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Displacement & Migration

Women’s Land Activism and Gendered Citizenship in the Urbanising Pearl River Delta


Po, Lanchih. 2020. “Women’s Land Activism and Gendered Citizenship in the Urbanising Pearl River Delta.” Urban Studies 57 (3): 602–17.

Author: Lanchih Po



In light of the unequal access to urban citizenship resulting from the household registration system (hukou), an increasing number of scholarly works have pointed out how a system of citizenship stratification has emerged in urbanising China. However, this stratification has seldom been analysed in terms of gender. Rural women, situated at the bottom of the hierarchy of differentiated citizenship, often suffer gender-based discrimination and tumble still further down the hierarchy. Specifically, women are vulnerable to economic and social dispossession in the process of the displacement of rural populations and renegotiation of land rights. Owing to the custom of patrilocal residence, women who have ‘married out’ (waijianü) have been excluded from rights, participation and entitlement to collective land property. By creating a class of rural female non-citizens, rural communities have deprived waijianü of opportunities to share land-related revenue realised in the process of urbanisation, further perpetuating male dominance just as local economies and society are in flux. Through a case study of these conflicts in Guangdong, this paper explores how women have challenged gendered citizenship in the process of urbanisation.


Keywords: agglomeration/urbanisation, citizenship, gender, inequality, poverty/exclusion

Topics: Citizenship, Displacement & Migration, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Patriarchy, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 2020

Gender, Natural Capital, and Migration in the Southern Ecuadorian Andes


Gray, Clark L. 2010. “Gender, Natural Capital, and Migration in the Southern Ecuadorian Andes.” Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space 42 (3): 678–96.

Author: Clark L. Gray


This paper investigates the roles of gender and natural capital (defined as land and associated environmental services) in out-migration from a rural study area in the southern Ecuadorian Andes. Drawing on original household survey data, I construct and compare multivariate event history models of individual-level, household-level, and community-level influences on the migration of men and women. The results undermine common assumptions that landlessness and environmental degradation universally contribute to out-migration. Instead, men access land resources to facilitate international migration and women are less likely to depart from environmentally marginal communities relative to other areas. These results reflect a significantly gendered migration system in which natural capital plays an important but unexpected role.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Households, Land Tenure Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Ecuador

Year: 2010

Gender Equality in European Union Development Policy in Times of Crisis


Allwood, Gill. 2019. "Gender Equality in European Union Development Policy in Times of Crisis." Political Studies Review 18 (3). doi: 10.1177/1478929919863224.

Author: Gill Allwood


Gender equality is firmly established on the European Union development policy agenda. However, a series of interrelated crises, including migration, security and climate change, are becoming more prominent in European Union development policy. This article asks whether development objectives have been subsumed under these crisis-driven European Union priorities, whether this is compatible with efforts to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment through development cooperation and whether it will affect the ability to keep gender equality high on the European Union’s development policy agenda. The theoretical framework draws on horizontal policy coordination and nexuses. The analysis of European Union development policy documents shows how migration, security and climate change are constructed as crises, how they intersect in various nexuses and how gender intersects with each of these nexuses. This research finds that gender equality is absent from the migration–security–climate nexuses, which are increasingly driving development policy priorities. The article argues that it is quite straightforward to keep gender equality on the development policy agenda, but it is difficult to retain a focus on gender equality when multiple policy areas intersect. The research suggests that the discourse of crisis has blocked the way, and this will have an impact on the European Union’s internal and external activities.

Keywords: gender mainstreaming, European Union development policy, horizontal policy coordination

Topics: Development, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Security Regions: Europe

Year: 2019

Renegotiating Gender Roles and Cultivation Practices in the Nepali Mid-Hills: Unpacking the Feminization of Agriculture


Spangler, Kaitlyn, and Maria Elisa Christie. 2019. "Renegotiating Gender Roles and Cultivation Practices in the Nepali Mid-Hills: Unpacking the Feminization of Agriculture." Agriculture and Human Values 37: 415-32.

