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Gender Equity

Re-Imagining the Driver–Pressure–State–Impact–Response Framework from an Equity and Inclusive Development Perspective


Gupta, Joyeeta, Joeri Scholtens, Leisa Perch, Irene Dankelman, Joni Seager, Fülöp Sánder, Michael Stanley-Jones, and Isabell Kempf. 2020. “Re-Imagining the Driver–Pressure–State–Impact–Response Framework from an Equity and Inclusive Development Perspective.” Sustainability Science 15 (2): 503–20.

Authors: Joyeeta Gupta, Joeri Scholtens, Leisa Perch, Irene Dankelman, Joni Seager, Fülöp Sánder, Michael Stanley-Jones, Isabell Kempf


The Driver–Pressure–State–Impact–Response (DPSIR) framework has been used by environmental agencies and others to assess environmental challenges and policy responses. However, in doing so, social justice or equity issues tend to come as an afterthought, while there is evidence that environmental challenges and policy responses are not equity (including gender-) neutral. Hence, this paper addresses the question: why should, and how can, equity issues and environmental justice be incorporated into the DPSIR framework? It presents a structure for including equity within DPSIR and applies it. It reviews the literature to bring together data that demonstrates that there is a clear equity perspective along the entire DPSIR analysis. It concludes that although individual environmental policies may succeed to achieve their specific goal in the short term; if they ignore the equity aspects, the policy strategies as a whole are likely to be environmentally unjust, and lead to exclusive and unsustainable development, which, in turn, could further exacerbate environmental challenges. This highlights the need for an integrated approach in efforts to achieve environmentally sustainable development.

Keywords: DPSIR, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (BESS), equity, gender, environmental justice, inclusive development, environmental challenges, inequality

Topics: Development, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Justice

Year: 2020

Women and Climate Change in the Sahel


McOmber, Chesney. 2020. “Women and Climate Change in the Sahel.” West African Papers no. 27, OECD, Paris.

Author: Chesney McOmber


The purpose of this paper is to explore the gendered impacts of climate change in the Sahel. In particular, it explores the ways in which gender inequality is a critical factor in understanding vulnerability and resilience efforts concerning climate change. It shows that the current climate crisis is affecting livelihoods throughout the Sahel in pronounced ways. In a region highly dependent upon subsistence agriculture and pastoralist livelihoods, climate variability and environmental degradation have made such livelihoods difficult to sustain, the effects of which have broad ranging impacts on social and economic systems. Consequently, migration, livelihood adaptation, social unrest, and political instability emerge from the ecological challenges the Sahel is facing. Those with the resources to respond to and prepare for future climate events will be better equipped to navigate the climate crisis. Unfortunately, those resources are rarely equally distributed at the household, community, and state levels. In particular, gender inequalities within the Sahel pose a very real challenge for adaptation and resilience strategies as states and global institutions make interventions to support at risk populations. The paper then explores what development and state institutions are doing to resolve gender inequity through climate resilience policy, and where these efforts are falling short. The paper concludes with some strategies to improve opportunities for gender equity and climate resilience based on field research within the Sahel.

Keywords: gender, climate change, Sahel, West Africa

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, West Africa

Year: 2020

Intersectionality and Energy Transitions: A Review of Gender, Social Equity and Low-Carbon Energy


Johnson, Oliver W., Jenny Yi-Chen Han, Anne-Louise Knight, Sofie Mortensen, May Thazin Aung, Michael Boyland, and Bernadette P. Resurrección. 2020. “Intersectionality and Energy Transitions: A Review of Gender, Social Equity and Low-Carbon Energy.” Energy Research & Social Science 70. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2020.101774.

Authors: Oliver W. Johnson, Jenny Yi-Chen Han, Anne-Louise Knight, Sofie Mortensen, May Thazin Aung, Michael Boyland, Bernadette P. Resurrección


Transitions to low-carbon energy systems are essential to meeting global commitments to climate change mitigation. Yet “greening” energy systems may not make them any fairer, inclusive or just. In this paper, we review the academic literature to understand the state of knowledge on how diffusion of low-carbon technologies impacts gender and social equity in intersectional ways. Our findings indicate that renewable energy projects alone cannot achieve gender and social equity, as energy interventions do not automatically tackle the structural dynamics embedded within socio-cultural and socio-economic contexts. If existing power asymmetries related to access and resource distribution are not addressed early on, the same structural inequalities will simply be replicated and transferred over into new energy regimes.

