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Gender

A Continuum of Participation: Rethinking Tamil Women’s Political Participation and Agency in Post-War Sri Lanka

Citation:

Koens, Celeste, and Samanthi J. Gunawardana. 2021. “A Continuum of Participation: Rethinking Tamil Women’s Political Participation and Agency in Post-War Sri Lanka.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 23 (3): 463–84.

Authors: Celeste Koens, Samanthi J. Gunawardana

Abstract:

In post-war contexts, attention is given to women’s participation and barriers to their participation in formal processes (for example, peace talks, economic initiatives, and elections). Yet, women have engaged in various activities to exercise collective and individual agency to impact political participation. This article examines how Tamil women’s political participation in post-war Sri Lanka exists along a continuum, from formal participation within state structures and party politics to informal community participation. Scholarship about Tamil women’s political participation is framed within discourses of “militants,” “ex-combatants,” “political mothers,” or “victims.” Using narrative interviews, we argue that – based on their awareness of unequal gendered power relations, structures, and norms impacting their lives in post-war Sri Lanka – Tamil women in Mannar exercise agency to challenge these constraints and promote a broader transformative political arena. Some women attempt to expand the agency of others and to promote a collective voice through which women can be better represented in politics. Drawing on feminist international relations and gender and development knowledge, this study demonstrates how political agency is constituted within informal arenas, disrupting masculinist assumptions about who is considered a political actor and what counts as political agency by examining the spectrum of political participation in post-war contexts.

Keywords: political participation, Sri Lanka, post-war, gender, Tamil women

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Political Participation, Post-Conflict Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 2021

Gendered Forests: Exploring Gender Dimensions in Forest Governance and REDD+ in Équateur Province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Citation:

Samndong, Raymond Achu, and Darley Jose Kjosavik. 2017. “Gendered Forests: Exploring Gender Dimensions in Forest Governance and REDD+ in Équateur Province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).” Ecology and Society 22 (4). https://www.jstor.org/stable/26799010.

Authors: Darley Jose Kjosavik, Raymond Achu Samndong

Abstract:

In this study we analyze gender relations legitimatized by socio-political institutions of forest governance in REDD+ pilots in Équateur Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Using data from interviews, focus group discussions, and field observations, we show that men and women have different knowledge and use of forests, but these differences are not given due consideration in forest governance. Women’s voices are often muted in decision-making arenas and they occupy only a nominal position in both forestry and development initiatives as compared with men. This status quo is extended to the REDD+ pilot projects as well. Women have limited information about REDD+ compared with men. The mechanisms used to establish new village organization for REDD+ exclude women from decision making in the ongoing REDD+ pilot project. We show that women’s bargaining power for equal inclusion in decision-making processes and for sharing benefits are constrained by existing social norms regarding local access to land and material resources, existing gender division of labor, local perceptions regarding women’s roles and contributions/responsibilities, as well as men’s dominant position in rural settings. For a gender transformative REDD+, we suggest that REDD+ actors should attempt to bring about institutional changes that transform gender relations and thereby increase women’s bargaining power.

Keywords: decision making, development initiative, Équater Province, DRC, forest governance, gender role, REDD+

Topics: Environment, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2017

"Para el Bien Común" Indigenous Women's Environmental Activism and Community Care Work in Guatemala

Citation:

Hallum-Montes, Rachel. 2012. “‘Para El Bien Común’ Indigenous Women’s Environmental Activism and Community Care Work in Guatemala.” Race, Gender & Class 19 (1/2): 104–30.

Author: Rachel Hallum-Montes

Abstract:

This article adopts an "eco-intersectional" perspective to examine the motivations and strategies that guide indigenous women's environmental activism in Guatemala. A total of 33 indigenous Kaqchikel women who work with a transnational environmental organization were interviewed in 2006 and 2009. The interviews reveal that gender, race, and class figured prominently in women's decisions to become environmental activists. Women mobilized around their identities as mothers and caregivers, and viewed their environmental activism as a way of caring for both their families and the indigenous community. Women also linked their local activism to larger social movements—including the indigenous, women's, and environmental movements. The article concludes by discussing recommendations for academic, activist, and policy work.

Keywords: gender, indigenous, environment, Guatemala, ecofeminism

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Women, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Race Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Guatemala

Year: 2012

An Offering from the Bayou

Citation:

Pichon Battle, Collette. 2021. “An Offering from the Bayou.” In All We Can Save, edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson. Penguin Random House.

Author: Collette Pichon Battle

Annotation:

Book Summary:

There is a renaissance blooming in the climate movement: leadership that is more characteristically feminine and more faithfully feminist, rooted in compassion, connection, creativity, and collaboration. While it’s clear that women and girls are vital voices and agents of change for this planet, they are too often missing from the proverbial table. More than a problem of bias, it’s a dynamic that sets us up for failure. To change everything, we need everyone.

