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Development

Gender Dimensions of Sustainable Consumption

Citation:

Weller, Ines. 2017. “Gender Dimensions of Sustainable Consumption.” In Routledge Handbook of Gender and Environment, edited by Sherilyn MacGregor, 331–44. London: Routldege.

Author: Ines Weller

Annotation:

Summary:

Sustainable consumption and production patterns have been prominent issues from the very start of the sustainable development debate. In fact, Agenda 21, the plan of action adopted at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro stated that ‘the major cause of the continued deterioration of the global environment is the unsustainable pattern of consumption and production, particularly in industrialized coun-
tries . . .’ (UN 1992:31). Although the urgent need for fundamental changes in consumption and production patterns, which would transform societies and push them in the direction of sustainable development, has been recognized since that time, particularly in the Global North, there are still very few signs that any such transformation is taking place. World energy consumption grows unabated as global carbon emissions continue to rise. The fundamental inequalities between the Global North and South also remain, despite very high rates of growth in the newly industrialized and developing countries of the Global South in particular (IEA 2013). In this context, and especially in the context of sustainable patterns of consumption and production, the attitudes and behaviours of private citizens and consumers, their perceptions of environmental problems, and associated use of resources all play an important role. Hitherto, however, these debates have neglected the significance of gender, gender relations, and gender justice for sustainable consumption.

In this chapter, I will focus on debates and research in Germany/Western Europe. I begin by introducing the definitions, objectives, and areas of responsibility of various actors for sustainable consumption. This compact overview focuses in particular on the relationship between production and consumption as gendered societal spheres. I then move on to consider the tension that exists between the theory of privatized environmental responsibility, on the one hand, which criticizes tendencies to overstate and moralize the power of private consumers to shape change and, on the other, women as change agents for more sustainable consumption. The next part of the chapter is organized around the distinction, which is useful for analyzing the gender aspects of sustainable consumption, between explicit and implicit gender dimensions. With reference to feminist theorist Sandra Harding (1986), I draw together the individual and structural levels of gender as explicit gender dimensions. Both of these are for the most part based on statistical data and empirical findings, particularly concerning gender differences and, in this respect, link to ambivalence between the analysis of gender and gender hierarchies, on the one hand, and the reproduction of traditional gender images and dichotomies on the other. The discussion focuses in particular on the symbolic conceptual level of gender, which I consider in detail in relation to a specific example. The background is the feminist critique of the claim of the natural sciences to objectivity (Orland and Scheich 1995). Drawing on the example of a study on the volume of food waste, I draw attention to several gender-related ‘blank spaces’ and gaps in the data that have been produced in this field. This emerges more clearly from closer consideration of the treatment given to male-coded production and female-coded consumption. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Development, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Justice Regions: Europe, Western Europe Countries: Germany

Year: 2017

The Politics of Green Transformatios

Citation:

Scoones, Ian, Melissa Leach, and Peter Newell. 2015. The Politics of Green Transformations. Routledge.

Authors: Scoones, Ian , Melissa Leach, Peter Newell

Annotation:

Summary:

Multiple ‘green transformations’ are required if humanity is to live sustainably on planet Earth. Recalling past transformations, this book examines what makes the current challenge different, and especially urgent. It examines how green transformations must take place in the context of the particular moments of capitalist development, and in relation to particular alliances. The role of the state is emphasised, both in terms of the type of incentives required to make green transformations politically feasible and the way states must take a developmental role in financing innovation and technology for green transformations. The book also highlights the role of citizens, as innovators, entrepreneurs, green consumers and members of social movements. Green transformations must be both ‘top-down’, involving elite alliances between states and business, but also ‘bottom up’, pushed by grassroots innovators and entrepreneurs, and part of wider mobilisations among civil society. The chapters in the book draw on international examples to emphasise how contexts matter in shaping pathways to sustainability. Written by experts in the field, this book will be of great interest to researchers and students in environmental studies, international relations, political science, development studies, geography and anthropology, as well as policymakers and practitioners concerned with sustainability. (Summary from Research Gate)

