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Human Rights

Predicament of Landlessness: A Critical Study of Women’s Rights over Land in Assam

Citation:

Hazarika, Kanki, and V. Sita.  2020. “Predicament of Landlessness: A Critical Study of Women’s Rights over Land in Assam.” South Asian Survey 27 (1): 19–36.

Authors: Kanki Hazarika, V. Sita

Abstract:

Land rights to women is one of the significant markers of a gender-just society. It is a basic human right that provides welfare, economic and social security, strong bargaining power and various other benefits. Ownership right over land is also critical to the citizens in terms of exercising and availing rights guaranteed by the state. Based on a narrative from the fieldwork done among the Bodos in Assam, this paper explores the significance of land rights in accessing various rights and welfare programmes and how women are affected in this regard due to lack of land rights. It discusses how a woman’s lack of rights over land can lead to a status of homelessness and place her in a socially and economically precarious position. The landlessness or homelessness status restricts her from accessing various benefits provided by the state. In this context, the paper also looks into the social construction of gendered norms on land rights of the Bodo community. Construction of societal norms on individual’s rights over landed property, inheritance are generally determined by kinship and affinal ideologies of a community. Such norms are often gendered that deny rights to women over this material resource. The most affected are the single, widow and separated women who have no support from the families. Communities having patriarchal ideologies consider women as passive, dependent and secondary subject and accordingly, gendered norms are constructed. Even the state apparatuses, which is often male-dominated, locate woman within the realm of the family and design policies for women as ‘beneficiaries’ and ‘dependents.’ The gendered norms on land rights of a community have a broader impact that goes beyond the community level and enmeshed with the affairs of the state.

Keywords: Bodo, community, citizen, land rights, norms, state, women

Topics: Citizenship, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

Sexual Violence in the Border Zone: The EU, the Women, Peace and Security Agenda and Carceral Humanitarianism in Libya

Citation:

Kirby, Paul. 2020. “Sexual Violence in the Border Zone: The EU, the Women, Peace and Security Agenda and Carceral Humanitarianism in Libya.” International Affairs 96 (5): 1209–26.

Author: Paul Kirby

Abstract:

The last decades have seen a striking increase in international policy seeking to protect against conflict-related sexual violence. Norms of protection are, however, unevenly applied in practice. In this article, I address one such situation: the significant and growing evidence of widespread sexual violence at detention sites in Libya where migrants are imprisoned after interception on the Mediterranean Sea. Drawing on policy documents, human rights reports, interviews with advocates and officials, and an analysis of debates in the EU Parliament and UNHCR's humanitarian evacuation scheme in Libya, I examine how abuses have been framed, and with what effects. I argue that decisions about protection are shaped not only by raced and gendered categorizations but also by a demarcation of bodies in the border zone, where vulnerability is to some degree acknowledged, but agency and responsibility also disavowed by politicians, diplomats and practitioners. The wrong of sexual violence is thus both explicitly recognized but also re-articulated in ways that lessen the obligations of the same states and regional organizations that otherwise champion the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. The combination of mass pullback and detention for many migrants with evacuation for a vulnerable few is an example of carceral humanitarianism, where ‘rescue’ often translates into confinement and abuse for unwelcome populations. My analysis highlights the importance of the positionality of migrants in the Libyan border zone for the form of recognition they are afforded, and the significant limits to the implementation of the EU's gender-responsive humanitarian policies in practice.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Humanitarian Assistance, Race, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa Countries: Libya

Year: 2020

Fanm Ayisyen Pap Kase: Respecting the Right to Health of Haitian Women and Girls

Citation:

Davis, Lisa, and Blaine Bookey. 2011. "Fanm Ayisyen Pap Kase: Respecting the Right to Health of Haitian Women and Girls." Health and Human Rights 13 (1): 50-61.

