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Gendered Power Relations

Gender Equality and Land Administration: The Case of Zambia

Citation:

Spichiger, Rachel, and Edna Kabala. 2014. “Gender Equality and Land Administration: The Case of Zambia.” DIIS Working Paper 4, Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), Copenhagen.

Authors: Rachel Spichiger, Edna Kabala

Abstract:

Land, and in particular agricultural land, is central to livelihoods in rural Zambia. Zambia is characterised by a dual legal system of customary and statutory law and by dual land tenure, with state land and customary land. A first wave of socialist-oriented reforms took place after independence in 1964, which abolished previously existing freehold land in favour of lease-hold. Subsequent changes in government policies under the influence of structural adjustment programmes and a new government in 1991 paved the way for a market-driven land reform. The 1995 Lands Act introduced the privatization of land in Zambia and provided for the conversion of customary into state land, with the hope of attracting investors. However, the Act has been unevenly implemented, at least in rural areas, in part due to problems plaguing the land administration institutions and their work, in part due to opposition to the main tenets of the Act from chiefs, the population and civil society. Civil society, with donor support, calls for more attention towards women’s precarious situations with regard to access to and ownership of land under customary tenure, but it still expresses a desire for customary tenure to remain. However, civil society also recognizes that customary practices are often also discriminatory towards women who depend on male relatives for access to land.
 
A gender policy, passed in 2000, and two subsequent draft land policies tried to address women’s lack of access to land by stipulating that 30% of the land should be allocated to women. What has been the role of donors in these developments? Both on the government’s side and for civil society, NGOs and donor agencies, gender has increasingly come to the fore. Donors have certainly pushed for policies and changes in legislation. In particular, the recent Anti Gender-Based Violence Act has been hailed as a huge step for gender equality, and was heavily supported by donors. The land sector, however, does not receive much donor support. While it is notable that donors (e.g. USAID and the World Bank) supported the process leading to the 1995 Lands Act, no donor supported gender issues within that sector in that period. Some donors do take issues related to women’s access to land into account within their agricultural programmes or through their work on democracy and governance, however. Over the last five years, several programmes implemented by NGOs (national and international) and civil-society organisations have focused entirely on women’s land rights. Despite registering some positive outcomes, especially in areas of knowledge and capacity-building, these programmes have met some challenges. Apart from technical and financial issues, it was observed that changes with regard to land tenure are slow to be institutionalised, if at all, and that mechanisms to enhance the accountability of land administrators on both customary and state land are lacking. These initiatives are taking place against a changing background, as Zambia is now at an important juncture at the policy and legal levels, with attempts to codify customary law and to take steps to strengthen tenure security on customary land. How and when this will be done, and how this codified customary law will be enforced, as well as what impact it will have on women remains to be seen. What is also uncertain is what impact this will have on current policies that are under review (e.g. gender and land policies) and the direction that will be taken with regard to issues of tenure security for women living under customary tenure. Whether and, if so, to what extent donors will adopt a defining role in these coming endeavours is not yet clear, especially in a changing aid landscape, since several donor agencies have now withdrawn from Zambia. 

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Livelihoods, NGOs, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zambia

Year: 2014

Empowering Women: Land and Property Rights in Latin America

Citation:

Deere, Carmen Diana, and Magdalena León. 2001. Empowering Women: Land and Property Rights in Latin America. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Authors: Carmen Diana Deere, Magdalena León

Annotation:

Summary: 
The expansion of married women’s property rights was a main achievement of the first wave of feminism in Latin America. As Carmen Diana Deere and Magdalena Leon reveal, however, the disjuncture between rights and actual ownership remains vast. This is particularly true in rural areas, where the distribution of land between men and women is highly unequal. In their pioneering, twelve-country comparative study, the authors argue that property ownership is directly related to women’s bargaining power within the household and community, point out changes resulting from recent gender-progressive legislation, and identify additional areas for future reform, including inheritance rights of wives. (Summary from JSTOR)

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, Central America, South America

Year: 2001

Mastering the Struggle: Gender, Actors and Agrarian Change in a Mexican Ejido

Citation:

Brunt, Dorien. 1992. “Mastering the Struggle: Gender, Actors and Agrarian Change in a Mexican Ejido.” PhD diss., the Agricultural University in Wageningen.

