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Gender

What’s in a Name? In Defense of Ecofeminism (Not Ecological Feminisms, Feminist Ecology, or Gender and the Environment): Or "Why Ecofeminism Need Not Be Ecofeminine—But So What If It Is?"

Citation:

Mallory, Chaone. 2018. “What’s in a Name? In Defense of Ecofeminism (Not Ecological Feminisms, Feminist Ecology, or Gender and the Environment): Or ‘Why Ecofeminism Need Not Be Ecofeminine—But So What If It Is?’” Ethics & the Environment 23 (2): 11-35.

Author: Chaone Mallory

Abstract:

This article examines early critiques of ecofeminism, including those usefully articulated by pathfinding ecofeminist philosopher Victoria Davion, and argues that concerns over essentialist tendencies in ecofeminism are misplaced. The article holds that the term “ecofeminism” performs theoretically and politically useful work by allowing us to think of feminism and environmentalism together—the term ought not be jettisoned in favor of other terms such as, for example, environmental feminism. While taking this stance, this article nonetheless explores in depth the productive effects and development of such critiques into the current era of ecofeminist writings and activisms, paying significant attention to the role Davion’s ovial 1994 essay “Is Ecofeminism Feminist?” and the other works it inspired have played in indelibly altering ecofeminism for the better, producing a more nuanced theoretical stance regarding gender and ecological degradation and oppression that is now, more than three decades later, shedding important light on specific environmental problems and how such problems are, as all ecofeminisms argue, conceptually and materially connected to social oppressions.

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender

Year: 2018

Filling the Legal Void? Impacts of a Community-Based Legal Aid Program on Women’s Land-Related Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices

Citation:

Mueller, Valerie, Lucy Billings, Tewodaj Mogues, Amber Peterman, and Ayala Wineman. 2018. “Filling the Legal Void? Impacts of a Community-Based Legal Aid Program on Women’s Land-Related Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices.” Oxford Development Studies 46 (4): 453–69.

Authors: Valerie Mueller, Lucy Billings , Tewodaj Mogues, Amber Peterman, Ayala Wineman

Abstract:

Securing women’s property rights improves overall welfare. While governments in Africa often make provisions for gender-equal legal rights, the dichotomy between de jure and customary practices remains. Community-based legal aid (CBLA) has been promoted to address this chasm through provision of free legal aid and education. We evaluate a one-year CBLA program in Tanzania using a randomized controlled trial. Results show women in treatment communities had higher exposure to legal services and increased their legal knowledge. Women who had access to a trained voluntary paralegal experienced a 0.31 standard deviation increase in a legal service index, and a 0.20 standard deviation increase in an index documenting their knowledge of land-related regulations. These changes were, however, insufficient to shift women’s attitudes or result in more favorable gendered land practices. Estimates by village size and progressiveness reveal that transaction costs and social context influence program success.

Topics: Education, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2018

Gender and Generation in Engagements with Oil Palm in East Kalimantan, Indonesia: Insights from Feminist Political Ecology

Citation:

Elmhirst, Rebecca, Mia Siscawati, Bimbika Sijapati Basnett, and Dian Ekowati. 2017. "Gender and Generation in Engagements with Oil Palm in East Kalimantan, Indonesia: Insights from Feminist Political Ecology." Journal of  Peasant Studies 44 (6): 1135–57.

Authors: Rebecca Elmhirst, Mia Siscawati, Bimbika Sijapati Basnett, Dian Ekowati

Abstract:

Across many parts of Indonesia, investment in oil palm has brought accelerated forms of land acquisition and market engagement for communities, signaling far-reaching implications for equity and well-being of current and future generations. This paper uses a conjunctural feminist political ecology approach to explore gendered and generational engagements with oil palm in Indonesia. The paper compares four communities in East Kalimantan that form part of an ongoing study of the gendered impacts of large-scale and independent smallholder investments in oil palm in the context of corporate zero deforestation commitments in West and East Kalimantan. We show how different pathways of engagement with oil palm – adverse or otherwise – reflect the interplay between modes of incorporation into oil palm systems with landscape history, gender, life stage and ethnic identity. Whilst our findings complicate singular ‘victim’ narratives, they also challenge the ‘cruel optimism’ that is accompanying the current oil palm boom.

