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Gendered Power Relations

Bushfires Are "Men’s Business": The Importance of Gender and Rural Hegemonic Masculinity.

Citation:

Tyler, Meagan, and Peter Fairbrother. 2013. “Bushfires Are ‘Men’s Business’: The Importance of Gender and Rural Hegemonic Masculinity.” Journal of Rural Studies 30 (April): 110–19.

Authors: Meagan Tyler, Peter Fairbrother

Abstract:

This paper offers a critical review of the international literature on gender, disaster and rural masculinities. Empirical reference is made to bushfires in Australia, offering new evidence from the State of Victoria. Bushfires loom large in the Australian imagination and there is an increasing amount of research now being conducted in relation to bushfire events. A significant gap remains, however, with regard to the issue of gender. Despite increasing evidence that gender plays a significant role with reference to disaster risk assessment, preparation and response, a gendered analysis of bushfire preparation and response has not been a sustained research priority. Building on the writing of others, a critical assessment is provided of the concept of a specifically Australian, rural hegemonic masculinity as a possible way of better understanding the social dimensions of gender, and bushfire preparation and response in the Australian context. This conceptual consideration is extended to draw attention to the process whereby alternative conceptions of masculinities may emerge. This recognition provides a basis for further research on gender and disaster internationally.

Keywords: gender, masculinity, bushfire, wildfire, community fireguard

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations Regions: Oceania Countries: Australia

Year: 2013

A Declaration of Caring: Towards Ecological Masculinism

Citation:

Pulé, Paul M. 2013. “A Declaration of Caring: Towards Ecological Masculinism.” PhD diss., Murdoch University.

Author: Paul M. Pulé

Abstract:

This dissertation argues that the social and environmental problems we face are primarily the result of patriarchal or ‘malestream’ norms. These norms are constructed on hypermasculinist ways of being, thinking and doing that inhibit the growth and development of sustainable principles and practices. Responding to this assertion and following in the footsteps of deep ecology, social ecology and ecological feminism, the study brings masculinities concerns to the heart of the human/Nature relationship while also bringing concerns for society and the environment to the ways we think about men in the modern West. Further, it argues that if we are to achieve a truly sustainable future, then we must encourage men to reawaken their innate care. The dissertation declares that all men are born good and possess an infinite capacity to care and be caring. It is however recognised that these innate capacities for men to care and be caring are suppressed by ‘men’s oppression’ and that this oppression can prevent men from expressing their fullest humanness to the detriment of all Others and themselves. The dissertation recommends that men develop emotional competencies along with their intellect and intuition in order to authentically nurture the relational space between Others and themselves. Building on feminist care theory, a theoretical framework termed ecological masculinism is introduced, which facilitates modern Western men to care for and be caring towards society, Nature and the self—concurrently. The dissertation constructs a theoretical framework for ecological masculinism that is accompanied by a plurality of ecomasculine praxes. This ecologised masculinities theory and praxes instigates a new conversation in environmental philosophy that facilitates the rise of ‘ecomen’ who serve important roles in forging a deep green future for all of life on Earth.

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Masculinism

Year: 2013

Gender Mainstreaming in Transportation: Impact of Management Control

Citation:

Wittbom, Eva. 2011. “Gender Mainstreaming in Transportation: Impact of Management Control.” In Women’s Issues in Transportation: Summary of the 4th International Conference, Vol. 2: Technical Papers, 264-75. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board of the National Academies.

Author: Eva Wittbom

Abstract:

In international surveys, Sweden is considered to be the locus classicus for gender mainstreaming. At a macro level, the picture is clear, as government directives include specific goals for gender equality and the expectation that public agencies will mainstream gender into their core business. At a micro level, the situation is more complex. Formal governance meets with gendered norms and cultures that are equally strong, but informal, driving forces among civil servants. The question raised here is how the management control system functions under the pressure of mainstreaming gender. With an interpretive approach, research has been conducted to disclose constructions that tend to enable or to hamper gender equality in the practice of management control at a micro level. The evidence stems from a case study of the Swedish Road Administration and the Swedish National Rail Administration. Interviews, observations of meetings, and close reading of documents furnish this paper with data covering the years 2002–2007 with regard to a policy goal of a gender-equal transport system. Applying a gender perspective together with a sociological institutional perspective makes gendered rules, norms, and culture visible. The results show how management control is involved in integration of gender by assimilation and by decoupling, obstructing transformative gender mainstreaming. The administration is busy keeping up the appearance of fulfilling the goal, legitimizing its activities by reporting relative fulfillment in accordance with the rules of the control system, regardless of the relevance connected to the norms of gender equality. The management control system perpetuates a culture in which reliability lies in measurability; therefore, the goal of gender equality results in a quantitative perspective on women and men instead of a qualitative gender perspective on the transport system.

Topics: Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Transportation Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Sweden

Year: 2011

Climate Change and Gender Equality in Developing States

Citation:

Eastin, Joshua. 2018. "Climate Change and Gender in Developing States." World Development 107: 289-305.