Table of Contents:

1. The Politics of Green Transformations

Ian Scoones, Peter Newell and Melissa Leach 

2. What is Green? Transformation Imperatives and Knowledge Politics 

Melissa Leach  

3. Invoking ‘Science’ in Debates about Green Transformations: A Help or a Hindrance? 

Erik Millstone  

4. Emancipating Transformation: From Controlling ‘the Transition’ to Culturing Plural Radical Progress 

Andy Stirling  

5. The Politics of Green Transformations in Capitalism 

Peter Newell

6. The Political Dynamics of Green Transformations: Feedback Effects and Institutional Context 

Matthew Lockwood  

7. Green Transformations from Below? The Politics of Grassroots Innovation 

Adrian Smith and Adrian Ely  

8. Mobilizing for Green Transformations 

Melissa Leach and Ian Scoones  

9. The Green Entrepreneurial State 

Mariana Mazzucato  

10. Financing Green Transformations 

Stephen Spratt  

11. Green Transformation: Is There a Fast Track? 

Hubert Schmitz

 

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Environment

Year: 2015

Is This the Future We Want? An Ecofeminist Comment on the UN Conference on Sustainable Development Outcome Document

Citation:

Wilkinson, Kate. 2016. “Is This the Future We Want? An Ecofeminist Comment on the UN Conference on Sustainable Development Outcome Document.” In The Public Law of Gender: From the Local to the Global, edited by Kim Rubenstein and Katharine G. Young, 538–60. Cambridge University Press.

Author: Kate Wilkinson

Annotation:

Summary:
"In 2012, governments and people from across the globe reconvened in Rio de Janeiro for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), twenty years after the landmark UN Conference on the Environment and Development (UNCED). This conference was part of a long political process to refine and implement the concept of sustainable development so as to achieve the interrelated policy aims of environmental sustainability and socioeconomic development. At the UNCSD, governments met with one main objective: to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development. In order to achieve this, governments agreed to discuss three thematic areas in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. Two of these themes considered the green economy in the context of the latter and an institutional framework for sustainable development. The Conference resulted in a political Outcome Document, entitled the ‘The Future We Want’, which compiled the views, aspirations and objectives of governments to achieve sustainable development" (
Wilkinson 2016, 538-39).

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Year: 2016

Negotiating Gender Expertise in Environment and Development

Citation:

Resurrección, Bernadette P., and Rebecca Elmhirst, eds. 2020. Negotiating Gender Expertise in Environment and Development. Routledge.

Authors: Bernadette P. Resurrección, Rebecca Elmhirst

Abstract:

This book casts a light on the daily struggles and achievements of ‘gender experts’ working in environment and development organisations, where they are charged with advancing gender equality and social equity and aligning this with visions of sustainable development.

Developed through a series of conversations convened by the book’s editors with leading practitioners from research, advocacy and donor organisations, this text explores the ways gender professionals – specialists and experts, researchers, organizational focal points – deal with personal, power-laden realities associated with navigating gender in everyday practice. In turn, wider questions of epistemology and hierarchies of situated knowledges are examined, where gender analysis is brought into fields defined as largely techno-scientific, positivist and managerialist. Drawing on insights from feminist political ecology and feminist science, technology and society studies, the authors and their collaborators reveal and reflect upon strategies that serve to mute epistemological boundaries and enable small changes to be carved out that on occasions open up promising and alternative pathways for an equitable future.

This book will be of great relevance to scholars and practitioners with an interest in environment and development, science and technology, and gender and women’s studies more broadly.

