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How Do Compact, Accessible, and Walkable Communities Promote Gender Equality in Spatial Behavior?


Lo, A. W.-T., and D. Houston. 2018. “How Do Compact, Accessible, and Walkable Communities Promote Gender Equality in Spatial Behavior?” Journal of Transport Geography 68 (April): 42-54.

Authors: A. W.-T. Lo, D. Houston


Directing growth towards denser communities with mixed-use, accessible, and walkable neighborhood design has become an important strategy for promoting sustainability, but few studies have examined whether compact development strategies could help reduce within-household gender disparities in spatial behavior by increasing accessibility. We analyze spatial behavior of heterosexual married couples in Southern California based on the 2012 California Household Travel Survey and find that households living in areas with greater regional accessibility and neighborhood walkability have smaller, more centered, and more compact activity spaces overall compared to households in less compact areas, and that married pairs living in more accessible areas have greater equality in the size and centeredness of their activity spaces. We account for residential selection bias in our multivariate analysis and find that a ten unit increase in near-residence Walk Score was associated with a 12–18% decrease in activity space size, a 6–8% decrease in residential distancing, and a 12–13% increase in spatial concentration for both men and women. Men and women, however, had significantly different activity space behaviors regardless of their neighborhood type. Compared to women, men on average had larger activity spaces and conducted their activities farther from home. Overall, results support our hypothesis that compact development provides married couples greater flexibility in how they divide household out-of-home activities by making destinations more convenient and lowering the overall spatial fixity of these activities. Future research and planning efforts should carefully consider which aspects of compact, accessible development are most effective for a given local context.

Topics: Development, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Transportation Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2018

Working Wives: Gender, Labour and Land Commercialization in Ratanakiri, Cambodia


Joshi, Saba. 2020. “Working Wives: Gender, Labour and Land Commercialization in Ratanakiri, Cambodia.” Globalizations 17 (1): 1–15.

Author: Saba Joshi


In Ratanakiri province, home to a large share of Cambodia's indigenous minorities, land commercialization involving large-scale land transfers and in-migration has led to shrinking access to land for indigenous households. Drawing on qualitative interviews and a household survey conducted in Ratanakiri, this paper explores the links between social reproduction and agrarian production in the current phase of agrarian transition through the lens of everyday gendered experiences. It argues that while wage labour is becoming an essential component of agrarian livelihoods for land-poor indigenous households, gendered hierarchies mediate access to local wage labour opportunities due to the incompatibilities between care work and paid labour. This paper contributes to the literature by exposing locally-specific processes through which gender- differentiated impacts are produced under multiple modes of dispossession. It also illuminates the links between dispossession and social reproduction and the tensions between capitalist accumulation and care activities in agrarian trajectories following land commercialization.


Keywords: Cambodia, land grabs, care labour, wage labour, indigenous peoples, gender

Topics: Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Households, Indigenous, Land Grabbing, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Cambodia

Year: 2020

Gender Dimensions of Land Tenure Reforms in Ethiopia 1995-2020


Holden, Stein T. 2020. “Gender Dimensions of Land Tenure Reforms in Ethiopia 1995-2020.” CLTS Working Papers 6/20. Aas: Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Centre for Land Tenure Studies.

Author: Stein T. Holden


This chapter investigates how land tenure reforms in Ethiopia have influenced the position of women in terms of land tenure security, access to land, decision-power over land within households, as well as the gendered impacts of these tenure reforms on land investments, land productivity, land renting, and household consumption welfare. It is based on a careful screening of the relevant literature based on its quality and critically examining the reliability of the causal effects in each study. As most studies are based on survey data, studies that have been able to provide reasonably robust quantitative assessments are utilized. The review concludes that there exists strong evidence that the low-cost land registration and certification reform in Ethiopia has contributed to strengthening women’s land rights and decision-power over land and this has had positive welfare effects in female-headed as well as male-headed households. More research is needed to study the productivity and welfare effects of the ongoing 2nd Stage Land Registration and Certification reform but early findings indicate that it has contributed to formally document parcel-level land rights of women that are close to that of men even in the Tigray region where 1st Stage Land Registration and Certification was in the name of the head of household that in most cases was a man.

