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Gender Roles

Masculinities and Environment


Paulson, Susan, and William Boose. 2019. “Masculinities and Environment.” CAB Reviews 14 (30): 1-12.

Authors: Susan Paulson, William Boose


This review article supports researchers and practitioners to strengthen attention to variously positioned men and masculine identities in order to increase the rigour of empirical research and to enhance outcomes of work addressing environmental issues. Masculinities interact with other factors to shape patterns of environmental management and to influence responses to environmental challenges; at the same time, human-environment dynamics produce differing expressions and experiences of masculinity. Yet, environmental initiatives implemented in many contexts and scales have been hindered by lack of attention to gendered conditions, identities and expectations associated with diversely positioned men. Theoretically, studies gathered here strive to overcome these limitations by applying concepts of plural masculinities, intersectionality and hegemonic masculinity. Methodologically, this body of work challenges universalizing stereotypes about men by situating empirical studies in specific sociocultural, ethnoracial, ecological and geographical contexts around the world. The 160 publications reviewed here illuminate three realms: productive enterprises including logging, mining, petroleum exploitation, ranching and agroindustry; lifeways and attitudes involving care for health, families and nature; environmental crises, from disasters to refugees and climate change. Evidence in each realm suggests that some masculine-identified behaviours, attitudes and resources are intertwined with environmentally destructive processes, while others support, or can support, moves toward dynamics that are healthier for humans and non-human nature. After considering skills, tools and frameworks for further research and practice, die review ends with a look at challenges of developing more systemic approaches to gender and environment.

Keywords: agroindustrial sector, attitudes, climate change, crises, environment management, gender relations, human ecology, lifestyle, literature reviews, logging, mining, natural disasters, petroleum, ranching, refugees

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Intersectionality, Livelihoods

Year: 2019

Climate Systems, Carbon-Heavy Masculinity, and Feminist Exposure


Alaimo, Stacy. 2016. "Climate Systems, Carbon-Heavy Masculinity, and Feminist Exposure." In Exposed: Environmental Politics and Pleasures in Posthuman Times, 91-108. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Keywords: environmentalism, global warming, gender, cultural studies, posthumanism, feminism, feminist theory, materialism, sexuality


The fourth chapter investigates the significance of gender in relation to global warming, arguing that a feminist response to climate change must not only challenge the ostensibly universal, transcendent perspective of big science and the hegemonic masculinity of impenetrable, aggressive consumption, but also the tendency within feminist organizations and NGOs to reinforce gendered polarities, heteronormativity, and the view of nature as a resource for domestic use. The chapter offers a politics of “insurgent vulnerability,” biodiversity, and sexual diversity as an alternative.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, NGOs, Sexuality

Year: 2016

Gendered Mobilities and Immobilities: Women's and Men's Capacities for Agricultural Innovation in Kenya and Nigeria


Bergman Lodin, Johanna, Amare Tegbaru, Renee Bullock, Ann Degrande, Lilian Wopong Nkengla, and Hyeladi Ibrahim Gaya. 2019. "Gendered Mobilities and Immobilities: Women's and Men's Capacities for Agricultural Innovation in Kenya and Nigeria." Gender, Place & Culture 26 (12): 1759-83.

Authors: Johanna Bergman Lodin , Amare Tegbaru, Renee Bullock, Ann Degrande, Lilian Wopong Nkengla, Hyeladi Ibrahim Gaya


Social norms surrounding women’s and men’s mobility in public spaces often differ. Here we discuss how gendered mobilities and immobilities influence women’s and men’s capacities to innovate in agriculture. We analyze four case studies from Western Kenya and Southwestern Nigeria that draw on 28 focus group discussions and 32 individual interviews with a total of 225 rural and peri-urban women, men and youth. Findings show that women in both sites are less mobile than men due to norms that delimit the spaces where they can go, the purpose, length of time and time of day of their travels. Overall, Kenyan women and Nigerian men have better access to agricultural services and farmer groups than their gendered counterparts. In Southwestern Nigeria this is linked to masculine roles of heading and providing for the household and in Western Kenya to the construction of women as the ‘developers’ of their households. Access and group participation may reflect norms and expectations to fulfill gender roles rather than an individual’s agency. This may (re)produce mobility pressures on time constrained gendered subjects. Frameworks to analyze factors that support women’s and men’s agency should be used to understand how gendered mobilities and immobilities are embedded in community contexts and affect engagement in agricultural innovation. This can inform the design of interventions to consider the ways in which norms and agency intersect and influence women’s and men’s mobilities, hence capacity to innovate in agriculture, thus supporting more gender transformative approaches.

