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Gendered Power Relations

Feminist Economies and the Analysis of the Global Economy: The Challenge That Awaits Us

Citation:

Floro, Maria Sagrario, and John Willoughby. 2016. "Feminist Economies and the Analysis of the Global Economy: The Challenge That Awaits Us." Fletcher Forum on World Affairs 40 (2): 15-27.

Authors: Maria Sagrario Floro, John Willoughby

Annotation:

“Over the past half-century, feminist economists have transformed our understanding of how the world economy functions. They have critiqued the gender-blindness of traditional economic models and challenged analytic descriptions of development and globalization that ignore much of women’s economic activity. Feminist economists have developed analytical frameworks for examining gender relations that permeate political, social, and economic institutions including markets, governments, households, and firms. They have produced new methodologies that incorporate women’s experiences in economic models, statistics, and the evaluation of economic phenomena. Their research has pushed the boundaries of knowledge by challenging conventional paradigms and concepts, ideas and categories that were engrained and therefore rarely scrutinized.

“The result has been the emergence of a new consensus. Well-documented studies have shown that the erosion of systems of patriarchy not only empowers women economically, but also has demonstrably positive impacts on alleviating poverty and promoting human development. These changes in our understanding of the development process have produced a new politics as well as new forms of economic development policy. Key international institutions, donor agencies, and governments have adopted gender-sensitive policies in their development programs as part of ‘gender mainstreaming,’ or the process of institutionalizing gender-sensitive analysis and policy in governments and organizations. Advocates have also used feminist knowledge of development to strengthen women’s groups raising gender issues in broader social and political movements. Knowledge of feminism allows for greater clarity of the vision of social change and has served as a guide for consciousness-raising, thus enabling feminist research to be transformative at the grassroots level. This dynamic interaction between feminist thinking and feminist activism has revealed tensions regarding the intersections of knowledge, power, and development outcomes. It has led to debates among feminist economists in terms of what needs to be done and how best to accomplish gender equality. These tensions and debates are necessary and vital in pushing the boundaries of knowledge and in deepening our understanding of development.

“Despite this headway, several important challenges remain. The progress we can document has been halting and uneven. Moreover, in certain key areas of economic policy-making, gender-sensitive economic policy is absent, and approaches used in gender mainstreaming to assess the differential effects of a policy on women and men can sometimes legitimize women’s subordinate roles. Rather than treating the promotion of human rights and women’s well-being as ends in themselves, their labor and productivity potential are viewed mainly as means to further increase economic growth. The important focus on long-run transformation of gender relations toward equality in the context of regional, national, and global economic processes is, more often than not, neglected, particularly when countries face economic crises. The very real setbacks women experience as a result of the gender-blind management of the economy during booms and downturns have long-term consequences. In this time of increasing economic disruptions, it will be important to systematically integrate the promotion of gender equality in the implementation of appropriate economic stabilization policies.

“First, we explore the link between dismantling systems of male dominance and our understanding of the development process, with a particular focus on what is required to achieve the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We then turn to interventions from key international organizations in order to illustrate the impact that feminist economics has had on development policymaking. We then argue that, despite some advancements, several missing elements in the development of economic policy still allow unequal gender relations to persist or create new forms of gender inequalities. We conclude with a discussion of the challenges that we still face in developing inclusive and sustainable economic policy that promotes equality and expanded cooperation to address urgent global issues.” (Floro & Willoughby 2016, 15-17)

 

Topics: Development, Economies, Feminisms, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations

Year: 2016

A Feminist Perspective on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Citation:

Abelenda, Ana Ines. 2014. "A Feminist Perspective on the Post-2015 Development Agenda." The Equal Rights Review 13: 117-28.

Author: Ana Ines Abelenda

Abstract:

World leaders and diverse development actors are currently embroiled in a series of negotiations around a new global development agenda to follow the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) once they expire in 2015. The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) has been heavily involved in seeking to shape the new agenda to ensure that it adequately addresses human rights, including women’s rights and gender equality. The negotiation process has been complex, frustrating at times for civil society and women’s rights advocates, yet a historical opportunity to re-shape global understandings of development in the struggle towards social, economic, ecological and gender justice. As the world navigates a context of multiple intersecting global crises coupled with increasing inequality and militarism, it becomes clear that business as usual is not an option. A paradigm shift is needed. This position paper presents a feminist analysis to help unpack what is at stake for people and the planet by pushing the envelope on the kind of world we want to live in. This approach is one which both AWID and  the author believe is key to systemic change. A mere look at the ‘shopping list’ of goals and targets currently on the negotiating table is not enough. Feminist and progressive social movements must not bypass the opportunity to challenge the systemic root causes in the current economic system that continue to undermine women’s autonomy and the achievement of human rights for all.

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2014

Exploring the Continuum: Gendered Violence in Post-Conflict Landscapes

Smita Ramnarain

April 19, 2018

Campus Center, 3rd floor, Room 3540, UMass Boston

In societies impacted by war or civil conflict, women experience violence as a continuum across domestic and societal spheres. However, studies of violence treat micro and macro violence as theoretically distinct. The lecture will illustrate how the separation of violence into micro or macro violence is problematic for understanding gender-based violence in post-crisis contexts. Using examples from field research in Nepal, it is shown that this separation obscures structural forms of exclusion in post-conflict societies. The neglect of post-conflict reconstruction frameworks of the different forms of gender-based violence leads, therefore, to new and persistent forms of discrimination and marginalization.

