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Feminisms

Gender and Natural Resource Management: Livelihoods, Mobility and Interventions

Citation:

Resurrección, Bernadette P., and Rebecca Elmhirst. 2012. Gender and Natural Resource Management: Livelihoods, Mobility and Interventions. Abingdon: Routledge.

Authors: Bernadette P. Resurrección, Rebecca Elmhirst

Annotation:

Summary:
This book is about the gender dimensions of natural resource exploitation and management, with a focus on Asia. It explores the uneasy negotiations between theory, policy and practice that are often evident within the realm of gender, environment and natural resource management, especially where gender is understood as a political, negotiated and contested element of social relationships. It offers a critical feminist perspective on gender relations and natural resource management in the context of contemporary policy concerns: decentralized governance, the elimination of poverty and the mainstreaming of gender. Through a combination of strong conceptual argument and empirical material from a variety of political economic and ecological contexts (including Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam), the book examines gender-environment linkages within shifting configurations of resource access and control. The book will serve as a core resource for students of gender studies and natural resource management, and as supplementary reading for a wide range of disciplines including geography, environmental studies, sociology and development. It also provides a stimulating collection of ideas for professionals looking to incorporate gender issues within their practice in sustainable development. Published with IDRC. (Summary from Routledge)

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Feminisms, Gender Regions: Asia Countries: Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam

Year: 2012

The Politics of Feminist Translation in Water Management

Citation:

Resurrección, Bernadette P., and Rebecca Elmhirst. 2020. “The Politics of Feminist Translation in Water Management.” In Negotiating Gender Expertise in Environment and Development, 99–114. London: Routledge.
 

Authors: Bernadette P. Resurrección, Rebecca Elmhirst

Abstract:

Feminist encounters with technical water professionals such as, for example, engineers, modelers and bureaucrats bring into view fundamental questions and differences in approaching and understanding the use and management of water. Women engineers, for their part, may not be taken seriously by their male peers. According to Liebrand & Udas, for them to succeed and belong, they have to reconcile the performances of being a ‘lady engineer’ with that of a ‘normal’ masculinised engineer, which may be asking for the irreconcilable. This brings to fore how feminist politics in water contexts also involves becoming aware of, navigating and contesting prevailing identity boundaries. The gender experts in water development projects often lack the political clout to change the terms of dialogue with their technical colleagues, as their work is often considered marginal to the main task of achieving water productivity. (Abstract from Taylor & Francis Group)

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation

Year: 2020

Occupational Genders and Gendered Occupations: The Case of Water Provisioning in Maputo, Mozambique

Citation:

Alda-Vidal, Cecilia, Maria Rusca, Margreet Zwarteveen, Klaas Schwartz, and Nicky Pouw. 2017. “Occupational Genders and Gendered Occupations: The Case of Water Provisioning in Maputo, Mozambique.” Gender, Place & Culture 24 (7): 974–90.

Authors: Cecilia Alda-Vidal, Maria Rusca, Margreet Zwarteveen, Klaas Schwartz, Nicky Pouw

Abstract:

Taking issue with how associations between technical prowess or entrepreneurship and masculinity tend to be taken for granted or are seen as stemming from natural or intrinsic gender differences, over the last two decades feminist scholars have developed theoretical approaches to understand the gendering of professions and abilities as the performative outcome of particular cultures and histories. We build on these insights to explore how associations between masculinities, technology and entrepreneurship shape ideas and practices of small-scale water provision in Maputo. Our findings show how activities (i.e. technical craftsmanship, hard physical work) or abilities (i.e. risktaking, innovativeness) regarded as masculine tend to be considered the defining features of the profession. This shapes how men and women make sense of and talk about their work, each of them tactically emphasizing and performing those aspects best fitting their gender. Our detailed documentation of men’s and women’s everyday involvements in water provisioning challenges the existence of sharp boundaries and distinctions between genders and professional responsibilities. It shows that water provisioning requires many other types of work and skills and male and female household members collaborate and share their work. The strong normative-cultural associations between gender and water provisioning lead to a distinct underrecognition of women’s importance as water providers. We conclude that strategies to effectively support small-scale water businesses while creating more space and power for women involved in the business require the explicit recognition and re-conceptualization of water provisioning as a household business.

