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Gendered Discourses

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

Exploring Gender Norms in the Lebanese Internal Security Forces

Citation:

Rougvie, Kate. 2018. "Exploring Gender Norms in the Lebanese Internal Security Forces." Al-Raida Journal 42 (1): 6-19.

Abstract:

Feminist scholarship focusing on security, gender, and conflict indicates gender norms that privilege the masculine and inferiorize the feminine are particularly pronounced within militarized security institutions (Whitworth, 2004). The male-dominated security sector promotes a particular type of masculinity (Connell, 2005), which reinforces gender-blind security institutions (Bastick, n.d.; Valasek, 2008; Enloe, 1983; Enloe, 2007). In this article, I will explore the ways in which this dynamic is produced in the context of Lebanon. I will investigate how social constructions of gender are reinforced by, and shape the nature of Lebanon’s highly militarized police force, and the potential impact of this on its capacity to respond to gendered needs. I will begin by demonstrating the importance of gender perspectives to security theory and discourse. I will then explore the ways in which gender norms manifest in the militarized Internal Security Forces (ISF) and the reasons for, and the impact of this manifestation on their capacity to be a gender-responsive institution. Such an analysis will touch on the role of the police in preventing and responding to gender-based violence (GBV), and women’s participation in the ISF.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Gender-Based Violence, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Security Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon

Year: 2018

Fixing Gender: The Paradoxical Politics of Peacekeeper Training

Citation:

Holvikivi, Aiko. 2019. "Fixing Gender: The Paradoxical Politics of Peacekeeper Training." PhD diss., The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Author: Aiko Holvikivi

Abstract:

Over the past two decades, gender training for military and police peacekeepers has become institutionalised in the global governance of peace and security. Such training purports to respond to gendered harms previously ignored in, or actively caused by, peacekeeping operations. This evolving transnational practice involves the introduction of gender knowledge – indebted to feminist theorising and activism – into police and military organisations – commonly characterised as institutions of hegemonic masculinity. This thesis takes the tension between feminism and martial institutions as its point of departure to investigate what meaning the term gender acquires in training for uniformed peacekeepers, asking: What epistemic and political work does gender training do in martial institutions? Investigating the pedagogical practices of gender training through a multi-sited ethnography, I approach this question with the help of feminist, postcolonial, (and) queer epistemic perspectives. I conceptualise gender training as involving the production of knowledges around gender; knowledges which enable ways of being and acting in the world. I suggest that training practices often produce an understanding of gender that serves martial politics and reproduces colonial logics in the peacekeeping enterprise, thereby emptying the term of the transformative political hopes that feminist theorists typically invest in the concept. At the same time, I identify moments of tension, in which gender training appears to be destabilising hierarchical martial logics and engaging in subversive pedagogy. In sum, I argue that ambivalence is an integral feature of gender training, and locate political potential in the cultivation of resistant pedagogies, which exploit the margins of hegemonic discourses to engage in subversive strategies of destabilisation and delinking. This thesis provides an empirical contribution to an under-studied area of global governance, as well as forwarding feminist theorising on political strategies for engaging with and against institutions of state power.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Peacekeeping

Year: 2019

(Re)Productive Discourses: Media Coverage of Children Born of War in Colombia

Citation:

Parra, Tatiana Sanchez, and Sergio Lo Iacono. 2019. "(Re)Productive Discourses: Media Coverage of Children Born of War in Colombia." Bulletin of Latin American Research 39 (1): 22–36.

Authors: Tatiana Sanchez Parra, Sergio Lo Iacono

Abstract:

Children born as a result of wartime sexual violence have not gained a place in the stories covered by the Colombian media. Based on an extensive content analysis (using the software MAXQDA 12) of newspaper articles published between 1990 and 2015, ethnographic content analysis, and drawing upon feminist critical discourse analysis, this paper explores how information about these children is presented as part of storylines that use the explanatory framework of sexual violence as a weapon of war. In those storylines, children emerge not as independent subjects but as part of social representations of female victims of wartime sexual violence and male perpetrators.

Keywords: children born of war, content analysis, Colombia

Topics: Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2019

Gendered Views in a Feminist State: Swedish Opinions on Crime, Terrorism, and National Security

Citation:

Wagnsson, Charlotte, Eva-Karin Olsson, and Isabella Nilsen. 2020. “Gendered Views in a Feminist State: Swedish Opinions on Crime, Terrorism, and National Security.” Gender & Society. doi: 10.1177/0891243220946029.
 

Authors: Charlotte Wagnsson, Eva-Karin Olsson, Isabella Nilsen

Abstract:

Gender differences have been observed regarding many political and social issues, yet we lack comprehensive evidence on differences in perceptions on a wide range of security issues increasingly important to voters: military threats, criminality, and terrorism. Previous research suggests that when women are highly politically mobilized, as they are in Sweden, gender differences in political opinion are large. On the other hand, Swedish politicians have worked hard to reduce gender stereotypical thinking. This prompts the question: Are there gender differences in attitudes on security issues in Sweden, and if so, in what ways do the attitudes differ? This study is based on comprehensive data from focus groups and a large-scale survey. The results show that women were more prone to respond with an “ethic of care,” across security issues. Women were more inclined to understand security problems as structural, explained by macho culture, segregation, and injustice. Women tend to support preventive measures that provide individuals with opportunities to choose “the right path,” such as education and economic investment in deprived areas. When asked about national security, women believe more in diplomacy and dialogue. In general, women are less inclined to support various repressive solutions.

Keywords: crime, law & social control, politics/state/nationalism, violence, war & conflict

Topics: Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, Political Participation, Security Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Sweden

Year: 2020

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