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Green Practices Are Gendered: Exploring Gender Inequality Caused by Sustainable Consumption Policies in Taiwan

Citation:

Wang, Sumei. 2016. “Green Practices Are Gendered: Exploring Gender Inequality Caused by Sustainable Consumption Policies in Taiwan.” Energy Research & Social Science 18 (August): 88–95.

Author: Sumei Wang

Abstract:

In the context of climate change, governments and international organizations often promote a “sustainable lifestyle.” However, this approach has been criticized for underestimating the complexity of everyday life and therefore being inapplicable to households and consumers. In addition, procedures for promoting sustainable consumption seldom incorporate domestic workers’ opinions and often increase women’s housework loads. This article employs a practice-based approach to examine the “Energy-Saving, Carbon Reduction” movement, a series of sustainable consumption policies that have been advocated by the Taiwanese government since 2008. The goal of the movement is to encourage an eco-friendly lifestyle. On the basis of empirical data collected through ethnographic interviews, this article argues that existing policies unexpectedly increase women’s burdens and exacerbate gender inequality.

Keywords: sustainable consumption, gender inequality, Taiwan, global warming

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, International Organizations Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Taiwan

Year: 2016

Is Mom Energy Efficient? A Study of Gender, Household Energy Consumption and Family Decision Making in Indonesia

Citation:

Permana, Ariva Sugandi, Norsiah Abd. Aziz, and Ho Chin Siong. 2015. “Is Mom Energy Efficient? A Study of Gender, Household Energy Consumption and Family Decision Making in Indonesia.” Energy Research & Social Science 6 (March): 78–86.

Authors: Ariva Sugandi Permana, Norsiah Abd. Aziz, Ho Chin Siong

Abstract:

This study highlights gender-related factors and attempts to understand their influence in residential energy consumption. This pilot study was done in Bandung City, Indonesia. It employed a questionnaire survey and face to face interviews. Questionnaires were randomly distributed to the households in Bandung City. In this study, energy consumption included household uses of power for lighting, entertainment, thermal comfort and cooking. Energy consumption was estimated based upon electrical and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) consumption. The results showed that when the decisions about energy expenditure and control of energy consumption in the household were solely made by a woman, energy consumption tended to be the lowest. There are three possible ways decision can be made, by the wife, husband and a joint decision. This evidence suggests several things. They are that (1) women are good household energy managers, (2) men may be careless with respect to energy consumption, (3) women may be more cautious about household expenditures, and (4) when joint decisions were made the husband and wife relied-upon-each-other in reaching agreement. This suggests useful entry points for energy efficient initiatives. 

Keywords: gender, control over expenditure, energy consumption

Topics: Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Indonesia

Year: 2015

Gender Issues of Biomass Production and Use in Africa

Citation:

Farioli, Francesca, and Touria Dafrallah. 2012. “Gender Issues of Biomass Production and Use in Africa.” In Bioenergy for Sustainable Development in Africa, edited by Rainer Janssen and Dominik Rutz, 345–61. Dordrecht: Springer.

Authors: Francesca Farioli, Touria Dafrallah

Abstract:

