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Gendered Discourses

The Politics of Feminist Translation in Water Management

Citation:

Resurrección, Bernadette P., and Rebecca Elmhirst. 2020. “The Politics of Feminist Translation in Water Management.” In Negotiating Gender Expertise in Environment and Development, 99–114. London: Routledge.
 

Authors: Bernadette P. Resurrección, Rebecca Elmhirst

Abstract:

Feminist encounters with technical water professionals such as, for example, engineers, modelers and bureaucrats bring into view fundamental questions and differences in approaching and understanding the use and management of water. Women engineers, for their part, may not be taken seriously by their male peers. According to Liebrand & Udas, for them to succeed and belong, they have to reconcile the performances of being a ‘lady engineer’ with that of a ‘normal’ masculinised engineer, which may be asking for the irreconcilable. This brings to fore how feminist politics in water contexts also involves becoming aware of, navigating and contesting prevailing identity boundaries. The gender experts in water development projects often lack the political clout to change the terms of dialogue with their technical colleagues, as their work is often considered marginal to the main task of achieving water productivity. (Abstract from Taylor & Francis Group)

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation

Year: 2020

Occupational Genders and Gendered Occupations: The Case of Water Provisioning in Maputo, Mozambique

Citation:

Alda-Vidal, Cecilia, Maria Rusca, Margreet Zwarteveen, Klaas Schwartz, and Nicky Pouw. 2017. “Occupational Genders and Gendered Occupations: The Case of Water Provisioning in Maputo, Mozambique.” Gender, Place & Culture 24 (7): 974–90.

Authors: Cecilia Alda-Vidal, Maria Rusca, Margreet Zwarteveen, Klaas Schwartz, Nicky Pouw

Abstract:

Taking issue with how associations between technical prowess or entrepreneurship and masculinity tend to be taken for granted or are seen as stemming from natural or intrinsic gender differences, over the last two decades feminist scholars have developed theoretical approaches to understand the gendering of professions and abilities as the performative outcome of particular cultures and histories. We build on these insights to explore how associations between masculinities, technology and entrepreneurship shape ideas and practices of small-scale water provision in Maputo. Our findings show how activities (i.e. technical craftsmanship, hard physical work) or abilities (i.e. risktaking, innovativeness) regarded as masculine tend to be considered the defining features of the profession. This shapes how men and women make sense of and talk about their work, each of them tactically emphasizing and performing those aspects best fitting their gender. Our detailed documentation of men’s and women’s everyday involvements in water provisioning challenges the existence of sharp boundaries and distinctions between genders and professional responsibilities. It shows that water provisioning requires many other types of work and skills and male and female household members collaborate and share their work. The strong normative-cultural associations between gender and water provisioning lead to a distinct underrecognition of women’s importance as water providers. We conclude that strategies to effectively support small-scale water businesses while creating more space and power for women involved in the business require the explicit recognition and re-conceptualization of water provisioning as a household business.

Keywords: technology, entrepreneurship, small scale water providers (SSIP), urban water supply, Maputo, occupational masculinities and femininities

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Discourses, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 2017

Assessing Gender Responsiveness of Forest Policies in India

Citation:

Tyagi, Niharika, and Smriti Das. 2018. “Assessing Gender Responsiveness of Forest Policies in India”. Forest Policy and Economics 92: 160–68. 

Authors: Niharika Tyagi, Smriti Das

Abstract:

Gender Research spread over the last three decades in South Asia has positioned gender as an imperative in forest policy and practice. Policy attempts have been made to improve women's participation in forest governance at the local level. However, this has had insignificant effect on women's inclusion in forestry as it neglected the structural problems of power and inequity. This paper examines how forest policy has attended to gender concerns in India. It maps the gender trajectory within policy positions and identifies the gap in policy and research. It provides an analytical framework to analyse the Gender Responsiveness of forest policies. The framework helps classifying post-independence forest policies as Gender Blind, Gender Aware and Gender Responsive, based on the gender specific provisions. Analysis indicates that except for few provisions in the FRA, 2006, none of the forest policies appear to be categorically Gender Responsive. This could possibly be because of the limited engagement with structural issues; and, failure to design enabling institutions. Finally, our findings suggest that forest policies need to be grounded in a more nuanced understanding of gender relations and gender roles for sustainable socio-ecological outcomes.