 

Authors: Lisa Davis, Blaine Bookey

Abstract:

Only in recent years has violence against women begun to receive international attention as both a public health and human rights concern. This article argues that the right to be free from sexual violence is a fundamental component of the right to health, and the need is particularly acute in post-disaster contexts. This article uses post-earthquake Haiti as a case study to illustrate conditions for women and girls who suffer daily threats of physical, emotional, economic, and social harm in ways that have no direct parallels for their male counterparts. In addition, this article discusses the reasons that the humanitarian response in Haiti has not effectively protected women and girls and has instead exacerbated structural inequalities, making women, girls, and their families even more vulnerable to human rights violations including interference in their right to health. The article argues that the failure to guarantee the right of women to be free from sexual violence — an essential component of the right to health — is due in large part to the exclusion of displaced women from meaningful participation in formal humanitarian interventions.

 

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Girls, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Humanitarian Assistance, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence Regions: Americas, Caribbean countries Countries: Haiti

Year: 2011

Gender, Islam and International Frameworks in Yemen

Citation:

Saeed, Muna. "Gender, Islam and International Frameworks in Yemen." Al-Raida Journal 43 (1): 83-92.

Author: Muna Saeed

Abstract:

This paper is intended to explore the intersection of Islam and international frameworks that aim to work on gender development projects in the context of contemporary Yemen. It will examine the opportunities and limitations that may arise when choosing to follow faith-based approaches in order to advocate for women’s human rights and ensure the safety and security of Yemeni women. In particular, I will try to investigate how aligning and contextualizing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) (UNSCR1325) with Islam is advantageous, or necessary for women’s development in the context of Yemen. To support my research question with concrete examples, I will focus on the discourse of child marriage––a persistent practice in Yemen.

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Religion, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Yemen

Year: 2019

The Persistence of Global Masculinism: Discourse, Gender, and Neo-Colonial Re-Articulations of Violence

Citation:

Nicholas, Lucy, and Christine Agius. 2017. The Persistence of Global Masculinism: Discourse, Gender, and Neo-Colonial Re-Articulations of Violence. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Authors: Lucy Nicholas, Christine Agius

Annotation:

Summary:
This book examines whether we are witnessing the resilience, persistence and adaptation of masculinist discourses and practices at both domestic and international levels in the contemporary global context. Beginning with an innovative conceptualisation of masculinism, the book draws on interdisciplinary work to analyse its contours and practices across four case studies. From the anti-feminist backlash that can be found in various men’s rights movements, and responses to gender-based and sexual violence, to the masculinist underpinnings of human rights discourse, and modes of intervention to protect, including drone warfare. This interdisciplinary work will appeal to students and scholars of gender studies, security and international relations, and sociology. (Summary from Palgrave Macmillan)

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence

Year: 2018

Conflict, Religion and Gender Hegemonies – The Implications for Global Citizenship Education: A Response to Islah Jad’s article

Citation:

Arnot, Madeline. 2011. “Conflict, Religion and Gender Hegemonies – The Implications for Global Citizenship Education: A Response to Islah Jad’s article.” Ethnicities 11 (3): 373-77.

Author: Madeleine Arnot

Annotation:

Summary:
"Islah Jad’s account of the Palestinian women’s movement has historical specificity as a result of Palestine’s political history as a transitional/provisional state that has experienced devastating interventions by Israel into its allocated territory, and exceptional levels of international attention. Yet Jad’s account of the Palestinian women’s movement also resonates in an uncannily familiar way with other histo-ries of the women’s movements internationally. In Gramscian terms, there are a variety of forms of hegemonic power and different counter-hegemonic strategies that can affect women’s movements. In this account, male hegemony (inflected by social class, ethnicity and sexuality) plays a crucial role in the interfaces between international hegemony over economic development, and religious hegemony. When women are symbolically constructed as the epitome of the nation, there is more at stake in the liberation of women than just gender politics. Gender is the lens through which we can understand the battles over citizenship, national identity and power (c.f. Fennell and Arnot, 2007).
 
