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The Fallen Hero: Masculinity, Shame and Farmer Suicide in Australia

Citation:

Bryant, Lia, and Bridget Garnham. 2015. “The Fallen Hero: Masculinity, Shame and Farmer Suicide in Australia.” Gender, Place & Culture 22 (1): 67–82.

Authors: Lia Bryant, Bridget Garnham

Abstract:

The drought-stricken Australian rural landscape, cultures of farming masculinity and an economy of value, moral worth and pride form a complex matrix of discourses that shape subjective dynamics that render suicide a possibility for distressed farmers. However, the centrality of a ‘mental health’ perspective and reified notions of ‘stoicism’ within this discursive field operate to exclude consideration of the ways in which cultural identity is linked to emotions. To illuminate and explore complex connections between subjectivity, moral worth and affect in relation to understanding farmer suicide, this article draws on theory and literature on agrarian discourses of masculine subjectivity and shame to analyze empirical data from interviews with farmers during times of environmental, social and economic crisis. The idealized notion of the farming man as ‘Aussie battler’ emerges from romantic agrarian mythology in which pride and self-worth are vested in traditional values of hard work, struggle and self-sacrifice. However, the structural context of agriculture, as it is shaped by the political economy of neoliberalism, threatens farm economic viability and is eroding the pride, self-worth and masculine identity of farmers. The article suggests that the notion of the ‘fallen hero’ captures a discursive shift of a masculinity ‘undone’, a regress from the powerful position of masculine subjectivity imbued with pride to one of shame that is of central importance to understanding how suicide emerges as a possibility for farmers.

Keywords: masculinity, rurality, suicide, farmer, shame

Topics: Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Health, Mental Health, Political Economies Regions: Oceania Countries: Australia

Year: 2015

Safe Access to Safe Water in Low Income Countries: Water Fetching in Current Times

Citation:

Sorenson, Susan B., Christiaan Morssink, and Paola Abril Campos. 2011. “Safe Access to Safe Water in Low Income Countries: Water Fetching in Current Times.” Social Science & Medicine 72 (9): 1522–6. 

Authors: Susan B. Sorenson, Christiaan Morssink, Paola Abril Campos

Abstract:

A substantial portion of the world's population does not have ready access to safe water. Moreover, obtaining water may involve great expense of time and energy for those who have no water sources in or near home. From an historical perspective, with the invention of piped water, fetching water has only recently become largely irrelevant in many locales. In addition, in most instances, wells and clean surface water were so close by that fetching was not considered a problem. However, population growth, weather fluctuations and social upheavals have made the daily chore of carrying water highly problematic and a public health problem of great magnitude for many, especially women, in the poor regions and classes of the world. In this paper, we consider gender differences in water carrying and summarize data about water access and carrying from 44 countries that participated in the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) program. Women and children are the most common water carriers, and they spend considerable time (many trips take more than an hour) supplying water to their households. Time is but one measure of the cost of fetching water; caloric expenditures, particularly during droughts, and other measures that affect health and quality of life must be considered. The full costs of fetching water must be considered when measuring progress toward two Millennium Development Goals--increasing access to safe drinking water and seeking an end to poverty.

Keywords: economic development, gender, Low-income countries, public health, sex differences, water, water carrying, women's health

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Health, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, International Organizations, Livelihoods

Year: 2011

Depleting Fragile Bodies: The Political Economy of Sexual and Reproductive Health in Crisis Situations

Citation:

Tanyag, Maria. 2018. “Depleting Fragile Bodies: The Political Economy of Sexual and Reproductive Health in Crisis Situations.” Review of International Studies 44 (4): 654-71. 

Author: Maria Tanyag

Abstract:

In a crisis-prone world, the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) uprooted by both armed conflicts and environmental disasters has drastically increased and displacement risks have intensified. Despite the growing attention within global security and development agendas to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), there remain striking gaps in addressing SRHR in crisis situations, particularly among IDP women and girls. This article examines the continuum between social reproduction in times of crisis and the material and ideological conditions that restrict women’s bodily autonomy in everyday life. Using the case of the Philippines where millions of people are routinely affected by conflict and disaster-induced displacements, it argues that the failure to recognise the centrality of women’s health and bodily autonomy not only hinders the sustainable provision of care and domestic labour during and after crisis, but also fundamentally constrains how security is enacted within these spaces. Thus, the article highlights an urgent need to rethink the gendered political economy of crisis responses as a building block for stemming gendered violence and depletion of social reproductive labour at the household, state, and global levels.

Keywords: feminist political economy, social reproduction, depletion, Crisis, global health

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Health, Reproductive Health, Livelihoods, Political Economies Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Philippines

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

Women's Entrepreneurship and Intimate Partner Violence: A Cluster Randomized Trial of Microenterprise Assistance and Partner Participation in Post-Conflict Uganda

Citation:

Green, Eric P., Christopher Blattman, Julian Jamison, and Jeannie Annan. 2015. “Women's Entrepreneurship and Intimate Partner Violence: A Cluster Randomized Trial of Microenterprise Assistance and Partner Participation in Post-Conflict Uganda.” Social Science & Medicine 133: 177-88.

