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Gender Equality/Inequality

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

From Gender-Blind to Gender-Transformative Reintegration: Women’s Experiences with Social Reintegration in Guatemala

Citation:

Weber, Sanne. 2021. “From Gender-Blind to Gender-Transformative Reintegration: Women’s Experiences with Social Reintegration in Guatemala.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 23 (3): 396–417.

Author: Sanne Weber

Abstract:

Disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) processes have become a standard component of international peace and security programming. Yet, in spite of increasing attention to the need for gender-sensitive DDR in policy and academic debates, the stereotypical ways in which female ex-combatants have traditionally been addressed have led to inadequate gendered reintegration policies. This article describes the effects of a gender-blind reintegration process on female ex-combatants’ experiences of long-term social reintegration in Guatemala. Social reintegration is a profoundly gendered process, which involves the rebuilding of civilian identities, social relationships, and trust between social groups. Based on in-depth interviews with female ex-combatants, this article describes how the absence of gender-sensitive reintegration strategies produced various problems for women. They faced difficulties in their emotional and family relationships, leading to mental health struggles and even violence, as well as persistent stigma which produced anxiety and challenges in the labor market. The article concludes with suggestions for making reintegration a gender-transformative process, by crossing the private–public divide, increasing collective strategies, and better aligning with transitional justice processes.

Keywords: female ex-combatants, DDR, social reintegration, gender equality, Guatemala

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Guatemala

Year: 2021

How Women Can Save the Planet

Citation:

Karpf, Anne. 2021. How Women Can Save the Planet. Hurst Publishers.

Author: Anne Karpf

Annotation:

Summary: 
Here’s a perverse truth: from New Orleans to Bangladesh, women—especially poor women of colour—are suffering most from a crisis they have done nothing to cause. Yet where, in environmental policy, are the voices of elderly European women dying in heatwaves? Of African girls dropping out of school due to drought? Our highest-profile climate activists are women and girls; but, at the top table, it’s men deciding the earth’s future.
 
We’re not all in it together—but we could be. Instead of expecting individual women to save the planet, what we need are visionary, global climate policies that are gender-inclusive and promote gender equality.
 
Anne Karpf shines a light on the radical ideas, compelling research and tireless campaigns, led by and for women around the world, that have inspired her to hope. Her conversations with female activists show how we can fight back, with strength in diversity. And, faced with the most urgent catastrophe of our times, she offers a powerful vision: a Green New Deal for Women.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe

Year: 2021

Officialising Strategies: Participatory Processes and Gender in Thailand's Water Resources Sector

Citation:

Resurrección, Bernadette P., Mary Jane Real, and Panadda Pantana. 2004. “Officialising Strategies: Participatory Processes and Gender in Thailand’s Water Resources Sector.” Development in Practice 14 (4): 521–33.

Authors: Bernadette P. Resurrección, Mary Jane Real, Panadda Pantana

Abstract:

This paper examines participatory processes in an Asian Development Bank (ADB) technical assistance package in Thailand's water resource sector. The authors analyse various levels of social interaction in the local community, in meso-level stakeholder consultations, and in opposition to ADB's environment programmes expressed by civil society organisations. While participatory approaches are employed to promote more bottom-up management regimes in water resources, the authors find that local power and gender differences have been overlooked. Evolving institutions of resource governance are constituted by gender, reproducing gender inequalities such as regarding water intended for agricultural use as a 'male' resource. Finally, it is argued that understandings and practices of participation legitimise particular agendas in a politically polarised arena.

Topics: Agriculture, Civil Society, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Hierarchies, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, International Organizations Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Thailand

Year: 2004

Climate Change and Gender Justice: International Policy and Legal Responses

Citation:

Kameri-Mbote, Patricia. 2013. “Climate Change and Gender Justice: International Policy and Legal Responses.” In Climate Change: International Law and Global Governance, edited by Oliver C. Ruppel, Christian Roschmann, and Katharina Ruppel-Schlichting, 1st ed., 323–48. Volume I: Legal Responses and Global Responsibility. Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft mbH. 