We are at a critical moment in social science particularly in the North, where we are being called upon to rethink our categories, assumptions, interpretations and agendas to let in the realities of different worlds. Challenging the assumptions of ‘methodological nationalism’ (Beck, 2000), southern feminists from Africa and India have argued that the framing of gender theory in northern contexts has often imposed inappropriate gender categorizations, concepts of motherhood and sexual embodiments, whilst neglecting the different communal cultures, family structures and gender identities found in southern cultures (Fennell and Arnot, 2008).
 
One aspect of this hegemonic gender theory has been the denial of the role of spirituality and religion; indeed, Jad argues that northern forms of the women’s movement are secular (if not atheist!). Within Jad’s article lies a fundamental issue – how can northern gender theorists understand the role of religious conflict between nations and the religious shaping of the women’s movement within national struggles? I think it is fair to say that gender studies has constructed religions as obstacles to the achievement of gender equality not least because of their enforcement or reinforcement of male superiority and power. As a result, it is hard to envisage religion as anything but an impediment to the advancement of female citizenship.
 
In this response, I highlight three relevant themes: 1. gender and education in transitional states; 2. the universalism and secularization of human rights; and 3.national gender identities, religion and militarization" (Arnot 2011, 373).

Topics: Citizenship, Class, Development, Conflict, Education, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Nationalism, Rights, Human Rights, Religion, Sexuality Regions: Asia, Middle East Countries: Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2011

The Gender and Security Agenda: Strategies for the 21st Century

Citation:

Oudraat, Chantal de Jonge, and Michael E. Brown, eds. 2020. The Gender and Security Agenda: Strategies for the 21st Century. London: Routledge.

Authors: Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, Michael E. Brown

Annotation:

Summary:
This book examines the gender dimensions of a wide array of national and international security challenges.
 
The volume examines gender dynamics in ten issue areas in both the traditional and human security sub-fields: armed conflict, post-conflict, terrorism, military organizations, movement of people, development, environment, humanitarian emergencies, human rights, governance. The contributions show how gender affects security and how security problems affect gender issues.
 
Each chapter also examines a common set of key factors across the issue areas: obstacles to progress, drivers of progress and long-term strategies for progress in the 21st century. The volume develops key scholarship on the gender dimensions of security challenges and thereby provides a foundation for improved strategies and policy directions going forward. The lesson to be drawn from this study is clear: if scholars, policymakers and citizens care about these issues, then they need to think about both security and gender.
 
This will be of much interest to students of gender studies, security studies, human security and International Relations in general. (Summary from Routledge)
 
Table of Contents:
 
1. Gender and Security: Framing the Agenda 
Chantal de Jonge Oudraat and Michael E. Brown
 
2. Gender and Armed Conflict 
Kathleen Kuehnast
 
3. Gender and Peacebuilding 
Anne Marie Goetz and Rob Jenkins
 
4. Gender and Terrorism 
Jeannette Gaudry Haynie
 
5. Gender and Military Organizations 
Ellen Haring 
 
6. Gender and Population Movements 
Jane Freedman
 
7. Gender, Development and Security 
Jeni Klugman
 
8. Gender and Environmental Security 
Edward R. Carr
 
9. Gender, Humanitarian Emergencies and Security 
Tamara Nair
 
10. Gender, Human Rights and Security 
Corey Levine and Sari Kouvo
 
11. Gender, Governance and Security 
Jacqui True and Sara E. Davies
 
12. Promoting Gender and Security: Obstacles, Drivers and Strategies 
Chantal de Jonge Oudraat and Michael E. Brown

 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Development, Environment, Gender, Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Peace and Security, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding, Rights, Human Rights, Terrorism

Year: 2020

Violations of Afro-Colombian Women’s Human Rights: A Report for the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Citation:

Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN), MADRE, and Human Rights and Gender Justice (HRGJ) Clinic, CUNY School of Law. 2019. Violations of Afro-Colombian Women’s Human Rights: A Report for the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Cali: PCN; New York: MADRE and HRGJ Clinic.