Author: Dorien Brunt

Annotation:

Summary:
"This book is about power and about the social order, but it is approached through the struggles of men and women, members of an ejido in Western Mexico (highly integrated in national and international product and labour markets) to improve the quality of their lives. It explores the possibilities they see and the limitations they are confronted with, and how they try to overcome these limitations. As James Scott (1985:XV-XVII) puts it: 'Most subordinate classes throughout most of history have rarely been afforded the luxury of open political activity. Most subordinated classes are far less interested in changing the larger structures and the law than what Hobsbawm has appropriately called "working the system... to their minimum disadvantage. ... For these reasons it seems to be more important to understand what we might call everyday forms of ... resistance.'
 
"In this case, the everyday struggles are about access to land, access to credit and irrigation water, and keeping control over the land and the production process. But by no means are they only economic struggles, they are also struggles over influence, identity, ideology, creating support. Nor are these struggles only between the local population and the 'representatives of die state', but also take place within the local population itself, between men and women, between those with and those without land, between older and younger generations" (Brunt 1992, 4). 

Topics: Age, Class, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 1992

Property Rights and Gender Bias: Evidence from Land Reform in West Bengal

Citation:

Bhalotra, Sonia, Abhishek Chakravarty, Dilip Mookherjee, and Francisco J. Pino. 2016. “Property Rights and Gender Bias: Evidence from Land Reform in West Bengal.” IZA Discussion Paper 9930, The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Bonn, Germany. 

Authors: Sonia Bhalotra, Abhishek Chakravarty, Dilip Mookherjee, Francisco J. Pino

Abstract:

While land reforms are typically pursued in order to raise productivity and reduce inequality across households, an unintended consequence may be increased within-household gender inequality. We analyse a tenancy registration programme in West Bengal, and find that it increased child survival and reduced fertility. However, we also find that it intensified son preference in families without a first-born son to inherit the land title. These families exhibit no reduction in fertility, an increase in the probability that a subsequent birth is male, and a substantial increase in the survival advantage of subsequent sons over daughters.

Keywords: land reform, gender, infant mortality, sex ratio, fertility, Property Rights

Topics: Development, Economies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Reproductive Health, Households, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2016

Can Climate Finance Achieve Gender Equity in Developing Countries?

Citation:

Wong, Sam. 2014. “Can Climate Finance Achieve Gender Equity in Developing Countries?” WIDER Working Paper 2014/064, United Nations University - The World Institute for Development Economics Research, Helsinki. 

Author: Sam Wong

Abstract:

We develop the climate finance-gender equity framework in this paper and use the ‘contextual-procedural-distributive’ equity as a lens of analysis to examine how climate finance helps challenge, and reinforce, gender inequities in the mitigation, adaptation and disaster management strategies. Focusing on the examples of tree-planting, smart-agriculture and disaster information dissemination projects, this paper argues that climate finance can achieve gender equity if three aspects are critically considered: (1) how different incentives and preferences, between men and women, are shaped by their livelihood experiences and priorities, and what factors enable, and restrict, their access to resources; (2) how formal and informal participatory arena offers a genuine space for women, and men, to make decisions that empower them; and (3) how women’s practical and strategic needs are met and the contradictions resolved. This paper also suggests that climate finance needs to address and challenge unequal socio-political arrangements, such as access to land rights, that help perpetuate gender inequities.