Author: Patricia Kameri-Mbote

Abstract:

Climate change raises issues of justice for different subjects of law – states and individuals. It is therefore not surprising that international policy and legal responses to climate change took equity concerns on board by considering differentiated responsibilities for climate change and taking respective capabilities of states into account in assigning the role to protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations of humankind. While the link between gender and climate change has not always been obvious, there is increasing evidence to demonstrate that women and men experience climate change differently; that climate change increases women’s vulnerability; and gender inequalities worsen women’s coping capacities. This article looks at the relationship between gender and climate change and how international policies and laws on gender and climate change address the interface. It also highlights the increasing advocacy for the inclusion of gender justice in international climate change debates. It concludes that including gender in the laws, policies and discussions on climate change brings a critical constituency to these platforms and also enhances the effectiveness of the interventions aimed at dealing with climate change because of the roles that women play in different programmes and contexts.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Men, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Law

Year: 2013

Equality, Harmony, and the Environment: An Ecofeminist Approach to Understanding the Role of Cultural Values on the Treatment of Women and Nature

Citation:

Bloodhart, Brittany, and Janet K. Swim. 2010. “Equality, Harmony, and the Environment: An Ecofeminist Approach to Understanding the Role of Cultural Values on the Treatment of Women and Nature.” Ecopsychology 2 (3): 187–94. 

Authors: Brittany Bloodhart, Janet K. Swim

Abstract:

This research investigated the associations between hegemonic cultural values, gender equality, and environmental protection. Psychologists have largely studied domination of people over other people (e.g., men over women) rather than domination of people over the environment. Ecofeminism, however, theorizes that hegemonic systems of power and oppression materialize both as domination of men over women and as domination of people over the environment, leading to degradation of the ecosystems. Consequently, we theorize that gender inequality and impacts on the natural world should be related at a national level, and that cultural tendencies to prioritize hegemonic values of hierarchy of people (rather than egalitarianism) and mastery over the environment (rather than harmony) should be related to negative environmental impacts and gender inequality. Data from the United Nations (2009) on gender equality and women's empowerment, Schwartz's (2006) assessment of cultural value orientation, and Yale's Environmental Performance Index (2008) generally support ecofeminist predictions: controlling for gross domestic product, gender empowerment is related to a country's tendency to exploit the environment, and cultural hegemonic values are predictive of gender inequality and environmental exploitation. However, gender empowerment mediates the relationship between hegemony and environmental health, whereas it is mutually predictive with hegemony of ecosystem vitality. These results may be influenced by women's representation in law and policy creation as well as by men's differential self-interest in their own health over the health of animals, the biosphere, and marginalized human groups.

Topics: Economies, Ecological Economics, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health

Year: 2010

Constructing Humanitarian Selves and Refugee Others

Citation:

Olivius, Elisabeth. 2016. “Constructing Humanitarian Selves and Refugee Others.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 18 (2): 270–90.

Author: Elisabeth Olivius

Abstract:

Contributing to ongoing debates about what happens when feminism is institutionalized in global governance, this article examines how gender equality is given meaning and applied in humanitarian aid to refugees, and what the implications are with regard to the production of subjectivities and their positioning in relations of power. Drawing on Foucauldian and postcolonial feminist perspectives, the analysis identifies two main representations of what it means to promote gender equality in refugee situations. Gender equality is represented as a means to aid effectiveness through the strategic mobilization of refugee women's participation, and as a project of development, involving the transformation of “traditional” or “backward” refugee cultures into modern societies. The subject positions that are produced categorically cast refugees as either passive or problematic subjects who need to be rescued, protected, assisted, activated, controlled and reformed through humanitarian interventions, while humanitarian workers are positioned as rational administrators and progressive agents of social transformation. In effect, gender equality is used to sustain power asymmetries in refugee situations and to reproduce global hierarchies.

Keywords: global governance, gender equality, refugees, humanitarian aid, governmentality, postcolonial feminism, Thailand, Bangladesh

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Humanitarian Assistance, NGOs Regions: Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Bangladesh, Thailand

Year: 2016

“Drawing the Line” and Other Small-Scale Resistances: Exploring Agency and Ambiguity in Transnational Feminist and Queer NGOs

Citation:

Liinason, Mia (she/her/hers), 2021. “'Drawing the Line' and Other Small-Scale Resistances: Exploring Agency and Ambiguity in Transnational Feminist and Queer NGOs." International Feminist Journal of Politics 23 (1): 102-124.