Keywords: gender, land rights, land registration and certification, joint land certification, impacts, Ethiopia

Topics: Gender, Gender Analysis, Households, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia

Year: 2020

Land Tenure, Gender, and Productivity in Ethiopia and Tanzania


Melesse, Tigist M., and Yesuf M. Awel. 2020. “Land Tenure, Gender, and Productivity in Ethiopia and Tanzania.” In Women and Sustainable Human Development: Empowering Women in Africa, edited by Maty Konte and Nyasha Tirivayi, 89-108. Maastricht, The Netherlands: Palgrave Macmillan.

Authors: Tigist M. Melesse, Yesuf M. Awel


Agricultural land use and tenure systems in many African countries are characterized by subsistence production and a communal land tenure system. Reforming the tenure system in a way that ensures tenure security could promote sustainable agriculture in the region. In addition, the right of women to own land is essential for rural development. This chapter, therefore, analyses the gender differential effects of land tenure security on productivity in East Africa using Living Standard Measurement Study data from Ethiopia and Tanzania. The chapter uses plot- and household-level data to investigate the effect of land title and other determinants of crop productivity. The main results show that tenure security positively and significantly affects households’ productivity in general and is marginally significant for female-headed households in particular. Potential indicators that positively correlate with crop productivity are total land and plot sizes, inorganic fertilizer use, input credit access, herbicide use, soil, and plot type. Policy implications are based on the results.

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Gender, Gender Analysis, Women, Households, Land Tenure, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia, Tanzania

Year: 2020

Gendered Livelihoods and Land Tenure: The Case of Artisanal Gold Miners in Mali, West Africa


Brottem, Leif V., and Lassine Ba. 2019. “Gendered Livelihoods and Land Tenure: The Case of Artisanal Gold Miners in Mali, West Africa.” Geoforum 105 (October): 54–62.

Authors: Leif V. Brottem, Ba Lassine


Artisanal small-scale mining (ASM) is an important source of income for millions of sub-Saharan Africans. Scholars from various disciplines have demonstrated that urban and rural Africans take up mining as a response to unemployment, lack of credit and poor income prospects in the agricultural sector, and as a way for young people to achieve a degree of personal autonomy. Although several studies have investigated the role of women in artisanal mining, little attention has been given to the gendered land tenure rights that govern mineral resource access and that shape the prospects for mining as a viable livelihood strategy. This article presents evidence that women exploit artisanal mining opportunities in ways that differ from those of men based on gender differences in land tenure relations. Customary and freehold tenure regimes—through their flexibility and place-based functionality—create unique income-generating and investment opportunities for women at artisanal gold mining sites in western Mali. Specifically, the unique labor demands and commercial aspects of artisanal gold extraction interact with the host-stranger dynamics of customary tenure regimes to create labor market opportunities that women are able to exploit. Mining income invested in freehold land property enables women to achieve or at least strive for a degree of financial autonomy that is difficult or impossible within the unequal gender relations that characterize other rural economic activities, especially agriculture. Customary and formal land tenure institutions play a complex role that both constrains and enables these livelihood strategies, which are based on geographic mobility and power-laden social relations within rural economies that are increasingly monetized.

Keywords: artisanal mining, land tenure, gender, political ecology, livelihoods, West Africa

Topics: Economies, Informal Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Gender Analysis, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Land Tenure, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Mali

Year: 2019

Exploring Mobility and Migration in the Context of Rural—Urban Linkages: Why Gender and Generation Matter


Tacoli, Cecilia, and Richard Mabala. 2010. “Exploring Mobility and Migration in the Context of Rural—Urban Linkages: Why Gender and Generation Matter.” Environment and Urbanization 22 (2): 389–95.