Keywords: oil palm, gender, youth, Indonesia, forests, feminist political ecology

Topics: Age, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Indonesia

Year: 2017

Financialization, Resistance, and the Question of Women’s Land Rights

Citation:

Collins, Andrea M. 2018. "Financialization, Resistance, and the Question of Women’s Land Rights." International Feminist Journal of Politics 21 (3): 454- 76.

Author: Andrea M. Collins

Abstract:

The financialization of food and agricultural land has been a critical driver of the “land-grabbing” phenomenon in the post 2007–2008 period: the potential for land to be both a productive and financial asset has driven interest in long term land rentals and sales. Scholars and activists have highlighted the negative effects of these trends for rural populations. International institutions have promoted the recognition of land rights as a means to secure land from seizure, ensure equal participation in land acquisitions, and enable low income populations, including women, to access credit. At the same time, activists are promoting collective land rights, customary modes of land tenure and the rights of Indigenous peoples. For activists, land reform models that promote the collective rights of peoples to govern land are critical to resisting individualized land ownership models that encourage the alienation of land. This article reviews these rights-based frameworks using a critical feminist perspective and argues that both the institutionalist and activist approaches require more nuanced understandings of gender and difference in order to effect gender-equitable change. This article concludes by mapping new feminist research directions that consider land and resources within the context of local–global processes, the global economy, intersectionality and global rights-based discourses.

Keywords: land governance, gender, food sovereignty, collective rights, international institutions

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Land grabbing, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights

Year: 2018

Extractives vs Development Sovereignty: Building Living Consent Rights for African Women

Citation:

The WoMin Collective. 2017. “Extractives vs Development Sovereignty: Building Living Consent Rights for African Women.” Gender & Development 25 (3): 421-37.

Author: The WoMin Collective

Abstract:

This article focuses on the right of consent for women and their communities in respect of extractives and large-scale (or ‘mega’) infrastructure projects that affect their access to, and control over, land and natural resources indispensable to their lives and livelihoods. As we point out, the right of consent is determined by prevailing deeply unequal power structures. Poor women confront a double exclusion from power and decision-making about land and resource use – on the basis of both their class and gender. The political economy of power and vested interest surrounding these projects at all levels from the community to the international spheres mean that communities, and women within them, rarely enjoy the right of consent on a free, prior, informed, and ongoing basis. In addition, women are locked out of rights of land ownership in communities living under common property and this, combined with other patriarchal power relations in family and community, inhibits their voice and influence in community decision-making. This is the second exclusion they suffer, this time on the basis of their gender. Consent, even if legislated or institutionalised in policy and systems of state, corporate, or multilateral bodies is rarely granted but rather won through struggle and demand. The article will present an inspiring case in the South African context where unequal power has been inverted and a unique community, with women playing a leading role, has claimed the right of consent in practice through struggle. It concludes with some suggestions for the work needed to strengthen women’s rights of consent in respect of mega ‘development’ projects in Africa.

Keywords: resource extraction, land, Rights, women, gender, inequality, consent, development, exclusion, social struggle

Topics: Class, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Livelihoods, Political Economies, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2017

Widows' Land Rights and Agricultural Investment

Citation:

Dillon, Brian, and Alessandra Voena. 2018. “Widows' Land Rights and Agricultural Investment.” Journal of Development Economics 135: 449-60.

Authors: Brian Dillon, Alessandra Voena

Abstract:

This paper examines the connection between widows' land inheritance rights and land investments in Zambia. We study whether the threat of land expropriation upon widowhood deters households from fallowing, applying fertilizer, and employing labor-intensive tillage techniques. Variation in inheritance by widows is based on customary village practices, which we observe in surveys of village leaders. Controlling for possible confounding factors, both OLS and IV estimates show lower levels of land investment by married couples in villages where widows do not inherit. Concern over prospective loss of land by the wives reduces investment in land quality even while the husband is alive.