Keywords: energy transitions, low-carbon energy, climate change, renewable energy, social equity, gender equality

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Infrastructure, Energy, Intersectionality

Year: 2020

Differentiations in Women’s Land Tenure Experiences: Implications for Women’s Land Access and Tenure Security in Sub-Saharan Africa


Chigbu, Uchendu Eugene, Gaynor Paradza, and Walter Dachaga. 2019. “Differentiations in Women’s Land Tenure Experiences: Implications for Women’s Land Access and Tenure Security in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Land 8 (2).

Authors: Uchendu Eugene Chigbu, Gaynor Paradza, Walter Dachaga


Most literature on land tenure in sub-Saharan Africa has presented women as a homogenous group. This study uses evidence from Ghana, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe to show that women have differentiated problems, needs, and statuses in their quest for land access and tenure security. It illustrates how women-to-women differences influence women’s access to land. By investigating differentiations in women’s land tenure in the three countries, the study identifies multiple and somewhat interlinked ways in which differentiations exist in women’s land tenure. It achieved some key outcomes. The findings include a matrix of factors that differentiate women’s land access and tenure security, a visualisation of women’s differentiation in land tenure showing possible modes for actions, and an adaptable approach for operationalising women’s differentiation in land tenure policies (among others). Using these as evidence, it argues that women are a highly differentiated gender group, and the only thing homogenous in the three cases is that women are heterogeneous in their land tenure experiences. It concludes that an emphasis on how the differentiation among women allows for significant insight to emerge into how they experience tenure access differently is essential in improving the tenure security of women. Finally, it makes policy recommendations. 

Keywords: differentiation, gender, land, land access, land rights, land tenure, tenure security, social tenure, Sub-Saharan Africa, women, women's differentiation

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe

Year: 2019

Gains for Women from Farmland Redistribution in South Africa and Sustainable Pathways out of Poverty – Insights from Recent Evidence


Motala, Shirin, Stewart Ngandu, and Aubrey Mpungose. 2016. “Gains for Women from Farmland Redistribution in South Africa and Sustainable Pathways out of Poverty – Insights from Recent Evidence.” Agenda 30 (4): 85-98.  

Authors: Shirin Motala, Stewart Ngandu, Aubrey Mpungose


Equitable access to land and other natural resources aimed at significant rural poverty reduction are at the forefront of ambitious goals entrenched in post-1994 land and agrarian policies. Among other targets, redistributive land policies promise that women should make up at least one-third of all land reform beneficiaries. After two decades of farmland redistribution, disputes persist as to whether these outcomes have been achieved.

This focus piece systematically reviews evidence from a micro-level study based on blended information gathering strategies in three provinces that vary in terms of their agrarian structures and agro-ecology. The study uniquely overlays farmland transfer data with provisioning of agricultural development support information.

The analysis embeds the gender equity-land reform puzzle in the traditional poverty-land reform nexus. Its main question explores the extent to which land and agrarian reform interventions have produced an altered livelihood dynamic for land reform beneficiaries and more importantly to measure how this has translated into gendered sustainable livelihood impacts at household level. The study draws on the sustainable livelihoods framework as the lens for making sense of gender inequalities in the countryside and the extent to which there has been equitable redress in the interests of rural women.

The findings summarise trends in respect of access, ownership and control of land assets and the related livelihood outcomes by gender. Evidence suggests that shrinking numbers of black farmers gain ownership of land and enjoy access to Government-financed support for on-farm production and participation in agricultural value chains beyond the farm gate. This finding is more pronounced for women farmers. More importantly, it points to important design features of such interventions which can and do impact on promoting sustainable livelihoods, particularly for female headed households.

Keywords: land and agrarian reform, gender, gender inequality, sustainable livelihoods, pro-poor development, farmland transfer, land ownership

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Households, Land Tenure, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2016

Anatomy of Women’s Landlessness in the Patrilineal Customary Land Tenure Systems of Sub-Saharan Africa and a Policy Pathway


Chigbu, Uchendu Eugene. 2019. “Anatomy of Women’s Landlessness in the Patrilineal Customary Land Tenure Systems of Sub-Saharan Africa and a Policy Pathway.” Land Use Policy 86: 126–35.