Authors: Cecilia Tacoli, Richard Mabala


This paper draws on case studies in Mali, Nigeria, Tanzania and Vietnam to explore the different ways in which migration intersects with the changing relations between rural and urban areas and activities, and in the process transforms livelihoods and the relations between young and older men and women. Livelihood strategies are becoming increasingly diverse, and during interviews people were asked to describe their first, second and third occupations, the time allocated to each and the income that each produced. In all study regions, the number of young people migrating is increasing. This is influenced not only by expanding employment opportunities in destination areas but also by power inequalities within households, which means limited opportunities at home. It is increasingly common for young women to migrate, in part because they have no land rights and few prospects at home, in part because of more employment opportunities elsewhere. Young women also tend to move further than young men and for longer, and also remit a higher proportion of their income. Older men expect young men to migrate but often criticize young women for doing so, although women’s migration is more accepted as their remittances contribute more to household income. However, if young women had better prospects at home, it would limit their need to move to what is often exploitative and insecure work.

Keywords: gender, generation, livelihoods, migration, rural-urban linkages

Topics: Age, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Mali, Nigeria, Tanzania, Vietnam

Year: 2010

Occupational Genders and Gendered Occupations: The Case of Water Provisioning in Maputo, Mozambique


Alda-Vidal, Cecilia, Maria Rusca, Margreet Zwarteveen, Klaas Schwartz, and Nicky Pouw. 2017. “Occupational Genders and Gendered Occupations: The Case of Water Provisioning in Maputo, Mozambique.” Gender, Place & Culture 24 (7): 974–90.

Authors: Cecilia Alda-Vidal, Maria Rusca, Margreet Zwarteveen, Klaas Schwartz, Nicky Pouw


Taking issue with how associations between technical prowess or entrepreneurship and masculinity tend to be taken for granted or are seen as stemming from natural or intrinsic gender differences, over the last two decades feminist scholars have developed theoretical approaches to understand the gendering of professions and abilities as the performative outcome of particular cultures and histories. We build on these insights to explore how associations between masculinities, technology and entrepreneurship shape ideas and practices of small-scale water provision in Maputo. Our findings show how activities (i.e. technical craftsmanship, hard physical work) or abilities (i.e. risktaking, innovativeness) regarded as masculine tend to be considered the defining features of the profession. This shapes how men and women make sense of and talk about their work, each of them tactically emphasizing and performing those aspects best fitting their gender. Our detailed documentation of men’s and women’s everyday involvements in water provisioning challenges the existence of sharp boundaries and distinctions between genders and professional responsibilities. It shows that water provisioning requires many other types of work and skills and male and female household members collaborate and share their work. The strong normative-cultural associations between gender and water provisioning lead to a distinct underrecognition of women’s importance as water providers. We conclude that strategies to effectively support small-scale water businesses while creating more space and power for women involved in the business require the explicit recognition and re-conceptualization of water provisioning as a household business.

Keywords: technology, entrepreneurship, small scale water providers (SSIP), urban water supply, Maputo, occupational masculinities and femininities

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Discourses, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 2017

Sustainable Energy Transition, Gender and Modernisation in Rural Sarawak


Shabdin, N. H., and R. Padfield. 2017. “Sustainable Energy Transition, Gender and Modernisation in Rural Sarawak.” Chemical Engineering Transactions 56: 259-64.