Author: Mia Liinason

Abstract:

This article explores the workings of gender expertise inside the institutions of the international governance system as it engages with faith-based actors. Utilizing narratives of gender experts, documentary analysis, and observation, I focus on these experts’ encounters regarding gender equality and women’s rights with religious leaders, religious actors, and conservative governments. Focusing on episodes in which the terms “cultural difference” and “religion” are used synonymously, first, I show how encounters between transnational actors can play a role in hegemonic interpretations of these terms. Second, I explore how powerful actors can become more authoritative in making claims of cultural difference or how the existing distribution of power may be disrupted. I contend that these power relations affect discussions of gender equality. My goal is to contribute to feminist debates by highlighting the ways in which these transnational interactions disrupt assumptions of West versus East. Paying attention to these complex processes can challenge ethnocentric and racist discourses without taking claims of cultural difference at face value.

Keywords: 'feminism', queer, NGOs, transnational, neoliberalism

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Intersectionality, NGOs, Religion, Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2020

Gender-Related Contemporary Challenges in the Transport Ecosystem and Women’s Mobility Needs TinnGO (special session on ‘Women in Transport – EU Projects for Change’)

Citation:

Woodcock, Andree, Lena Levin, Miriam Pirra, Cathleen Schöne, and Esti Sanvicente. 2020. “Gender-Related Contemporary Challenges in the Transport Ecosystem and Women’s Mobility Needs TinnGO (special session on ‘Women in Transport – EU Projects for Change’).” In Proceedings of 8th Transport Research Arena TRA 2020, April 27-30, 1-8. Helsinki: Transport Research Arena.

Authors: Andree Woodcock, Lena Levin, Miriam Pirra, Cathleen Schöne, Esti Sanvicente

Abstract:

TinnGO addresses contemporary challenges in employment, education and male-domination, through an intersectional analysis applied to examine inequality and privilege in transport and mobility. The European transport sector is marred by strong, persistent biases, which produce gender and other inequalities, permeating the sector whilst having wider repercussions in relation to quality of life, accessibility and inclusivity. The TinnGO project will create a framework and promote mechanisms for sustainable change in gender and diversity sensitive smart mobility through the development of a Pan European TinnGO observatory. This will lead, coordinate, and be fed by hubs across EU (UK, France, Germany, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Romania, Baltic states, Denmark/Sweden, Italy) providing leadership, innovation and critique of smart mobility innovations. The ambition is to become a template for further observatories monitoring and addressing barriers to women’s mobility through gendered, culturally sensitive smart mobility innovations. This paper provides an overview of the concepts and initial results.

Keywords: Europe, co and participatory design, gender mainstreaming, gender and diversity sensitive, smart mobility

Topics: Education, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Transportation Regions: Europe

Year: 2020

TinnGO: Challenging Gender Inequality in Smart Mobility

Citation:

Woodcock, Andree, Hilda Romer Christensen, and Lena Levin. 2020. “TinnGO: Challenging Gender Inequality in Smart Mobility.” Journal of Road and Traffic Engineering 66 (2): 1-5.

Authors: Andree Woodcock, Hilda Romer Christensen, Lena Levin

Abstract:

The European transport sector is marked by a strong, persistent unconscious bias, which produces gendered inequalities that permeate all aspects of the domain from design, modelling, implementation, education, employment and usage. The TinnGO project will create a framework and mechanisms for sustainable change in gender and diversity mobility through the development of a Pan European TinnGO observatory. This will lead, coordinate, and be fed by hubs across EU (UK, France, Germany, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Romania, Baltic states, Denmark/Sweden, Italy) providing international and national leadership, innovation and critical reviews of smart mobility innovations. The ambition is to become a template for other observatories to address barriers to women’s mobility through gendered, culturally sensitive smart mobility innovations. Written during the first year of a 3-year project, the paper provides an overview of the concept and initial results.

Keywords: gender, inclusivity, smart mobility, Tinngo

Topics: Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Transportation Regions: Europe

Year: 2020

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