Energy is a basic necessity for survival and a key input to economic and social development. In Sub-Saharan Africa access to modern energy remains very low and the energy situation is still heavily dependent on traditional biomass that accounts for 80–90% of the countries energy balances. Lack of energy services is correlated with many elements of poverty, such a low education levels, inadequate health care, and limited employment and income generation possibilities. The energy-poverty nexus has distinct gender characteristics. Of the approximately 1–3 billion people living in poverty, it is estimated that 70% are women, many of who live in female–headed households in rural areas. In Sub-Saharan Africa, women have challenging roles on the energy scene as they are in charge of supplying their households with energy amongst other subsistence activities. This chapter looks into the impacts of biomass production and use on women health and livelihood. Literature and research studies by institutions involved in bioenergy and indoor air pollution are considered (World Health Organization, Partnership for Clean Indoor Air, Energia Network, COMPETE, etc.). Current energy policies in Africa seem to ignore the gender dimension of energy, although providing rural women with an affordable, reliable and clean energy source is a priority to effectively alleviate poverty. For any energy policy aiming at poverty reduction it is absolutely crucial not to neglect the fact that men and women have different energy needs due to their traditionally different roles and responsibilities within the households, and due to the unbalanced access to resources and decision-making. Nevertheless, the gender dimension of energy often remains invisible to most policy-makers. In many African countries biofuels production has recently gained significant interest. Private companies are investing in biofuels opportunities, as Africa seems to offer a good environment (available land, cheap labour and favorable climate). Unfortunately, policy and regulatory frameworks are not established to monitor the emerging private initiatives on biofuels that seem to focus on exports. This might worsen gender issues as women are economically and socially vulnerable and might be the main group to get marginalized. This chapter identifies relevant policy options related to social aspects of biomass production and use, as well as a set of recommendations how to engender biofuels policies.

Keywords: energy poverty, MDGs, bioenergy, health, livelihood, gender mainstreaming, engendering energy policies, land access, food security, income generation, policy recommendations

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Education, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Health, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, International Organizations, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa

Year: 2012

Widows' Land Rights and Agricultural Investment

Citation:

Dillon, Brian, and Alessandra Voena. 2018. “Widows' Land Rights and Agricultural Investment.” Journal of Development Economics 135: 449-60.

Authors: Brian Dillon, Alessandra Voena

Abstract:

This paper examines the connection between widows' land inheritance rights and land investments in Zambia. We study whether the threat of land expropriation upon widowhood deters households from fallowing, applying fertilizer, and employing labor-intensive tillage techniques. Variation in inheritance by widows is based on customary village practices, which we observe in surveys of village leaders. Controlling for possible confounding factors, both OLS and IV estimates show lower levels of land investment by married couples in villages where widows do not inherit. Concern over prospective loss of land by the wives reduces investment in land quality even while the husband is alive.

Keywords: land tenure security, widowhood, land investment, gender discrimination, African development, farm productivity

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zambia

Year: 2018

Women's Land Rights as a Pathway to Poverty Reduction: Framework and Review of Available Evidence.

Citation:

Meinzen-Dick, Ruth, Agnes Quisumbing, Cheryl Doss, Sophie Theis. 2019. “Women's Land Rights as a Pathway to Poverty Reduction: Framework and Review of Available Evidence.” Agricultural Systems 172: 72-82.

Authors: Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Agnes Quisumbing, Cheryl Doss, Sophie Theis

Abstract:

This paper reviews the literature on women’s land rights (WLR) and poverty reduction. It uses the Gender, Agriculture and Assets Project (GAAP) conceptual framework to identify pathways by which WLR could reduce poverty and increase wellbeing of women and their households in rural areas. It uses a systematic review search methodology to identify papers for inclusion, but adopts a more synthetic approach to assess the level of agreement and the amount of evidence within this literature. The paper examines the evidence from qualitative as well as quantitative studies on each of these pathways. Owing to the scarcity of experimental studies, the review of empirical work is based mostly on observational studies. We find some evidence on these relationships, but many of the key pathways have not been empirically analyzed. The evidence is strong for relationships between WLR and bargaining power and decision-making on consumption, human capital investment, and intergenerational transfers. There is a high level of agreement, but weaker evidence on the relationship between WLR and natural resource management, government services and institutions, empowerment and domestic violence, resilience and HIV risk, and consumption and food security. There is less agreement and insufficient evidence on the associations between WLR and other livelihoods, and a higher level of agreement, but still limited evidence on associations between WLR and credit, technology adoption, and agricultural productivity. Notably, we find no papers that directly investigate the link between WLR and poverty. Many gaps in the evidence arise from a failure to account for the complexity of land Rights regimes, the measurement of land rights at the household level, the lack of attention paid to gender roles, and the lack of studies from countries outside Africa. Many studies are limited by small sample sizes, the lack of credible counterfactuals, lack of attention to endogeneity and selection bias, and possible response bias on questions of domestic violence and empowerment. There are very few rigorous evaluations of reforms that strengthened WLR. The paper concludes that gaps in the evidence should not deter the careful design and implementation of programs and policies to strengthen WLR, given the on  going land tenure reforms in many countries. Different modalities and mechanisms for strengthening WLR could be tested, with appropriate counterfactuals. Program designers and evaluators can strategically identify pathways and outcomes where evidence gaps exist, and deliberately design studies to close those gaps.