Keywords: gender, mobility, agriculture, innovation, Kenya, Nigeria

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Households, Infrastructure Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Kenya, Nigeria

Year: 2019

Women and the Economic Miracle: Gender and Work in Postwar Japan


Brinton, Mary C. 1994. Women and the Economic Miracle: Gender and Work in Postwar Japan. Berkley: University of California Press.

Author: Mary C. Brinton


This lucid, hard-hitting book explores a central paradox of the Japanese economy: the relegation of women to low-paying, dead-end jobs in a workforce that depends on their labor to maintain its status as a world economic leader. Drawing upon historical materials, survey and statistical data, and extensive interviews in Japan, Mary Brinton provides an in-depth and original examination of the role of gender in Japan's phenomenal postwar economic growth.

Brinton finds that the educational system, the workplace, and the family in Japan have shaped the opportunities open to female workers. Women move in and out of the workforce depending on their age and family duties, a great disadvantage in a system that emphasizes seniority and continuous work experience. Brinton situates the vicious cycle that perpetuates traditional gender roles within the concept of human capital development, whereby Japanese society "underinvests" in the capabilities of women. The effects of this underinvestment are reinforced indirectly as women sustain male human capital through unpaid domestic labor and psychological support.

Brinton provides a clear analysis of a society that remains misunderstood, but whose economic transformation has been watched with great interest by the industrialized world. (Summary from Google Books)

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Women in the Japanese and U.S. Economies
3. Human Capital Development Systems
4. The Evolution of a Gendered Employment System
5. Gendered Work Lives
6. Gendered Education
7. Conclusion


Topics: Age, Development, Economies, Education, Gender, Gender Roles, Households, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 1994

Rural Masculinities in Tension: Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation in Nicaragua


Gonda, Noémi. 2017. “Rural Masculinities in Tension: Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation in Nicaragua.” RCC Perspectives 4: 69-76.

Author: Noémi Gonda

Keywords: climate change adaptation, men, climate change, cocoa, cattle ranching, livestock farms, gender roles, pastures, hegemonic masculinity


Noémi Gonda explores the role of the masculine figure of the cattle rancher in local explorations of climate change adaptation in Nicaragua. Cattle ranchers generally refuse to take part in local projects that encourage cocoa production because it jeopardizes the traditional normative rural masculinity associated with cattle ranchers. Using a case study in El Pijibay, Gonda argues that many climate change projects fail because they do not take the rural population’s gendered subjectivities into account. Instead, these failed projects reinforce both existing inequalities and their intersection with environmental degradation.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Livelihoods Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Nicaragua

Year: 2017

A Gendered Approach to the Syrian Refugee Crisis


Jane Freedman, Zeynep Kivilcim, and Nurcan Özgür Baklacıoğlu, eds. 2017. A Gendered Approach to the Syrian Refugee Crisis. New York: Routledge. 

Authors: Jane Freedman, ed. , Zeynep Kivilcim, ed. , Nurcan Özgür Baklacıoğlu, ed.


The refugee crisis that began in 2015 has seen thousands of refugees attempting to reach Europe, principally from Syria. The dangers and difficulties of this journey have been highlighted in the media, as have the political disagreements within Europe over the way to deal with the problem. However, despite the increasing number of women making this journey, there has been little or no analysis of women’s experiences or of the particular difficulties and dangers they may face.
A Gendered Approach to the Syrian Refugee Crisis examines women’s experience at all stages of forced migration, from the conflict in Syria, to refugee camps in Lebanon or Turkey, on the journey to the European Union and on arrival in an EU member state. The book deals with women’s experiences, the changing nature of gender relations during forced migration, gendered representations of refugees, and the ways in which EU policies may impact differently on men and women. The book provides a nuanced and complex assessment of the refugee crisis, and shows the importance of analysing differences within the refugee population.
Students and scholars of development studies, gender studies, security studies, politics and middle eastern studies will find this book an important guide to the evolving crisis.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Forced Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, International Organizations Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Lebanon, Syria, Turkey

Year: 2017

Living Maoist Gender Ideology: Experiences of Women Ex-Combatants in Nepal


K.C., Luna, and Gemma Van Der Haar. 2019. “Living Maoist Gender Ideology: Experiences of Women Ex-Combatants in Nepal.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 21 (3): 434–53.