Authors: N. H. Shabdin , R. Padfield


In the past two decades policy-makers have highlighted the need for societies to use energy in a more sustainable way. In support of a general trend towards evidence based, policy-making academic research in sustainable energy related fields has gathered pace. In particular, research has concentrated largely on technologies, energy economics and broad concepts of smart energy system. Research focusing on the social sciences of sustainable energy, including topics such as human behaviour change, gender impacts, household scale studies etc. – have tended to receive limited attention from research sponsors and until recently assumed to have limited impact on a transition to a sustainable energy future. Yet recent research in these topics has shown to have great potential in achieving positive social and environmental impact. In line with increasing interest in the social science of sustainable energy transitions, this study examines social behaviour and energy practices of rural communities without access to twenty-four hour electricity in Sarawak, East Malaysia. The research aims to understand the impact of modernity in influencing rural communities’ energy transition with a particular focus on the role women play in energy behaviour at the household level. Five case studies was undertaken in the villages of Kampung Sibu Laut, Mersan, Telaga Air, Boyan and Gersik. Through purposive sampling 25 households in total were selected from these five villages. Consistent with triangulation methodological approaches the fieldwork involved a number of research methods such as a household energy survey, semi-structured interviews, focus groups and ethnographic style methods (i.e. participant observation). Investigating multiple data sources allows a deeper understanding and increased reliability of findings. Initial findings reveals women across the village play a key role in managing the household’s energy needs, and specifically, energy efficiency and energy conservation aspects. Household income also influenced the behaviour of householders with regards to energy saving. For instance, wealthier families owned more electric goods and gadgets as compared with poorer families; thus, energy demand is assumed higher in the former households. Meanwhile, villages without twenty-four hour access to affordable electricity have less energy demand while it is also noted that many of the younger generation have migrated to the town. The research also reveals that besides geographical challenges in rural Sarawak, villages close to protected ecosystems, such as Ramsar sites, have limited development. In this way, electrical appliances were far fewer as compared with villages where there is more consistent electricity supply.

Topics: Environment, Gender, Women, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Malaysia

Year: 2017

Socially Inclusive Renewable Energy Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Social Shaping of Technology Analysis of Appliance Uptake in Rwanda


Muza, O., and R. Debnath. 2020. “Socially Inclusive Renewable Energy Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Social Shaping of Technology Analysis of Appliance Uptake in Rwanda.” Cambridge Working Papers in Economics, University of Cambridge, London.

Authors: O. Muza, R. Debnath


Rural off-grid renewable energy solutions often fail due to uncertainties in household energy demand, insufficient community engagement, inappropriate financial models, policy inconsistency and lack of political will. Social shaping of technology (SST) of specific household electric appliances provides a critical lens of understanding the involved sociotechnical drivers behind these constraints. This study employs an SST lens to investigate appliance uptake drivers in Rwanda using the EICV5 micro dataset, such that these drivers can aid in policy design of a socially inclusive renewable energy transition. The methodology includes a systemic and epistemological review of current literature on the drivers of appliance uptake in the Global South. These drivers were then analysed using binary logistic regression on 14,580 households. Results show that appliance uptake is highly gendered and urban-centric in Rwanda. The type of appliance determines its diffusion across the welfare categories, commonly referred as to Ubudehe categories. Regression results show that mobile phones, radios and TV-sets have a higher likelihood of ownership than welfare appliances (refrigerator and laundry machine) by low-income households. There is also a high likelihood of uptake of power stabilisers in urban-higher income households, indicating poor power quality and distributive injustices. Policy implications were drawn using the lens of disruptive innovation.

Keywords: energy transition, off-grid system, Sub-Saharan Africa, social shaping of technology, gender, disruptive innovation

Topics: Gender, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2020

Electrification and Socio-Economic Empowerment of Women in India


Sedai, A. K., R. Nepal, and T. Jamasb. 2020. “Electrification and Socio-Economic Empowerment of Women in India.” Cambridge Working Papers in Economics, Cambridge University, London.

Authors: A. K. Sedai, R. Nepal, T. Jamasb


This study examines the effect of quality of electrification on empowerment of women in terms of economic autonomy, agency, mobility, decision-making abilities, and time allocation in fuel collection in India. It moves beyond the consensus of counting electried households as a measure of progress in gender parity, and analyzes how the quality of electrification affects women's intra-household bargaining power, labor supply decision and fuel collection time. We develop a set of indices using principal component analysis from a large cross-section of gender-disaggregated survey. We use two stage least squares instrumental variables regression to assess the causal effect of access and hours of electricity on women's empowerment using geographic instrumental variables along with district and caste fixed effects. The results show that quality of electrication has significant positive effects on all empowerment indices. However, the effect differs at the margin of defficiency, location, living standards and education. The study recommends revisiting the paradigm of access to electrification and women empowerment by focusing on the quality of not only extensive but also intensive electrification to enhance life and economic opportunities for women and their households.

Keywords: electrification, socio-economic empowerment of women, India

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020


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