Keywords: Forest policy, gender responsive, gender needs, content, discourse analysis

Topics: Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Discourses, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Political Participation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2018

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

Citation:

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

Abstract:

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

Converging on Disaster: Climate Security and the Malthusian Anticipatory Regime for Africa

Citation:

Hartmann, Betsy. 2014. “Converging on Disaster: Climate Security and the Malthusian Anticipatory Regime for Africa.” Geopolitics 19 (4): 757–83.

Author: Betsy Hartmann

Abstract:

Malthus’s privileging of population growth as the main cause of poverty, scarcity and war still resonates widely in both the public policy arena and popular culture. It shapes dominant discourses about the relationship between climate change, conflict and security in Africa. This article examines what I call the Malthusian Anticipatory Regime for Africa (MARA). MARA represents the convergence of current international strategies for reducing high fertility in sub-Saharan Africa through long-acting female contraception with climate conflict narratives that blame environmental degradation on population pressure and portray young African men as a security threat. Together these serve as a powerful gendered rationale for Western humanitarian and military interventions. MARA also plays a role in justifying the new land enclosures on the continent. How can critical scholarship more effectively challenge MARA and intervene in the politics of anticipating the future?

Topics: Conflict, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Humanitarian Assistance, International Organizations, Rights, Reproductive Rights, Security Regions: Africa

Year: 2014

Gender Justice and Rights in Climate Change Adaptation: Opportunities and Pitfalls

Citation:

Tschakert, Petra, and Mario Machado. 2012. “Gender Justice and Rights in Climate Change Adaptation: Opportunities and Pitfalls.” Ethics and Social Welfare 6 (3): 275–89.

Authors: Petra Tschakert, Mario Machado

Abstract:

We present three rights-based approaches to research and policies on gender justice and equity in the context of climate change adaptation. After a short introduction, we describe the dominant discourse that frames climate change and provide an overview of the literature that has depicted women both as vulnerable victims of climatic change and as active agents in adaptive responses. Discussion follows on the shift from gendered impacts to gendered adaptive capacities and embodied experiences, highlighting the continuing impact of social biases and institutional practices that shape unequal access to and control over household and community decision-making processes undermining timely, fair, and successful adaptive responses. Assessment of rights-based frameworks considers the space they provide in addressing persistent gender and other inequalities, at different political and operational scales. We argue that a human security framework is useful to fill the gap in current gender and climate justice work, particularly when implemented through the entry point of adaptive social protection. Gender justice in climate change adaptation is an obligation for transformational social change, not just rights. The time is ripe to replace narrow-minded vulnerability studies with a contextualized understanding of our mutual fragility and a commitment to enhanced livelihood resilience, worldwide.

Keywords: human security, adaptive social protection, gendered adaptive capacity, embodied experiences, interconnectedness, mutual fragility, connectedness, Inequalities

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Justice, Rights, Security, Human Security

Year: 2012

Untenable Dichotomies: De-Gendering Political Economy

Citation:

Prügl, Elisabeth. 2020. “Untenable Dichotomies: De-Gendering Political Economy.” Review of International Political Economy. doi: 10.1080/09692290.2020.1830834.

Author: Elisabeth Prügl

Abstract:

Political Economy is inundated with foundational dichotomies, which constitute central concepts in its theorizing. Feminist scholarship has problematized the gender subtext of these dichotomies and the resulting blind spots, including the positioning of women’s labour, processes of reproduction, and private households as marginal to the economy. The paper offers a reading of contemporary writings in Feminist Political Economy that is attuned to disrupting binaries. It interrogates first, how the opposition between production and reproduction is today put into question through the development of a care economy and through new theorizations of social reproduction. Second, it questions the spatial opposition between the public and the private, the state and the household, an opposition that has long been a problem for those earning income in private spaces and that is increasingly rendered untenable in feminist literature that historicizes household governance. By destabilizing the gendered binaries of production/reproduction and public/private Feminist Political Economy brings into view blind spots in existing scholarship, including imbrications between logics of accumulation and public purpose, self-interest and care, and private household governance and the state, thereby opening up new thinking space for alternatives.