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Households, Rights, Land Rights

Year: 2019

The Triangle of the Human Economy: Household - Cultivation - Industrial Production An Attempt at Making Visible the Human Economy in Toto

Citation:

Pietilä, Hilkka. 1997. “The Triangle of the Human Economy: Household - Cultivation - Industrial Production An Attempt at Making Visible the Human Economy in Toto.” Ecological Economics 20 (2): 113–27.

Author: Hilkka Pietilä

Abstract:

This paper is an attempt at outlining a comprehensive framework within which it would be possible to perceive that the totality of the human economy consists of three distinct components: household, cultivation and industrial production. Each one of these components operates according to its own particular logic. Therefore, the logic of one cannot be imposed on the logic of another without serious consequences — as is now already seen, when the logic of industrial production has hitherto been imposed upon the whole human economy. It is to be hoped that establishing a new, more comprehensive and relevant perception of the human economy as a whole would help humanity to adopt a lifestyle which will provide the prerequisites for a dignified quality of life for all people, with due respect to the ecological boundaries of the biosphere. In this process, a recognition of the economic, social and cultural contribution of women is decisive, as well as a respect for the values and priorities set within women's culture and way of life.

Keywords: women's work, gender and economics, cultivation economy, alternative economics, new theory of economics, economy versus ecology, the human economy, unpaid work and production, household as basic economy

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Ecological Economics, Environment, Gender, Women, Households

Year: 1997

Beyond Wishful Thinking: A FPE Perspective on Commoning, Care, and the Promise of Co-Housing

Citation:

Tummers, Lidewij, and Sherilyn MacGregor. 2019. “Beyond Wishful Thinking: A FPE Perspective on Commoning, Care, and the Promise of Co-Housing.” International Journal of the Commons (13) 1:  62–83. 

Authors: Lidewij Tummers, Sherilyn MacGregor

Abstract:

Co-housing has re-emerged in European cities as a model of common dwelling that aims to be ecologically and socially sustainable. Although it is the subject of growing academic interest, there are significant gaps in knowledge and wishful thinking about its promise that is not substantiated by evidence. We examine co-housing from a feminist political ecology (FPE) perspective with the aim of contributing to research on co-housing, and commoning more generally, as alternative practices in affluent Global North cities. Drawing on extensive research on co-housing in Europe and our observations from joint visits to four co-housing projects in the Netherlands and the UK, we cast critical feminist light on sharing practices at the level of the collectivized household. In addition to identifying synergies and tensions between FPE and recent literature on the radical promise of commoning, we raise questions about the extent to which the seeds of transformative, post-capitalist and post-patriarchal change are being sown in actually existing co-housing projects. We conclude with questions toward an agenda for co-housing research that moves beyond wishful thinking.

Keywords: co- housing, social reproduction, commons/commoning, gender justice, intersectionality

Topics: Economies, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Households, Intersectionality, Justice Regions: Europe, Northern Europe, Western Europe Countries: Netherlands, United Kingdom

Year: 2019

Ambivalences of Collective Farming: Feminist Political Ecologies from Eastern India and Nepal

Citation:

Leder, Stephanie, Fraser Sugden, Manita Raut, Dhananjay Ray, and Panchali Saikia. 2019. “Ambivalences of Collective Farming: Feminist Political Ecologies from Eastern India and Nepal.” International Journal of the Commons 13 (1): 105–29.

