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Intersectionality

“Drawing the Line” and Other Small-Scale Resistances: Exploring Agency and Ambiguity in Transnational Feminist and Queer NGOs

Citation:

Liinason, Mia (she/her/hers), 2021. “'Drawing the Line' and Other Small-Scale Resistances: Exploring Agency and Ambiguity in Transnational Feminist and Queer NGOs." International Feminist Journal of Politics 23 (1): 102-124.

Author: Mia Liinason

Abstract:

This article explores the workings of gender expertise inside the institutions of the international governance system as it engages with faith-based actors. Utilizing narratives of gender experts, documentary analysis, and observation, I focus on these experts’ encounters regarding gender equality and women’s rights with religious leaders, religious actors, and conservative governments. Focusing on episodes in which the terms “cultural difference” and “religion” are used synonymously, first, I show how encounters between transnational actors can play a role in hegemonic interpretations of these terms. Second, I explore how powerful actors can become more authoritative in making claims of cultural difference or how the existing distribution of power may be disrupted. I contend that these power relations affect discussions of gender equality. My goal is to contribute to feminist debates by highlighting the ways in which these transnational interactions disrupt assumptions of West versus East. Paying attention to these complex processes can challenge ethnocentric and racist discourses without taking claims of cultural difference at face value.

Keywords: 'feminism', queer, NGOs, transnational, neoliberalism

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Intersectionality, NGOs, Religion, Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2020

Ecowomanism: Buddhist-Christian Dialogue from a Womanist and Ecological Perspective

Citation:

Harris, Melanie L. 2020. "Ecowomanism: Buddhist-Christian Dialogue from a Womanist and Ecological Perspective." Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 36 (1): 123-9.

Author: Melanie L. Harris

Abstract:

Ecowomanism is an approach in religion and ecology that embraces the environmental justice paradigm: a theoretical lens through which one can examine the intersections among racial, economic, gender, and sexual injustice and how these forms of oppression converge with climate injustice. Here, Harris introduces ecowomanism as a multilayered approach to climate justice that can inform and be informed by Christian-Buddhist dialogue. In previous work, she has discussed the significance of an interfaith lens in the work of ecowomanism. Due to the drastic impact of climate change across religious groups, it is crucial to find shared language and bridge understanding about how people of various faiths and nonfaith can raise awareness and confront climate change together in the earth community. She argues that by moving through an eco-womanist method, activists and practitioners can engage comparative religious discourse about the shared and sometimes differing moral and ethical guidelines regarding care for the earth. 

Keywords: ecowomanism, eco-memory, justice

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Intersectionality, Justice, Race, Religion

Year: 2020

Continuums of Violence: Feminist Peace Research and Gender-based Violence

Citation:

Yadav, P., and D. M. Horn. 2021. “Continuums of Violence: Feminist Peace Research and Gender-Based Violence.” In Routledge Handbook of Feminist Peace Research, edited by T. Väyrynen, S. Parashar, Féron, and C. C. Confortini, 105–14. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

 

Authors: Punam Yadav, Denise M. Horn

Abstract:

This chapter looks specifically at gender-based violence directed towards women, acknowledging that gender-based violence is also experienced by men and boys. The continuum of violence is a constitutive relationship between different types of violence, from small acts of personal violence to large scale institutional violence. The chapter focuses on the links between “everyday” gender-based violence and violence associated with war as part of continuums of violence. Feminist lenses perceive gender and power dynamics in relation to violence and analyses the relationships between various types of violence, which are both spatial and temporal. The interrogation of Western (white) feminism is particularly important for feminist peace researchers and gives space to consider the varieties of “everyday violence” that are the consequences of paternalism and exploitation. Feminist postcolonial theorists and transnational feminist activists draw attention to intersecting identities and the historical contexts of colonial relations that reinforce continuums of violence as a global phenomenon embedded in every institution. (Abstract from Taylor & Francis)

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Domestic Violence, Feminisms, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Intersectionality, Peace and Security, Sexual Violence, SV against Women, Violence

Year: 2021

Communal Land Tenure Security for Widows in the Eenhana Constituency of the Ohangwena Region, Namibia

Citation:

Nakanyete, Ndapwea F., Romie V. Nghitevelekwa, Mark M. Matsa, John Mendelsohn, Selma Lendelvo, and Fanuel Shikale. 2020. “Communal Land Tenure Security for Widows in the Eenhana Constituency of the Ohangwena Region, Namibia.” Journal of International Women's Studies 21 (1): 131–47.