Authors: Kaitlyn Spangler, Maria Elisa Christie


The feminization of agriculture narrative has been reproduced in development literature as an oversimplified metric of empowerment through changes in women’s labor and managerial roles with little attention to individuals’ heterogeneous livelihoods. Grounded in feminist political ecology (FPE), we sought to critically understand how labor and managerial feminization interact with changing agricultural practices. Working with a local NGO as part of an international, donor-funded research-for-development project, we conducted semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, and participant observation with over 100 farmers in Mid-Western Nepal in 2017. Household structure and headship are dynamic in the context of male out-migration, pushing women to take on new agricultural duties and increasing household labor responsibilities. In this context, decision-making processes related to agricultural management and new cultivation practices illustrate ongoing renegotiations of gender and cultivation practices within and beyond the household. We contend that the heterogeneity of household power dynamics muddies the empowering impacts of migration and emphasize the importance of community spaces as a locus of subjectivity formation and social value. We conclude that FPE can illuminate complexities of power, space, and individual responses to socio-ecological conditions that challenge the current feminization of agriculture framework.

Topics: Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Femininity/ies, Households Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2019

Gender and Climate Change Linkages in the Semi-Arid Region of Ghana


Mensah, Michael, Paul L. G. Vlek, Benedicta Y. Fosu-Mensah. 2020. “Gender and Climate Change Linkages in the Semi-Arid Region of Ghana.” GeoJournal.

Authors: Michael Mensah, Paul L. G. Vlek, Benedicta Y. Fosu-Mensah


Climate change is projected to have a serious impact on all sectors of the world. The agriculture sector is one of the most vulnerable sectors with implications for smallholder farmers in semi-arid regions of Africa in terms of poverty and food security. Several researches have been carried out on perception and adaptation with a little investigation to unpack the gender differences and how this influence adaptation strategies. This research investigates gender difference and gender-specific adaptation strategies to climate change and variability. A household survey was conducted from August to December 2014 using a pre-tested questionnaire where 150 males and 150 female farmers were randomly sampled from 14 communities within the Bolgatanga Municipality and Bongo district. Results show the existence of gender differences in the adaptation strategies. Both gender groups perceived climatic change and variability but only 49% male and 40% female headed household (HH) have adopted strategies to cope with increasing temperatures while 56% male and 49% female have adapted to decreasing precipitation. On the other hand, 62% male and 60% female HH have adapted to increasing drought spells. The main differences between male and female adaptation strategies are that males prefer to migrate and seek employment in other parts of the country whereas females prefer to engage in off-farm jobs such as trading, basketry and shea-butter processing. The age of farmers, access to extension services, credit, perceived loss of soil fertility, among other factors influenced farmers adaptation strategies. Policy decisions to promote adaptation to climate change and variability should take these factors into consideration.

Keywords: climate change, adaptation, household, gender, Perception

Topics: Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Households, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2020

Indigenous Perspectives on Gender, Power and Climate-Related Displacement


Pentlow, Sarah. 2020. "Indigenous Perspectives on Gender, Power and Climate-Related Displacement." Forced Migration Review 64: 28-31.


Author: Sarah Pentlow


The impacts of climate change are most severely felt by those who live closest to their natural habitats. Indigenous Peoples in the Greater Mekong subregion of Southeast Asia are facing threats to their livelihoods and traditional ways of life and are being forced to migrate as an adaptation strategy. Within these communities, women bear the brunt of the work to adapt as they, culturally, are responsible for the food supply and livestock care. In this context, the Climate Smart Women initiative undertook village-level field research in selected Indigenous communities in Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam to understand the gendered impacts of climate change at a community level and how communities are responding. Pre-existing inequalities are exacerbated by climate change, resulting in differentiated vulnerabilities.


Topics: Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Indigenous, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam

Year: 2020

Displaced Women in Northern Ghana: Indigenous Knowledge about Ethnic Conflict


McGadney-Douglass, Brenda Faye, and William K. Ahadzie. 2008. “Displaced Women in Northern Ghana: Indigenous Knowledge about Ethnic Conflict.” Affilia 23 (4): 324–37.

Authors: Brenda Faye McGadney-Douglass, William K. Ahadzie


This article presents the findings of field research in Ghana in 2002 about internal displacement stemming from multiethnic violence in northern Ghana in 1994, known as the “Guinea Fowl War.” Indigenous, gender-specific knowledge from displaced Ghanaian women is presented in the context of feminist perspectives on the consequences of regional wars on noncombatants. The research generated indigenous material for social work education about interethnic peace building and conflict resolution. The discussion includes first-person responses about warning signs, origins of conflict, immediate and long-term responses, social consequences, and an integration of findings with feminist perspectives on conflict resolution and policies that are designed to aid internally displaced women.

