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Human Security

Gender Justice and Rights in Climate Change Adaptation: Opportunities and Pitfalls

Citation:

Tschakert, Petra, and Mario Machado. 2012. “Gender Justice and Rights in Climate Change Adaptation: Opportunities and Pitfalls.” Ethics and Social Welfare 6 (3): 275–89.

Authors: Petra Tschakert, Mario Machado

Abstract:

We present three rights-based approaches to research and policies on gender justice and equity in the context of climate change adaptation. After a short introduction, we describe the dominant discourse that frames climate change and provide an overview of the literature that has depicted women both as vulnerable victims of climatic change and as active agents in adaptive responses. Discussion follows on the shift from gendered impacts to gendered adaptive capacities and embodied experiences, highlighting the continuing impact of social biases and institutional practices that shape unequal access to and control over household and community decision-making processes undermining timely, fair, and successful adaptive responses. Assessment of rights-based frameworks considers the space they provide in addressing persistent gender and other inequalities, at different political and operational scales. We argue that a human security framework is useful to fill the gap in current gender and climate justice work, particularly when implemented through the entry point of adaptive social protection. Gender justice in climate change adaptation is an obligation for transformational social change, not just rights. The time is ripe to replace narrow-minded vulnerability studies with a contextualized understanding of our mutual fragility and a commitment to enhanced livelihood resilience, worldwide.

Keywords: human security, adaptive social protection, gendered adaptive capacity, embodied experiences, interconnectedness, mutual fragility, connectedness, Inequalities

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Justice, Rights, Security, Human Security

Year: 2012

Whose Recovery? IFI Prescriptions for Postwar States

Citation:

Cohn, Carol, and Claire Duncanson. 2020. “Whose Recovery? IFI Prescriptions for Postwar States.” Review of International Political Economy. 27 (6): 1214-34.

Authors: Carol Cohn, Claire Duncanson

Abstract:

In this article we argue that a feminist political economy (FPE) approach is critical in understanding why standard policy prescriptions for postwar economic recovery fail to support the building of sustainably peaceful countries and secure lives for their citizens. Whilst many scholars criticize the IFIs’ policies in war-affected countries, our FPE approach provides two overlooked but crucial insights. First, it reveals the disjunction (indeed, chasm) between a country’s economic recovery from war and the IFIs’ focus on the recovery of the economic system. Second, it locates the conceptual underpinnings of this chasm in the profoundly gendered assumptions of neoclassical economics. That is, we find the IFIs’ failure to prioritize financing the social infrastructure that could repair war’s damages, enhance human security, and support the ecosystems on which human security depends has its roots in the fundamental misconception of human reproductive, caring and subsistence labor, and of nature, as external to the economy rather than as central to the ability of the formal economy to function. We illustrate these points with a focus on one pervasive example of the IFIs’ approach to postwar recovery, their encouragement of the large-scale extraction and export of natural resources. Finally, we show how adopting the work of feminist economists who emphasize care, social reproduction and the value of nature, though not without its challenges, can offer radically new visions for postwar economies.

Keywords: feminist economics, feminist political economy, IFIs, peacebuilding, postwar economic recovery, security, sustaining peace, women, natural resources, extractivism, gender, World Bank, IMF

Topics: Economies, Feminist Economics, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Women, International Financial Institutions, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Security, Human Security

Year: 2020

The Smokescreen Effect: Rethinking the Gender Dimension of Climate, Migration and Security

Citation:

Resurrección, Bernadette P., and Edsel E. Sajor. 2012. “The Smokescreen Effect: Rethinking the Gender Dimension of Climate, Migration and Security.” In Climate Change, Migration and Human Security in Southeast Asia, edited by Lorraine Elliott Edito, 60-73. Singapore: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

Authors: Bernadette P. Resurrección, Edsel E. Sajor

Annotation:

Summary:
“The starting point for this chapter, as with others in the volume, is that people may adapt to the negative effects of climate change by migrating. Their choice may be constrained, and at the same time influenced, by gender-related vulnerabilities embedded in norms and relations of power. Yet, one of the big silences in the discourse on the securitization of climate change-induced migration is the gender dimensions of such migration. At the same time, the rapidly growing literature on gender and climate change has largely ignored migration issues. It appears that scholars who work on issues related to gender and the environment do not also work on gender and migration issues. In general terms, gender-blind research neglects the fundamental ways in which climate change-induced migration and its impacts will differ for women and men. The focus of this chapter then is to shed light on the complex workings of gender in climate change-induced migration. It takes the view that there is much to learn from the literature on gender and disaster, where displacement and resettlement figure as responses to hazards and extreme events. First, the chapter argues that there should be more sustained focus on the gender-related vulnerabilities that may influence and constrain migration as an adaptation option. These vulnerabilities may lead to adverse ways and outcomes of migration, with attendant implications for the human security of women migrants. Second, it is emphasised that vulnerability is not intrinsic to, nor does it derive from, any one factor such as “being a woman” or “being a migrant”. Instead, some groups and persons are more vulnerable than others because of the specific configuration of practices, processes and power relations embedded in particular societies. Finally, the chapter signposts possible pathways for enhancing people’s human security by addressing gender-related vulnerabilities when migration is employed as an option for climate change adaptation” (Resurreccion & Edsel 2012, 60-1).

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Migration, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Security, Human Security

Year: 2012

Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy and Human Security Compared

Citation:

Smith, Heather, and Tari Ajadi. 2020. “Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy and Human Security Compared.” International Journal: Canada’s Journal of Global Policy Analysis 75 (3): 367–82.

Authors: Heather Smith, Tari Ajadi

Abstract:

Canadian federal governments regularly try to craft a unique image of Canada in the world; however, the Trudeau government’s embrace of feminist foreign policy feels strikingly similar to the late 1990s when human security was embraced. There seems to be a “sameness” in the promotion of a progressive values-based discourse that has transformative potential for Canadian foreign policy. The question is, does this sense of sameness bear out when we dig into the comparison? Drawing on speeches given by government ministers; policy documents, such as the Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP); media; and scholarship, we compare and contrast analyses of the sources of the human security and feminist foreign policy discourses and then identify common critiques. We also examine two significant differences. We find there is consistent Liberal articulation of values-based discourses and policies that have unmet transformative potential. In both cases, style and rhetoric are privileged over transformative change.

Keywords: human security, feminist, Canadian foreign policy, feminist foreign policy, gender

Topics: Feminist Foreign Policy, Gender, Security, Human Security Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2020

Pathways among Human Security, Gender, and HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa

Citation:

O'Manique, Colleen, and Sandra J. MacLean. 2010. “Pathways among Human Security, Gender, and HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue Canadienne Des Études Africaines 44 (3): 457-78.

 

Authors: Colleen O'Manique, Sandra J. MacLean

Abstract:

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
La théorie traditionnelle de la sécurité perçoit les préoccupations d'ordre sanitaire comme menaces isolées à l'intérêt national, séparés analytiquement de leurs causes et contextes sociaux et politico-économiques élargis. Si la notion de la sécurité humaine est limitée à ces mêmes paramètres, comme dans la définition étroite de la sécurité humaine comme "absence de la peur," et que la santé n'est perçue comme question de sécurité qu'une fois qu' apparaît la violence ouverte, en particulier la violence militaire, le potentiel tant explicatif qu'émancipateur de la notion est diminuée. Cependant, un vaste concept de la sécurité humaine qui englobe "l'absence du besoin" offre un espace conceptuel permettant d'identifier et d'analyser la nature des relations sociales, politiques et économiques qui caractérisent aujourd'hui les problèmes de santé mondiaux, tels que le VIH/sida. Dans le cadre conceptuel de la sécurité humaine, une analyse qui éclaire les dimensions sexospécifiques de la sécurité humaine — en termes de prédisposition individuelle à la maladie, d'accès au traitement et de d'impacts sur les moyens de subsistance — est essentielle afin de fournir des éclairements pouvant orienter des politiques efficaces contre le VIH/sida. En outre, les politiques doivent prendre en compte les multiples facteurs sociaux, culturels, économiques et politiques qui déterminent le cheminement de la maladie.
 
ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Traditional security theory has treated health concerns as isolated threats to national interest, separated analytically from their broader social and political economy causes and contexts. If the concept of human-security is restricted to these same parameters, as in the narrow definition of human security as "freedom from fear," and health is considered to be an issue of security only when overt physical, especially military, violence is involved, the explanatory as well as emancipatory potential of the concept is diminished. However, a broad concept of human security that encompasses "freedom from want" offers a conceptual space for identifying and analyzing the relevant social, political and economic connections that characterize contemporary global health problems such as HIV/AIDS. Within the conceptual framework of human security, a gender analysis that illuminates the gender dimensions of human security — in terms of individual disease risk, access to treatment, and impacts on livelihood — is critical to providing insights to guide effective policy on HIV/AIDS. Also, policies need to take into account the multiple social, cultural, economic and political factors that determine the disease pathways.
 

Topics: Economies, Gender, Gender Analysis, Health, HIV/AIDS, Livelihoods, Security, Human Security

Year: 2010

Human Security, Gender-Based Violence and the Spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa: A Feminist Analysis

Citation:

Thomas, Lahoma, and Rebecca Tiessen. 2010. "Human Security, Gender-Based Violence and the Spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa: A Feminist Analysis." Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue Canadienne Des Études Africaines 44 (3): 479-502.

Authors: Lahoma Thomas , Rebecca Tiessen

Abstract:

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
La santé et la sécurité des femmes de tous âges sont menacées en situations de conflit et d'après-conflit partout en Afrique. La violence sexuelle et sexiste et la propagation du virus de l'immunodéficience humaine/syndrome d'immunodéficience acquise (VIH/sida) sont autant d'armes utilisées en périodes de conflit, mais elles ont aussi des effets à long terme sur la santé et la sécurité postconflictuelles des femmes et des jeunes filles. Cet article s'appuie sur des recherches empiriques et pratiques menées en Ouganda entre 2007 et 2008 auprès de membres de collectivités du nord de l'Ouganda victimes de la violence sexuelle et sexiste et des intervenants auprès des victimes du viol et des personnes séropositives. Les résultats de ces recherches empiriques soulignent la persistance de la violence faite aux femmes en situation d'après-conflit et pourquoi l'expression de cette violence doit être placée dans le contexte de la sexospécificité et des masculinités. Nos résultats mettent en évidence la façon dont la violence faite aux femmes en situation d'après-conflit (en particulier, la violence domestique envers les femmes, l'inceste et la maltraitance sexuelle des enfants) sert à réaffirmer la masculinité et à récupérer le sens de la virilité mis en cause lors de conflits quand les membres masculins de la communauté ont été incapables de protéger leurs familles.
 
ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Women and girls face specific health and human security threats in conflict and post-conflict situations throughout Africa. Gender and sexual-based violence (GSBV) and the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) are weapons used in conflict, but they also have long term effects on the human security and well-being of women and girls post-conflict. This article draws on empirical and field research carried out in Uganda between 2007 and 2008 with community members in northern Uganda who have experienced GSBV and those who are working to help survivors of rape and HIV infection. The findings from empirical research carried out in northern Uganda underscores the ongoing violence women face in a post-conflict environment and why the expression of violence against women must be understood in the context of gender relations and masculinities. Our findings highlight the ways in which violence against women in post-conflict situations (particularly domestic abuse against women, incest and child sexual assaults) is used to re-assert masculinities and to reclaim a sense of manhood that was challenged during the conflict when male community members were unable to protect their families.

Topics: Domestic Violence, Gender, Women, Girls, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Health, HIV/AIDS, Post-Conflict, Security, Human Security, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against Women Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2010

Women's Vulnerability to Climate Change: Gender-skewed Implications on Agro-based Livelihoods in Rural Zvishavane, Zimbabwe

Citation:

Chidakwa, Patience, Clifford Mabhena, Blessing Mucherera, Joyline Chikuni, and Chipo Mudavanhu. 2020. "Women's Vulnerability to Climate Change: Gender-skewed Implications on Agro-based Livelihoods in Rural Zvishavane, Zimbabwe." Indian Journal of Gender Studies 27 (2): 259-81.