Authors: Ndapewa Fenny Nakanyete, Romie Vonkie Nghitevelekwa, Mark M. Matsa, John Mendelsohn, Selma Lendelvo, Fanuel Shikale

Abstract:

Namibia is characterized by a history of discriminatory customary practices against women with regards to access to land, rights over land, and security of land tenure. Since independence in 1990, the country has adopted policies and legislative frameworks to bring about gender equality in all spheres of life, including the transformation of land tenure rights. These policies and acts give effect to the constitutional provisions that accord both men and women equal opportunities for access to land, rights over land and security of tenure. Widows are a particularly singled-out social group for legal protection, land security and rights to land enjoyed during their spouses’ lifetimes, and are granted protection, at least on paper, from discriminatory practices such as unlawful land evictions. This article evaluates and analyses the current status of land tenure security for widows in the Eenhana Constituency of the Ohangwena Region in Namibia. The study employed both quantitative and qualitative methods through questionnaires, interviews and focus group discussions with widows, as well as key informant interviews with Communal Land Board representatives, members of the traditional authorities, as well as the Ministry of Land Reform’s regional office officials. Through this case study, the findings establish that even though Namibia acclaims progressive policies and legislative frameworks on gender equality, there are still pockets of discrimination against widows where they continue to be at risk of losing their land rights in some of Namibia’s communal areas. Addressing the land tenure insecurities and a guarantee of legal land rights for widows is key to reducing vulnerabilities within female-headed households in the communal areas. Traditional authorities remain a key governance structure in communal areas, particularly in relation to access to land, and land rights inheritance issues, amongst others. Similarly, the Communal Land Boards are statutory institutions mandated to ensure implementation of the provisions of the Communal Land Reform Act of 2002, including the protection of land rights for widows. The study therefore recommends three main measures: the removal of all forms of discriminatory customary practices against widows; continued awareness-raising initiatives on the rights of widows; and full implementation of legal provisions for the protection of widows’ land rights and security of tenure.

Keywords: widows, communal land, security, land tenure, land rights, inheritance, rural area, Namibia

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, Intersectionality, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Namibia

Year: 2020

Perceived Tenure (In)Security in the Era of Rural Transformation Gender-Disaggregated Analysis from Mozambique

Citation:

Ghebru, Hosaena, and Fikirte Girmachew. 2019. “Perceived Tenure (In)Security in the Era of Rural Transformation Gender-Disaggregated Analysis from Mozambique.” IFPRI Discussion Paper 017999 (2019): 1-33. 

 

Authors: Hosaena Ghebru, Fikirte Girmachew

Abstract:

This study examines the drivers of tenure insecurity in Mozambique using data from the National Agricultural Survey (TIA) 2014 as well as a follow-up supplemental survey with detailed land tenure gender-disaggregated data from three groups: namely, principal male, principal female, and female spouses. Perceived risk of land loss (collective tenure risk) and perceived risk of a private land dispute (individual tenure risk) are used to measure land tenure insecurity. The empirical findings reveal, overall, collective tenure risks are the real threat to women’s tenure security while individual tenure risks (ownership, inheritance, border disputes, etc.) are more of a threat to the tenure security of men. However, a more gender-disaggregated analysis reveals that individual tenure risk is higher among female spouses as compared to male heads within the same household. Moreover, perceived risk of land loss is higher among non-indigenous male heads while female spouses who have no control over family land are more likely to have higher perceived tenure insecurity. Results also show that land-related legal awareness seems to be more significant in dictating the (positively) perceived tenure security of women as compared to their male counterparts. Generally, tenure insecurity for female spouses seem to be associated with the emergence of land markets while relative land scarcity in a given community dictates tenure insecurity of the principal female (female heads). Hence, the empirical findings reinforce the need to complement ongoing efforts to enhance tenure security at the household and community level with gender-tailored/targeted programs that take into account the intra-household dimension of addressing issues of land tenure security.