Authors: Luna K.C., Gemma Van Der Haar


Studies of women’s participation in civil conflict as armed combatants have attributed diverse motivations to such participation and examined the implications of participation for women’s empowerment in the aftermath. The authors contribute to these studies through an in-depth analysis of female combatants’ struggles for equality and empowerment during and after Nepal’s decade-long Maoist conflict. Scholars have argued that the emphasis of Maoist ideology in Nepal on the emancipation of women and on ending gender discrimination attracted a large number of women to the cause. Based on narratives of Maoist female ex-combatants, the authors investigate women’s engagement with Maoist ideology during and after the conflict. These narratives reveal that despite discourses of gender equality in Nepal’s Maoist struggle, promises around gender equality remain unkept in the period after the war. A reintegration program has offered women ex-combatants few options and has pushed women back into traditional gender roles. Struggles continue in this terrain. Incorporating intersectionality, the paper highlights how women ex-combatants’ gender identities intersect with caste and other social locations to produce diverse challenges for their lives.

Keywords: Maoist armed conflict, gender ideology, empowerment, women ex-combatants, post-conflict Nepal

Topics: Caste, Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Intersectionality, Post-Conflict Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2019

Syrian Refugees: Thinking Beyond Gender Stereotypes


Lokot, Michelle. 2018. "Syrian Refugees: Thinking beyond Gender Stereotypes." Forced Migration Review 57: 33-35.

Author: Michelle Lokot


"The dominant gender narratives among NGOs responding to Syrian refugees, and their subsequent interventions, are based on sometimes simplistic understandings of the 'traditional' Syrian household and power dynamics" (Lokot 2018, 33). 

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Households, NGOs Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Syria

Year: 2018

Socio-Cultural Barriers of Female Ex-Combatants' Social Re-Integration in Sri Lanka


Takamatsu, Kana. 2020. "Socio-Cultural Barriers of Female Ex-Combatants' Social Re-Integration in Sri Lanka." In Recent Social, Environmental, and Cultural Issues in East Asian Societies, edited by Mika Markus Merviö, 213-23. Hershey: IGI Global. 

Author: Kana Takamatsu


This chapter identifies the post-conflict social barriers to the social reintegration of female ex-combatants. This study refers to the case of Sri Lanka concerning the conflict between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that ended in 2009. During the conflict, the LTTE actively recruited female combatants, and women consisted of a significant number of the entire LTTE combatants. However, after the end of the conflict and even today, many of them are rejected by the community. First of all, the LTTE was fighting for Tamil's independence, but Tamil's community has expressed mixed opinions toward the LTTE. Second, female ex-combatants were then and are now a divergence from the gender norms of their society. Third, from their roles in the conflict, female ex-combatants experienced an indelible change in their ideas through the conflict and observed themselves as capable of being independent women. Consequently, they felt a high level of resistance to returning to traditional gender roles.



Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Gender Roles, Post-Conflict Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 2020

The War Took us Backwards: Yemeni Families and Dialectical Patriarchal Reordering


Pandya, Sophia. "'The War Took Us Backwards:' Yemeni Families and Dialectical Patriarchal Reordering." Hawwa: Journal of Women of the Middle East and the Islamic World 16 (1-3): 266-308.

Author: Sophia Pandya


If political activities (demonstration, revolution, war) can be understood as forms of ritual performance in which temporary social hegemonic inversions typically are followed by competing efforts to restore structure or define a new structure, then under what conditions would they offer potential for changes in family dynamics and gender roles? The past few years in Yemen have witnessed extraordinary political and socioeconomic turbulence, from the 2011 Arab Spring revolution to the 2015 brutal war. Yemeni families have been significantly impacted in myriad ways, including displacement, family separation, poverty, violence, unemployment, sectarian strife, disruption of education, and mental illness. Men and women have demonstrated a high level of public activism during the Arab Spring and the war, further altering family dynamics and the gendered social tapestry, in a highly patriarchal country. Social "disorder," including modification of gender roles, is often challenged by those desiring to restore "order," the "traditional" family structure, and patriarchy. This study analyzes gendered dimensions of the "Yemen Spring" and the subsequent war, with a particular focus on the link between gendered family dynamics and the sociopolitical landscape, also considering the role religion and religious groups play.

Keywords: Yemen, Yemen and war, Islam and gender, gender and war, ritual theory, family, family and war, religion

Topics: Armed Conflict, Conflict, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Households, Religion Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Yemen

Year: 2018


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