Keywords: climate finance, gender equity, access, land rights, Green Climate Fund

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights

Year: 2014

Resilience, Power, Culture, and Climate: A Case Study from Semi-Arid Tanzania, and New Research Directions

Citation:

Nelson, Valerie, and Tanya Stathers. 2009. “Resilience, Power, Culture, and Climate: A Case Study from Semi-Arid Tanzania, and New Research Directions.” Gender and Development 17 (1): 81–94.

Authors: Valerie Nelson, Tanya Stathers

Abstract:

Rapid changes to the climate are predicted over the next few years, and these present challenges for women's empowerment and gender equality on a completely new scale. There is little evidence or research to provide a reliable basis for gender-sensitive approaches to agricultural adaptation to climate change. This article explores the gender dimensions of climate change, in relation to participation in decision-making, divisions of labour, access to resources, and knowledge systems. It draws on insights from recent research on agricultural adaptation to climate change in Tanzania. The article then explains why future gender-sensitive climate-adaptation efforts should draw upon insights from 'resilience thinking', 'political ecology', and environmental anthropology - as a way of embedding analysis of power struggles and cultural norms in the context of the overall socio-ecological system.

Keywords: gender, climate, culture, Resilience, adaptation, agriculture, anthropology

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2009

Biodiversity Loss and Climate Change: Gender Issues in International Law and Policy

Citation:

Broeckhoven, Nicky. 2014. “Biodiversity Loss and Climate Change: Gender Issues in International Law and Policy.” DiGeSt. Journal of Diversity and Gender Studies 1 (2): 23–38.

Author: Nicky Broeckhoven

Annotation:

Summary:
“Dangerous climate change and large-scale biodiversity loss present major challenges to the international community. As a result, these global issues have been firmly placed on the international agenda and have increasingly become the subject of international environmental law and policy. At first sight, biodiversity loss and climate change, as well as the laws and policies adopted in response to them, seem gender neutral (i.e. affecting both women and men in similar ways). However, nothing could be further from the truth. Although all of us will be affected by the impacts of environmental degradation, disparities along gender lines clearly exist. On the one hand, men and women often face different risks and vulnerabilities due to existing gender-based inequalities and pervasive discrimination (Arora-Jonsson, 2011; MacGregor, 2010; UNDP, 2012; Skinner, 2011; Raczek, Blomstrom & Owren, 2010; Dankelman, 2012). In practice, this means that women are more likely to lose out in the face of environmental degradation than men. On the other hand, both women and men play a crucial role as agents of change in dealing with these global concerns (e.g. IFAD, 2014). If we want our responses to climate change and biodiversity loss to be efficient and effective, it is paramount to integrate a gender perspective into international environmental law and policy on these issues. The available literature discussing this legal and policy dimension tends to be rather fragmented and limited in time and scope. This essay aims to reduce a gap in the literature by providing an up-to-date and comprehensive overview of the extent to which gender has been integrated into the international legal frameworks on biodiversity conservation and climate change. First, the linkages between gender issues and the environment are put into context (Sections 1 and 2). Second, the author provides a critical overview of the “gender” language adopted in the frame of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Sections 3 and 4). The essay includes recent gender-related developments, and highlights the specific role of women’s and gender organizations in this process. Finally, it discusses whether a “real” integration of a gender perspective has taken place” (Broeckhoven 2014, 23-24). 

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

Year: 2014

Is Adaptation to Climate Change Gender Neutral? Lessons from Communities Dependent on Livestock and Forests in Northern Mali

Citation:

Djoudi, H., and M. Brockhaus. 2011. “Is Adaptation to Climate Change Gender Neutral? Lessons from Communities Dependent on Livestock and Forests in Northern Mali.” International Forestry Review 13 (2): 123–35.

