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Gendered Power Relations

A Continuum of Participation: Rethinking Tamil Women’s Political Participation and Agency in Post-War Sri Lanka

Citation:

Koens, Celeste, and Samanthi J. Gunawardana. 2021. “A Continuum of Participation: Rethinking Tamil Women’s Political Participation and Agency in Post-War Sri Lanka.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 23 (3): 463–84.

Authors: Celeste Koens, Samanthi J. Gunawardana

Abstract:

In post-war contexts, attention is given to women’s participation and barriers to their participation in formal processes (for example, peace talks, economic initiatives, and elections). Yet, women have engaged in various activities to exercise collective and individual agency to impact political participation. This article examines how Tamil women’s political participation in post-war Sri Lanka exists along a continuum, from formal participation within state structures and party politics to informal community participation. Scholarship about Tamil women’s political participation is framed within discourses of “militants,” “ex-combatants,” “political mothers,” or “victims.” Using narrative interviews, we argue that – based on their awareness of unequal gendered power relations, structures, and norms impacting their lives in post-war Sri Lanka – Tamil women in Mannar exercise agency to challenge these constraints and promote a broader transformative political arena. Some women attempt to expand the agency of others and to promote a collective voice through which women can be better represented in politics. Drawing on feminist international relations and gender and development knowledge, this study demonstrates how political agency is constituted within informal arenas, disrupting masculinist assumptions about who is considered a political actor and what counts as political agency by examining the spectrum of political participation in post-war contexts.

Keywords: political participation, Sri Lanka, post-war, gender, Tamil women

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Political Participation, Post-Conflict Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 2021

The Endurance of Women’s Mobilization During “Patriarchal Backlash”: A Case from Colombia’s Reconfiguring Armed Conflict

Citation:

Zulver, Julia Margaret. 2021. “The Endurance of Women’s Mobilization during ‘Patriarchal Backlash’: A Case from Colombia’s Reconfiguring Armed Conflict.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 23 (3): 440–62.

Author: Julia Margaret Zulver (she/her/hers)

Abstract:

Despite the signing of a peace accord between the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) and the Government of Colombia in 2016, it is increasingly apparent that the country’s armed conflict is reconfiguring rather than abating. This is evident in the widespread targeting of social leaders with threats, violence, and death. This article focuses on the Alianza de Mujeres Tejedoras de Vida, an association of women in Putumayo who mobilized for peace and women’s rights during Colombia’s armed conflict. Since 2018, however, they have been specifically targeted by armed groups for their activism and support of the peace process. This has led to increased – and gendered – acts of violence against them. This article frames the violence that they currently face as an example of what Berry refers to as “patriarchal backlash,” a reaction to the gains that women make in their communities during war that threaten men’s hegemonic control. I argue that while the resurgence of violence represents a limitation to women’s mobilization, it is not insurmountable. Indeed, the Alianza’s ongoing mobilization can be understood as a function of the repertoires of action developed during previous moments of conflict. This article contributes to wider conversations about the durability of women’s mobilization beyond the permeable bounds of a conflict/post-conflict binary.

Keywords: women's activism, Colombia, patriarchal backlash, repertoires of action, women social leaders

Topics: Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Peace Processes, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2021

From Gender-Blind to Gender-Transformative Reintegration: Women’s Experiences with Social Reintegration in Guatemala

Citation:

Weber, Sanne. 2021. “From Gender-Blind to Gender-Transformative Reintegration: Women’s Experiences with Social Reintegration in Guatemala.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 23 (3): 396–417.

Author: Sanne Weber

Abstract:

Disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) processes have become a standard component of international peace and security programming. Yet, in spite of increasing attention to the need for gender-sensitive DDR in policy and academic debates, the stereotypical ways in which female ex-combatants have traditionally been addressed have led to inadequate gendered reintegration policies. This article describes the effects of a gender-blind reintegration process on female ex-combatants’ experiences of long-term social reintegration in Guatemala. Social reintegration is a profoundly gendered process, which involves the rebuilding of civilian identities, social relationships, and trust between social groups. Based on in-depth interviews with female ex-combatants, this article describes how the absence of gender-sensitive reintegration strategies produced various problems for women. They faced difficulties in their emotional and family relationships, leading to mental health struggles and even violence, as well as persistent stigma which produced anxiety and challenges in the labor market. The article concludes with suggestions for making reintegration a gender-transformative process, by crossing the private–public divide, increasing collective strategies, and better aligning with transitional justice processes.

