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Gendered Discourses

Syrian Refugees in Germany: Gendered Narratives of Border Crossings

Isis Nusair

September 27, 2018

Campus Center, Room 3550B, UMass Boston

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This event is being cosponsored by the UMass Boston CLA Dean's Office; Department of Anthropology; Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance; Department of History; Department of Political Science; Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies; Honors College; the Sociology Club; the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies; and the William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences.

'Gender and Climate Change': From Impacts to Discourses

Citation:

MacGregor, Sherilyn. 2010. “‘Gender and Climate Change’: From Impacts to Discourses.” Journal of the Indian Ocean Region 6 (2): 223–38.

Author: Sherilyn MacGregor

Abstract:

Whereas the concepts of class, poverty and race make regular appearances in social scientific analyses of global climate change, the same cannot be said for gender. A survey of the academic literature suggests that there is a lack of research into the many gender dimensions of climate change. The small amount of gender-sensitive work that exists has been carried out by gender, environment and development (GED) researchers working for the UN and non-governmental organisations who focus almost exclusively on the material impacts of climate change on vulnerable women in the Global South. In this paper I make two arguments about the current state of research on gender and climate change. First, I argue that although the GED research makes many important contributions to our understanding of the politics of climate change, it also contributes to an unnecessarily narrow understanding of gender, a fixation on ‘impacts’ that are material and measurable, and the view of women in the developing world, particularly those living in countries of the Indian Ocean Region, as victims of ecological crisis. Second, in response to these shortcomings, I argue for the development of a deeper gender analysis where materialist- informed empirical research on women is complemented by critical feminist theorising of the discursive constructions and categories that shape climate politics today.

Keywords: gender, climate change, climate politics, feminist constructivism, discourse

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, International Organizations, NGOs

Year: 2010

The Power of Mixed Messages: Women, Peace, and Security Language in National Action Plans from Africa

Citation:

Hudson, Heidi. 2017. “The Power of Mixed Messages: Women, Peace, and Security Language in National Action Plans from Africa.” Africa Spectrum 52 (3): 3-29.

Author: Heidi Hudson

Abstract:

Against the backdrop of global and continental women, peace, and security discourses, this contribution analyses the gender and women-focused language of national action plans from four African countries (Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and Uganda), which were drafted with a view to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. I argue that national action plans have the potential to transcend the soft-consensus language of Security Council resolutions because they create new spaces for feminist engagement with policy and practice. The analysis reveals three discursive themes – namely, the making of “womenandchildren,” women civilising war, and making women responsible for preventing gender-based violence. The themes relate to the construction of, respectively, gender(ed) identities, security, and violence. To varying degrees, the plans reflect a combination of predominantly liberal-feminist language interspersed with some examples of critical insight. I conclude that the ambiguous nature of the messages sent out by these plans serves as a reminder that discourses are fragmented and therefore offer an opening for nuanced contextual analyses and implementation.

Keywords: Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda, peace and conflict research, women, women's politics, action programmes/action plans, UN Security Council Resolution (2000-10-31)

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Gender-Based Violence, peace and security, Peacebuilding, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda

Year: 2017

Effects of Rural-Urban Return Migration on Women's Family Planning and Reproductive Health Attitudes and Behavior in Rural China

Citation:

Chen, Jiajian, Hongyan Liu, and Zhenming Xie. 2010. “Effects of Rural-Urban Return Migration on Women’s Family Planning and Reproductive Health Attitudes and Behavior in Rural China.” Studies in Family Planning 41 (1): 31-44.

Authors: Jiajian Chen , Hongyan Liu, Zhenming Xie

Abstract:

This study examines the effects of rural-urban return migration on women's family planning and reproductive health attitudes and behavior in the sending areas of rural China. Based on data from a survey of rural women aged 16-40 in Sichuan and Anhui Provinces in 2000, our study finds that migrant women returning from cities to the countryside, especially those who have been living in a large city, are more likely than nonmigrant women to adopt positive family planning and reproductive health attitudes and behavior in their rural communities of origin. We find, moreover, that living in a rural community where the prevalence of such return migrant women is higher is positively associated with new fertility and gender attitudes and with knowledge of self-controllable contraceptives. The findings of significant rural-urban return-migration effects have important policy implications for shaping family planning and reproductive health attitudes and behaviors in rural China.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Health, Reproductive Health Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 2010

'Women and Children First’: Introducing a Gender Strategy into Disaster Preparedness

Citation:

Myers, Mary. 1994. "'Women and Children First': Introducing a Gender Strategy into Disaster Preparedness." Focus on Gender 2 (1): 14-6.

