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What Kind of Growth? Economies that Work for Women in Post-War Settings

Full Citation: 

Cohn, Carol, and Claire Duncanson. 2017. What Kind of Growth? Economies that Work for Women in Post-War Settings. Boston: Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights.


On July 17 & 18, 2017, Carol Cohn (Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights) and Claire Duncanson (University of Edinburgh) convened a workshop entitled, “What Kind of Growth? Economies that Work for Women in Post-War Settings.” Its focus was post-war economic reconstruction and its gendered impacts. The aims were to:

  • delineate the gendered economic challenges that post-war contexts generate;
  • outline the gendered impacts of current approaches to post-war reconstruction;
  • consider the extent to which feminist alternatives to neoclassical economic models offer the potential for generating solutions.
Carol Cohn
Claire Duncanson
Year Published: 

Mujeres rurales y nueva ruralidad en Colombia


Farah, María Adelaida, and Edelmira Pérez. 2004. “Mujeres rurales y nueva ruralidad en Colombia.” Cuadernos del Desarrollo Rural, no. 51, 137–60.

Authors: María Adelaida Farah, Edelmira Pérez


En el mundo rural de hoy se están presentando muchas transformaciones que forman parte de lo que se denomina la nueva ruralidad, en la cual la dimensión de género es importante. Este escrito pretende hacer una aproximación a la temática de las mujeres rurales y la nueva ruralidad, utilizando resultados de la investigación “Pobreza rural y trabajo femenino en Colombia” realizada, por las autoras, en dos departamentos rurales pobres de Colombia. En el presente artículo se hará énfasis en la articulación de las mujeres a las actividades productivas, reproductivas y comunitarias, en los nuevos roles que han asumido hombres y mujeres en la última década, en la propiedad y toma de decisiones en cuanto a tierra y animales, en los movimientos de población urbano - rural y rural - urbano, en los cambios en las condiciones de vida rurales, y en cómo muchas de estas características y transformaciones evidencia la existencia de una nueva ruralidad. 
In today’s rural world, a lot of transformations are taking place which are part of what is called new rurality, where genre dimension is important. This paper attempts to approach rural women and the new rurality by using the results from a research study called “Rural Poverty and Women’s Work in Colombia”, which was carried out in two poor rural departments in Colombia. It will emphasize women’s participation in productive, reproductive and community activities; new men’s and women’s roles in last decade; property and decision-making processes regarding land and animals; population movement from urban to rural areas and vice versa; changes in rural life conditions; and how these characteristics and transformations show the existence of a new rurality. 

Keywords: nueva ruralidad, mujeres rurales, Desarrollo rural, gênero, new rurality, rural women, rural development, genre

Topics: Development, Gender, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2004

Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy Promises: An Ambitious Agenda for Gender Equality, Human Rights, Peace, and Security


Tiessen, Rebecca, and Emma Swan. 2018. “Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy Promises: An Ambitious Agenda for Gender Equality, Human Rights, Peace, and Security.” In Justin Trudeau and Canadian Foreign Policy, edited by Norman Hillmer and Philippe Lagassé. Cham: Palgrave MacMillan.

Authors: Rebecca Tiessen, Emma Swan


In June 2017, the Liberal government launched its first Feminist International Assistance Policy, setting a course for an ambitious agenda for the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment. A renewed commitment to human rights and gender equality became evident in the early days of the Trudeau government with a series of events that placed gender equality at the center of national and international commitments. This chapter traces the numerous steps toward a feminist foreign policy between 2015 and 2017, with attention to how this strategy diverges from previous Canadian governments. Civil society organization (CSO) reactions to these early promises of improved gender equality programming are examined, particularly in relation to peace and security efforts abroad. Feminist international relations and foreign policy scholarships have long argued for a feminist foreign policy. In this chapter, the contributions of this feminist scholarship are analyzed in relation to the discursive, rhetorical, and feminist policy commitments observed to date. (SpringerLink)

Topics: Development, Feminisms, Feminist Foreign Policy, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peace and Security, Rights, Human Rights Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2018

Is the Future of Foreign Policy Feminist?


Thompson, Lyric, and Rachel Clement. 2019. “Is the Future of Foreign Policy Feminist?” Seton Hall Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations 20 (2): 76–94.

Authors: Lyric Thompson, Rachel Clement


“In 2014, Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström took the world by storm when she launched the world's first explicitly feminist foreign policy. The new policy would be a way of doing things differently in Sweden's international affairs, organizing its approach to diplomacy, development, and defense under a 3 Rs framework of women's rights, resources, and representation, the latter of which this journal issue seeks to explore.