Keywords: female ex-combatants, DDR, social reintegration, gender equality, Guatemala

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Guatemala

Year: 2021

Gendered Forests: Exploring Gender Dimensions in Forest Governance and REDD+ in Équateur Province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Citation:

Samndong, Raymond Achu, and Darley Jose Kjosavik. 2017. “Gendered Forests: Exploring Gender Dimensions in Forest Governance and REDD+ in Équateur Province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).” Ecology and Society 22 (4). https://www.jstor.org/stable/26799010.

Authors: Darley Jose Kjosavik, Raymond Achu Samndong

Abstract:

In this study we analyze gender relations legitimatized by socio-political institutions of forest governance in REDD+ pilots in Équateur Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Using data from interviews, focus group discussions, and field observations, we show that men and women have different knowledge and use of forests, but these differences are not given due consideration in forest governance. Women’s voices are often muted in decision-making arenas and they occupy only a nominal position in both forestry and development initiatives as compared with men. This status quo is extended to the REDD+ pilot projects as well. Women have limited information about REDD+ compared with men. The mechanisms used to establish new village organization for REDD+ exclude women from decision making in the ongoing REDD+ pilot project. We show that women’s bargaining power for equal inclusion in decision-making processes and for sharing benefits are constrained by existing social norms regarding local access to land and material resources, existing gender division of labor, local perceptions regarding women’s roles and contributions/responsibilities, as well as men’s dominant position in rural settings. For a gender transformative REDD+, we suggest that REDD+ actors should attempt to bring about institutional changes that transform gender relations and thereby increase women’s bargaining power.

Keywords: decision making, development initiative, Équater Province, DRC, forest governance, gender role, REDD+

Topics: Environment, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2017

The Remaking of Social Contracts: Feminists in a Fierce New World

Citation:

Sen, Gita, and Marina Durano, eds. 2014. The Remaking of Social Contracts: Feminists in a Fierce New World. Zed Books. 

Authors: Gita Sen, Marina Durano

Abstract:

Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN) argues that social contracts must be recreated if they are to fulfil the promise of human rights. In The Remaking of Social Contracts, leading thinkers and activists address a wide range of concerns - global economic governance, militarism, ecological tipping points, the nation state, movement-building, sexuality and reproduction, and religious fundamentalism. These themes are of wide-ranging importance for the survival and well-being of us all, and reflect the many dimensions and inter-connectedness of our lives. Using feminist lenses, the book puts forward a holistic and radical understanding of the synergies, tensions and contradictions between social movements and global, regional and local power structures and processes, and it points to other alternatives and possibilities for this fierce new world.

Table of Contents

  1. Front Cover
  2. About the Editors
  3. About DAWN
  4. Title
  5. Copyright
  6. Contents
  7. Foreword (Josefa Franscisco)
  8. Part I: Introductory Overview (Gita Sen & Marina Durano)
  9. Part II: Governing Globalization: Critiquing the Reproduction of Inequality
  10. Chapter 1: Financialization, Distribution and Inequality (Stephanie Seguino)
  11. Chapter 2: New Poles of Accumulation and Realignment of Power in the Twenty-first Century (Yao Graham & Hibist Wendemu Kassa)
  12. Chapter 3 The Modern Business of War (Oscar Ugarteche)
  13. Chapter 4: The Convergences and Divergences of Human Rights and Political Economy (Aldo Caliari)
  14. Part III: Political Ecology and Climate Justice: Tackling Sustainability and Climate Change
  15. Chapter 5: Climate Non-negotiables (Anita Nayar)
  16. Chapter 6: Geoengineering: A Gender Issue? (Diana Bronson)
  17. Chapter 7: Land Grabs, Food Security and Climate Justice: A Focus on Sub-Saharan Africa (Zo Randriamaro)
  18. Part IV: Secularism and Biopolitics: Confronting Fundamentalism and Deciphering Biopolitics
  19. Chapter 8: Negotiating Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights at the UN: A Long and Winding Road (Alexandra Garita & Francoise Girad)
  20. Chapter 9: The Making of a Secular Contract (Fatou Sow & Magaly Pazello)
  21. Chapter 10: Sexuality as a Weapon of Biopolitics: Rethinking Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill (Rosalind P. Petchesky)
  22. Part V: Frontier Challenges: Building Nation-States and Social Movements
  23. Chapter 11: The State of States (Claire Slatter)
  24. Chapter 12: Religious Fundamentalism and Secular Governance (Amrita Chhachhi)
  25. Chapter 13: Reframing Peace and Security for Women (Kumudini Samuel)
  26. Chapter 14: Feminist Activisms for New Global Contracts amidst Civil Indignation (Josefa Franscisco & Peggy Antrobus)
  27. Contributors
  28. Index
  29. Back Cover

 

Annotation:

Summary:

In The Remaking of Social Contracts, leading thinkers and activists address a wide range of concerns - global economic governance, militarism, ecological tipping points, the nation state, movement-building, sexuality and reproduction, and religious fundamentalism. These themes are of wide-ranging importance for the survival and well-being of us all, and reflect the many dimensions and inter-connectedness of our lives.