Author: Mary Myers

Abstract:

Women have been included in development strategies, but women's issues and women's involvement have been missing from centrally planned government programs of disaster relief. The axiom of putting women and children first has been lost in the maelstrom of immediate need planning without consideration of consequences. The UN developed a training manual and seminars for disaster management. Included in one of the UN manuals are directives that emphasized priorities for nine main components of disaster relief: 1) vulnerability assessment, 2) planning, 3) institutional framework, 4) information systems, 5) resource base, 6) warning systems, 7) response mechanisms, 8) public education and training, and 9) rehearsals. Gender issues should be addressed for each of these components. The question of whether gender was included in a disaster assessment must be answered. Male planners may not be sufficiently informed of how women are affected; therefore, women need to be consulted at the planning stage. A national ministry of women should be involved in disaster relief planning. Women's needs and coping strategies must be accounted for in data-gathering instruments. Emergency supplies must include gynecological and obstetric supplies. The media must be able to reach women and children with disaster warnings. Relief plans must consider whether women will be unduly burdened by the strategy. The inclusion of women in disaster relief efforts not only helps women in crises but helps to break down gender inequalities and imbalances in general. (Abstract from PubMed)

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Girls, Boys, Gendered Discourses, Health, International Organizations

Year: 1994

Feminist Visions of Development: Gender Analysis and Policy

Citation:

Pearson, Ruth, and Cecile Jackson, eds. 1998. Feminist Visions of Development: Gender Analysis and Policy. Florence, KY, USA: Routledge.

Authors: Ruth Pearson, Cecile Jackson

Annotation:

Summary:
Key issues in gender studies and development todat are explored in detail, from rural and urban poverty to population and family planning, resulting from the 1995 UN Conference on Women (Summary from WorldCat). 
 
Table of Contents:
1. Interrogating development: feminism, gender and policy
Ruth Pearson and Cecile Jackson
 
2. Who needs [sex] when you can have [gender]? conflicting discourses on gender at Beijing
Sally Baden and Anne Marie Goetz
 
3. Rescuing gender from the poverty trap
Cecile Jackson
 
4. Analysing women's movements
Maxine Molyneux
 
5. Jumping to conclusions?: struggles over meaning and method in the study of household economics
Naila Kabeer
 
6. Famine and transformation in gender relations
Jocelyn Kynch
 
7. Gender, power and contestation: 'rethinking bargaining with patriarchy'
Deniz Kandiyoti
 
8. Talking to the boys: gender and economic growth models
Diane Elson
 
9. 'Nimble fingers' revisited: reflections on women and Third World industrialization in the late twentieth century
Ruth Pearson
 
10. Female and male grain marketing systems: analytical and policy issues for West Africa and India
Barbara Harriss-White
 
11. Gender analysis of family planning: beyond the 'feminist vs. population control' debate
Ines Smyth
 
12. Silver bullet or passing fancy?: girls' schooling and population policy
Patricia Jeffery and Roger Jeffery
 
13. Questionable links: approaches to gender in environmental research and policy
Cathy Green, Susan Joekes and Melissa Leach
 

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Households Regions: Africa, West Africa, Asia, East Asia, South Asia Countries: China, India

Year: 1998

Sex and World Peace

Citation:

Hudson, Valerie M., Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Mary Caprioli, and Chad F. Emmett. 2012. Sex and World Peace. New York: Columbia University Press.

Authors: Valerie M. Hudson, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Mary Caprioli, Chad F. Emmett

Annotation:

Summary:
Sex and World Peace unsettles a variety of assumptions in political and security discourse, demonstrating that the security of women is a vital factor in the security of the state and its incidence of conflict and war. The authors compare micro-level gender violence and macro-level state peacefulness in global settings, supporting their findings with detailed analyses and color maps. Harnessing an immense amount of data, they call attention to discrepancies between national laws protecting women and the enforcement of those laws, and they note the adverse effects on state security of abnormal sex ratios favoring males, the practice of polygamy, and inequitable realities in family law, among other gendered aggressions. The authors find that the treatment of women informs human interaction at all levels of society. Their research challenges conventional definitions of security and democracy and shows that the treatment of gender, played out on the world stage, informs the true clash of civilizations. In terms of resolving these injustices, the authors examine top-down and bottom-up approaches to healing wounds of violence against women, as well as ways to rectify inequalities in family law and the lack of parity in decision-making councils. Emphasizing the importance of an R2PW, or state responsibility to protect women, they mount a solid campaign against women's systemic insecurity, which effectively unravels the security of all. (Summary from Columbia University Press)
 