Author: Uchendu Eugene Chigbu


A typical character of land tenure or property systems in sub-Saharan Africa is that the systems exclude women (implicitly and explicitly). That is why the discourse on women and land tenure remains a burgeoning policy debate in sub-Saharan Africa. This study is relevant for land policy (and land governance) in sub-Saharan Africa because it evokes the minority voices of women in the land and gender discourse in sub-Saharan Africa. The study dissects, anatomically, female landlessness by probing why women still do not enjoy equal land rights today, and what must be done (policy-wise) to unchain women from their state of landlessness. By way of methodology, the study reviews relevant literature on the historical dimension of women's access to property rights. It is an explorative study based on two e-Focus Group Discussions conducted on two different online platforms to enable the capture of more expert knowledge on the subject of customary land tenure, gender and women's land rights in (and on) sub-Saharan Africa. The findings exposed three pillars of women's landlessness in sub-Saharan Africa, including an analysis of the stages of male power that cripple women's capacity to own or have access to land. The study identified and explained the nature of the contributions of different stages of male powers — including linguistic power, son power, husband power, and father power — to women's landlessness. It shows how these powers form the elements of male dominance which interact over a life course to cripple women's physical and psychological strength within their social spaces (which usually results into socio-political and economic disempowerments). As a key output, the study produced a policy pathway to neutralising the pillars of women's landlessness.

Keywords: Africa, Customary tenure, gender equality, gender equity, landlessness, land governance, land policy, land rights, land tenure, Sub-Saharan Africa, women

Topics: Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa

Year: 2019

Female Access to Fertile Land and Other Inputs in Zambia: Why Women Get Lower Yields


Burke, William J., Serena Li, and Dingiswayo Banda. 2018. “Female Access to Fertile Land and Other Inputs in Zambia: Why Women Get Lower Yields.” Agriculture and Human Values 35: 761–75.

Authors: William J. Burke, Serena Li, Dingiswayo Banda


Throughout the developing world, it is a well-documented fact that women farmers tend to get lower yields than their male counterparts. Typically this is attributed to disproportionate access to high-quality inputs and labor, with some even arguing there could be a skills-gap stemming from unbalanced access to training and education. This article examines the gender-based yield gap in the context of Zambian maize producers. In addition to the usual drivers, we argue that Zambia’s patriarchal and multi-tiered land distribution system could disfavor women with respect to accessing quality soils. We are uniquely able to control for soil characteristics using farm data from a sample of 1573 fields with accompanying soil analysis. We find an expected difference in yields, but no evidence of a gap in unobserved characteristics, like skill, after controlling for access to inputs, especially quality soil, suggesting women are indeed disproportionately disadvantaged. We discuss how our findings could be used to develop self-targeting policy interventions that could empower women and would be consistent with the government’s stated equity goals.

Keywords: gender yield gap, productivity, soil quality, Sub-Saharan Africa, Zambia

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Patriarchy, Land Tenure Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zambia

Year: 2018

Climate Change, the Intersectional Imperative, and the Opportunity of the Green New Deal


Hathaway, Julia Robertson. 2020. “Climate Change, the Intersectional Imperative, and the Opportunity of the Green New Deal.” Environmental Communication 14 (1): 13–22. 

Author: Julia Robertson Hathaway


This article discusses why climate change communicators, including scholars and practitioners, must acknowledge and understand climate change as a product of social and economic inequities. In arguing that communicators do not yet fully understand why an intersectional approach is necessary to avoid climate disaster, I review the literature focusing on one basis of marginalization – gender – to illustrate how inequality is a root cause of global environmental damage. Gender inequities are discussed as a cause of the climate crisis, with their eradication, with women as leaders, as key to a sustainable future. I then examine the Green New Deal as an example of an intersectional climate change policy that looks beyond scientific, technical and political solutions to the inextricable link between crises of climate change, poverty, extreme inequality, and racial and economic injustice. Finally, I contend that communicators and activists must work together to foreground social, racial, and economic inequities in order to successfully address the existential threat of climate change.