Using feminist lenses, the book puts forward a holistic and radical understanding of the synergies, tensions and contradictions between social movements and global, regional and local power.

Topics: Economies, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Religion, Sexuality

Year: 2014

How Women Can Save the Planet

Citation:

Karpf, Anne. 2021. How Women Can Save the Planet. Hurst Publishers.

Author: Anne Karpf

Annotation:

Summary: 
Here’s a perverse truth: from New Orleans to Bangladesh, women—especially poor women of colour—are suffering most from a crisis they have done nothing to cause. Yet where, in environmental policy, are the voices of elderly European women dying in heatwaves? Of African girls dropping out of school due to drought? Our highest-profile climate activists are women and girls; but, at the top table, it’s men deciding the earth’s future.
 
We’re not all in it together—but we could be. Instead of expecting individual women to save the planet, what we need are visionary, global climate policies that are gender-inclusive and promote gender equality.
 
Anne Karpf shines a light on the radical ideas, compelling research and tireless campaigns, led by and for women around the world, that have inspired her to hope. Her conversations with female activists show how we can fight back, with strength in diversity. And, faced with the most urgent catastrophe of our times, she offers a powerful vision: a Green New Deal for Women.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe

Year: 2021

Engendering Climate Change: Learnings from South Asia

Citation:

Hans, Asha, Nitya Rao, Anjal Prakash, and Amrita Patel, eds. 2021. Engendering Climate Change: Learnings from South Asia. New York & Oxon: Routledge.

Authors: Asha Hans, Nitya Rao, Anjal Prakash, Amrita Patel

Abstract:

This book focuses on the gendered experiences of environmental change across different geographies and social contexts in South Asia and on diverse strategies of adapting to climate variability. The book analyzes how changes in rainfall patterns, floods, droughts, heatwaves and landslides affect those who are directly dependent on the agrarian economy. It examines the socio-economic pressures, including the increase in women’s work burdens both in production and reproduction on gender relations. It also examines coping mechanisms such as male migration and the formation of women’s collectives which create space for agency and change in rigid social relations. The volume looks at perspectives from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal to present the nuances of gender relations across borders along with similarities and differences across geo-graphical, socio-cultural and policy contexts. This book will be of interest to researchers and students of sociology, development, gender, economics, environmental studies and South Asian studies. It will also be useful for policymakers, NGOs and think tanks working in the areas of gender, climate change and development.

Annotation:

Table of Contents:

1. Gender, Climate Change and the Politics of Vulnerability: An Introduction
Nitya Rao, Anjal Prakash, Asha Hans, and Amrita Patel

PART I: Vulnerabilities

2. Vulnerabilities of Rural Women to Climate Extremes: A Case of Semi-Arid Districts in Pakistan
Ayesha Qaisrani and Samavia Batool 

3. Gendered Vulnerabilities in Diaras: Struggles with Floods in the Gandak River Basin in Bihar, India
Pranita Bhushan Udas, Anjal Prakash, and Chanda Gurung Goodrich

4. Of Borewells and Bicycles: The Gendered Nature of Water Access in Karnataka, South India and Its Implications for Local Vulnerability
Chandni Singh

5. Vulnerabilities and Resilience of Local Women Towards Climate Change in the Indus basin
Saqib Shakell Abbasi, Muhammad Zubair Anwar, Nusrat Habib, and Qaiser Khan

6. Climate Change, Gendered Vulnerabilities and Resilience in High Mountain Communities: The Case of Upper Rasuwa in Gandaki River Basin, Hindu Kush Himalayas
Deepak Dorje Tamang and Pranita Bhushan Udas 

PART II: Adaptation and Wellbeing

7. Wells and Well-being in South India: Gender Dimensions of Groundwater Dependence
Divya Susan Solomon and Nitya Rao

8. Gender, Migration and Environmental Change in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta in Bangladesh
Katharine Vincent, Ricardo Safra de Campos, Attilan N. Lázár, and Anwara Begum