All We Can Save illuminates the expertise and insights of dozens of diverse women leading on climate in the United States—scientists, journalists, farmers, lawyers, teachers, activists, innovators, wonks, and designers, across generations, geographies, and race—and aims to advance a more representative, nuanced, and solution-oriented public conversation on the climate crisis. These women offer a spectrum of ideas and insights for how we can rapidly, radically reshape society.

Intermixing essays with poetry and art, this book is both a balm and a guide for knowing and holding what has been done to the world, while bolstering our resolve never to give up on one another or our collective future. We must summon truth, courage, and solutions to turn away from the brink and toward life-giving possibility. Curated by two climate leaders, the book is a collection and celebration of visionaries who are leading us on a path toward all we can save. (Summary from Penguin Random House)

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Gender, Girls, Women Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2021

Gender Dimensions of Sustainable Consumption

Citation:

Weller, Ines. 2017. “Gender Dimensions of Sustainable Consumption.” In Routledge Handbook of Gender and Environment, edited by Sherilyn MacGregor, 331–44. London: Routldege.

Author: Ines Weller

Annotation:

Summary:

Sustainable consumption and production patterns have been prominent issues from the very start of the sustainable development debate. In fact, Agenda 21, the plan of action adopted at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro stated that ‘the major cause of the continued deterioration of the global environment is the unsustainable pattern of consumption and production, particularly in industrialized coun-
tries . . .’ (UN 1992:31). Although the urgent need for fundamental changes in consumption and production patterns, which would transform societies and push them in the direction of sustainable development, has been recognized since that time, particularly in the Global North, there are still very few signs that any such transformation is taking place. World energy consumption grows unabated as global carbon emissions continue to rise. The fundamental inequalities between the Global North and South also remain, despite very high rates of growth in the newly industrialized and developing countries of the Global South in particular (IEA 2013). In this context, and especially in the context of sustainable patterns of consumption and production, the attitudes and behaviours of private citizens and consumers, their perceptions of environmental problems, and associated use of resources all play an important role. Hitherto, however, these debates have neglected the significance of gender, gender relations, and gender justice for sustainable consumption.

In this chapter, I will focus on debates and research in Germany/Western Europe. I begin by introducing the definitions, objectives, and areas of responsibility of various actors for sustainable consumption. This compact overview focuses in particular on the relationship between production and consumption as gendered societal spheres. I then move on to consider the tension that exists between the theory of privatized environmental responsibility, on the one hand, which criticizes tendencies to overstate and moralize the power of private consumers to shape change and, on the other, women as change agents for more sustainable consumption. The next part of the chapter is organized around the distinction, which is useful for analyzing the gender aspects of sustainable consumption, between explicit and implicit gender dimensions. With reference to feminist theorist Sandra Harding (1986), I draw together the individual and structural levels of gender as explicit gender dimensions. Both of these are for the most part based on statistical data and empirical findings, particularly concerning gender differences and, in this respect, link to ambivalence between the analysis of gender and gender hierarchies, on the one hand, and the reproduction of traditional gender images and dichotomies on the other. The discussion focuses in particular on the symbolic conceptual level of gender, which I consider in detail in relation to a specific example. The background is the feminist critique of the claim of the natural sciences to objectivity (Orland and Scheich 1995). Drawing on the example of a study on the volume of food waste, I draw attention to several gender-related ‘blank spaces’ and gaps in the data that have been produced in this field. This emerges more clearly from closer consideration of the treatment given to male-coded production and female-coded consumption. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Development, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Justice Regions: Europe, Western Europe Countries: Germany

Year: 2017

Black Women in the United States and Unpaid Collective Work: Theorizing the Community as a Site of Production

Citation:

Banks, Nina. 2020. “Black Women in the United States and Unpaid Collective Work: Theorizing the Community as a Site of Production.” The Review of Black Political Economy 47 (4): 343–62.

Author: Nina Banks

Abstract:

This analysis discusses the lived experiences of Black American women as the basis for a new theoretical framework for understanding women’s unpaid work. Feminist economists have called attention to the invisibility of women’s unpaid work within the private household but have not adequately considered the unpaid, nonmarket work that women perform collectively to address urgent community needs that arise out of racial and ethnic group disparities. As such, racialized women’s unpaid, nonmarket work continues to be subject to invisibility. This analysis reconceptualizes Black women’s community activism as unpaid, nonmarket “work” and illustrates that the community is a primary site of nonmarket production by Black women and other racialized women. The community is an important site where racialized women perform unpaid, nonmarket collective work to improve the welfare of community members and address community needs not met by the public and private sectors. The analysis elevates the community to a site of production on par with the household, thereby calling for a paradigm shift in feminist economic conceptualizations of unpaid work. This new framework enables us to examine intersectional linkages across different sites of production—firms, households, and communities—where multiple forms of oppression operate in structuring peoples’ lives. Compared with additive models of gender and race, this intersectional approach more fully captures the magnitude of racialized women's oppression.