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Table of Contents:

Introduction: Troubling Gender Expertise in Environment and Development: Voices from Feminist Political Ecology

Part 1: The Politics of Identity and Boundary Marking

1. Strategic Reflexivity in Linking Gender Equality with Sustainable Energy: An Engineer in the Gender Profession
By Rebecca Elmhirst and Bernadette P. Resurrección
In conversation with Joy Clancy

2. Is Epistemic Authority Masculine? Reflections on Gender, Status and Knowledge in International Agricultural Research and Development
By Bernadette P. Resurrección and Rebecca Elmhirst
In conversation with Gordon Prain

3. Epistemic Crossings of a Marine Biologist through Gender Encounters
By Bernadette P. Resurrección and Rebecca Elmhirst
In conversation with Maeve Nightingale

4. Beyond the Business Case for Gender: A Feminist Political Ecologist in the FAO
By Rebecca Elmhirst and Bernadette P. Resurrección
In conversation with Clara Mi Young Park

5. Challenges and Dilemmas of Integrating Gender in the Field of Environment and Development at SEI: Metrics and Metaphors
By Andreea R. Torre
In conversation with Natalia Biskupska, Marisa Escobar, Laura Forni, Emily Ghosh, Ha Nguyen, and Lisa Segnestam

Part 2: The Politics of Knowledge in Environment and Development Realms

6. The Politics of Feminist Translation in Water Management
By Bernadette P. Resurrección and Rebecca Elmhirst
In conversation with Seema Kulkarni and Margreet Zwarteveen

7. Embodied Engagement with Gender and Agrobiodiversity: Leveraging Transformative Moments in Multidisciplinary Teams
By Rebecca Elmhirst and Bernadette P. Resurrección
In conversation with Marléne Elias

8. Please Genderise My Log Frame: Interactions with Technical Specialists for Gender Mainstreaming in Environment Projects
By Bernadette P. Resurrección and Rebecca Elmhirst
In conversation with Annette Wallgren And Victor Tsang

9. The Gender Professional as Ethnographer: Working for Equitable Forests
By Rebecca Elmhirst and Bernadette P. Resurrección
In conversation with Carol J. Pierce Colfer

10. Disaster Risk Governance and Gender Professionals: Command-and-Control and Re-Doing Gender
By Bernadette P. Resurrección and Rebecca Elmhirst
In conversation with Maria Holtsberg, Napapan Der Kinderen, and Hilde Jakobsen

11. Lifting the Barriers of Integrating Gender in Livestock Production
By Bernadette P. Resurrección and Rebecca Elmhirst
In conversation with Nicoline De Haan

12. We Build the Power in Empowerment: Feminist Activism at the Forefront of Environment and Climate Change Arenas
By Bernadette P. Resurrección and Rebecca Elmhirst
In conversation with Kate Lappin

Part 3: The Power of Gender Champions

13. Supporting Gender Experts: A Donor Perspective
By Bernadette P. Resurrección and Rebecca Elmhirst
In conversation with Maria Von Berlekom, Eva Johansson, Orawan Raweekoon and AnnaKarin Norling

14. Gender Equality Work At USAID: Mandatory as Applicable
By Kai Spratt And Charles 'Will' Lewis II

Afterword: Gender Expertise, Environmental Crisis and the Ethos of Care

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Infrastructure, Energy, Water & Sanitation

Year: 2020

Focus: (Re)Productivity: Sustainable Relations Both between Society and Nature and between the Genders

Citation:

Biesecker, Adelheid, and Sabine Hofmeister. 2010. “Focus: (Re)Productivity: Sustainable Relations Both between Society and Nature and between the Genders.” Ecological Economics 69 (8): 1703–11.

Authors: Adelheid Biesecker, Sabine Hofmeister

Abstract:

The paper is embedded in the multiplicity of discourses concerned with a viable, sustainable development of society and its economy. It makes a case for a mode of economic activity geared to systematically integrating production and reproduction processes. Its starting hypothesis is that the persistent, constantly changing and expanding crises that weigh so heavily on modern societies – above all the ecological crisis and the crisis of reproductive work – have their common origin in the separation of production from reproduction constitutive for industrial modernity. A reformulation of the category of (re)productivity – the idea of the unity of and at the same time the distinction between production and reproduction in the economic process – could set the stage for us to review today's crisis phenomena, relocalize problems, and in this way to develop new solutions for them. A sustainable society would be in a position to grasp, and shape, the economy as a (re)productive regulative system, with economic space constituted consciously as a socioecological action space.