Keywords: technology, entrepreneurship, small scale water providers (SSIP), urban water supply, Maputo, occupational masculinities and femininities

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Discourses, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 2017

Water Insecurity in Disaster and Climate Change Contexts: A Feminist Political Ecology View

Citation:

Resurrección, Bernadette P. 2019. “Water Insecurity in Disaster and Climate Change Contexts: A Feminist Political Ecology View.” In People and Climate Change: Vulnerability, Adaptation, and Social Justice, edited by Lisa Reyes Mason and Jonathan Rigg, 51–67. New York: Oxford University Press. 
 

Author: Bernadette P. Resurrección

Keywords: feminist political ecology, water, neoliberalism, emotions, subjectivities

Annotation:

Summary:
This chapter applies a feminist political ecology lens to episodes of climate change-related water insecurity in three Southeast Asian peri-urban area sites affected by flooding, water shortages, and pollution induced by long dry spells and heavy precipitation. It presents highlights from a 3-year research project that examined the everyday lives of women as they “deal with water” in the context of increasing water pollution, water scarcity, and flooding compounded by neoliberal socioeconomic conditions. These accounts illustrate how in water- and climate-change contexts, the neoliberal logics of privatization, commercialization, and reified separation between “the natural” and “the social” engage closely with emotions and intersectional gender subjectivities. The use of a feminist political ecology lens offers more holistic and grounded ways of probing into people’s experiences of climate-related water insecurity and stresses, aspects of which are often missed: gendered violence, hierarchies of place, affect, and insecurity in everyday life. (Summary from Oxford Scholarship Online)
 

Topics: Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Privatization, Violence Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam

Year: 2019

Bright as Night: Illuminating the Antinomies of ‘Gender Positive’ Solar Development

Citation:

Stock, Ryan. 2021. “Bright as Night: Illuminating the Antinomies of ‘Gender Positive’ Solar Development.” World Development 138. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.105196.

Author: Ryan Stock

Abstract:

India is undergoing a rapid transition to renewable energy; the Gujarat Solar Park typifies this transition. In addition to mitigating climate change, the Gujarat Solar Park boasts female empowerment through social development schemes. This manuscript is inspired by the following research question: To what extent are ‘gender positive’ processes and projects associated with solar development in India realized on the ground? Utilizing mixed methods fieldwork and drawing on literature from feminist political ecology, this paper demonstrates how the modalities of solar park development represent an antinomy of a nature-society relation. New configurations of labor under the political economy of solar have produced a gendered surplus population of landless peasants who are not absorbed into wage-labor employment in the solar park. Further, associated social development schemes actually disempower women, despite mandates of ‘gender positive’ outcomes by UN-based climate treaties to which this project is beholden. The opportunity to participate in one such scheme for female empowerment was reserved for only women of middle-to-high class status and those of dominant castes, thereby reproducing class and caste-based social power asymmetries. Female (dis)empowerment eclipses ‘gender positive’ guarantees of the solar park. This study highlights some unintended consequences of sustainable energy transitions in the Global South at the local scale. Designing development interventions related to climate change mitigation that boast ‘gender positive’ outcomes must be careful not to exacerbate gender disparities and economic exclusion in rural areas.

Keywords: energy transition, solar park, antinomy, feminist political ecology, gender, intersectionality

Topics: Caste, Class, Development, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2021

Feminist Political Ecology

Citation:

Sundberg, Juanita. 2017. “Feminist Political Ecology.” In International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment and Technology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. 

Author: Juanita Sundberg

Abstract:

Feminist political ecology is a subfield that brings feminist theory, objectives, and practices to political ecology, which is an analytical framework based on the assumption that ecological issues must be understood and analyzed in relation to political economy (and vice versa). Feminist political ecologists hold that gender is a crucial variable – in relation to class, race, and other relevant dimensions of political ecological life – in constituting access to, control over, and knowledge of natural resources. In addition, research in feminist political ecology demonstrates how social identities are constituted in and through relations with nature and everyday material practices.

