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Environment

Green Practices Are Gendered: Exploring Gender Inequality Caused by Sustainable Consumption Policies in Taiwan

Citation:

Wang, Sumei. 2016. “Green Practices Are Gendered: Exploring Gender Inequality Caused by Sustainable Consumption Policies in Taiwan.” Energy Research & Social Science 18 (August): 88–95.

Author: Sumei Wang

Abstract:

In the context of climate change, governments and international organizations often promote a “sustainable lifestyle.” However, this approach has been criticized for underestimating the complexity of everyday life and therefore being inapplicable to households and consumers. In addition, procedures for promoting sustainable consumption seldom incorporate domestic workers’ opinions and often increase women’s housework loads. This article employs a practice-based approach to examine the “Energy-Saving, Carbon Reduction” movement, a series of sustainable consumption policies that have been advocated by the Taiwanese government since 2008. The goal of the movement is to encourage an eco-friendly lifestyle. On the basis of empirical data collected through ethnographic interviews, this article argues that existing policies unexpectedly increase women’s burdens and exacerbate gender inequality.

Keywords: sustainable consumption, gender inequality, Taiwan, global warming

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, International Organizations Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Taiwan

Year: 2016

Toward a Gender Diverse Workforce in the Renewable Energy Transition

Citation:

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

Abstract:

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

Impacts of Renewable Energy on Gender in Rural Communities of North-West China

Citation:

Ding, Wenguang, Lijun Wang, Baoyu Chen, Luan Xu, and Haoxu Li. 2014. “Impacts of Renewable Energy on Gender in Rural Communities of North-West China.” Renewable Energy 69: 180–9.

Authors: Wenguang Ding, Lijun Wang, Baoyu Chen, Luan Xu, Haoxu Li

Abstract:

This investigation compares the traditional energy structure with improved energy structures, and evaluates the impact of renewable energy on gender relations in rural communities in north-west China. The traditional energy consumption structure in rural communities in north-west China was based on biomass and coal. However, the improved energy consumption structures consist of renewable energy based on solar energy cookers, biogas digesters and energy saving stoves. Compared with traditional biomass-based energy consumption, renewable energy could significantly improve energy use efficiency and alter women's labour intensity, health status, living standards and even men's share of some cooking tasks. The field investigation data revealed that: women are free from having to collect firewood after integration use of renewable energy including biogas digesters, energy saving biomass stoves and solar energy cookers; the frequency of firewood collection, firewood collection quantity, time spent in firewood collection and human energy consumption of women have greatly decreased when traditional energy consumption structures are improved; using biogas can daily save 50% of cooking time for women; 91% of women use surplus funds from energy saving to buy clothes and cosmetics products; 3.1% of them enjoy travelling; and also use of clean energy devices can further reduce the risk of women exposed to indoor smoke pollution, and hence prevent women from possibly getting respiratory diseases. Therefore, it can be concluded that: gender is an important aspect of energy, which has previously been ignored by many researchers; gender does matter in the area of access to, ways of use, opportunities and control over energy; energy and women are linked in many diverse ways; technology change can drive cultural change; appropriate policies are needed to encourage technology up-take.

Keywords: energy structure, renewable energy, gender, rural community, China

Topics: Environment, Gender, Health, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 2014

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

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

Pioneers of U.S. Ecofeminism and Environmental Justice

Citation:

Mann, Susan A. 2011. “Pioneers of U.S. Ecofeminism and Environmental Justice.” Feminist Formations 23 (2): 1–25.

Author: Susan A. Mann

Abstract:

From the late-nineteenth through the early decades of the twentieth century, women in the United States played important roles in the conservation and preservation of wildlife, as well as in environmental activism that fostered clean air, water, and food in our nation’s urban centers. This article examines the contributions of women of different classes and races to these environmental struggles. It not only synthesizes the findings of previous environmental histories, but also focuses more attention on the ways environmental contamination affected the lives of women of color and their struggles against environmental racism. In this way, an environmental justice lens is used to excavate and reclaim the history of our ecofeminist predecessors to better ensure that the visions and voices of marginalized peoples do not remain hidden from history.

Keywords: ecofeminism, environmental history, environmental justice

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Women, Justice

Year: 2011

The Power and the Promise of Ecological Feminism

Citation:

Warren, Karen J. 1990. “The Power and the Promise of Ecological Feminism.” Environmental Ethics 12 (2): 125–46.

Author: Karen J. Warren

Annotation:

Summary:
Ecological feminism is the position that there are important connections-historical, symbolic, theoretical-between the domination of women and the domination of nonhuman nature. I argue that because the conceptual connections between the dual dominations of women and nature are located in an oppressive patriarchal conceptual framework characterized by a logic of domination, (1) the logic of traditional feminism requires the expansion of feminism to include ecological feminism and (2) ecological feminism provides a framework for developing a distinctively feminist environmental ethic. I conclude that any feminist theory and any environmental ethic which fails to take seriously the interconnected dominations of women and nature is simply inadequate. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy

Year: 1990

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

The Good-Natured Feminist: Ecofeminism and the Quest for Democracy

Citation:

Sandilands, Catriona. 1999. The Good-Natured Feminist: Ecofeminism and the Quest for Democracy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota.

Author: Catriona Sandilands

Annotation:

Summary:
Heroic mothers defending home and hearth against a nature deformed by multinationalist corporate practice: this may be a compelling story, but it is not necessarily the source of valid feminist or ecological critique. What’s missing is the democratic element, an insistence on bringing to public debate all the relations of gender and nature that such a view takes for granted. This book aims to situate a commitment to theory and politics—that is, to democratic practice—at the center of ecofeminism and, thus, to move toward an ecofeminism that is truly both feminist and ecological.

The Good-Natured Feminist inaugurates a sustained conversation between ecofeminism and recent writings in feminist postmodernism and radical democracy. Starting with the assumption that ecofeminism is a body of democratic theory, the book tells how the movement originated in debates about “nature” in North American radical feminisms, how it then became entangled with identity politics, and how it now seeks to include nature in democratic conversation and, especially, to politicize relations between gender and nature in both theoretical and activist milieus. (Summary from University of Minnesota Press)

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender

Year: 1999

Eco-Feminism: Lessons for Feminism from Ecology

Citation:

Rosser, Sue V. 1991. “Eco-Feminism: Lessons for Feminism from Ecology.” Women’s Studies International Forum 14 (3): 143–51.

Author: Sue V. Rosser

Abstract:

For almost two decades feminists have successfully used the lens of gender to critique the extent to which androcentric bias has distorted the theory and practice of science. More recently ecofeminists have extended this critique to ecology, recognizing male domination and exploitation of both women and the environment. In this paper I pose the question in the other direction, to explore what the science of ecology in its theories, methods, and practice might contribute to the critique of feminism. In their fusion as ecofiminism both theories can intertwine and complement to form a strong framework for praxis.

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gendered Power Relations

Year: 1991

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