Keywords: production, reproduction, sustainability, (re)productivity, social ecology

Topics: Development, Economies, Ecological Economics, Gender, Women

Year: 2010

“Now We Have Equality”: A Feminist Political Ecology Analysis of Carbon Markets in Oaxaca, Mexico

Citation:

Gay-Antaki, Miriam. 2016. “‘Now We Have Equality’: A Feminist Political Ecology Analysis of Carbon Markets in Oaxaca, Mexico.” Journal of Latin American Geography 15 (3): 49–66.

Author: Miriam Gay-Antaki

Abstract:

Carbon projects follow a neoliberal logic that stresses that nature is best conserved via market mechanisms. Studies and experiences of the impacts of development projects on communities and feminist political ecologies suggest that women, the elderly, the young, the poor, and the indigenous often perceive projects differently, benefit and lose in different ways, or shape the projects on the ground to fit their needs. Carbon projects have differentiated impacts within a community especially on the poor, women, and ecology; however, these differences do not tend to be the main focus of scholarship. The research presented here focuses on the effects of a wind project and a small scale reforestation project and the convergence of environment, gender and development as these are introduced into communities in Oaxaca, Mexico. This paper expands on carbon offset literature in Mexico by looking at the differential impacts of technologies on geographies and people with specific attention to gender. I find that there are important gendered differences between the wind and the forest projects, and suggest that a Feminist Political Ecology perspective is a necessary, though infrequently employed, lens through which to understand the impacts of carbon markets.

Keywords: feminist political ecology, Oaxaca, carbon projects

Topics: Development, Environment, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Indigenous Regions: Americas Countries: Mexico

Year: 2016

The Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve: A Postcolonial Feminist Political Ecological Reading of Violence and Territorial Struggles in Honduras

Citation:

Mollett, Sharlene. 2018. “The Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve: A Postcolonial Feminist Political Ecological Reading of Violence and Territorial Struggles in Honduras.” In Land Rights, Biodiversity Conservation and Justice. Routledge.

Author: Sharlene Mollett

Abstract:

This chapter aims to rethink the relationship between “parks and people” by making visible mundane and spectacular forms of violence inside the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve. In spite of landmark territorial legislation awarded to Miskito Territorial Councils beginning in 2013, the Miskito peoples continue to face impending colono land invasions inside ancestral customary territories. Drawing from ongoing research in Honduras, this chapter blends ethnographic data collection with news media, archival documents, development reports and secondary literatures to examine the violent challenges to Miskito territorial autonomy. Such violence extends beyond the Reserve and is emplaced on the bodies of land and territorial defenders mobilized against a growing extractivist Honduran state. With a focus on a coloniality of power and postcolonial intersectional thinking, this chapter maintains that biodiversity conservation and extractive development are linked, imbued with past logics of race and gender employed in the dehumanization of Indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples in the present. Thus, in Honduras, I argue, contemporary Indigenous struggles over land and territory are simultaneously historical contests that work to disrupt state and elite practices of Indigenous peoples’ dehumanization, in the name of modernity and development.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Conflict, Resource Conflict, Development, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Indigenous, Intersectionality, Land Tenure, Race, Violence Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Honduras

Year: 2018

Patriarchy and Progressive Politics: Gendered Resistance to Mining through Everyday Social Relations of State Formation in Intag, Ecuador

Citation:

Billo, Emily. 2020. “Patriarchy and Progressive Politics: Gendered Resistance to Mining through Everyday Social Relations of State Formation in Intag, Ecuador.” Human Geography 13 (1): 16–26. 