Authors: Patience Chidakwa, Clifford Mabhena, Blessing Mucherera, Joyline Chikuni, Chipo Mudavanhu

Abstract:

Climate change presents a considerable threat to human security, with notable gender disproportions. Women's vulnerability to climate change has implications on agro-based livelihoods, especially the rural populace. The primary purpose of this study was to assess women's vulnerability to climate change and the gender-skewed implications on agro-based livelihoods in rural Zvishavane, Zimbabwe. A qualitative approach that used purposive sampling techniques was adopted. Data was collected through 20 in-depth interviews with 11 de jure and 9 de facto small-scale female-headed farmer households. Two focus group discussions with mixed de facto and de jure small-scale female-headed farmer households were also conducted. Five key informant interviews were held with departmental heads of the Ministry of Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development; the Agriculture Technical Extension Service Department; the Livestock Production Department; the Runde Rural District Council and the Meteorological Services Department. Gendered effects were noted in terms of increased roles and responsibilities for women. Observations showed that there was an increase in distances travelled by women to fetch water owing to a depleted water table. Climate-induced migration of men due to depleted livelihoods in rural areas has also increased roles and responsibilities for women. The traditional male responsibilities assumed by women included cattle herding and ox-driven ploughing. This study concluded that adaptation strategies towards vulnerability to climate change have to be gender-sensitive and area-specific. This study also recommended that response programmes and policies meant to curb existing gendered vulnerabilities should be informed by evidence because climate-change effects are unique for different geographical areas. Moreover, adaptation activities should be mainstreamed in community processes so as to reduce the burden on women and increase sustainability opportunities.

Keywords: de facto household head, de jure household head, gender, smallholder farmers, vulnerability, climate change

Topics: Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Roles, Households, Livelihoods, Security, Human Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zimbabwe

Year: 2020

The Nuclear Ban and the Patriarchy: a Feminist Analysis of Opposition to Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons

Citation:

Acheson, Ray. 2019. “The Nuclear Ban and the Patriarchy: a Feminist Analysis of Opposition to Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons.” Critical Studies on Security 7 (1): 78-82.

Author: Ray Acheson

Abstract:

Opposed by some of the world’s most powerful states, the coalition of actors that promoted the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons encountered rigid international power structures. These structures are in part maintained through the deployment of patriarchal tactics and rhetoric to suppress the perspectives and agency of those who might challenge those in a dominant position. In this way, banning nuclear weapons can be read as an act of challenging patriarchy and building space for alternative approaches to politics, including feminist and human-security-based approaches.

Topics: Feminisms, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, International Organizations, Security, Human Security, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Year: 2019

Women and Nation-Building

Citation:

Benard, Cheryl, Seth G. Jones, Olga Oliker, Cathryn Quantic Thurston, Brooke K. Stearns, and Kristen Cordell. 2008. Women and Nation-Building. Santa Monica: RAND Corporation.

Authors: Cheryl Benard, Seth G. Jones, Olga Oliker, Cathryn Quantic Thurston, Brooke K. Stearns, Kristen Cordell

Annotation:

Summary:
"The challenge of nation-building, i.e., dealing with the societal and political aftermaths of conflicts and putting new governments and new social compacts into place, has occupied much international energy during the past several decades. As an art, a process, and a set of competencies, it is still very much in an ongoing learning and experimentation phase. The RAND Corporation has contributed to the emerging knowledge base in this domain through a series of studies that have looked at nation-building enterprises led by the United States and others that were led by the United Nations and have examined the experiences gained during the reconstruction of specific sectors. Our study focuses on gender and nation-building. It considers this issue from two aspects: First, it examines gender-specific impacts of conflict and post-conflict and the ways in which events in these contexts may affect women differently than they affect men. Second, it analyzes the role of women in the nation-building process, in terms of both actual current practices, as far as these could be measured and ascertained, and possible outcomes that might occur if these practices were to be modified.

