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Feminist Political Economy

“Remember the Women of Osiri”: Women and Gender in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in Migori County, Kenya

Citation:

Buss, Doris, Sarah Katz-Lavigne, Otieno Aluoka, and Eileen Alma. 2020. “‘Remember the Women of Osiri’: Women and Gender in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in Migori County, Kenya.” Canadian Journal of African Studies  / Revue Canadienne Des éTudes Africaines  54 (1): 177-195.

Authors: Doris Buss, Sarah Katz-Lavigne, Otieno Aluoka, Eileen Alma

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
In this paper, we explore women’s livelihoods and the operation of gender norms and structures in the Osiri artisanal gold mining area in western Kenya. While “women” and “gender” are seen as increasingly important to policy frameworks for developing mineral resources on the African continent, understandings of women’s roles in artisanal and small-scale mining, and of the importance of gender in structuring those livelihoods, remain limited. Drawing on field research conducted from 2014 to 2018, we demonstrate that while gender norms and structures operate to delimit women’s mining roles, in daily encounters women and men navigate, resist and sometimes reframe those norms. Further, we explore how gender norms may not impact all women the same and how other social variables, such as age, may also influence how women navigate their mining livelihoods.

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
Dans cet article, nous examinons les moyens d’existence des femmes et le fonctionnement des normes et des structures liées au genre dans la région aurifère artisanale de Osiri, à l’Ouest du Kenya. Alors que les « femmes » et le « genre » sont considérés comme étant de plus en plus importants pour les cadres politiques de développement des ressources minérales sur le continent africain, la compréhension du rôle des femmes dans l’exploitation minière et à petite échelle, et de l’importance du genre dans la structuration de ces moyens d’existence, reste limitée. En nous appuyant sur des recherches de terrain conduites entre 2014 et 2018, nous démontrons que si les normes et les structures liées au genre servent à délimiter le rôle des femmes dans l’exploitation minière, lors de leurs rencontres quotidiennes, les femmes et les hommes maîtrisent, contestent et, quelquefois, recadrent ces normes. En outre, nous examinons comment les normes de genre peuvent ne pas affecter toutes les femmes de la même façon, et comment d’autres variables sociales, telles que l’âge, peuvent aussi influencer la manière dont les femmes gèrent leurs moyens d’existence dans le secteur minier.

Keywords: artisanal and small-scale mining, women, gender, Kenya, feminist political economy, exploitation minière artisanale et à petite échelle, femmes, genre, économie politique féministe

Topics: Age, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Gender Roles, Men, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2020

Don’t Let Another Crisis Go to Waste: The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Imperative for a Paradigm Shift

Citation:

Heintz, James, Silke Staab, and Laura Turquet. 2021. “Don’t Let Another Crisis Go to Waste: The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Imperative for a Paradigm Shift.” Feminist Economics. doi: 10.1080/13545701.2020.1867762

Authors: James Heintz, Silke Staab, Laura Turquet

Abstract:

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed how globalized, market-based economies critically depend on a foundation of nonmarket goods, services, and productive activities that interact with capitalist institutions and impact market economies. These findings, long argued by feminist economists, have profound implications for how we think about our economic futures. This paper shows how lessons from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can inform how people think about the future of our economies and, specifically, how to address a trio of interlocking crises: care work, environmental degradation, and macroeconomic consequences. Drawing on these lessons, this paper argues for a necessary paradigm shift and discusses the implications of such a shift for social and economic policies.

Keywords: Crisis, care economy, sustainability, macroeconomics

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Health

Year: 2021

Women, Peace and Security in a Changing Climate

Citation:

Cohn, Carol, and Claire Duncanson. 2020. “Women, Peace and Security in a Changing Climate.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 22 (5): 742-62.

Authors: Carol Cohn, Claire Duncanson

Abstract:

In this article, we argue that the effort to get the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda implemented in a series of bureaucratic institutions has pulled the agenda quite far from its original motivating intent. Indeed, going down the bureaucratic implementation rabbit hole has made it almost impossible for advocates to stay in touch with the foundational WPS question: how do you get to gender-just sustainable peace? As we approach the twentieth anniversary of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, we argue that WPS advocates need to return to that question, but in doing so, must also acknowledge the changed context. One striking change is that climate breakdown is both more acute and more apparent than in 2000, and any attempt to build gender-just sustainable peace will face serious climate-induced challenges. However, the climate crisis creates not only challenges for the WPS agenda, but also opportunities. The sustainability of peace and of the planet are inextricably linked, and we argue that the realization of the WPS agenda requires transformations to social, political, and, most importantly, economic structures that are precisely the same as the transformations needed to ward off greater climate catastrophe.