Smita Ramnarain is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Rhode Island. She obtained her doctoral degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research focuses on the political economy of development in South Asia. She is especially interested in examining development issues using the lens of gender. She has worked on post-conflict reconstruction, peacebuilding and development, feminization of poverty and female headship, microfinance, and more recently, environmental adaptation and resource conflicts. She has carried out field-based research in Nepal and India for these projects. Her work has been published in diverse and interdisciplinary fora such as Feminist Economics, Gender Place & Culture, and the Community Development Journal, and in edited volumes. Smita is also interested in mixed methods research in economics, and has recently contributed to an edited collection, the Handbook of Research Methods in Heterodox Economics.

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This event is being cosponsored by the William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences; the UMass Boston Global Governance and Human Security PhD Program; and the Honors College.

What Do the #MeToo Revelations Tell Us about Women and Wars?

Cynthia Enloe

February 8, 2018

**LOCATION CHANGE** Campus Center, 3rd floor, Room 3550A

The deluge of exposés about diverse men harassing and assaulting women in the workplace has galvanized women worldwide. But those revelations have been treated as if they have nothing to do with international politics. That is a serious missed opportunity.

This event is being cosponsored by the UMass Boston Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Human Rights Minor; Global Governance and Human Security PhD Program; Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy; Department of Political Science; Department of History; and Honors College. 

Cynthia Enloe is a research professor in the Department of International Development, Community, and Environment at Clark University. Her feminist teaching and research have focused on the interplay of gendered politics in the national and international arenas. Her many books include: Bananas, Beaches and BasesNimo’s War, Emma’s War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War; The Curious Feminist; Globalization and Militarism; Seriously! Investigating Crashes and Crises as if Women Mattered; and the newly published The Big Push: Exposing and Challenging Persistence of Patriarchy

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Interrogating Large Scale Land Acquisition and Its Implication on Women in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Case Study of Ghana

Citation:

Darkwah, Akosua K., Peace A. Medie, and Maame Gyekye-Jandoh. 2017. “Interrogating Large Scale Land Acquisition and Its Implication on Women in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Case Study of Ghana.” Working Paper No. 401/August 2017. The Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights, Boston, MA.

Authors: Akosua K. Darkwah, Peace A. Medie, Maame Gyekye-Jandoh

Abstract:

Large scale land acquisitions have become increasingly common across Africa. This paper draws on two case studies of large scale land acquisitions in Ghana to examine how the practice affects communities in general, and women in particular. It explains that while there have been some benefits of these acquisitions, the costs to communities mostly outweigh the benefits. Women are particularly impacted by this practice as their livelihoods are affected and they are excluded from the proceeds of land transactions. The paper concludes with a discussion of the actions that state agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and communities have taken to address the negative impact of large scale land acquisition on women and their communities. (Abstract from original source).

Topics: Economies, Economic Inequality, Environment, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Land grabbing, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2017

These Days We Have to Be Poor People: Women’s Narratives of the Economic Aftermath of Forced Evictions in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Citation:

McGinn, Colleen. 2015. “These Days We Have to Be Poor People: Women’s Narratives of the Economic Aftermath of Forced Evictions in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.” Paper presented at Land Grabbing, Conflict and Agrarian-Environmental Transformations: Perspectives from East and South-East Asia Conference. Chiang Mai University, June. 

Author: Colleen McGinn

Abstract:

“This paper explores the economic aftermath of forced evictions for urban Cambodian women. It is based on an analysis of in-depth narratives of 22 women displaced from five locations in Phnom Penh, the capital city. Evictees’ overall post-eviction coping and adaptation proved to be grounded in their economic circumstances, which in turn framed other risk and resilience factors. The nature and degree of economic harm resulting from the evictions varied widely, and followed specific patterns consistent with pre-displacement socioeconomic status, livelihood source, and the degree to which social networks were embedded in their former neighborhoods. Those who worked in the informal sector experienced shocks to their livelihoods, especially those who landed in remote locations. Homeowners were more typically harmed in terms of assets: they might maintain relatively stable incomes, but lose enormous value of their properties. A third group experienced a catastrophic double blow affecting both livelihoods and assets; this group tended to include shopkeepers whose shelter and livelihoods were both tied to their property. There were also some women who reported that forced eviction had had a relatively benign impact on them. These narratives were idiosyncratic. However, several explanatory factors emerged, including these women had intact livelihoods, superficial ties to their former neighborhoods, and/or found new housing nearby. I conclude with recommendations, including compensation at full market value for seized properties, and broad urban planning measures to protect and encourage affordable rental housing within the city, proximate to diverse livelihood opportunities. A housing/shelter focus to advocacy, policy, and assistance strategies is too narrow, because it poorly addresses the livelihood crisis experienced by many of the displaced.” (Abstract from original source

Keywords: gender, land grab, eviction, Cambodia, Southeast Asia, state-gender relations

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Land grabbing, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Cambodia

Year: 2017

Land Registration and Certification as a Key Strategy for Ensuring Gender Equity, Preventing Land Grabbing and Enhancing Agricultural Productivity: Evidence from Tigray, Ethiopia

Citation:

Gebre-Egziabher, Abraha Kinfe. 2013. “Land Registration and Certification as a Key Strategy for Ensuring Gender Equity, Preventing Land Grabbing and Enhancing Agricultural Productivity: Evidence from Tigray, Ethiopia.” International Journal of African Renaissance Studies - Multi-, Inter- and Transdisciplinarity 8 (2): 5-22.