Author: Joshua Eastin

Abstract:

It is commonly accepted that women can be more vulnerable than men to the adverse environmental effects of climate change. This paper evaluates whether the unequal distribution of costs women bear as a result of climate change are reflected across broader macro-social institutions to the detriment of gender equality and women's rights. It argues that gender disparities in climate change vulnerability not only reflect preexisting gender inequalities, they also reinforce them. Inequalities in the ownership and control of household assets and rising familial burdens due to male out-migration, declining food and water access, and increased disaster exposure can undermine women's ability to achieve economic independence, enhance human capital, and maintain health and wellbeing. Consequences for gender equality include reductions in intra-household bargaining power, as women become less capable of generating independent revenue. Outside the home, norms of gender discrimination and gender imbalances in socio-economic status should increase as women are less able to participate in formal labor markets, join civil society organizations, or collectively mobilize for political change. The outcome of these processes can reduce a society's level of gender equality by increasing constraints on the advancement of laws and norms that promote co-equal status. I empirically test this relationship across a sample of developing states between 1981 and 2010. The findings suggest that climate shocks and climatic disasters a broadly negative impact on gender equality, as deviations from long-term mean temperatures and increasing incidence of climatological and hydro-meteorological disasters are associated with declines in women's economic and social rights. These effects appear to be most salient in states that are relatively less-democratic, with greater dependence on agriculture, and lower levels of economic development.

Keywords: climate change, gender equality, women's rights, development, vulnerability, developing states

Topics: Development, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2018

Food (In)Security, Human (In)Security, Women’s (In)Security: State Policies and Local Experiences in Rural Rwanda

Citation:

Nzayisenga, Marie Jeanne, Camilla Orjuela, and Isabell Schierenbeck. 2016. “Food (In)Security, Human (In)Security, Women’s (In)Security: State Policies and Local Experiences in Rural Rwanda.” African Security 9 (4): 278-98.

Authors: Marie Jeanne Nzayisenga, Camilla Orjuela, Isabell Schierenbeck

Abstract:

Despite the growing importance of the concept [of] human security, security studies in Africa remain largely focused on the threat of direct violence and the role of state actors. This article broadens the security agenda by focusing on food security and discusses how women in rural Rwanda experience and view food security. In making individual women the referent of security, the article exposes the gap between national level reforms, which aim to and have been deemed successful to combat poverty and increase food production, and the experiences of women who report a decline in food availability and increased problems in accessing food in the wake of reforms and who often struggle against hunger in a disadvantaged position within their households and local power structures. Building on 51 interviews with women in western Rwanda conducted in 2013 and 2014, the article illustrates how the human security perspective with a sensitivity to gender relations and positions is important for gaining a fuller picture of the security of individuals. 

Keywords: agricultural reforms, food security, human security, Rwanda, women's security

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Health, Households, Security, Human Security Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2016

When “Bright Futures” Fade: Paradoxes of Women’s Empowerment in Rwanda

Citation:

Berry, Marie E. 2015. "When 'Bright Futures' Fade: Paradoxes of Women’s Empowerment in Rwanda." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 41 (1): 1-27.

Author: Marie E. Berry

Annotation:

Summary:
"Recent qualitative work has challenged many of the impressive development indicators that the Government of Rwanda has presented to the international donor community. This article continues in this mold, employing qualitative methods and a bottom-up perspective to illustrate three paradoxes of development efforts that have emerged within different social institutions—including the family, the education system, and the labor market. Each of these paradoxes serves as an example of how efforts to promote women have failed to fundamentally transform ordinary women’s lives. In the first, patriarchal processes conflate adulthood with marriage, denying unwed women the same rights as their married counterparts and thus reinforcing women’s dependence on men. In the second, well-intentioned education policies promoting girls have unintended effects, which ultimately create new forms of oppression for women. Finally, the ambitious development enterprise led by the government is only made possible through the repression of some of its citizens, which essentially entrenches their poverty even more deeply. Combined, these three paradoxes suggest that the very efforts intended to remedy women’s subordination have indirectly reinforced it in particular ways. This article joins a tradition of feminist scholarship that cautions against an easy reading of efforts to promote social change" (Berry 2015, 3). 
 

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Development, Education, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Households, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2015

Right-Wing Sisterhood: Everyday Politics of Hindu Nationalist Women in India and Zionist Settler Women in Israel-Palestine

Citation:

Mehta, Akanksha. 2017. "Right-Wing Sisterhood: Everyday Politics of Hindu Nationalist Women in India and Zionist Settler Women in Israel-Palestine." PhD diss., SOAS University of London.