Authors: Stephanie Leder , Fraser Sugden, Manita Raut, Dhananjay Ray, Panchali Saikia

Abstract:

Collective farming has been suggested as a potentially useful approach for reducing inequality and transforming peasant agriculture. In collectives, farmers pool land, labor, irrigation infrastructure, agricultural inputs and harvest to overcome resource constraints and to increase their bargaining power. Employing a feminist political ecology lens, we reflect on the extent to which collective farming enables marginalized groups to engage in smallholder agriculture. We examine the establishment of 18 farmer collectives by an action research project in the Eastern Gangetic Plains, a region characterised by fragmented and small landholdings and a high rate of marginalised and landless farmers. We analyze ambivalances of collective farming practices with regard to (1) social relations across scales, (2) intersectionality and (3) emotional attachment. Our results in Saptari/ Eastern Terai in Nepal, Madhubani/Bihar, and Cooch Behar/West Bengal in India demonstrate how intra-household, group and community relations and emotional attachments to the family and neighbors mediate the redistribution of labor, land, produce and capital. We find that unequal gender relations, intersected by class, age, ethnicity and caste, are reproduced in collective action, land tenure and water management, and argue that a critical feminist perspective can support a more reflective and relational understanding of collective farming processes. Our analysis demonstrates that feminist political ecology can complement commons studies by providing meaningful insights on ambivalences around approaches such as collective farming. 

Keywords: agriculture, collective action, collective farming, commons, feminist political ecology, FPE, gender, India, irrigation, land, Nepal, water

Topics: Age, Agriculture, Caste, Class, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Intersectionality, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Nepal

Year: 2019

Gender Gaps in Landownership Across and Within Households in Four Asian Countries

Citation:

Kieran, Caitlin, Kathryn Sproule, Agnes R. Quisumbing, and Cheryl R. Doss. 2017. "Gender Gaps in Landownership Across and Within Households in Four Asian Countries." Land Economics 93 (2): 342-70.

Authors: Caitlin Kieran, Kathryn Sproule, Agnes R. Quisumbing, Cheryl R. Doss

Abstract:

Using nationally representative data from Bangladesh, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam, this paper investigates which individual and household characteristics influence men’s and women’s landownership across and within households. Often neglected in household-level statistics, married women in all countries are landowners. Across different household structures, women own less land than men, and less land relative to the household average as household landholdings increase. Increasing gender inequality with household wealth cannot be consistently explained by an increasing share of household land devoted to crops. Findings support the need to strengthen women’s land rights within marriage and to protect them should the marriage dissolve.

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania Countries: Bangladesh, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Vietnam

Year: 2017

Migration as a Driver of Changing Household Structures: Implications for Local Livelihoods and Adaptation

Citation:

Singh, Chandni. 2019. “Migration as a Driver of Changing Household Structures: Implications for Local Livelihoods and Adaptation.” Migration and Development, March 15. https://doi.org/10.1080/21632324.2019.1589073.

Author: Chandni Singh

Abstract:

Rapid environmental change, increasing climate variability, land fragmentation, and underlying institutional lacunae have shaped rural livelihoods in India. Increasingly, rural-urban migration has been a significant livelihood strategy to manage risks, meet aspirations, and move out of increasingly unprofitable agriculture. I argue that this movement of people is changing shape household structures, and the metrics to assess these transitions, often through categories of male- and female-headed households, fall short in understanding the experiences and outcomes of migration. Using a household survey (n = 825) and life history interviews (n = 16) to study rural-urban migration in South India, I demonstrate that shifting household configurations due to migration and commuting have implications for the risk management strategies people undertake. This calls for an expanded understanding of the ‘household’, which captures the realities of multi-local households, and consequently, for an expanded conceptualisation of ‘local adaptation’. Such an understanding is sensitive to the ‘beyond-local’ flows and networks that shape household risk management behaviour and has implications for improving the effectiveness of climate change adaptation interventions.

Keywords: migration, aspirations, intra-household dynamics, gender, adaptation, India, climate change

Topics: Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Roles, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2019

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