“How did this come to be? For Sweden, it was not just the future of diplomacy that was female; it was the past and present as well. Sweden's parliamentary representation has hovered near parity for some time. It has also boasted a long line of female foreign ministers dating back to the 1970s. Thus, there was a strong historical precedent of women's leadership that had normalized female power in such a way as to enable the country to offer something unique to the world: a feminist foreign policy” (Thompson and Clement 2019, 76).

Topics: Development, Feminist Foreign Policy, Governance, Political Participation, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Sweden

Year: 2019

Labour’s International Development Policy: Internationalism, Globalisation, and Gender


Riley, Charlotte Lydia. 2019. “Labour’s International Development Policy: Internationalism, Globalisation, and Gender.” Renewal: A Journal of Social Democracy 27 (1): 52-7.

Author: Charlotte Lydia Riley


“In March 2018, Kate Osamor, then Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, launched the Labour policy paper A world for the many not the few, setting out a future for Britain’s aid policy under a Corbynite government. The document is remarkable for a number of reasons: firstly, its conception of Britain’s role in the world; secondly, its framing of aid and development policies and the purpose of these policies; and thirdly, its repeated and explicit invocation of a feminist approach to aid and development. This explicit engagement with feminist politics in a field which has been so shaped by patriarchal structures is welcome; but Labour could do with a more critical engagement with the long legacies of imperialism in British policies and the complicated history of the party’s own role in this imperial history” (Riley 2019, 52).

Topics: Development, Feminisms, Feminist Foreign Policy, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2019

Empowerment Through Energy? Impact of Electricity on Care Work Practices and Gender Relations


Standal, Karina, and Tanja Winther. 2016. “Empowerment Through Energy? Impact of Electricity on Care Work Practices and Gender Relations.” Forum for Development Studies 43 (1): 27–45.

Authors: Karina Standal, Tanja Winther


Electricity provides a range of desirable services such as the electric light and the use of mobile phones and is regarded as a conditional factor for economic growth. Gender equality and women's empowerment are also promoted as a key to development on the international agenda. However, relatively little is known about how the advent of electricity in new contexts affects gender relations. The present analysis of electricity's impact on gender relations engages with the concepts of care work and empowerment. Based on two ethnographic case studies in rural communities in Uttar Pradesh, India, and Bamiyan, Afghanistan, we examine how and to what extent the introduction of electricity affected women’s care work practices and empowerment – and potentially transformed gender relations. We also draw on our own empirical material from other parts of India (West Bengal and Jharkhand). We find that electricity affected everyday life in terms of providing important resources and enhancing women’s opportunities to perform their expected role as care workers more efficiently and in a qualitatively better way. The women appreciated this positive effect of electricity in their everyday lives. However, we argue that in India, electricity at the same time reinforced structures of gender inequality such as patriarchy and dowry practices, and we trace this tendency to the conceptualisation of women as care workers in combination with conventional, gender ‘neutral’ electricity interventions. In contrast, there are signs that women’s status increased in the Afghanistan case, which we link to the unusual inclusion of women engineers in the electricity supply.

Keywords: electricity, gender relations, empowerment, care work, India, Afghanistan

Topics: Development, Economies, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, India

Year: 2016

Toward a Gender Diverse Workforce in the Renewable Energy Transition


Pearl-Martinez, Rebecca, and Jennie C. Stephens. 2016. “Toward a Gender Diverse Workforce in the Renewable Energy Transition.” Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 12 (1): 8-15.

Authors: Rebecca Pearl-Martinez, Jennie C. Stephens


We explore gender diversity in the energy workforce and highlight the value of systematic assessment of women’s participation in the move toward sustainable renewable-energy systems. A gender imbalance in the energy sector workforce is apparent in countries throughout the world, yet women’s participation in, and contributions to, the energy industry have not been systematically characterized. As the energy sector transitions from fossil-fuel dominated systems toward more efficient, sustainable renewable-based systems, new opportunities for a more inclusive energy workforce are emerging. We are concerned, however, that if the energy industry does not prioritize gender diversity now, the renewable energy transition could perpetuate and deepen, rather than reduce, gender inequality. Although research demonstrates that diversity enhances innovation and creativity, there is minimal attention to considering and promoting diversity within the energy workforce. In this Community Essay we explore how greater consideration of the role of gender and the value of diversity in energy could provide multiple social benefits, including promoting more sustainable practices, accelerating innovation, enhancing women’s opportunities, and empowering communities to engage in energy-system change. 

Keywords: women, gender, renewables, sustainability, fossil fuels, Energy, transitions

Topics: Development, Environment, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods

Year: 2016

From Rio to Beijing: Engendering the Energy Debate


Cecelski, Elizabeth W. 1995. “From Rio to Beijing: Engendering the Energy Debate.” Energy Policy 23 (6): 561–75.