Author: Akanksha Mehta

Annotation:

Summary: 
"Right-Wing movements have gained political momentum in the last few decades, drawing within their ranks women who not only embody their exclusionary and violent politics but who also simultaneously contest everyday patriarchies. This thesis examines the everyday politics of women in two right-wing movements, the cultural nationalist Hindu right-wing project in India and the settler-colonial Zionist project in Israel-Palestine. Based on fourteen months of ethnographic, narrative, and visual ‘fieldwork’ conducted with women in both these movements, I argue that through a politics of the everyday, right-wing women bargain and negotiate with patriarchal communities/homes, male-formulated ideologies and discourses, and maledominated right-wing projects and spaces. These mediations replicate and affirm as well as subvert and challenge patriarchal structures and power hierarchies, troubling the binaries of home/world, private/public, personal/political, and victim/agent. I assert that dominant literature on rightwing women focuses on motherhood and family, ignoring various other crucial subject positions that are constituted and occupied by right-wing women and neglecting the agential and empowering potential of right-wing women’s subjectivities.
 
"I use four themes/lenses to examine the everyday politics of right-wing women. These are: pedagogy and education; charity and humanitarian work; intimacy, friendship, sociability and leisure; and political violence. By interrogating the practices that are contained in and enabled by these four locations of Hindu right-wing and Zionist settler women’s everyday politics, this thesis highlights the multiple narratives, contradictions, pluralities, hierarchies, power structures, languages, and discourses that encompass right-wing women’s projects" (Mehta 2017, 3-4). 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Nationalism, Political Participation, Religion, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Southeast Asia Countries: India, Israel, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2017

Post-Conflict Ruptures and the Space for Women's Empowerment in Bangladesh

Citation:

Hossain, Naomi. 2018. “Post-Conflict Ruptures and the Space for Women's Empowerment in Bangladesh.” Women's Studies International Forum 68: 104–12.

Author: Naomi Hossain

Abstract:

Bangladesh is widely deemed to have made rapid progress on gender equality and women's empowerment. How to understand the apparent advances of women in a poor, populous, Muslim-majority country in the belt of classic patriarchy? This paper locates the origins of these changes in the immediate aftermath of Bangladesh's struggle for independence in 1971, when a series of visible ruptures to the patriarchal bargain dramatized the ongoing crisis of social reproduction. This drew elite attention to the conditions of landless rural women, creating space for their programmatic inclusion in the political settlement, within a newly biopolitical project of national development. The paper argues that it is possible to make sense of the gains women have made as well as old and new obstacles to gender justice - including women's continuing responsibility for care - in this critical juncture in the political history of gender relations in Bangladesh.

Keywords: Bangladesh, women's empowerment, biopower, patriarchal bargains, post-conflict gender relations

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2018

Suffering for Water, Suffering from Water: Emotional Geographies of Resource Access, Control and Conflict

Citation:

Sultana, Farhana. 2011. "Suffering for Water, Suffering from Water: Emotional Geographies of Resource Access, Control and Conflict." Geoforum 42 (2): 163-72. 

Author: Farhana Sultana

Abstract:

This article argues that resource access, use, control, ownership and conflict are not only mediated through social relations of power, but also through emotional geographies where gendered subjectivities and embodied emotions constitute how nature–society relations are lived and experienced on a daily basis. By engaging the insights from feminist political ecology literatures and emotional geographies literatures, the article demonstrates that resource struggles and conflicts are not just material challenges but emotional ones, which are mediated through bodies, spaces and emotions. Such a focus fleshes out the complexities, entanglements and messy relations that constitute political ecologies of resources management, where practices and processes are negotiated through constructions of gender, embodiments, and emotions. Abstractions of ‘resource struggles’ and ‘resource conflicts’ are thereby grounded in embodied emotional geographies of places, peoples, and resources, enabling us to better understand the ways resources and emotions come to matter in everyday survival struggles. This framing can enrich feminist political ecology theorizations and texture our understandings of commonly used terms such as access, use, control, conflict and struggles vis-à-vis natural resources in any context. In other words, we are better able to conceptualize and explain how and why people access, use, and struggle over resources the ways they do. A case study of drinking water contamination from Bangladesh is used to develop the theoretical arguments in contributing to existing debates in (feminist) political ecologies.

Keywords: political ecology, emotional geography, resource access, conflict, gender, water, Bangladesh

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, conflict, Gendered Discourses, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Economies Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2011

Negotiating Mobility in Gendered Spaces: Case of Pakistani Women Doctors

Citation:

Masood, Ayesha. 2018. “Negotiating Mobility in Gendered Spaces: Case of Pakistani Women Doctors.” Gender, Place & Culture 25 (2): 188–206.

Author: Ayesha Masood

Abstract:

Through their gendered spatial practices, women in Pakistan re-negotiate and contest the multiple social and material restrictions in their daily mobility to reclaim the urban transit spaces, specifically, roads. Ethnographic research on the automobile use and driving with the women doctors in Lahore, Pakistan reveal the relationship between these strategic practices and the educational and occupational choices of women. These spatially embedded, intentional practices of women doctors, contingent on their social and economic positions, are directly linked to the emerging gendered identities and changing social and material gendered boundaries in Pakistani society. Moreover, these changing spaces are part of on-going flux of shifting power relations between traditional patriarchy and capitalism.

Keywords: driving, mobility, transport, public geography, women doctors, Pakistan

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Infrastructure, Transportation, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Pakistan

Year: 2018

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