Author: Abraham Kinfe Gebre-Egziabher

Abstract:

“In Ethiopia the land issue has always occupied a central place in various struggles for survival and development. Tigray, Ethiopia had a complex land tenure system which has a long history, which goes back to the Aksumite period. The land tenure of Tigray was modified after the introduction of Christianity to Tigray, Ethiopia in about 320 AD, and subsequent leaders began founding churches and establishing monasteries. Traditionally, every Tigreayan was entitled to a piece of land by virtue of the fact that he/she belongs by birth to a given community (Rsti). However, “The Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Article over the years this seemingly simple system has been complicated by the monarchs of Tigray. Two of the main problems that were associated with the land issues of Tigray during that time mainly during the imperial regime were land grabbing and the gender disparity in land ownership. As a result of the two and other key problems, the Tigreayans grew progressively poorer over the years.
 
40 (The Right to Property) and Article 35 (Rights of Women), respectively, were aimed at addressing the major problems related to land and gender issues. As a way of implementing the articles given in the Constitution and the policies, the regional government of Tigray used Land Registration and Certification as a strategy. The land registration and certification process conducted in Tigray is a process that is local, simple, done in the language of the people (Tigrigna), transparent and participatory, and has prevented land grabbing and ensured gender equity. This article then discusses how land registration and certification not only prevents land grabbing and ensures gender equity, but also enhances agricultural productivity, by using the evidence from Tigray, Ethiopia.” (Abstract from original source)

Keywords: Agricultural productivity, financial capital, human capital, natural capital, social capital, gender equity capital, Land Certification, grabbing, registration, sustainable development, Tigray, ethiopia

Topics: Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Environment, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Households, Land grabbing, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia

Year: 2013

Building Inclusive Cities

Citation:

Whitzman, Carolyn, Crystal Legacy, Caroline Andrew, Fran Klodawsky, Margaret Shaw, Kalpana Viswanath eds. 2013. Building Inclusive Cities. New York: Routledge. 

Authors: Carolyn Whitzman, Crystal Legacy, Caroline Andrew, Fran Klodawsky, Margaret Shaw, Kalpana Viswanath

Annotation:

Summary:
“Building on a growing movement within developing countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia–Pacific, as well as Europe and North America, this book documents cutting-edge practice and builds theory around a rights-based approach to women’s safety in the context of poverty reduction and social inclusion. Drawing upon two decades of research and grass-roots action on safer cities for women and everyone, this book is about the right to an inclusive city. The first part of the book describes the challenges that women face regarding access to essential services, housing security, liveability and mobility. The second part of the book critically examines programmes, projects and ideas that are working to make cities safer. Building Inclusive Cities takes a cross-cultural learning perspective from action research occurring throughout the world and translates this research into theoretical conceptualizations to inform the literature on planning and urban management in both developing and developed countries. This book is intended to inspire both thought and action” (Whitzman 2013, i).

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Transportation, Water & Sanitation

Year: 2013

The Role of Gender and Caste in Climate Adaptation Strategies in Nepal

Citation:

Onta, Nisha, and Bernadette P. Resurreccion. 2011. “The Role of Gender and Caste in Climate Adaptation Strategies in Nepal.” Mountain Research and Development 31 (4): 351–56.

Authors: Nisha Onta, Bernadette P. Resurreccion

Abstract:

Despite the growing number of studies and research projects on climate change adaptation, only a few have examined the gender and cultural dynamics of the adaptation process. Inequality has been identified as a major indicator of the vulnerability of individuals and groups; nevertheless, the gender and cultural aspects of inequality have not received much emphasis. The present article attempts to analyze the influence of gender and cultural relations on the process of climate change adaptation by presenting a study of Dalit and Lama households in the mountainous Humla District of Nepal. The inhabitants of Humla have been experiencing a shift in the monsoon season, a decrease in snowfall, and longer dry periods, with adverse effects on their livelihoods. The main focus of this article is to highlight the cultural, social, and economic dependency of the Lama and Dalit ethnic groups and to examine whether processes of adaptation exacerbate or alter gender inequalities and intercaste dependencies. (Abstract from original source)

Keywords: climate change, adaptation, gender, caste, Dalit, Humla, Nepal

Annotation:

Topics: Caste, Environment, Climate Change, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2011

Sex and World Peace

Citation:

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

Authors: Valerie 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 WorldCat)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Conflict Prevention, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Year: 2012

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