Author: Elizabeth W. Cecelski


New perspectives in the energy sector and new approaches to gender issues are especially conducive to reopening the debate on the role of women in energy policy and research. This article suggests that mutual concerns in energy fora and gender circles, jointly addressed, could further both the Rio energy programme goal of sustainable development, and the Beijing women’s agenda of development, equality and peace. While not exhaustive, specific neglected issues for gender research are pointed out here in areas of current and future energy policy concern: promoting the energy transition, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable transport systems.

Keywords: women, energy policy, environment

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Energy, Transportation, International Organizations

Year: 1995

Feminist Political Ecology: Global Issues and Local Experiences


Rocheleau, Dianne, Barbara Thomas-Slayter, and Esther Wangari, eds. 1996. Feminist Political Ecology: Global Issues and Local Experiences. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. 

Authors: Dianne Rocheleau, Barbara Thomas-Slayter, Esther Wangari


Feminist Political Ecology explores the gendered relations of ecologies, economies and politics in communities as diverse as the rubbertappers in the rainforests of Brazil to activist groups fighting racism in New York City. Women are often at the centre of these struggles, struggles which concern local knowledge, everyday practice, rights to resources, sustainable development, environmental quality, and social justice.
The book bridges the gap between the academic and rural orientation of political ecology and the largely activist and urban focus of environmental justice movements. (Summary from Google Books) 
Table of Contents:
1. Gender and Environment: A Feminist Political Ecology Perspective 
Dianne Rocheleau, Barbara Thomas-Slayter, Esther Wangari 
2. Out on the Front Lines But Still Struggling for Voice: Women in the Rubber Tappers' Defense of the Forest in Xapuri, Acre, Brazil 
Connie Campbell with the Women's Group of Xapuri
3. Feminist Politics and Environmental Justice: Women's Community Activism in West Harlem, New York
Vernice Miller, Moya Hallstein, Susan Quass
4. Protecting the Environment Against State Policy in Austria: From Women's Participation in Protest to New Voices in Parliament
Doris Wastl-Walter
5. Spanish Women Against Industrial Waste: A Gender Perspective on Environmental Grassroots Movements 
Josepa Brú-Bistuer
6. Gendered Visions for Survival: Semi-Arid Regions in Kenya 
Esther Wangari, Barbara Thomas-Slayter, Dianne Rocheleau
7. Developing and Dismantling Social Capital: Gender and Resource Management in the Philippines 
M. Dale Shields, Cornelia Butler Flora, Barbara Thomas-Slayter, Gladys Buenavista
8. "Our Lives are No Different from That of Our Buffaloes": Agricultural Change and Gendered Spaces in a Central Himalayan Valley 
Manjari Mehta
9. Gendered Knowledge: Rights and Space in Two Zimbabwe Villages: Reflections on Methods and Findings
Louise Fortmann
10. From Forest Gardens to Tree Farms: Women, Men, and Timer in Zambrana-Chaucey, Dominican Republic 
Dianne Rocheleau, Laurie Ross, Julio Morrobel, (with Ricardo Hernandez, Cristobalina Amparo, Cirilo Brito, Daniel Zevallos, the staff of ENDA-Caribe and the Rural Federation of Zambrana-Chaucey) 
11. Where Kitchen and Laboratory Meet: The "Tested Food for Silesia" Program
Anne C. Bellows
12. "Hysterical Housewives" and Other Mad Women: Grassroots Environmental Organizing in the United States
Joni Seager
13. Feminist Political Ecology: Crosscutting Themes, Theoretical Insights, Policy Implications 
Barbara Thomas-Slayter, Esther Wangari, Dianne Rocheleau

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Justice, Political Participation

Year: 1996

Social Provisioning as a Starting Point for Feminist Economics


Power, Marilyn. 2004. “Social Provisioning as a Starting Point for Feminist Economics.” Feminist Economics 10 (3): 3–19.

Author: Marilyn Power


The past decade has seen a proliferation of writing by feminist economists. Feminist economists are not identified with one particular economic paradigm, yet some common methodological points seem to be emerging. I propose making these starting points more explicit so that they can be examined, critiqued, and built upon. I use the term ‘‘social provisioning’’ to describe this emerging methodology. Its five main components are: incorporation of caring and unpaid labor as fundamental economic activities; use of well-being as a measure of economic success; analysis of economic, political, and social processes and power relations; inclusion of ethical goals and values as an intrinsic part of the analysis; and interrogation of differences by class, race-ethnicity, and other factors. The paper then provides brief illustrations of the use of this methodology in analyses of US welfare reform,gender and development, and feminist ecological economics.

Keywords: social provisioning, welfare reform, gender and development, feminist political economics, feminist ecological economics, feminist methodology

Topics: Class, Development, Economies, Care Economies, Feminist Economics, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Race Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2004


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