Keywords: women, peace and security, UNSCR 1325, feminist political economy, climate, peacebuilding

Topics: Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Peace and Security, Peacebuilding, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2020

A Gendered Perspective on Energy Transformation Processes

Citation:

Fraune, Cornelia. 2018. “A Gendered Perspective on Energy Transformation Processes.” In Handbook of the International Political Economy of Energy and Natural Resources, edited by Andreas Goldthau, Michael F. Keating, and Caroline Kuzemko, 62–76. Cheltenham; Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Author: Cornelia Fraune

Abstract:

According to the energy system perspective, energy supply is not only a matter of societal resource endowment and technological skills, but also expresses the nexus of mode of production and living in a society. Therefore, energy transformations also affect the social distribution of resources and power within a society. In referring to feminist approaches of international political economy, a framework will be developed in order to analyse how gender relations and energy transformations are intertwined. By examining gender relations in the realm of renewable energy production, private energy consumption, and sustainable energy policy-making interdependencies between the gender regime and energy transformation processes will be revealed.

Topics: Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Infrastructure, Energy

Year: 2018

Whose Recovery? IFI Prescriptions for Postwar States

Citation:

Cohn, Carol, and Claire Duncanson. 2020. “Whose Recovery? IFI Prescriptions for Postwar States.” Review of International Political Economy. 27 (6): 1214-34.

Authors: Carol Cohn, Claire Duncanson

Abstract:

In this article we argue that a feminist political economy (FPE) approach is critical in understanding why standard policy prescriptions for postwar economic recovery fail to support the building of sustainably peaceful countries and secure lives for their citizens. Whilst many scholars criticize the IFIs’ policies in war-affected countries, our FPE approach provides two overlooked but crucial insights. First, it reveals the disjunction (indeed, chasm) between a country’s economic recovery from war and the IFIs’ focus on the recovery of the economic system. Second, it locates the conceptual underpinnings of this chasm in the profoundly gendered assumptions of neoclassical economics. That is, we find the IFIs’ failure to prioritize financing the social infrastructure that could repair war’s damages, enhance human security, and support the ecosystems on which human security depends has its roots in the fundamental misconception of human reproductive, caring and subsistence labor, and of nature, as external to the economy rather than as central to the ability of the formal economy to function. We illustrate these points with a focus on one pervasive example of the IFIs’ approach to postwar recovery, their encouragement of the large-scale extraction and export of natural resources. Finally, we show how adopting the work of feminist economists who emphasize care, social reproduction and the value of nature, though not without its challenges, can offer radically new visions for postwar economies.

Keywords: feminist economics, feminist political economy, IFIs, peacebuilding, postwar economic recovery, security, sustaining peace, women, natural resources, extractivism, gender, World Bank, IMF

Topics: Economies, Feminist Economics, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Women, International Financial Institutions, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Security, Human Security

Year: 2020

Untenable Dichotomies: De-Gendering Political Economy

Citation:

Prügl, Elisabeth. 2020. “Untenable Dichotomies: De-Gendering Political Economy.” Review of International Political Economy. doi: 10.1080/09692290.2020.1830834.

Author: Elisabeth Prügl

Abstract:

Political Economy is inundated with foundational dichotomies, which constitute central concepts in its theorizing. Feminist scholarship has problematized the gender subtext of these dichotomies and the resulting blind spots, including the positioning of women’s labour, processes of reproduction, and private households as marginal to the economy. The paper offers a reading of contemporary writings in Feminist Political Economy that is attuned to disrupting binaries. It interrogates first, how the opposition between production and reproduction is today put into question through the development of a care economy and through new theorizations of social reproduction. Second, it questions the spatial opposition between the public and the private, the state and the household, an opposition that has long been a problem for those earning income in private spaces and that is increasingly rendered untenable in feminist literature that historicizes household governance. By destabilizing the gendered binaries of production/reproduction and public/private Feminist Political Economy brings into view blind spots in existing scholarship, including imbrications between logics of accumulation and public purpose, self-interest and care, and private household governance and the state, thereby opening up new thinking space for alternatives.