Keywords: gender, social reproduction, household governance, care economy, home-based work, binary thinking

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Households

Year: 2020

Gendered Dimensions of Migration in Relation to Climate Change

Citation:

Lama, Phudoma, Mo Hamza, and Misse Wester. 2020. “Gendered Dimensions of Migration in Relation to Climate Change.” Climate and Development (June). doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/17565529.2020.1772708

Authors: Phudoma Lama, Mo Hamza, Misse Wester

Abstract:

It is widely accepted that climate change may be contributing to population movement and has gendered effects. The relationship between climate change as a direct cause of migration continues to give rise to debates concerning vulnerabilities, while at the same time gendered dimensions of vulnerabilities remain limited to binary approaches. There is limited cross-fertilization between disciplines that go beyond comparison between males and females but interrogate gender in association with climate change and migration. Here, we seek to develop an analytical lens to the nexus between gender, migration and climate change in producing, reproducing and sustaining at risk conditions and vulnerabilities. When gender and mobility are conceptualized as a process, and climate change as a risk modifier, the nexus between them can be better interrogated. Starting by using gender as an organizing principle that structures and stratifies relations entails viewing gender not as a category that distinguishes males and females but as a discursive process of social construction that (re)produces subjectivities and inequalities. Gender is a dynamic process that shapes and (re)produces vulnerabilities and consequently shapes mediation of climate impacts and migration and is also shaped by symbolic processes that go beyond households and communities.

Keywords: climate change, climate adaptation, migration, gender dynamics

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Migration, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality

Year: 2020

What Is Sexual about Conflict-Related Sexual Violence? Stories from Men and Women Survivors

Citation:

Dolan, Chris, Maria Eriksson Baaz, and Maria Stern. 2020. “What Is Sexual about Conflict-Related Sexual Violence? Stories from Men and Women Survivors.” International Affairs 96 (5): 1151–68.

Authors: Chris Dolan, Maria Eriksson Baaz, Maria Stern

Abstract:

Despite the prominent attention that the problem of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) has recently garnered globally, we still know far too little about what is sexual about sexual violence, according to whom, as well as why and how this matters in our efforts to prevent and redress its harms. A growing theoretical, political, legal and ethical imperative to ask questions about the sexual part of sexual violence across both war and peace is nonetheless emerging. This article therefore turns to the accounts of male and female survivors of CRSV at the at the Refugee Law Project (RLP) in Kampala, Uganda. In our reading of their accounts, we explore how the participants understand the possible imbrication of the perpetrator's sexual desire and pleasure with the violence they inflicted, as well as how they deem such intermeshing impossible or deeply problematic in and to the gendered frames that govern how they think about the distinctions between violence and sex, as well as themselves as sexual, social, embodied subjects. Read together, these conflicted and conflicting testimonies offer a vantage point from which to rethink some of the reductive truisms that persist in dominant policy-friendly accounts of wartime sexual violence—namely that such violence is about power and not about ‘sex’. The participants’ accounts thus urge us, as scholars and policy advocates, to resist reducing the multi-layered experiences of victim/survivors of sexual violence to fit into the palatable narratives of victimhood that prevail in humanitarian, juridical and policy spaces.

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Sexual Violence, SV against Men, SV against Women, Sexuality, Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2020

Feminism in Cyprus: Women’s Agency, Gender, and Peace in the Shadow of Nationalism

Citation:

Kamenou, Nayia. 2020. “Feminism in Cyprus: Women’s Agency, Gender, and Peace in the Shadow of Nationalism.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 22 (3): 359–81.

Author: Nayia Kamenou

Abstract:

This article explores the ways in which feminist and women’s agency is articulated in the Cypriot context through the paradigms of nationalism, peace, and conflict. It does so to broaden our understanding of gendered and peace agency in troubled and divided societies, in which complex and conflicting discourses meet. Analyzing data from interviews with feminist and women’s groups’ representatives, it examines how nationalism and women’s approaches to gender, politics, peace, and conflict enable or restrict feminist and women’s agency. It finds that a strategic essentialist approach has initiated a reconfiguration of gender(ed) power relations, women’s agency, and peacebuilding processes. It argues that when this approach is combined with feminist theory and praxis and the employment of transnational peace paradigms, the possibilities for feminist and women’s agency increase, as long as feminist scholarship and grassroots activism inform each other through dialogue. Therefore, it highlights the nuanced and complex dialectic between essentialist and anti-essentialist feminist gender discourses. Moreover, it challenges theories that posit a rigidly hierarchical relation between local and transnational gendered and peace agency paradigms, by demonstrating their malleability and reciprocity. Thus, it contributes to the debate about the modalities and possibilities of feminist sociopolitical intervention in nationalism- and conflict-ridden contexts.
 

Keywords: Cyprus, feminism, gender, nationalism and peace, women's agency

Topics: Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Nationalism, Peace Processes, Peacebuilding Regions: Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Cyprus

Year: 2020

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