Authors: H. Djoudi, M. Brockhaus

Keywords: gender, climate change, adaptation, Faguibine, Mali

Annotation:

Summary: 
The growing risk of vulnerability to climate change is widely discussed in the scientific and political sphere. More evidence from local case studies emerges that document this risk. Vulnerability to climate change and variability appears most likely to negatively affect poor people, particularly women. Tendencies to widen existing inequalities have been observed. In the Lake Faguibine area in Northern Mali the social, political and ecological conditions have drastically changed in the last three decades. We conducted 6 single gender participatory workshops using PRA in two communities. The workshops assessed vulnerability and adaptive strategies to climate variability and change for livestock and forest based livelihoods. Our results show divergences in the adaptive strategies of men and women. Migration represented one of the most important strategies for men. Women perceived this strategy more as a cause of vulnerability than an adaptive strategy. Traditionally male activities have been added to the workload of women (e.g. small ruminant herding). The historical axes show that development projects targeting women have not integrated climate change and variability into their planning. Most activities have been built around small scale agriculture. With the drying out of Lake Faguibine, those water dependent activities are no longer relevant. Women have developed their own adaptive strategies based on newly emerged forest resources in the former lake area (e.g. charcoal production). However, women are hindered from realizing the potential of these new activities. This is due to loss of person power in the household, unclear access to natural resources, lack of knowledge and financial resources. Lack of power to influence decision at the household and community levels as well as limited market opportunities for women are additional factors. Even though women's vulnerability is increasing in the short term, over the long term the emerging changes in women's roles could lead to positive impacts. These impacts could be both societal (division of labor and power, new social spaces), and economic (market access, livestock wealth). Locally specific gender sensitive analysis of vulnerability is needed to understand dynamics and interaction of divergent adaptive strategies. Societal and political change at broader scales is needed to realize potential benefits for women in the long term. (Summary from original source) 

Topics: Development, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Mali

Year: 2011

Gender, Agrobiodiversity, and Climate Change: A Study of Adaptation Practices in the Nepal Himalayas

Citation:

Bhattarai, Basundhara, Ruth Beilin, and Rebecca Ford. 2015. “Gender, Agrobiodiversity, and Climate Change: A Study of Adaptation Practices in the Nepal Himalayas.” World Development 70: 122–32.

Authors: Basundhara Bhattarai, Ruth Beilin, Rebecca Ford

Keywords: gender, agrobiodiversity management, climate change, adaptation, Nepal

Annotation:

Summary: 
Gender is seminal to agrobiodiversity management, and inequities are likely to be exacerbated under a changing climate. Using in-depth interviews with farmers and officials from government and non-government organizations in Nepal, we explore how gender relations are influenced by wider socio-economic changes, and how alterations in gender relations shape responses to climate change. Combining feminist political ecology and critical social-ecological systems thinking, we analyze how gender and adaptation interact as households abandon certain crops, adopt high-yielding varieties and shift to cash crops. We argue that the prevailing development paradigm reinforces inequitable gender structures in agrobiodiversity management, undermining adaptation to the changing climate. (Summary from original source) 

Topics: Development, Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Governance, Households, NGOs Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2015

Women and Climate Change in Bangladesh

Citation:

Alston, Margaret. 2015. Women and Climate Change in Bangladesh. London: Routledge.

Author: Margaret Alston

Annotation:

Summary: 
Bangladesh is by no means a high emitter of carbon, but it is nevertheless one of the countries most critically affected. There is a significant risk of damage to lives and livelihoods due to climate change in the form of cyclones, flooding and storm surges, and slow-onset impacts such as droughts, sea level rises and river basin erosion. Moreover, Bangladeshis are especially vulnerable as a high proportion of people live in extreme poverty. This book assesses the impact of climate change in Bangladesh, and presents the findings of a three-year, in-depth study undertaken at village level in different districts of the country. It examines national policies, contrasting them with what is actually happening at village level. It outlines the impact of climate change on livelihood strategies and health, and focuses particularly on the impact on gender relations, showing that although women have a significant role to play in helping communities cope with the effects of climate change, cultural customs and practices often work against this. The book argues for, and puts forward policy proposals for, recognising women’s active contribution and supporting gender equality as a critical strategy in global adaptation to climate challenges. (Summary from Taylor & Francis Group) 

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2015

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