peace is redefined to include in its fold the attempt by women to be a part of the peace making process, reworking the structural inequalities faced by them and their struggle against all forms of oppression. This volume, the third in the series of the South Asia Peace Studies, deals with the myriad dimensions of peace as practised by South Asian women over a period of time. It chronicles the lives of "ordinary" women—their transformative role in peace and an attempt to create a space of their own. Their peace activism is examined in the historical context of their participation in national liberation movements since the early twentieth century. The articles in the collection adopt a new approach to understanding peace—as a desire to end repression that cuts across caste, class, race and gender and an effort on the part of women to transform their position in society."
-AbeBooks

Topics: Caste, Class, Conflict Prevention, Gender, Women, Gender Balance, Gendered Power Relations, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Political Participation, Race, Security, Human Security Regions: Asia, South Asia

Year: 2008

(Re-)Conceptualizing Water Inequality in Delhi, India through a Feminist Political Ecology Framework

Citation:

Truelove, Yaffa. 2011. “(Re-)Conceptualizing Water Inequality in Delhi, India through a Feminist Political Ecology Framework.” Geoforum, Themed Issue: New Feminist Political Ecologies, 42 (2): 143–52. doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2011.01.004.

Author: Yaffa Truelove

Abstract:

This article demonstrates how a feminist political ecology (FPE) framework can be utilized to expand scholarly conceptualizations of water inequality in Delhi, India. I argue that FPE is well positioned to complement and deepen urban political ecology work through attending to everyday practices and micropolitics within communities. Specifically, I examine the embodied consequences of sanitation and ‘water compensation’ practices and how patterns of criminality are tied to the experience of water inequality. An FPE framework helps illuminate water inequalities forged on the body and within particular urban spaces, such as households, communities, streets, open spaces and places of work. Applying FPE approaches to the study of urban water is particularly useful in analyzing inequalities associated with processes of social differentiation and their consequences for everyday life and rights in the city. An examination of the ways in which water practices are productive of particular urban subjectivities and spaces complicates approaches that find differences in distribution and access to be the primary lens for viewing how water is tied to power and inequality.

Keywords: water, inequality, gender, Urban India, Criminality, Environmental politics, feminist political ecology

Topics: Caste, Civil Society, Class, Corruption, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gender Analysis, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Economies Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2011

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