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Economies

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.

Description: 

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.
Author: 
Carol Cohn
Claire Duncanson
Year Published: 
2017

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

Citation:

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

Abstract:

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

Gender Issues of Biomass Production and Use in Africa

Citation:

Farioli, Francesca, and Touria Dafrallah. 2012. “Gender Issues of Biomass Production and Use in Africa.” In Bioenergy for Sustainable Development in Africa, edited by Rainer Janssen and Dominik Rutz, 345–61. Dordrecht: Springer.

Authors: Francesca Farioli, Touria Dafrallah

Abstract:

Energy is a basic necessity for survival and a key input to economic and social development. In Sub-Saharan Africa access to modern energy remains very low and the energy situation is still heavily dependent on traditional biomass that accounts for 80–90% of the countries energy balances. Lack of energy services is correlated with many elements of poverty, such a low education levels, inadequate health care, and limited employment and income generation possibilities. The energy-poverty nexus has distinct gender characteristics. Of the approximately 1–3 billion people living in poverty, it is estimated that 70% are women, many of who live in female–headed households in rural areas. In Sub-Saharan Africa, women have challenging roles on the energy scene as they are in charge of supplying their households with energy amongst other subsistence activities. This chapter looks into the impacts of biomass production and use on women health and livelihood. Literature and research studies by institutions involved in bioenergy and indoor air pollution are considered (World Health Organization, Partnership for Clean Indoor Air, Energia Network, COMPETE, etc.). Current energy policies in Africa seem to ignore the gender dimension of energy, although providing rural women with an affordable, reliable and clean energy source is a priority to effectively alleviate poverty. For any energy policy aiming at poverty reduction it is absolutely crucial not to neglect the fact that men and women have different energy needs due to their traditionally different roles and responsibilities within the households, and due to the unbalanced access to resources and decision-making. Nevertheless, the gender dimension of energy often remains invisible to most policy-makers. In many African countries biofuels production has recently gained significant interest. Private companies are investing in biofuels opportunities, as Africa seems to offer a good environment (available land, cheap labour and favorable climate). Unfortunately, policy and regulatory frameworks are not established to monitor the emerging private initiatives on biofuels that seem to focus on exports. This might worsen gender issues as women are economically and socially vulnerable and might be the main group to get marginalized. This chapter identifies relevant policy options related to social aspects of biomass production and use, as well as a set of recommendations how to engender biofuels policies.

Keywords: energy poverty, MDGs, bioenergy, health, livelihood, gender mainstreaming, engendering energy policies, land access, food security, income generation, policy recommendations

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Education, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Health, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, International Organizations, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa

Year: 2012

A Feminist Perspective on Carbon Taxes

Citation:

Chalifour, Nathalie J. 2010. “A Feminist Perspective on Carbon Taxes.” Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 22 (1): 169–212.

Author: Nathalie J. Chalifour

Abstract:

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
Il y a un besoin urgent d'adopter des politiques canadiennes efficaces pour contrer le changement climatique. On consacre beaucoup d'énergie au choix et à la conception d'instruments de politique optimale et les questions d'efficacité environnementale et d'efficience économique dominent le débat. Il est néanmoins tout aussi important d'analyser comment ces politiques vont agir sur différents segments de la société et de s'assurer qu'elles soient conçues de manière juste afin de ne pas aggraver les inégalités systémiques. Le présent article traite de cette question de justice sociale en examinant les taxes sur le carbone d'une perspective féministe, plus particulièrement en analysant comment les taxes sur le carbone produisent des conséquences pour les femmes. L'article propose une analyse de genres dans le cadre des taxes environnementales, qui va au-delà de l'évaluation des impacts distributionnels pour tenir compte aussi des impacts qui ne touchent pas le revenu, des implications de l'allègement connexe et des politiques concernant l'utilisation des revenus aussi bien que le résultat de la mise en oeuvre de ces taxes. L'application de ce cadre d'analyse à la taxe sur le carbone en Colombie-Britannique ainsi qu'à la redevance annuelle prélevée par le Québec révèle que les femmes vont vraisemblablement souffrir de façon disproportionnée des augmentations de coûts créées par les taxes sur le carbone. L'analyse démontre également que les politiques destinées à mitiger l'impact des taxes sur le carbone pour les familles à faible revenu ne tiennent pas compte des disparités de revenus entre les femmes et les hommes, ni du statut socio-économique des femmes. En conclusion, l'auteure recommande d'adopter des politiques concernant le coût du carbone qui évitent de perpétuer les inégalités systémiques actuelles entre les femmes et les hommes et qui pourraient même aider à corriger ces inégalités.
 
ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Effective domestic policies are urgently needed to address climate change. A great deal of energy is devoted to selecting and designing the optimal policy instruments, with questions of environmental effectiveness and economic efficiency dominating the debate. However, it is equally important to consider how those policies will impact upon different segments of society and to ensure that they are designed in a way that is fair and does not further entrench systemic inequalities. This article approaches this social justice issue by examining carbon taxes from a feminist perspective, specifically considering how carbon taxes impact upon women. The article proposes the gender analysis of environmental taxes framework, which goes beyond the evaluation of distributional impacts to consider non-income impacts, implications of related mitigation, and revenue-use policies as well as the outcome of the measure. Applying the framework to British Columbia's carbon tax and Québec’s redevance annuelle reveals that women may bear a disproportionate burden of the increased prices created by carbon taxes. The article also demonstrates that policies designed to mitigate the impact of carbon taxes on low-income households do not address income disparities between women and men, nor do they take into account the socio-economic status of women. The author concludes with recommendations for developing carbon pricing policies that avoid perpetuating existing systemic inequalities between women and men and that might even help to overcome these inequalities.