Author: Emily Billo

Abstract:

Over the last decade, the Ecuadorian government, following regional trends, called for social and environmental progress through state-controlled resource extraction. Scholars have demonstrated that this neo-extractive model warranted further investigation regarding its progressive aims. Specifically, this paper examines gendered critiques of state-led extractivism linked to expanding governmental and social programs. Even as women asserted their political recognition and rights in state politics, they still confronted patriarchal relations in their everyday lives. Drawing on eight months of ethnographic research over 6 years in campesino communities of Junín and Chalguayacu Alto, I argue that women in Intag challenged patriarchal state relations of extractive capitalism. This paper offers a novel contribution to literature on neo-extractivism and gendered forms of resistance. Women held the state accountable for its promises of social welfare and infrastructural development through which it generated public support for controversial mineral projects. These symbols of state paternalism revealed expanded patriarchal structures that underpinned their daily lives, with significance for a gendered politics of resistance.

Topics: Development, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Patriarchy Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Ecuador

Year: 2020

Feminisms, the Environment and Capitalism: On the Necessary Ecological Dimension of a Critical Latin American Feminism

Citation:

Schild, Verónica. 2019. “Feminisms, the Environment and Capitalism: On the Necessary Ecological Dimension of a Critical Latin American Feminism.” Journal of International Women’s Studies 20 (6): 23–43.

Author: Verónica Schild

Abstract:

Latin American women are on the move today, taking their demands to the streets throughout the region in unprecedented numbers. What these demands reveal is a growing frustration and anger among women with the distance between official democratic promises and protections and the limited gains in basic rights, even the reversal of minimal achievements in places like Central America and Brazil. Feminists are weaving together different struggles into an intersectional movement explicitly linking gender demands to the end of a neoliberal capitalist model of development and its devastating social, economic and ecological effects on Latin America’s overwhelming majority. A critical Latin American feminism aimed at apprehending the present predicament of women in the region, I suggest, needs to extend its commitment to producing knowledge from below and to the left, by reaching further, and engaging critically with Marx and his feminist critics. Given the widespread impact of the present capitalist modernity, tethered to neo-extractivism, not only on the lives of peasant and indigenous Latin Americans but also of increasingly broader sectors of rural and urban society and in particular, on the lives of women, it is imperative that we understand the structural nature of the relation between women, capitalism and nature.

Topics: Development, Environment, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Intersectionality, Rights

Year: 2019

How Do Compact, Accessible, and Walkable Communities Promote Gender Equality in Spatial Behavior?

Citation:

Lo, A. W.-T., and D. Houston. 2018. “How Do Compact, Accessible, and Walkable Communities Promote Gender Equality in Spatial Behavior?” Journal of Transport Geography 68 (April): 42-54.

Authors: A. W.-T. Lo, D. Houston

Abstract:

Directing growth towards denser communities with mixed-use, accessible, and walkable neighborhood design has become an important strategy for promoting sustainability, but few studies have examined whether compact development strategies could help reduce within-household gender disparities in spatial behavior by increasing accessibility. We analyze spatial behavior of heterosexual married couples in Southern California based on the 2012 California Household Travel Survey and find that households living in areas with greater regional accessibility and neighborhood walkability have smaller, more centered, and more compact activity spaces overall compared to households in less compact areas, and that married pairs living in more accessible areas have greater equality in the size and centeredness of their activity spaces. We account for residential selection bias in our multivariate analysis and find that a ten unit increase in near-residence Walk Score was associated with a 12–18% decrease in activity space size, a 6–8% decrease in residential distancing, and a 12–13% increase in spatial concentration for both men and women. Men and women, however, had significantly different activity space behaviors regardless of their neighborhood type. Compared to women, men on average had larger activity spaces and conducted their activities farther from home. Overall, results support our hypothesis that compact development provides married couples greater flexibility in how they divide household out-of-home activities by making destinations more convenient and lowering the overall spatial fixity of these activities. Future research and planning efforts should carefully consider which aspects of compact, accessible development are most effective for a given local context.

Topics: Development, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Transportation Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2018

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