Keywords: land tenure security, widowhood, land investment, gender discrimination, African development, farm productivity

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zambia

Year: 2018

Women's Land Rights as a Pathway to Poverty Reduction: Framework and Review of Available Evidence.

Citation:

Meinzen-Dick, Ruth, Agnes Quisumbing, Cheryl Doss, Sophie Theis. 2019. “Women's Land Rights as a Pathway to Poverty Reduction: Framework and Review of Available Evidence.” Agricultural Systems 172: 72-82.

Authors: Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Agnes Quisumbing, Cheryl Doss, Sophie Theis

Abstract:

This paper reviews the literature on women’s land rights (WLR) and poverty reduction. It uses the Gender, Agriculture and Assets Project (GAAP) conceptual framework to identify pathways by which WLR could reduce poverty and increase wellbeing of women and their households in rural areas. It uses a systematic review search methodology to identify papers for inclusion, but adopts a more synthetic approach to assess the level of agreement and the amount of evidence within this literature. The paper examines the evidence from qualitative as well as quantitative studies on each of these pathways. Owing to the scarcity of experimental studies, the review of empirical work is based mostly on observational studies. We find some evidence on these relationships, but many of the key pathways have not been empirically analyzed. The evidence is strong for relationships between WLR and bargaining power and decision-making on consumption, human capital investment, and intergenerational transfers. There is a high level of agreement, but weaker evidence on the relationship between WLR and natural resource management, government services and institutions, empowerment and domestic violence, resilience and HIV risk, and consumption and food security. There is less agreement and insufficient evidence on the associations between WLR and other livelihoods, and a higher level of agreement, but still limited evidence on associations between WLR and credit, technology adoption, and agricultural productivity. Notably, we find no papers that directly investigate the link between WLR and poverty. Many gaps in the evidence arise from a failure to account for the complexity of land Rights regimes, the measurement of land rights at the household level, the lack of attention paid to gender roles, and the lack of studies from countries outside Africa. Many studies are limited by small sample sizes, the lack of credible counterfactuals, lack of attention to endogeneity and selection bias, and possible response bias on questions of domestic violence and empowerment. There are very few rigorous evaluations of reforms that strengthened WLR. The paper concludes that gaps in the evidence should not deter the careful design and implementation of programs and policies to strengthen WLR, given the on  going land tenure reforms in many countries. Different modalities and mechanisms for strengthening WLR could be tested, with appropriate counterfactuals. Program designers and evaluators can strategically identify pathways and outcomes where evidence gaps exist, and deliberately design studies to close those gaps.

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Households, Rights, Land Rights

Year: 2019

Feminist Political Ecology: Global Issues and Local Experiences

Citation:

Rocheleau, Dianne, Barbara Thomas-Slayter, and Esther Wangari, eds. 1996. Feminist Political Ecology: Global Issues and Local Experiences. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. 

Authors: Dianne Rocheleau, Barbara Thomas-Slayter, Esther Wangari

Annotation:

Summary: 
Feminist Political Ecology explores the gendered relations of ecologies, economies and politics in communities as diverse as the rubbertappers in the rainforests of Brazil to activist groups fighting racism in New York City. Women are often at the centre of these struggles, struggles which concern local knowledge, everyday practice, rights to resources, sustainable development, environmental quality, and social justice.
 
The book bridges the gap between the academic and rural orientation of political ecology and the largely activist and urban focus of environmental justice movements. (Summary from Google Books) 
 
Table of Contents:
1. Gender and Environment: A Feminist Political Ecology Perspective 
Dianne Rocheleau, Barbara Thomas-Slayter, Esther Wangari 
 
2. Out on the Front Lines But Still Struggling for Voice: Women in the Rubber Tappers' Defense of the Forest in Xapuri, Acre, Brazil 
Connie Campbell with the Women's Group of Xapuri
 
3. Feminist Politics and Environmental Justice: Women's Community Activism in West Harlem, New York
Vernice Miller, Moya Hallstein, Susan Quass
 