Keywords: Africa, ethnic conflict, feminist social work, internally displaced women, social work education

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Gender, Women, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Peacebuilding Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2008

Gendered Dimensions of Migration in Relation to Climate Change


Lama, Phudoma, Mo Hamza, and Misse Wester. 2020. “Gendered Dimensions of Migration in Relation to Climate Change.” Climate and Development (June). doi:

Authors: Phudoma Lama, Mo Hamza, Misse Wester


It is widely accepted that climate change may be contributing to population movement and has gendered effects. The relationship between climate change as a direct cause of migration continues to give rise to debates concerning vulnerabilities, while at the same time gendered dimensions of vulnerabilities remain limited to binary approaches. There is limited cross-fertilization between disciplines that go beyond comparison between males and females but interrogate gender in association with climate change and migration. Here, we seek to develop an analytical lens to the nexus between gender, migration and climate change in producing, reproducing and sustaining at risk conditions and vulnerabilities. When gender and mobility are conceptualized as a process, and climate change as a risk modifier, the nexus between them can be better interrogated. Starting by using gender as an organizing principle that structures and stratifies relations entails viewing gender not as a category that distinguishes males and females but as a discursive process of social construction that (re)produces subjectivities and inequalities. Gender is a dynamic process that shapes and (re)produces vulnerabilities and consequently shapes mediation of climate impacts and migration and is also shaped by symbolic processes that go beyond households and communities.

Keywords: climate change, climate adaptation, migration, gender dynamics

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Migration, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality

Year: 2020

After the War: Displaced Women, Ordinary Ethics, and Grassroots Reconstruction in Colombia


Lemaitre, Julieta. 2016. “After the War: Displaced Women, Ordinary Ethics, and Grassroots Reconstruction in Colombia.” Social & Legal Studies 25 (5): 545–65.

Author: Julieta Lemaitre


This article examines internally displaced women’s narratives of rebuilding their life after displacement, focusing on questions of moral agency and community governance. The data come from a 3-year research project (2010–2013) with internally displaced women in Colombia, during the emergence of a new transitional justice regime. The article finds in internally displaced women’s narratives of the injuries of war, of their own resistance and overcoming, and of their aspirations for the future, concerns that go beyond poverty alleviation and redistribution in peace-building efforts. Internally displaced women’s narratives also engage with questions of ordinary ethics and community governance, describing the loss of moral agency in civil war and its painstaking recovery. This article questions the limitations of transitional justice regimes and peace-building efforts that ignore concerns with the loss of moral agency and community during civil war as well as the role of ordinary ethics in peace building at the grassroots.

Keywords: community governance, internal displacement, internally displaced women, moral agency, ordinary ethics, peace building, transitional justice, Colombia

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Gender, Women, Justice, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2016

Sexual Violence in the Border Zone: The EU, the Women, Peace and Security Agenda and Carceral Humanitarianism in Libya


Kirby, Paul. 2020. “Sexual Violence in the Border Zone: The EU, the Women, Peace and Security Agenda and Carceral Humanitarianism in Libya.” International Affairs 96 (5): 1209–26.

Author: Paul Kirby


The last decades have seen a striking increase in international policy seeking to protect against conflict-related sexual violence. Norms of protection are, however, unevenly applied in practice. In this article, I address one such situation: the significant and growing evidence of widespread sexual violence at detention sites in Libya where migrants are imprisoned after interception on the Mediterranean Sea. Drawing on policy documents, human rights reports, interviews with advocates and officials, and an analysis of debates in the EU Parliament and UNHCR's humanitarian evacuation scheme in Libya, I examine how abuses have been framed, and with what effects. I argue that decisions about protection are shaped not only by raced and gendered categorizations but also by a demarcation of bodies in the border zone, where vulnerability is to some degree acknowledged, but agency and responsibility also disavowed by politicians, diplomats and practitioners. The wrong of sexual violence is thus both explicitly recognized but also re-articulated in ways that lessen the obligations of the same states and regional organizations that otherwise champion the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. The combination of mass pullback and detention for many migrants with evacuation for a vulnerable few is an example of carceral humanitarianism, where ‘rescue’ often translates into confinement and abuse for unwelcome populations. My analysis highlights the importance of the positionality of migrants in the Libyan border zone for the form of recognition they are afforded, and the significant limits to the implementation of the EU's gender-responsive humanitarian policies in practice.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Humanitarian Assistance, Race, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa Countries: Libya

Year: 2020


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