Topics: Class, Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Race

Year: 2017

Emotional Political Ecology

Citation:

Sultana, Farhana. 2017. “Emotional Political Ecology.” In The International Handbook of Political Ecology, edited by Raymond L. Bryant, 633-645. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publsihing

 

Author: Farhana Sultana

Annotation:

Summary:
This chapter develops an emotional political ecology approach by integrating scholarship in feminist political ecology, resources management and emotional geographies. Emotions matter in resource struggles. They influence outcomes of practices and processes of resource access, use and control while shaping how resources-related interactions are actually experienced in everyday lives. I demonstrate the importance of heeding the various emotions and meanings attached to resource access, use and conflict in order to better elucidate the emotionality thereby engaged in everyday struggles. Through a case study of a water crisis, the chapter draws attention to the emotional geographies of water that are important in explaining the ways that feeling subjects relate to water and how water mediates broader social relations. Conflicts over resources are thus as much about embodied emotions, feelings and lived experiences as they are about property rights and entitlements, long the focus in political ecology. Not only does such an approach lead to greater nuance in understanding resources struggles and politics; it also rejects the idea that ‘real’ scholarship is about ‘rational’ social interactions over resources that leaves emotive realities about how resources are accessed, used and fought over firmly to one side. Indeed, (feminist) political ecology will be immeasurably strengthened when often abstract articulations of ‘resource struggles’ and ‘resource conflicts’ are grounded in embodied emotional geographies of places, peoples and resources, enabling enhanced comprehension of how resources and emotions intermingle in everyday resource management practices. I believe that more comprehensive and productive analyses are possible that can greatly expand current debates to better explain why and how specific nature–society relations play out the way they do. An emotional political ecology approach thus elucidates how emotions matter in nature–society relations, and can thus greatly enhance future political ecology scholarship. (Summary from ElgarOnline)

Topics: Conflict, Resource Conflict, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation

Year: 2017

Political Ecology in the Key of Policy: From Chains of Explanation to Webs of Relation

Citation:

Rocheleau, Dianne E. 2008. “Political Ecology in the Key of Policy: From Chains of Explanation to Webs of Relation.” Geoforum 39 (2): 716-27.

Author: Dianne E. Rocheleau

Abstract:

Political ecology (PE) is rooted in a combination of critical perspectives and the hard won insights distilled from field work. The theoretical base of political ecology was joined, by Piers Blaikie and others, to an unflinching commitment to empirical observation of biophysical and socio-economic phenomena in place. To this already ambitious mix was added a practical intent to contribute to material as well as social change: a practical political ecology of alternative development ran beneath the surface of much of this work. For many this led to serious encounters with policy and the machinery of policy research institutions. While seemingly contradictory with the critical tenets of political ecology, Blaikie’s pursuit of this pathway led beyond the ivory tower to Political Ecology in the Key of Policy, initially to inform national and international policy and eventually expanding – through the work of second-generation PE – to address internal policy in social movements and alternative development networks. Among recent variations on political ecology that have built partly on the work of Blaikie, Feminist Political Ecology (FPE) expands PE to address women as a group, and gender as a category. FPE and post-structural PE are based on multiple actors with complex and overlapping identities, affinities and interests. An emergent wave of political ecology joins FPE, post-structural theory, and complexity science, to address theory, policy and practice in alternatives to sustainable development. It combines a radical empiricism and situated science, with feminist post-structural theories of multiple identity and “location”, and alternative development paradigms. This approach honors the legacy of Piers Blaikie and other PE founders yet incorporates the insights and political projects of feminism, post-structural critique and autonomous or alternative development movements.

Keywords: Blaikie, political ecology, hybrid ecologies, feminist, post-structural, policy, development

Topics: Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women

Year: 2008

Maps, Numbers, Text, and Context: Mixing Methods in Feminist Political Ecology

Citation:

Rocheleau, Dianne. 1994. “Maps, Numbers, Text, and Context: Mixing Methods in Feminist Political Ecology.” The Professional Geographer 47 (4): 458-66.