Keywords: African American women, unpaid work, community work

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Feminist Economics, Gender, Women, Intersectionality, Race Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2020

Gender, Resistance and Human Security

Citation:

Hoogensen, Gunhild, and Kirsti Stuvøy. 2006. “Gender, Resistance and Human Security.” Security Dialogue 37 (2): 207–28.

Authors: Gunhild Hoogensen, Kirsti Stuvøy

Abstract:

In the debate on human security, the leading question for many is ‘where do we go from here?’ Through this article, the authors contribute to the discussion by exploring both the extent to which gender approaches have been relevant to the human security debate thus far and how they can offer some directions forward. They argue that gender approaches deliver more credence and substance to a wider security concept, but also enable a theoretical conceptualization more reflective of security concerns that emanate from the ‘bottom up’. The authors therefore incorporate gender theory to develop human security as an epistemological perspective to security studies. Gender theory claims that security must be linked to empowerment of the individual, as well as to the capabilities to create positive environments of security. They employ the tool of resistance as one crucial example of human agency in security. Practices of resistance, in the latter’s various empirical forms, are present in all social contexts. Such a perspective on security directs attention to the practices of agents and provides a basis for exploring contextually dependent insecurities and securities.

Keywords: security, human security, gender, resistance, dominance/non-dominance

Topics: Gender, Security, Human Security Regions: Americas, North America, Europe, Nordic states Countries: Canada, Norway

Year: 2006

The Gender Gap in Voting in Post-Conflict Elections: Evidence from Israel, Mali and Côte D’Ivoire

Citation:

Stockemer, Daniel, and Michael J Wigginton. 2020. “The Gender Gap in Voting in Post-Conflict Elections: Evidence from Israel, Mali and Côte D’Ivoire.” Conflict Management and Peace Science, 1-23. doi: 10.1177/0738894220966577.

Authors: Daniel Stockemer, Michael J. Wigginton

Abstract:

In this article, we first formulate some theoretical expectations about the development of the gender gap in voting in post-conflict situations. Second, we test these expectations on five cases, including two civil wars, the Ivorian Civil War (2011) and the Malian Civil War (2013–2015), and three major international Israeli conflicts, the Yom Kippur War (1973) and the First and Second Lebanon Wars (1982–1985 and 2006). We do so by comparing women’s and men’s turnout before and after a conflict using individual voting data and find that the sum of the nine factors we identify (i.e. duration of war, type of warfare, end of fighting after ceasefire/peace settlement, change in workforce participation, international involvement in the peace process, international development aid, the militarization of politics and female social movement activism) explain changes in the gender gap in voting after the conflict in three of the five cases we study.

Keywords: Gender gap in voting, post-conflict situation

Topics: Gender, Men, Women, Militarization, Political Participation, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, Asia, Middle East Countries: Côte D'Ivoire, Israel, Mali

Year: 2020

Gender Implications of Biofuels Expansion in Africa: The Case of Mozambique

Citation:

Arndt, Channing, Rui Benfica, and James Thurlow. 2011. “Gender Implications of Biofuels Expansion in Africa: The Case of Mozambique.” World Development 39(9): 1649–62.

Authors: Channing Arndt, Rui Benfica, James Thurlow

Keywords: biofuels, 'gender', growth, poverty, land abundance, Africa

Annotation:

Summary: 

We use a gendered dynamic CGE model to assess the implications of biofuels expansion in a low-income, land-abundant setting. Mozambique is chosen as a representative case. We compare scenarios with different gender employment intensities in producing jatropha feedstock for biodiesel. Under all scenarios, biofuels investments accelerate GDP growth and reduce poverty. However, a stronger trade-off between biofuels and food availability emerges when female labor is used intensively, as women are drawn away from food production. A skills-shortage among female workers also limits poverty reduction. Policy simulations indicate that only modest improvements in women’s education and food crop yields are needed to address food security concerns and ensure broader-based benefits from biofuels investments (Summary from original source).

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 2011

Green New Deal - or Globalisation Lite?

Citation:

Salleh, Ariel. 2010. “Green New Deal - or Globalisation Lite?” Arena, no. 105 (May): 15-9.

Author: Ariel Salleh

Annotation:

Summary:
"In response to the global climate crisis and the breakdown of international financial institutions, green new deals are being discussed in local, national, regional and international settings. But the word ‘deal’ gives the lie to new, for these are mostly trade-off packages designed to hold together the narrow political arena of business-as-usual. The Transatlantic Green New Deal, the Global Green New Deal, as well as British and Australian versions, look rather like a revved-up Hobbesian social contract, drafted in the realisation that life under global capitalism is more ‘nasty, brutish and short’ than ever before. The outline of the contract is on the table, but only one voice is represented in the text. Class difference appears only as an employment statistic and the systematic exploitations of race and gender that underpin the global economy are ignored. The neocolonial South, the domestic North, and material nature at large, remain sites of subsumption in green new deal discourse" (Salleh 2010, 15).

Topics: Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Post-Conflict, Race Regions: Americas, Europe Countries: Australia, United Kingdom

Year: 2010

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