4. Protecting the Environment Against State Policy in Austria: From Women's Participation in Protest to New Voices in Parliament
Doris Wastl-Walter
 
5. Spanish Women Against Industrial Waste: A Gender Perspective on Environmental Grassroots Movements 
Josepa Brú-Bistuer
 
6. Gendered Visions for Survival: Semi-Arid Regions in Kenya 
Esther Wangari, Barbara Thomas-Slayter, Dianne Rocheleau
 
7. Developing and Dismantling Social Capital: Gender and Resource Management in the Philippines 
M. Dale Shields, Cornelia Butler Flora, Barbara Thomas-Slayter, Gladys Buenavista
 
8. "Our Lives are No Different from That of Our Buffaloes": Agricultural Change and Gendered Spaces in a Central Himalayan Valley 
Manjari Mehta
 
9. Gendered Knowledge: Rights and Space in Two Zimbabwe Villages: Reflections on Methods and Findings
Louise Fortmann
 
10. From Forest Gardens to Tree Farms: Women, Men, and Timer in Zambrana-Chaucey, Dominican Republic 
Dianne Rocheleau, Laurie Ross, Julio Morrobel, (with Ricardo Hernandez, Cristobalina Amparo, Cirilo Brito, Daniel Zevallos, the staff of ENDA-Caribe and the Rural Federation of Zambrana-Chaucey) 
 
11. Where Kitchen and Laboratory Meet: The "Tested Food for Silesia" Program
Anne C. Bellows
 
12. "Hysterical Housewives" and Other Mad Women: Grassroots Environmental Organizing in the United States
Joni Seager
 
13. Feminist Political Ecology: Crosscutting Themes, Theoretical Insights, Policy Implications 
Barbara Thomas-Slayter, Esther Wangari, Dianne Rocheleau

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Justice, Political Participation

Year: 1996

Feminism, Ecology and the Philosophy of Economics

Citation:

Nelson, Julie A. 1997. "Feminism, Ecology and the Philosophy of Economics." Ecological Economics 20 (2): 155-62.

Author: Julie A. Nelson

Abstract:

The contemporary discipline of economics pays little heed to either the natural environment or to the work of women. A review of the literature on the historical development of western concepts of self and science shows that this is not coincidental. Rather than suggesting that ecological economics reinforce the identification of women with nature, however, feminist thought suggests that dualistic thinking about men and women, humans and nature can be should be replaced with a fuller picture of human identity and knowledge.

Keywords: feminism, economics, ecology, philosophy

Topics: Economies, Ecological Economics, Environment, Feminisms, Gender

Year: 1997

Women, Nature and the Social Construction of ‘Economic Man'

Citation:

Mellor, Mary. 1997. “Women, Nature and the Social Construction of ‘Economic Man’.” Ecological Economics 20 (2): 129–40.

Author: Mary Mellor

Abstract:

This paper argues that the social construction ‘economic man’ is the product of a hierarchical dualism in western society that has also created ‘rational man’ and ‘scientific man’. Women and the natural world form the subordinated half of these dualisms. Central to this paper is the claim that this dualism is not only a cultural/theoretical one, but also a material one. The social construction of ‘economic man’ is the product of a bifurcated knowledge system and a materially divided society. ‘Economic man’ reflects a society in which the embeddedness and embodiedness of humanity is hidden by the division of mind from body, and science/culture from the natural world. For this reason it is not possible to incorporate women and nature into the ‘economy’ through the commodity form by according them a value as price. It is argued that the economic system can only exist if women and nature remain externalised, as women form the bridge between an autonomous individualised ‘man’ and the biological/ecological underpinning of his existence. Central to this analysis is the distinction between social and natural/biological time. ‘Economic’ man lives in social time (clock time) while women are responsible for biological time. This is not because women are closer to nature/biology in an essential sense. Rather, this relationship is imposed upon them by a male-dominated society.

Topics: Economies, Ecological Economics, Environment, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations

Year: 1997

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