Table of Contents
1. Roots of National and International Interests
2. What Is There to See
3. When We Do See the Global Picture
4. The Heart of the Matter: The Security of Women and the Security of States
5. Wings of National and International Relations
6. Wings of National and International Relations 
7. Taking Wing 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Conflict Prevention, Domestic Violence, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gender Balance, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, Governance, Constitutions, Quotas, Political Participation, Rights, Reproductive Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Violence, Weapons /Arms

Year: 2012

War as Feminized Labour in the Global Political Economy of Neoimperialism

Citation:

Meger, Sara. 2016. “War as Feminized Labour in the Global Political Economy of Neoimperialism.” Postcolonial Studies 19 (4): 378-92.

Author: Sara Meger

Abstract:

This article examines the structures of international relations that facilitate political violence in postcolonial states. It explores the intersections of patriarchy and imperialism in the contemporary political economy to understand how armed conflict and political violence in postcolonial states form an integral element of the global economy of accumulation in deeply gendered ways. By focusing on the structural level of analysis, this article argues that the siting of armed conflict in postcolonial contexts serves to maintain neo-colonial relations of exploitation between the West and non-West, and is made both possible and effective through the gendering of political identities and types of work performed in the global economy. I argue here that armed conflict is a form of feminized labour in the global economy. Despite the fact that performing violence is a physically masculine form of labour, the outsourcing of armed conflict as labour in the political economy is ‘feminized’ in that it represents the flexibilization of labour and informalization of market participation. So while at the same time that this work is fulfilling hegemonic ideals of militarized masculinity within the domestic context, at the international level it actually demonstrates the ‘weakness’ or ‘otherness’ of the ‘failed’/ feminized state in which this violence occurs, and legitimizes and hence re-entrenches the hegemonic relations between the core and periphery on the basis of problematizing the ‘weak’ state’s masculinity. It is through the discursive construction of the non- Western world as the site of contemporary political violence that mainstream international relations reproduces an orientalist approach to both understanding and addressing the ‘war puzzle’.

 

Keywords: political economy, neo-colonialism, war, gender, feminized labour, feminist international relations, postcolonial theory

Topics: Armed Conflict, Economies, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, conflict, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict

Year: 2016

A Toolkit for Women: The Mis(sed) Management of Gender in Resource Industries

Citation:

Laplonge, Dean. 2016. “A Toolkit for Women: The Mis(sed) Management of Gender in Resource Industries.” Journal of Management Development 35 (6): 802–13.

Author: Dean Laplonge

Abstract:

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to show the extent to which work on how to manage gender in resource industries fails to draw on the body of knowledge which explores gender in the workplace.
 
Design/methodology/approach – This paper explores the efficacy of a recently published toolkit within the context of the current debate about gender in resource industries (such as mining, and oil and gas).
 
Findings – The Australian Human Rights Commission’s toolkit speaks to this debate, but fails to analyse existing strategies to deal with the “gender problem”; it simply repeats them as successful examples of what to do. The authors of the toolkit also fail to ask a question which is fundamental to the success of any intervention into gender: what is the definition of “gender” on which the work is based?
 
Originality/value – The debate about gender in resource industries fails to take into consideration contemporary ideas about gender as they have appeared in academic research and human practice.

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Men, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses Regions: Oceania Countries: Australia

Year: 2016

What is the Sex Doing in the Genocide? A Feminist Philosophical Response

Citation:

Schott, Robin May. 2015. “What is the Sex Doing in the Genocide? A Feminist Philosophical Response.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 22 (4): 397-411.

Author: Robin May Schott

Abstract:

This article reviews the literature on Holocaust and genocide studies to consider the question, ‘what is the sex doing in the genocide?’ Of the three answers usually given: (1) sexual violence is like other forms of genocidal violence, (2) sexual violence is a coordinate in genocide and (3) sexual violence is integral to genocidal violence, the author argues for the third position, but takes issue with Catharine MacKinnon’s claim that sexual violence destroys women as a group, thereby destroying the ethnic, racial, religious, or national group to which women belong. Drawing on Hannah Arendt’s concept of natality, the author argues that sexual violence is an attack on a fundamental condition for the possibility of the existence of human groups. When political violence is used to force biological birth in the service of death, it is a form of thanatonatality.

Keywords: genocide, Holocaust, natality, sexual violence, thanatonatality

Topics: Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, conflict, Genocide, Race, Religion, Sexual Violence, SV against women, Violence

Year: 2015

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