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Human Rights

Economies of Violence: Transnational Feminism, Postsocialism, and the Politics of Sex Trafficking

Citation:

Suchland, Jennifer. 2015. Economies of Violence: Transnational Feminism, Postsocialism, and the Politics of Sex Trafficking. Durham: Duke University Press.

Author: Jennifer Suchland

Annotation:

Summary:
Recent human rights campaigns against sex trafficking have focused on individual victims, treating trafficking as a criminal aberration in an otherwise just economic order. In Economies of Violence Jennifer Suchland directly critiques these explanations and approaches, as they obscure the reality that trafficking is symptomatic of complex economic and social dynamics and the economies of violence that sustain them. Examining United Nations proceedings on women's rights issues, government and NGO anti-trafficking policies, and campaigns by feminist activists, Suchland contends that trafficking must be understood not solely as a criminal, gendered, and sexualized phenomenon, but as operating within global systems of precarious labor, neoliberalism, and the transition from socialist to capitalist economies in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc. In shifting the focus away from individual victims, and by underscoring trafficking's economic and social causes, Suchland provides a foundation for building more robust methods for combatting human trafficking. (Summary from Duke University Press) 
 
Table of Contents: 
1. Sex Trafficking and the Making of a Feminist Subject of Analysis
 
2. The Natasha Trade and the Post-Cold War Reframing of Precarity
 
3. Second World/ Second Sex: Alternative Genealogies in Feminist Homogenous Empty Time
 
4. Lost in Transition: Postsocialist Trafficking and the Erasure of Systemic Violence
 
5. Freedom as Choice and the Neoliberal Economism of Trafficking Discourse
 
6. Conclusion: Antitrafficking Beyond the Carceral State

 

Topics: Economies, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Women, International Organizations, NGOs, Political Economies, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Trafficking, Sex Trafficking

Year: 2015

Resource Extraction and the Human Rights of Women and Girls

Citation:

Seck, Sara L., and Penelope Simons. 2019. "Resource Extraction and the Human Rights of Women and Girls." Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 31 (1): i-vii. 

Authors: Sara L. Seck, Penelope Simons

Annotation:

Summary:
"The relationship between women and resource extraction is complex and multi- faceted. Women may work within the extractive industry or in jobs that support or service the industry. They may be part of a community affected by resource extraction and suffer differentiated impacts to those of men, which are either linked to, among other things, their gender roles within the community, their intersectional vulnerability to violence, or as activists and leaders resisting resource extraction. Their roles and identities in their communities may change due to resource extraction, and they may suffer inequalities in relation to accessing the benefits of extractive projects" (Seck and Simons 2019, i). 

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender Roles, Rights, Human Rights

Year: 2019

Relations of Ruling: A Feminist Critique of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and Violence against Women in the Context of Resource Extraction

Citation:

Simons, Penelope, and Melisa Handl. 2019. "Relations of Ruling: A Feminist Critique of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and Violence against Women in the Context of Resource Extraction." Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 31 (1): 113-50.

Authors: Penelope Simons, Melisa Handl

Abstract:

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
L’extraction des ressources a des conséquences directes et indirectes sur les femmes, et la recherche a démontré que ces conséquences ne sont pas les mêmes pour les hommes. La violence à l’égard des femmes semble avoir des conséquences transversales. Pourtant, les États, les organismes intergouvernementaux, les différents intervenants et les groupes de l’industrie n’en ont pas tenu compte lorsqu’ils ont établi des normes pour minimiser l’effet des activités des entreprises extractives sur les droits de la personne. En utilisant les travaux de Dorothy Smith sur l’ethnographie institutionnelle, et surtout la textualité féministe, le présent article propose une analyse approfondie à plusieurs niveaux, d’un point de vue féministe, du Principes directeurs relatifs aux entreprises et aux droits de l’homme (PDNU), qui constitue l’un des textes centraux visant l’impunité des entreprises quant aux effets nuisibles genrés de leurs activités d’exploitation des ressources, et en particulier, de la violence faite aux femmes. Les auteures se demandent dans quelle mesure le texte du PDNU tient compte des femmes et de leurs intérêts. Pour répondre à cette interrogation, elles examinent la place que donne le texte au savoir et au traitement distinct des femmes par rapport aux activités des États et des entreprises et le situent dans le système juridique international genré issu du néolibéralisme. Elles démontrent ainsi que le PDNU est une méthode pour établir une « relation de pouvoir » déterminant le comportement des États et des entreprises envers les femmes. La structure et la nature des normes issues du texte non seulement ne reconnaissent pas les expériences des femmes et ne protègent pas leurs droits dans le domaine de l’extraction des ressources, mais aident également à perpétuer les structures patriarcales et néolibérales qui oppriment les femmes.
 
ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Resource extraction has both direct and indirect impacts on women, and research has shown that such impacts are differentiated from those on men. Violence against women appears to be a crosscutting impact. Yet states, intergovernmental organizations, multi-stakeholder initiatives, and industry groups have not taken this into consideration in the formulation of norms meant to address business-related human rights impacts. Drawing on Dorothy Smith’s work on institutional ethnography and, specifically, on feminist textuality, this article provides a close multi-level feminist analysis of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UN Guiding Principles), which are one of the central instruments designed to address corporate impunity for harm caused by business extraction in terms of their ability to address the gendered impacts of resource extraction and, in particular, violence against women. The authors consider the extent to which women and the interests of women are reflected in the text of the UN Guiding Principles, investigate the prioritization of knowledge and the differentiated treatment in the text of women compared to states and business enterprises, and situate the UN Guiding Principles within the neo-liberal gendered international legal system. They argue that UN Guiding Principles are a technology that establishes the “relations of ruling” with respect to state and business behaviour and women, and that the text, structure, and nature of these norms not only fail to acknowledge women’s experiences or to protect women’s rights in the realm of resource extraction but also help to perpetuate the patriarchal and neo-liberal structures that oppress women.

Topics: Environment, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, International Law, Justice, Impunity, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Violence

Year: 2019

Discipline and Punish: Gendered Dimensions of Violence in Extractive Development

Citation:

Deonandan, Kalowatie, and Colleen Bell. 2019. "Discipline and Punish: Gendered Dimensions of Violence in Extractive Development." Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 31 (1): 24-57. 

Authors: Kalowatie Deonandan, Colleen Bell

Abstract:

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
La violence et la répression exercées à l’encontre des militantes des droits du sol et de l’environnement qui s’opposent au développement de l’industrie de l’extraction (un groupe classé par les Nations Unies comme défenseurs des droits de la personne) ont été bien documentées par plusieurs organismes non gouvernementaux œuvrant dans le domaine. Malgré leur importance équivalente, des formes indirectes de violence touchant ces mêmes défenseurs, ainsi que leur nature genrée et leurs répercussions, sont moins connues. Le présent texte analyse le concept d’« institution disciplinaire », qui repose sur le concept de pouvoir disciplinaire de Michel Foucault, englobant tous les outils disciplinaires mobilisés contre les militantes contre l’exploitation minière, avec leurs conséquences genrées. L’« institution disciplinaire » renvoie aux pratiques qui neutralisent ou empêchent carrément l’opposition et la résistance politiques. Il s’agit d’un type de violence qui est à la fois implicite et explicite, et qui opère dans un continuum, depuis la délégitimation des militantes, par des campagnes de salissage, jusqu’au recours à des agents provocateurs locaux pour diriger la violence contre elles. Bien que de nombreux acteurs soient mobilisés dans cette campagne de surveillance et de punition, le présent article se penche plus spécifiquement sur le rôle joué par l’État et ses alliés (en particulier les sociétés minières transnationales et les forces paramilitaires qui les soutiennent). L’analyse s’appuie sur des exemples de situations partout dans le monde, mais plus spécifiquement sur les exploitations minières au cœur de la résistance au Guatemala.
 
ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Violence and repression unleashed against land and environmental activists who oppose extractive industry development (a group classified by the United Nations as human rights defenders) is well documented by a number of non-governmental organizations working in the field. Less known, but equally significant, however, are the more indirect forms of violence that target these defenders and the gendered nature and impacts of violence. This analysis draws on the concept of “discipling dissent,” which builds on Michel Foucault’s conceptualization of disciplinary power to examine the range of disciplinary tools marshalled against anti-mining activists and the gendered implications therein. “Disciplining dissent” refers to the practices though which political opposition and resistance are neutralized or precluded altogether. It is a type of violence that is both implicit and explicit, and it operates along a continuum, from the delegitimizing of activists, through techniques such as smear campaigns, to the use of local proxies as agents of violence, to direct violence against activists. While there are a host of actors involved in the campaign to discipline and punish, this article focuses on the role of the state and its allies (specifically, the transnational mining corporations and the paramilitary forces that support them) and draws on examples from around the globe, but it focuses, in particular, on mining operations in Guatemala that are sites of activist resistance.

Topics: Environment, Extractive Industries, Rights, Human Rights, Violence

Year: 2019

A Rights‐Based Approach to Indigenous Women and Gender Inequities in Resource Development in Northern Canada

Citation:

Koutouki, Konstantia, Katherine Lofts, and Giselle Davidian. 2018. "A Rights‐Based Approach to Indigenous Women and Gender Inequities in Resource Development in Northern Canada." Review of Euorpean, Comparative and International Environmental Law 27 (1): 63-74.

Authors: Konstantia Koutouki, Katherine Lofts, Giselle Davidian

Abstract:

In recent years, there has been an influx of investment in the Arctic, particularly in relation to the extractive industries. Yet in spite of their economic potential, extractive industry projects come with considerable social and environmental risks for northern indigenous communities. Within these communities, the associated challenges of resource development are felt most acutely by women; however, there is a lack of research and analysis concerning the gendered dimension of resource development in northern Canada through the lens of indigenous women's human rights. This article proposes the adoption of a rights‐based approach to address this issue, suggesting that such an approach can provide a coherent framework for enhancing the inclusion and well‐being of indigenous women in resource development, helping to ensure that Canada meets its human rights and constitutional obligations while furthering its commitment to reconciliation with indigenous peoples.