9. Women-Headed Households, Migration and Adaptation to Climate Change in the Mahanadi Delta, India
Sugata Hazra, Amrita Patel, Shouvik Das, Asha Hans, Amit Ghosh, and Jasmine Giri

10. Gender Dynamics and Climate Variability: Mapping the Linkages in the Upper Ganga Basin in Uttarakhand, India
Vani Rijhwani, Divya Sharma, Neha Khandekar, Roshan Rathod, and Mini Govindan 

11. Shaping Gendered Responses to Climate Change in South Asia
Asha Hans, Anjal Prakash, Nitya Rao, and Amrita Patel

Topics: Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Migration, Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan

Year: 2021

Officialising Strategies: Participatory Processes and Gender in Thailand's Water Resources Sector

Citation:

Resurrección, Bernadette P., Mary Jane Real, and Panadda Pantana. 2004. “Officialising Strategies: Participatory Processes and Gender in Thailand’s Water Resources Sector.” Development in Practice 14 (4): 521–33.

Authors: Bernadette P. Resurrección, Mary Jane Real, Panadda Pantana

Abstract:

This paper examines participatory processes in an Asian Development Bank (ADB) technical assistance package in Thailand's water resource sector. The authors analyse various levels of social interaction in the local community, in meso-level stakeholder consultations, and in opposition to ADB's environment programmes expressed by civil society organisations. While participatory approaches are employed to promote more bottom-up management regimes in water resources, the authors find that local power and gender differences have been overlooked. Evolving institutions of resource governance are constituted by gender, reproducing gender inequalities such as regarding water intended for agricultural use as a 'male' resource. Finally, it is argued that understandings and practices of participation legitimise particular agendas in a politically polarised arena.

Topics: Agriculture, Civil Society, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Hierarchies, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, International Organizations Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Thailand

Year: 2004

Patriarchy and Progressive Politics: Gendered Resistance to Mining through Everyday Social Relations of State Formation in Intag, Ecuador

Citation:

Billo, Emily. 2020. “Patriarchy and Progressive Politics: Gendered Resistance to Mining through Everyday Social Relations of State Formation in Intag, Ecuador.” Human Geography 13 (1): 16–26. 

Author: Emily Billo

Abstract:

Over the last decade, the Ecuadorian government, following regional trends, called for social and environmental progress through state-controlled resource extraction. Scholars have demonstrated that this neo-extractive model warranted further investigation regarding its progressive aims. Specifically, this paper examines gendered critiques of state-led extractivism linked to expanding governmental and social programs. Even as women asserted their political recognition and rights in state politics, they still confronted patriarchal relations in their everyday lives. Drawing on eight months of ethnographic research over 6 years in campesino communities of Junín and Chalguayacu Alto, I argue that women in Intag challenged patriarchal state relations of extractive capitalism. This paper offers a novel contribution to literature on neo-extractivism and gendered forms of resistance. Women held the state accountable for its promises of social welfare and infrastructural development through which it generated public support for controversial mineral projects. These symbols of state paternalism revealed expanded patriarchal structures that underpinned their daily lives, with significance for a gendered politics of resistance.

Topics: Development, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Patriarchy Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Ecuador

Year: 2020

Climate Change and Gender Justice: International Policy and Legal Responses

Citation:

Kameri-Mbote, Patricia. 2013. “Climate Change and Gender Justice: International Policy and Legal Responses.” In Climate Change: International Law and Global Governance, edited by Oliver C. Ruppel, Christian Roschmann, and Katharina Ruppel-Schlichting, 1st ed., 323–48. Volume I: Legal Responses and Global Responsibility. Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft mbH. 

Author: Patricia Kameri-Mbote

Abstract:

Climate change raises issues of justice for different subjects of law – states and individuals. It is therefore not surprising that international policy and legal responses to climate change took equity concerns on board by considering differentiated responsibilities for climate change and taking respective capabilities of states into account in assigning the role to protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations of humankind. While the link between gender and climate change has not always been obvious, there is increasing evidence to demonstrate that women and men experience climate change differently; that climate change increases women’s vulnerability; and gender inequalities worsen women’s coping capacities. This article looks at the relationship between gender and climate change and how international policies and laws on gender and climate change address the interface. It also highlights the increasing advocacy for the inclusion of gender justice in international climate change debates. It concludes that including gender in the laws, policies and discussions on climate change brings a critical constituency to these platforms and also enhances the effectiveness of the interventions aimed at dealing with climate change because of the roles that women play in different programmes and contexts.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Men, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Law

Year: 2013

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