Keywords: gender, social reproduction, household governance, care economy, home-based work, binary thinking

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Households

Year: 2020

New Ways or Old Tricks? The World Bank’s Gender Strategy and Its Implications for Health

Citation:

Power, Luke. 2020. “New Ways or Old Tricks? The World Bank’s Gender Strategy and Its Implications for Health.” International Journal of Health Services 50 (1): 21–31.

Author: Luke Power

Abstract:

This paper provides a critical examination of the World Bank’s document, “World Bank Group Gender Strategy: Gender Equality, Poverty Reduction, and Inclusive Growth.” While the World Bank suggests that this paper is a distinction from past practices, others maintain that it is a continuation of previous neoliberal strategies. Thus, the aim of this analysis is to elucidate the implications of the proposed strategies on both gender equality and health equity. The analytical framework derives from both feminist political economy and the political economy of health literature. Within the document there is a direct emphasis on privatization and deregulation. Moreover, there is a clear re-articulation of both the state and female-citizenship: the former is presented as an “enabling agent,” and the latter depoliticized. Accordingly, it is argued that the promotion of macroeconomic strategies leads to the exaggeration of gender inequalities due to the perpetuation and crystallization of social inequalities. This consequently leads to the entrenchment of health inequities. These health inequities are compounded by the promotion of a “reduced state” that focuses on constructing a “workfare” state and a citizen who is resigned to community politics. Thus, instead of promoting gender equality, this report reflects a tendency toward its perpetuation.

Topics: Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, International Financial Institutions

Year: 2020

Navigating to Subsistence: The Gendered Struggles in the Postwar Everyday and Their Implications for Peace

Citation:

Stavrevska, Elena B. 2020. “Navigating to Subsistence: The Gendered Struggles in the Postwar Everyday and Their Implications for Peace.” Politics & Gender 16 (3). doi:10.1017/S1743923X20000355

Author: Elena B. Stavrevska

Annotation:

Summary:
In developing a feminist analysis of postwar political economic practices and institutions, my contribution builds on previous Critical Perspectives forums in following Cynthia Enloe’s call (2015, 438) to make sense of people’s gendered political lives while embracing their “messiness” and Rahel Kunz’s (2017) argument for placing life stories at the center of analysis. It focuses on the everyday life of female petty traders involved in the coping economy in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), including those working at the (in)famous Arizona market in Brčko. By taking postwar gendered everyday experiences seriously, my contribution highlights the need for a gender-just, holistic approach to designing postwar reparative justice measures, labor market interventions, and integration of coping economic practices.

Topics: Economies, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Women, Justice, Reparations, Post-Conflict Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2020

The Forgotten Lives: Connecting Gender, Security, and Everyday Livelihoods in Ukraine’s Conflict

Citation:

O’Sullivan, Mila. 2020. “The Forgotten Lives: Connecting Gender, Security, and Everyday Livelihoods in Ukraine’s Conflict.” Politics & Gender 16 (3). doi:10.1017/S1743923X20000343

Author: Mila O'Sullivan

Annotation:

Summary:
Recent debates within Women, Peace and Security (WPS) scholarship (e.g., Bergeron, Cohn, and Duncanson 2017; Elias 2015; True 2015) have underlined the need to position the WPS agenda in the context of broader feminist security analysis as defined by early feminist international relations scholars (e.g., Tickner 1992). More precisely, this requires integrating feminist security studies (FSS) and feminist political economy (FPE). At the center of these largely theoretical reflections is a concern that gender-responsive peace-building efforts have too often been undermined by postwar neoliberal economic processes. This essay provides an empirical contribution to this debate, taking the case study of Ukraine as an atypical example of how WPS has been adopted and implemented for the first time during an active conflict. The integration of FPE and FSS proves especially relevant for a country in conflict, where economic austerity policies come along with increased military expenditure. The essay illustrates that the bridging of security and economy is entirely absent in Ukraine's WPS agenda, which has largely prioritized military security while failing to connect it to the austerity policies and the gendered structural inequalities deepened by the ongoing conflict.

Topics: Conflict, Economies, War Economies, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peacebuilding, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Europe, Eastern Europe Countries: Ukraine

Year: 2020

Pages

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