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Political Economies, Rights, Human Rights, Indigenous Rights Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2018

Resources and Resourcefulness: Gender, Human Rights and Resilience in Artisanal Mining Towns of Eastern Congo

Citation:

Perks, Rachel, Jocelyn Kelly, Stacie Constantian, and Phuong Pham. 2018. "Resources and Resourcefulness: Gender, Human Rights and Resilience in Artisanal Mining Towns of Eastern Congo." In Between the Plough and the Pick: Informal, Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in the Contemporary World, edited by Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt, 209-32. Action, ACT: ANU Press.

Authors: Rachel Perks, Jocelyn Kelly, Stacie Contsantian, Phuong Pham

Annotation:

Summary: 
"Few things evoke reactions as passionate as issues surrounding gender, conflict and mining in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). At once reviled by international advocacy organisations and celebrated by local communities, mining is viewed as both the scourge and the saviour of a region wrecked by decades of violence. Studies have reported on human rights as well as on the status of women in the DRC, and although some examine the link between mining and sex-based violence, little research explores the gender dimensions of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM). The research in this chapter was framed by questions such as: Do men and women face similar difficulties when seeking to gain employment in mining? Are they afforded similar opportunities once they have secured access into ASM? What are the most prevalent social, economic and health impacts experienced by individuals. Are these impacts gendered? A human rights–based approach informed the range of issues examined, such as gender, militarisation of the extraction process and free and equal participation in political, judicial and economic systems. By speaking with a wide variety of actors who live and work within these communities, we attempted to identify issues that are common to mining-affected areas. The experiences of both women and men were examined, but a particular focus remained on understanding women’s experiences in mining towns. Hence, the research was ultimately guided by the hypothesis that by understanding issues related to safety, security and economic opportunities for women, significant gains in both economic and social development in the eastern DRC could be achieved" (Perks et al. 2018, 209-10). 

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Gender Analysis, Rights, Human Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2018

Joint Titling in Rural Peru: Impact on Women’s Participation in Household Decision-Making

Citation:

Wiig, Henrik. 2013. “Joint Titling in Rural Peru: Impact on Women’s Participation in Household Decision-Making.” World Development 52: 104-19.

Author: Henrik Wiig

Keywords: land titling, gender, empowerment, intra-household decisions, Peru, Latin America

Annotation:

Summary: 
Peru has implemented joint property rights between spouses and cohabitants on 57% of 1.5 million formalized agricultural plots. Bargaining theory indicates such redistribution of assets should empower women. This project measures influence on decision-making in 1,280 rural households, interviewing men and women separately. A historical coincidence during the land reform of the 1960–70s made only some communities eligible for plot titling. The process was exogenous and independent of both household and community characteristics. The significantly positive impact on female empowerment in simple mean comparison and econometric models including pre-titling historic variables is hence unbiased. (Summary from original source) 


Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Peru

Year: 2013

Women’s Human Rights in a Changing Climate: Highlighting the Distributive Effects of Climate Policies

Citation:

Bendlin, Lena. 2014. “Women’s Human Rights in a Changing Climate: Highlighting the Distributive Effects of Climate Policies.” Cambridge Review of International Affairs 27 (4): 680–98. 

Author: Lena Bendlin

Abstract:

A women’s rights perspective can inform and structure research on climate policy impacts on women. To date, climate policy analysis has mostly considered women as agents of climate protection, that is, objects of mitigation policies, rather than subjects in their own right. However, climate change mitigation involves direct and indirect distributive effects depending on which sectors are involved, which instruments are chosen and how funds are obtained and allocated. Since gender roles impact on individual livelihoods and activities, distributive effects are likely to be gendered. This paper suggests that women’s human rights can be used as a framework for research aiming to fill this gap. They provide a well-developed, tested range of criteria for gender justice. Such assessments would allow for a more systematic and comprehensive understanding of the gendered distributive effects of climate policies, notably with regard to the particularly understudied situation in the industrialized world.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Justice, Livelihoods, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2014

Are Climate Challenges Reinforcing Child and Forced Marriage and Dowry as Adaptation Strategies in the Context of Bangladesh?

Citation:

Alston, Margaret, Kerri Whittenbury, Alex Haynes, and Naomi Godden. 2014. “Are Climate Challenges Reinforcing Child and Forced Marriage and Dowry as Adaptation Strategies in the Context of Bangladesh?” Women’s Studies International Forum 47 (November): 137–44.

Authors: Margaret Alston, Kerri Whittenbury, Alex Haynes, Naomi Godden

Annotation:

Summary:
This paper outlines the link between child and forced marriage, dowry and climate changes in Bangladesh. Drawing on a three year research study on the gendered impacts of climate change, we argue that climate crises are creating significant economic hardships. This has led to dowry being viewed by the families of young men as a form of capital accumulation. For the families of girls, dowry has become a significant burden, a burden that increases with the age of the girl. We argue that the economic crises created by climate challenges are leading to an increase in child and forced marriages because the dowry is cheaper. We conclude that attention to climate challenges must take a much broader focus on social consequences in order to protect the human rights of women and girls in vulnerable communities. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

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

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