Authors: Eric P. Green, Christopher Blattman, Julian Jamison, Jeannie Annan

Abstract:

Intimate partner violence is widespread and represents an obstacle to human freedom and a significant public health concern. Poverty alleviation programs and efforts to economically “empower” women have become popular policy options, but theory and empirical evidence are mixed on the relationship between women's empowerment and the experience of violence. We study the effects of a successful poverty alleviation program on women's empowerment and intimate partner relations and violence from 2009 to 2011. In the first experiment, a cluster-randomized superiority trial, 15 marginalized people (86% women) were identified in each of 120 villages (n ¼ 1800) in Gulu and Kitgum districts in Uganda. Half of villages were randomly assigned via public lottery to immediate treatment: five days of business training, $150, and supervision and advising. We examine intent-to-treat estimates of program impact and heterogeneity in treatment effects by initial quality of partner relations. 16 months after the initial grants, the program doubled business ownership and incomes (p < 0.01); we show that the effect on monthly income, however, is moderated by initial quality of intimate partner relations. We also find small increases in marital control (p < 0.05), self-reported autonomy (p < 0.10), and quality of partner relations (p < 0.01), but essentially no change in intimate partner violence. In a second experiment, we study the impact of a low-cost attempt to include household partners (often husbands) in the process. Participants from the 60 waitlist villages (n ¼ 904) were randomly assigned to participate in the program as individuals or with a household partner. We observe small, non-significant decreases in abuse and marital control and large increases in the quality of relationships (p < 0.05), but no effects on women's attitudes toward gender norms and a non-significant reduction in autonomy. Involving men and changing framing to promote more inclusive programming can improve relationships, but may not change gender attitudes or increase business success. Increasing women's earnings has no effect on intimate partner violence.

Keywords: Uganda, poverty, gender, cash transfers, microenterprise, empowerment, Intimate partner violence, post-conflict

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Health, Livelihoods, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, SV against women, Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2015

Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity of Inuit Women to Climate Change: A Case Study from Iqaluit, Nunavut

Citation:

Bunce, Anna, James Ford, Sherilee Harper, and Victoria Edge. 2016. “Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity of Inuit Women to Climate Change: A Case Study from Iqaluit, Nunavut.” Natural Hazards 83 (3): 1419–41

Authors: Anna Bunce, James Ford, Sherilee Harper, Victoria Edge

Abstract:

Climate change impacts in the Arctic will be differentiated by gender, yet few empirical studies have investigated how. We use a case study from the Inuit community of Iqaluit, Nunavut, to identify and characterize vulnerability and adaptive capacity of Inuit women to changing climatic conditions. Interviews were conducted with 42 Inuit women and were complimented with focus group discussions and participant observation to examine how women have experienced and responded to changes in climate already observed. Three key traditional activities were identified as being exposed and sensitive to changing conditions: berry picking, sewing, and the amount of time spent on the land. Several coping mechanisms were described to help women manage these exposure sensitivities, such as altering the timing and location of berry picking, and importing seal skins for sewing. The adaptive capacity to employ these mechanisms differed among participants; however, mental health, physical health, traditional/western education, access to country food and store bought foods, access to financial resources, social networks, and connection to Inuit identity emerged as key components of Inuit women’s adaptive capacity. The study finds that gender roles result in different pathways through which changing climatic conditions affect people locally, although the broad determinants of vulnerability and adaptive capacity for women are consistent with those identified for men in the scholarship more broadly.

Keywords: climate change, women, adaptation, vulnerability, gender, Inuit, Nunavut

Topics: Education, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Roles, Health Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2016

Gender-Aware Disaster Care: Issues and Interventions in Supplies, Services, Triage and Treatment

Citation:

Richter, Roxane, and Thomas Flowers. 2010. “Gender-Aware Disaster Care: Issues and Interventions in Supplies, Services, Triage and Treatment.” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 28 (2): 207–25.

Authors: Roxane Richter , Thomas Flowers

Abstract:

Many non-medical policy makers, planners and response teams have in the past assumed the mass post-disaster population to be homogenous, and have staged disaster shelters and services that overlooked the specific needs of women. This has led to unnecessary suffering, discomfort and slower recoveries for female disaster victims. This research seeks to not only identify gender disparities in disasters, but also socially constructed and biological differences in health and behavior, and to emphasize interventions that could significantly reduce long-term care costs and recoveries. It is the authors’ contention that proactive “Gender-Aware Disaster Care”—coupled with supplies, services, triage and treatment—would facilitate more efficient interventions in mitigation, needs assessment, care and recovery for women and their families. Thus this work can make significant contributions to gender-aware disaster care and policies, especially among first responders, emergency managers, EMS crews and volunteer organizations that stage and provide shelter and services to evacuees.

Keywords: gender, disaster, women

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Health

Year: 2010

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

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

Environmental Social Work: Accounting for Gender in Climate Disasters

Citation:

Alston, Margaret. 2013. “Environmental Social Work: Accounting for Gender in Climate Disasters.” Australian Social Work 66 (2): 218–33.

Author: Margaret Alston

Abstract:

The person-in-the-environment concept has largely been interpreted by social workers to indicate social networks and relationships, ignoring the physical environment and its complex impact on human health and wellbeing. This article examines the environmental domain, noting the critical role social workers can have in this field as a consequence of climate events and global warming. The article notes the significance of gender as a key factor in vulnerability to disasters and outlines the need for social workers to consider gender as a critical indicator in their work in this emerging area. Embodiment, connection to place, poverty, and cultural awareness are also significant, but often overlooked, factors in a social work response to environmental disasters. Ecological and ecofeminist theories give a direction for social work theory and practice in the postdisaster space. The article challenges social workers to reconsider the person-in- the-environment as a complex and critical emerging domain of social work theories and practice, a domain where gender awareness is fundamental.

Keywords: environmental social work, accounting for gender in climate disasters

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Feminisms, Gender, Health, Mental Health

Year: 2013

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