Author: Dianne Rocheleau

Abstract:

Feminist post-structuralist theory, feminist empiricism, and field practice can all contribute to insights on the value of quantitative and qualitative methods in feminist geographical research. A political ecology study of gendered interests in a social forestry program in the Dominican Republic illustrates the methodological dilemmas and potentials of feminist research on environmental change. The study combined qualitative and quantitative data collection and analytical techniques. Examples from the case study address three methodological questions in feminist geography: (1) Should identity or affinity be the basis for situating ourselves and the subjects of our research? (2) How can we reconcile multiple subjectivities and quantitative methods in the quest for objectivity? and (3) Can we combine traditional positivist methods with participatory mapping and oral histories? The paper draws on theoretical literature as well as field experience to answer these questions.

Keywords: feminist, gender, qualitative methods, political ecology

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender Regions: Americas, Caribbean countries Countries: Dominican Republic

Year: 1994

Lost and Found Crops: Agrobiodiversity, Indigenous Knowledge, and a Feminist Political Ecology of Sorghum and Finger Millet in Northern Malawi

Citation:

Kerr, Rachel Bezner. 2011. “Lost and Found Crops: Agrobiodiversity, Indigenous Knowledge, and a Feminist Political Ecology of Sorghum and Finger Millet in Northern Malawi.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 104 (3): 577-93.

Author: Rachel Bezner Kerr

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
This article tells the story of two indigenous, drought-tolerant grains, finger millet and sorghum, once grown in northern Malawi. Sorghum essentially disappeared from the landscape, replaced by maize. Finger millet persisted, despite being discouraged by colonial and postcolonial governments, but is now in decline. This case study of these two crops in northern Malawi uses data from in-depth interviews, focus groups, archival documents, and observations. I suggest that sorghum almost disappeared due to a combination of maize promotion, male migration, and pest problems. An upsurge of tobacco production, in part due to neoliberal policies, combined with gender dynamics that favor maize are reducing finger millet production. Drawing on theories of feminist political ecology, resilience, and indigenous knowledge, I argue that agrobiodiversity and related indigenous knowledge are situated in material and gendered practices. Efforts to improve social resilience in these vulnerable regions need to pay attention to processes and the intersectionality of gender, class, and other subjectivities at different scales that produce particular agricultural practices and knowledge in a given place.

SPANISH ABSTRACT:
Este artículo relata la historia de dos granos indígenas adaptados a la sequía, el millo (mijo) perla y el sorgo, que tradicionalmente han sido cultivados en la parte norte de Malawi. El sorgo esencialmente desapareció del paisaje, remplazado por el maíz. El millo perla persistió, pese a que su cultivo fue desestimulado por los gobiernos colonial y poscolonial, pero ahora está en declive. El estudio de caso sobre estas dos cosechas en el norte de aquel país utiliza datos generados en entrevistas a profundidad, grupos focales, documentos de archivo y observaciones de campo. Pienso que el sorgo casi desapareció debido a las campañas de promoción del maíz, combinadas con otros factores como la migración de varones y problemas de plagas. En lo que se refiere al millo perla, su producción se ha reducido por la competencia de la reactivación de cultivos de tabaco, debida en parte a políticas neoliberales, combinado todo esto con dinámicas de género que favorecen el cultivo del maíz. A partir de teorías de ecología política feminista, resiliencia y conocimiento indígena, arguyo que la agro-biodiversidad y el conocimiento indígena pertinente son factores situacionales en las prácticas de materialidad y género. Los esfuerzos para mejorar la resiliencia social en estas regiones vulnerables deben poner atención sobre los procesos y la interseccionalidad de género, clase y otras subjetividades, a diferentes escalas, que producen prácticas agrícolas particulares y conocimiento en un lugar dado.

Keywords: feminist political ecology, gender, indigenous knowledge, Malawi, resilience, ecología política feminista, conocimiento indígena, resiliencia

Topics: Agriculture, Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Economies, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2011

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