Topics: Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Energy, Justice Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2010

Women and Cooking Energy

Citation:

Batliwala, Srilatha. 1983. “Women and Cooking Energy.” Economic and Political Weekly 18 (52/53): 2227–30.

Author: Srilatha Batliwala

Abstract:

This paper discusses the impact of the cooking energy system on women. A woman in poverty has low access to cooking fuel, spends the longest time obtaining it, and puts it to use in stoves which are not only fuel-inefficient, but which also subject her to serious or fatal disease. Cooking energy also increasingly determines a woman's nutrition level, and that of her family. 

It is, therefore, essential that all innovations in the cooking energy system be undertaken only in continuous interaction with the women whose lives they will most affect. This interaction must be initiated at the idea/conceptual stage, and not when the prototype is ready for testing.

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Health, Infrastructure, Energy

Year: 1983

Renewable Inequity? Women’s Employment in Clean Energy in Industrialized, Emerging and Developing Economies

Citation:

Baruah, Bipasha. 2017. “Renewable Inequity? Women’s Employment in Clean Energy in Industrialized, Emerging and Developing Economies.” Natural Resources Forum 41 (1): 18–29.

Author: Bipasha Baruah

Abstract:

Women are globally underrepresented in the energy industry. This paper reviews existing academic and practitioner literature on women's employment in renewable energy in industrialized nations, emerging economies and developing countries. It highlights similarities and differences in occupational patterns in women's employment in renewables in different parts of the world, and makes recommendations for optimizing women's participation. Findings reveal the need for broader socially-progressive policies and shifts in societal attitudes about gender roles, in order for women to benefit optimally from employment in renewables. In some industrialized countries, restructuring paid employment in innovative ways while unlinking social protection from employment status has been suggested as a way to balance gender equity with economic security and environmental protection. However, without more transformative social changes in gender relations, such strategies may simply reinforce rather than subvert existing gender inequities both in paid employment and in unpaid domestic labor. Grounded interventions to promote gender equality in renewable energy employment – especially within the context of increasing access to energy services for underserved communities – are more prevalent and better-established in some non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. OECD countries might be well-advised to try to implement certain programs and policies that are already in place in some emerging economies.

Keywords: women, employment and labor, renewable energy, OECD countries, Emerging economies, developing countries

Topics: Economies, Environment, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Infrastructure, Energy, International Organizations, Livelihoods

Year: 2017

States and Markets: An Ecofeminist Perspective on International Political Economy

Citation:

Tickner, J. Ann. 1993. “States and Markets: An Ecofeminist Perspective on International Political Economy.” International Political Science Review / Revue Internationale de Science Politique 14 (1): 59–69.

Author: J. Ann Tickner

Abstract:

This article examines the way in which the interaction between states and markets since the seventeenth century has depended on the exploitation of nature. The accumulation of wealth and power by the early modern state depended on the enlightenment ideology that saw nature as a resource to be exploited for human progress. An expansionary Eurocentric state system imposed this ideology on other cultures through imperialism and the globalization of capitalism. Feminists believe that this attitude toward nature has also been associated with the exploitation of women and other cultures. While environmentalists look to international regulation to solve ecological problems caused by the development of the international system, feminists and social ecologists claim that not until all these forms of exploitation are ended can an ecologically secure future be achieved.

Topics: Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Globalization, Political Economies

Year: 1993

Ecofeminism

Citation:

Mies, Maria, and Vandana Shiva. 2014. Ecofeminism. London: Zed Books.

Authors: Maria Mies, Vandana Shiva

Annotation:

Summary:
This groundbreaking work remains as relevant today as when it was when first published. Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva argue that ecological destruction and industrial catastrophes constitute a direct threat to everyday life, the maintenance of which has been made the particular responsibility of women. In both industrialized societies and the developing countries, new wars, violent ethnic chauvinisms and the malfunctioning of the economy pose urgent questions. Is there a relationship between patriarchal oppression and the destruction of nature in the name of profit and progress? How can women counter the violence inherent in these processes? Should they look to a link between the women's movement and other social movements? These two world-renowned feminist environmental activists offer a thought-provoking analysis of these and many other issues from a unique North-South perspective. (Summary from WorldCat)

Topics: Armed Conflict, "New Wars", Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Violence

Year: 2014

Financialization, Resistance, and the Question of Women’s Land Rights

Citation:

Collins, Andrea M. 2018. "Financialization, Resistance, and the Question of Women’s Land Rights." International Feminist Journal of Politics 21 (3): 454- 76.

Author: Andrea M. Collins

Abstract:

The financialization of food and agricultural land has been a critical driver of the “land-grabbing” phenomenon in the post 2007–2008 period: the potential for land to be both a productive and financial asset has driven interest in long term land rentals and sales. Scholars and activists have highlighted the negative effects of these trends for rural populations. International institutions have promoted the recognition of land rights as a means to secure land from seizure, ensure equal participation in land acquisitions, and enable low income populations, including women, to access credit. At the same time, activists are promoting collective land rights, customary modes of land tenure and the rights of Indigenous peoples. For activists, land reform models that promote the collective rights of peoples to govern land are critical to resisting individualized land ownership models that encourage the alienation of land. This article reviews these rights-based frameworks using a critical feminist perspective and argues that both the institutionalist and activist approaches require more nuanced understandings of gender and difference in order to effect gender-equitable change. This article concludes by mapping new feminist research directions that consider land and resources within the context of local–global processes, the global economy, intersectionality and global rights-based discourses.

Keywords: land governance, gender, food sovereignty, collective rights, international institutions

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Land grabbing, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights

Year: 2018

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