Authors: Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN), MADRE, Human Rights and Gender Justice (HRGJ) Clinic, CUNY School of Law

Annotation:

Summary:
"This report, prepared for the List of Themes in advance of the review of Colombia’s human rights record by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, describes a widespread pattern of human rights violations committed against Afro-Colombian women and their communities, a pattern which in turn underscores entrenched systemic racial and gender discrimination in Colombia. Part II details ways in which Afro-descendant women are excluded from meaningful participation in peace implementation, and relatedly, the Government’s failure to adequately implement racial and gender justice provisions of its 2016 Peace Accord with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC). Part III describes the consistent attacks on Afro-descendant human rights defenders, including women, the lack of meaningful state protection for them, and the environment of impunity in which the attacks occur. The following section provides information on the disproportionate vulnerability to sexual and gender-based violence that Afro-descendant communities face, and the lack of services, protection and justice for victims. Lack of access to adequate, appropriate, and timely health services for Afrodescendant survivors of sexual and gender-based violence is described in more detail in Part V. Part VI discusses the Government’s failure to uphold the collective territorial rights of AfroColombian women and their communities, placing their very existence as Peoples at risk. Each section is followed by suggested questions and recommendations to the Colombian government" (PCN et al. 2019, 4).

Topics: Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Justice, Impunity, Political Participation, Race, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Sexual Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2019

Illicit Financial Flows: Why We Should Claim These Resources for Gender, Economic, and Social Justice

Citation:

Waris, Attiya. 2017. Illicit Financial Flows: Why We Should Claim These Resources for Gender, Economic, and Social Justice. Toronto: Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID).

Author: Attiya Waris

Annotation:

Summary: 
“This brief focuses on international illicit financial flows (IFFs) and why these ‘lost’ resources should be claimed for gender, economic and social justice.
 
It will explore the following three issues:
 
1.     Understand the basic concept of IFFs and highlight their disproportional gender impact, in relation to the drain in developing countries of critical resources, for the advancement of women’s human rights.
 
2.     Unveil the current legal and political frameworks that allow multinational corporations to benefit from tax abuse to the detriment of people and planet
 
3.     Provide recommendations, from a feminist perspective, on how to demand transparency and corporate accountability in order to curb illicit financial flows" (Waris n.d., 7).

Topics: Development, Economies, Public Finance, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Men, Multi-National Corporations, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2017

A Human Rights Approach to Energy, Poverty and Gender Inequality

Citation:

Karlsson, Gail. 2013. “A Human Rights Approach to Energy, Poverty and Gender Inequality.” In Human Rights: The Hard Questions, edited by Cindy Holder and David Reidy, 231–45. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Author: Gail Karlsson

Annotation:

Summary:
There are close to three billion people living with little or no access to modern energy sources for household and productive uses. They primarily use traditional biomass fuels from local woodlands and fields – firewood, dung, agricultural residues and charcoal. Recognizing the importance and magnitude of this problem, the UN General Assembly designated 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, and the UN Secretary-General has launched a global initiative on Sustainable Energy for All by 2030.

Is lack of adequate energy a human rights issue? Although the Universal Declaration of Human Rights includes the right to a standard of living that is adequate for health and well-being, energy is not specifically mentioned. Some level of energy access seems to be essential for basic subsistence, including fuel for cooking food and keeping warm. But is there a right to “modern” energy services, such as power for water pumping, agricultural production, food processing, lighting and communications?

In 1986, the UN member states expanded the list of human rights to include a right to development “by virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development” (United Nations General Assembly 1986 ). Possibly a right to energy would fall within this category, as a necessity for people’s economic and social development. (Summary from Cambridge University Press)

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Energy, Rights, Human Rights

Year: 2013

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