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Governance

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

Challenging Identity Hierarchies: Gender and Consociational Power-Sharing

Citation:

Kennedy, Ronan, Claire Pierson, and Jennifer Thomson. 2016. “Challenging Identity Hierarchies: Gender and Consociational Power-Sharing.” The British Journal of Politics and International Relations 18 (3): 618-33.

Authors: Ronan Kennedy, Claire Pierson, Jennifer Thomson

Abstract:

Consociational democracy has become the most influential paradigm in the field of powersharing institutional design and post-conflict peacebuilding. Consociation institutes representation for certain formerly excluded groups. However, it simultaneously inhibits effective political representation for groups that do not align with the societal divisions that consociation seeks to accommodate, specifically the ‘additional’ cleavage of gender. Given the extensive use of the consociational model as a peacebuilding tool in divided states and the growing awareness of the disproportionate negative effect of conflict on women, there is a surprising lack of consideration of the effect that consociational power-sharing has on women’s representation. This article considers the specific impact that the consociational model has on women’s representation. We argue that because gender is an integral factor in conflict, it should therefore be integral to postconflict governance. With empirical reference to contemporary Northern Ireland, it is illustrated that consociationalism is a ‘gender-blind’ theory.

Keywords: consocationalism, gender, Northern Ireland, post-conflict, power-sharing

Topics: Gender, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Post-Conflict Regions: Europe, Western Europe Countries: Ireland

Year: 2016

A Well of One's Own: Gender Analysis of an Irrigation Program in Bangladesh

Citation:

Jordans, Eva, and Margreet Zwarteveen. 1997. A Well of One's Own: Gender Analysis of an Irrigation Program in Bangladesh. Colombo: International Irrigation Management Institute. 

Authors: Eva Jordans, Margreet Zwarteveen

Annotation:

Table of Contents:
1. Introduction
 
2. Research Methodology
 
3. Gender Relations and Irrigated Agriculture
 
4. Gender Policies and Strategies of GKF
 
5. Irrigation-Related Activities of GKF
 
6. Conclusions and Discussion
 

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Political Participation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 1997

Women’s Representation in the UN Climate Change Negotiations: A Quantitative Analysis of State Delegations, 1995–2011

Citation:

Kruse, Johannes. 2014. “Women’s Representation in the UN Climate Change Negotiations: A Quantitative Analysis of State Delegations, 1995–2011.” International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics 14 (4): 349–70. 

Author: Johannes Kruse

Abstract:

This paper examines which factors influence women’s descriptive representation in state delegations to the international climate change negotiations. Due to the gendered nature of climate change as an issue, it is important to study the representation of women in the negotiations and to examine its normative and functional implications. Theoretically, I propose to look at institutional, socioeconomic, and cultural factors as potential explanations for the variation in the proportion of women in state delegations across countries. I examine this variation by drawing on a dataset containing all member state delegations to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations from 1995 to 2011. The theoretical arguments are then tested on these data using a fractional probit model. This is the first comparative study of women’s descriptive representation in international environmental negotiations. It contributes to our under- standing of the variation in women’s representation both over time and across countries. In particular, I find that women’s representation is higher in countries that enjoy a higher level of development and a higher degree of political gender equality. The effects of other institutional and socioeconomic factors such as the level of democracy or gender-equal development remain statistically insignificant. Cultural factors measured by regional proxies show that Eastern Europe and Latin America are positively and the Middle East negatively linked with women’s descriptive representation in delegations.

Keywords: UNFCCC, climate change, women, gender, representation, negotiations, state delegations

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, International Organizations, Political Participation

Year: 2014

Contesting Customary Law in the Eastern Cape: Gender, Place and Land Tenure

Citation:

Weinberg, Tara. 2013. "Contesting Customary Law in the Eastern Cape: Gender, Place and Land Tenure." Acta Juridica 2013 (1): 110-7.

Author: Tara Weinberg

Abstract:

This paper explores how government interventions to restrict African access to land in the 'Ciskei' in South Africa between 1930-1960 impacted disproportionately on women. It focuses on events in three districts, Fort Beaufort, Keiskammahoek and Peddie, making use of archival research to show how African people, particularly women, responded to government interventions that progressively rendered them landless. The paper interrogates how Africans' contestation of customary law and their relationship to the land was intricately tied up with the gendered nature of their family positions, privileges and responsibilities. Since the arenas in which women could voice their issues were limited, men sometimes articulated these issues (albeit in a mediated form) when the interest of a woman who approached them coincided with their own. Male Bunga Councillors appealed to a 'living' form of customary law in attempts to win greater rights to land inheritance for women and younger sons. They positioned their children as 'responsible' daughters and 'responsible' sons. In a context in which the state frequently used the language of 'African custom', in distorted ways, to justify its land policies, men and women contested not only the restraints on Africans' access to land, but also the nature and content of customary law. 

Topics: Governance, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2013

Gender and Land Rights: The Struggle over Resources in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Citation:

Meer, Shamim. 1997. “Gender and Land Rights: The Struggle over Resources in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” IDS Bulletin 28 (3): 133–44.

Author: Shamim Meer

Abstract:

This article argues that the goals of social justice, poverty alleviation and gender equality within the post‐apartheid government's land reform programme are threatened by government's neo‐liberal macroeconomic framework, by shortcomings in addressing gender and because rural women do not constitute an organised social force. The article outlines the key elements of the land reform programme and points to limitations arising from the market‐based nature of the land reform programme. The article highlights innovative mechanisms within the programme aimed at involving women in land reform. These include the requirements of women's participation in land reform pilot programme structures and of gender equality within group ownership entities – the ‘Community Property Associations’. However, the overall approach is to target women without adequately considering gender power relations. The article suggests that while the state can play a significant role in providing an enabling framework, the key to advancing gender equality is women's organisation.