The study team first surveyed the broader literature on women in development, women and governance, women and conflict, and women in nation-building. It then focused on the case of Afghanistan. This case study was chosen for three reasons: First, it is contemporary, and it offers a longer nation-building “track record” and thus more data than does Iraq, the other contemporary case. Second, the relevant debate and decision line is easy to track because gender issues have been overtly on the table from the beginning of U.S. post-conflict involvement in Afghanistan, in part because of the Taliban’s equally overt prior emphasis on gender issues as a defining quality of its regime. Third, in contrast to earlier cases of nation-building, the issue of women’s inclusion is presently an official part of any development agenda, so that all the active agents in the nation-building enterprise have made conscious choices and decisions in that regard which can be reviewed and their underlying logic evaluated.

The study concludes with a broad set of analytic and policy recommendations. First, we identify the gaps in data collection and provide specific suggestions for improvement. Then, we recommend three shifts in emphasis that we believe are likely to strengthen the prospects of stability and enhance the outcomes of nation-building programs: a more genuine emphasis on the broader concept of human security from the earliest phases of the nation-building effort; a focus on establishing governance based on principles of equity and consistent rule of law from the start; and economic inclusion of women in the earliest stages of reconstruction activities” (Benard, Jones, Oliker, Thurston, Stearns, and Cordell 2008, xiii).

Table of Contents:
1. Introduction
 
2. The Security Dimension and Women
 
3. Planning and Implementing Programs for Women's Health and Education: Building Indicators of Success
 
4. Governance and Women
 
5. Economic Participation and Women
 
6. A Case Study: The National Solidarity Program
 
7. Recommendations

Topics: Development, Economies, Conflict, Education, Gender, Governance, Health, International Organizations, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Security, Human Security Regions: Americas, North America, Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, United States of America

Year: 2008

Understanding Gender and Access to Healthcare for Resettled Women in Post-War Northern Sri Lanka Through Intersectionality

Citation:

Radhakrishnan, Bharathi. 2019. "Understanding Gender and Access to Healthcare for Resettled Women in Post-War Northern Sri Lanka Through Intersectionality." PhD diss., University of Massachusetts Boston.

Author: Bharathi Radhakrishnan

Annotation:

Summary:
"Ensuring human security post-war is essential for effective reconstruction efforts and attaining a sustainable peace. This involves establishing people’s access to basic needs, including healthcare, and addressing their health security. Sri Lanka is hailed for its impressive health indicators and public health services. However, its national indicators do not accurately reflect the health context in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. Additionally, research on post-war access to healthcare for resettled, formerly displaced communities, particularly women, is sparse. Given this gap, this study investigated barriers to resettled women’s efforts in post-war Jaffna, Sri Lanka to access healthcare.
 
This qualitative study utilized the methodology of phenomenology with the methods of interviews (35 with resettled women; 32 with key  informants) and focus groups (four with 19 resettled women) to explore the lived experiences of resettled women of reproductive age (18 to 49) in two villages in the district of Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka. Participants, who all gave informed consent, were recruited through purposive and snowball sampling. Women were recruited from two contrasting villages – a more rural, predominantly Tamil village, and a predominantly Muslim village closer to the urban center. The conceptual framework used was the socio-ecological model through a gender and intersectionality lens. Two main themes emerged that influence the women’s ability to access healthcare: (1) their perceptions of and experiences with public health staff/providers and resources, and (2) their perceptions of and behaviors within their village and home contexts. Various factors within society also affect the women’s human security and thus their ability to access healthcare. The main finding from this study indicates that the intersectionality of the women’s household income and gender (specifically gender hierarchies, norms, relations, and roles) in the home impacts their ability to access health services in post-war Jaffna, more so than ethnicity. This illustrates the importance of looking beyond solely the influence of ethnicity on people’s access to basic needs postwar. This study also demonstrates the key effect of gender dynamics on women’s access to and experience of health services in post-war Jaffna, including implications for Sri Lanka’s greater reconstruction and sustainable peace efforts" (Radhakrishnan 2019, 4-5).

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Health, Households, Livelihoods, Peace and Security, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Peace Processes, Security, Human Security Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 2019

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