Keywords: climate change, intersectionality, gender, feminist, inequities, Green New Deal

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Analysis, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Race

Year: 2020

Going Back to the Well: Women, Agency, and Climate Adaptation


Huyer, Sophia, Tatiana Gumucio. 2020. “Going Back to the Well: Women, Agency, and Climate Adaptation.” World Journal of Agriculture and Soil Science 5(3). 

Authors: Sophia Huyer, Tatiana Gumucio


Rising temperatures and more extreme weather associated with climate change are expected to exacerbate existing social and gender inequalities across the globe. Climate change has differential effects on women and men: they are exposed to different climate shocks and experience different impacts related to gender differences in roles, rights, and opportunities. Women’s knowledge, networks, and assets are a significant aspect of resilience, but little attention is given to enabling their capacity as active agents. Instead the focus is on women as vulnerable victims of climate change. Evidence is emerging that adaptation and mitigation approaches in climate-resilient agriculture can and must reduce women’s and men’s vulnerabilities, promote their capacities for resilience, support women to exercise their agency, and, consequently, increase gender equality. Not only do we need to implement climate approaches that benefit women, we need to increase women’s resilience if we are going to effectively address and mitigate climate impacts. If we don’t, we will be on track to miss the 2 degree target – and at same time gender inequality will increase worldwide.

A recent review of literature and regional case studies with researchers from four regions identified the critical dimensions of gender in/equality in climate-resilient agriculture. They are: (1) participation in decision-making at different levels, (2) work burden, (3) access to and use of productive resources such as agroclimatic information, technology, livelihood incomes, and credit, and (4) collective action. Models for action are presented that show how gender-responsive approaches can promote equality while increasing resilience for all.

Keywords: 'gender', climate, women, agency, equality, equity, technology, collective, decision-making, workload

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Livelihoods

Year: 2020

Gestión de Riesgo de Desastres, Género y Cambio Climático. Percepciones Sociales en Yucatán, México


Soares, Denise, and Daniel Murillo-Licea. 2013. “Gestión de riesgo de desastres, género y cambio climático. Percepciones sociales en Yucatán, México.” Cuadernos de Desarrollo Rural 10 (72): 181-99.

Authors: Denise Soares, Daniel Murillo-Licea


El objetivo del presente trabajo es abonar a la reflexión de la articulación entre la gestión de riesgo de desastres y la equidad de género. Se presenta un estudio de caso en cuatro localidades del estado de Yucatán, México, sobre percepciones respecto al cambio climático y capacidades institucionales sobre gestión de riesgos. Para conocer las percepciones sociales locales se han utilizado los métodos de encuestas y entrevistas a informantes clave, y los resultados encontrados dan cuenta de la existencia de severos problemas en la institucionalidad municipal encargada tanto de la gestión de riesgo de desastres como de la promoción de procesos de mayor igualdad de género; además de esto, se registró un escaso conocimiento sobre los factores que provocan el cambio climático.
The aim of this paper is to contribute to the reflection on the link between disaster risk management and gender equity. It is presented a case study on perceptions about climate change and institutional abilities regarding risk management in four locations of the state of Yucatan, Mexico. In order to know the local social perceptions, surveys and interviews were administered to key informants, and the results account for the existence of serious problems in municipal institutions in charge of both disaster risk management and the promotion of processes to generate greater gender equality. Additionally, a lack of knowledge about the factors that cause climate change was recorded.
Le but de ce travail est porté à la réflexion de l’articulation entre la gestion des risques de catastrophes et l’égalité de genre. Il se présente une étude de cas en quatre localités de l’état de Yucatan, Mexique, sur les perceptions à propos du changement climatique et les capacités institutionnelles sur la gestion de risques. Pour connaître les perceptions sociales locales, les méthodes d’enquêtes et d’interviews à des informateurs clés se sont utilisées, et les résultats trouvés rendent compte de l’existence de problèmes très graves dans les institutions municipales chargées de la gestion de risques de catastrophes et des processus visant à promouvoir une plus grande égalité entre les sexes ; en plus de cela, un manque de connaissance sur les facteurs qui occasionnent le changement climatique s’est enregistré.

Keywords: cambio climático, gestión de riesgo de desastre, gênero, gender, climate change, Disaster Risk Management, genre, changement climatique, gestion de risque de catastrophe

Topics: Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2013


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