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Justice Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 1997

Implications of Customary Practices on Gender Discrimination in Land Ownership in Cameroon

Citation:

Fonjong, Lotsmart, Irene Fokum Sama-Lang, and Lawrence Fon Fombe. 2012. “Implications of Customary Practices on Gender Discrimination in Land Ownership in Cameroon.” Ethics and Social Welfare 6 (3): 260-74.

Authors: Lotsmart Fonjong, Irene Fokum Sama-Lang, Lawrence Fon Fombe

Abstract:

Africa, before European colonization, knew no other form of legal system outside customary arrangements. Based on secondary sources and a primary survey conducted between 2009 and 2010 on the situation of women and land rights in anglophone Cameroon, this paper examines the grounds for discrimination in customary laws against women's rights to land in the context of legal pluralism, and discusses the implications of this custom of gender discrimination. In drawing from Cameroon as an exemplar, it concludes that the strong influence and impact of customs on current land tenure systems have global implications on women's land rights, food security and sustainable development, and that gender equality in land matters can be possible only where the critical role of ethics is recognized in pursuit of the economic motive of land rights.

Keywords: women's rights, land tenure, customary practices, discrimination, development

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Development, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, conflict, peace and security, Governance, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2012

Revisiting the World Bank’s Land Law Reform Agenda in Africa: The Promise and Perils of Customary Practices

Citation:

Collins, Andrea, and Matthew I. Mitchell. 2018. “Revisiting the World Bank’s Land Law Reform Agenda in Africa: The Promise and Perils of Customary Practices.” Journal of Agrarian Change 18 (1): 112–31.

Authors: Andrea Collins, Matthew I. Mitchell

Abstract:

This paper revisits the World Bank's land law reform agenda in Africa by focusing on two central issues: (1) land law reform as a tool for resolving land conflicts, and (2) the role of land law reform in addressing gender inequalities. While the Bank's recent land report provides insights for improving land governance in Africa, it fails to acknowledge the exploitative and contentious politics that often characterize customary land tenure systems, and the local power dynamics that undermine the ability of marginalized groups to secure land rights. Using insights from recent fieldwork, the paper analyses the links between land law reform and conflict in Ghana, and the gendered dynamics of reforming land governance in Tanzania. These “crucial cases” illustrate how land law reform can provoke conflicts over land and threaten the rights of vulnerable populations (e.g. migrants and women) when customary practices are uncritically endorsed as a means of improving land governance. As such, the paper concludes with a series of recommendations on how to navigate the promise and perils of customary practices in the governance of land.

Keywords: africa, customary practices, Ghana, land law reform, tanzania, World Bank

Topics: Conflict Prevention, Displacement & Migration, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, conflict, Governance, International Financial Institutions, International Organizations, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana, Tanzania

Year: 2018

From Male to Joint Land Ownership: Women's Experiences of the Land Tenure Reform Programme in Rwanda

Citation:

Bayisenge, Jeannette. 2018. "From Male to Joint Land Ownership: Women's Experiences of the Land Tenure Reform Programme in Rwanda." Journal of Agrarian Change 18 (3): 588-605.

Author: Jeannette Bayisenge

Abstract:

During the post‐genocide period, the Government of Rwanda embarked on a land tenure reform programme that culminated in a land registration and titling process in 2009. This paper intends to capture women's experiences in relation to this programme. The empirical data were collected in Musanze District using a household survey, semi‐structured interviews, and focus group discussions. The main findings reveal that there is support of the general idea that women should benefit from the land tenure reform in Rwanda. However, there is some criticism towards parts of the land laws, and women have limited actual knowledge about land‐related laws. With land titles, women mostly have a say on the land use decisions requiring each of the spounses' legal consents but not on the daily management of land and its produce. Finally, the paper reports the persistence of social norms and culturally biased gender ideologies affecting the effective implementation of land‐related laws and policies. Therefore, the paper underscores the need to build the implementation of new laws and policies on a good understanding of customary practices to strengthen women's land rights in Rwanda.

Keywords: land rights, land tenure reform, Rwanda, women's experiences

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2018

Falling Between Two Stools: How Women’s Land Rights are Lost between State and Customary Law in Apac District, Northern Uganda

Citation:

Adoko, Judy, and Simon Levine. 2008. "Falling Between Two Stools: How Women’s Land Rights are Lost between State and Customary Law in Apac District, Northern Uganda." In Women's Land Rights and Privatization in Eastern Africa, edited by Birgit Englert and Elizabeth Daley, 101-20. Woodbridge, Suffolk; Rochester, NY: Boydell & Brewer, James Currey. 

Authors: Judy Adoko, Simon Levine

Annotation:

Summary: 
"As in other countries in Africa, there are two parallel and competing histories of land tenure in Uganda. The indigenous systems evolved to suit the needs of different local groups, or at least certain elite members in those groups, in a variety of different ecological and economic circumstances. They worked on rules which have never been written down, making it easy for outsiders to consider all these systems as ‘customary tenure’ a single, unchanging system of rules and administration. Another, written, history began with British colonialism. The British introduced a system of freehold title under which client chiefs and kingdoms (as well as missions) were granted formal land rights. All land which was not registered was considered by the British to be ‘crown land’. Although customary tenure continued to operate on this land, the customary owners had little protection from the arbitrary expropriation of their property. The British colonial administrators regarded customary ownership as backward and a constraint to economic development, which by the 1950s they intended to replace with the ‘modern’ system of freehold. However, colonialism ended before this could be implemented" (Adoko and Levine 2008, 101). 

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Governance, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2008

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