Keywords: gender, Mozambique, Perception, rural transformation, tenure insecurity

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Gender Analysis, Men, Women, Intersectionality, Land Tenure, Security Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 2019

Toward 'Global Feminist Environmental Justice'

Citation:

Garvey, Michelle. 2011. “Toward ‘Global Feminist Environmental Justice’.” Feminist Formations 23 (2): 216–23.

 

Author: Michelle Garvey

Annotation:

Summary:
“This is a time of intense fossil-fuel consumption, unregulated oil mining, and catastrophic spills; a time when devastating hurricanes and tsunamis unmask centuries-long injustices; a time when corporate public relations, media, and entertainment capitalize on "green" rhetoric, further entrenching neoliberal ideals and usurping genuine, sustainable ecological responsibility. Today, environmental ills, as well as "environmentalist" responses to them, are nothing if not thoroughly globalized, multifaceted, and contradictory. Since the advent of ecofeminism in the 1970s, feminist environmentalists have provided the theoretical apparatuses and activist insight to demystify, contest, interpret, and often re-prioritize these complexities. In so doing, they amplify concerns that mainstream, neoliberal "envirocratic" organizations, policies, and government institutions traditionally ignore. Most fundamentally, these feminists take intersectionality to its radical in/conclusion by extending the concept of mutually reinforcing oppressive systems beyond the scope of the human to concern nonhuman beings, ecological systems, and biosocial relationships as well. This means that few, if any, global inequities escape the potential for feminist environmentalist theorizing, making the field among the most inclusive and expansive to date” (Garvey 2011, 216).

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Intersectionality

Year: 2011

Gender and Mobility: A Critical Introduction

Citation:

Penttinen, Elina, and Anitta Kynsilehto. 2017. Gender and Mobility: A Critical Introduction. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Authors: Elina Penttinen, Anitta Kynsilehto

Annotation:

Summary:
Our world is characterized by mobility. The number of refugees on the global scale has increased considerably. Meanwhile border control measures and legal avenues for mobility have been severely curbed, and the political climate has become all the more violent against racialized and gendered “Others”. Business elites traverse the fast-track lines to financial hubs and tourists discover new destinations. Ageing societies need people from abroad to perform care work. Domestic workers carve out nearer and further paths to reach employment, often leaving their family members behind in need of care. This book examines global mobilities from gendered perspectives, asking how gender together with race/ethnicity, social class, nationality and sexuality shape globally mobile lives. By developing analysis that cuts through economic structures, policies and individuals enacting agency, the book demonstrates how intersectional feminist analysis helps to comprehend uneven mobilities. Through multidisciplinary angle the book draws examples from different parts of the world and refuses to provide easy answers. Calling for students, scholars and general readers alike, the book invites the reader to imagine and relate to the world in manifold ways. (Summary from Google Books)

Topics: Class, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Economies, Care Economies, Gender, Gender Analysis, Intersectionality, Race, Sexuality

Year: 2017

Producing Homonormativity in Neoliberal South Africa: Recognition, Redistribution, and the Equality Project

Citation:

Oswin, Natalie. 2007. “Producing Homonormativity in Neoliberal South Africa: Recognition, Redistribution, and the Equality Project.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 32 (3): 649–69. 

Author: Natalie Oswin

Keywords: homosexuality, homonormativity, neoliberalism, South Africa, LGBTQ+

Annotation:

"When the NCGLE came into being, it opted to pursue a politics of strategic essentialism that ignored the ways in which class, race, and gender issues are inevitably intertwined with sexuality. Thus, it deepened community schisms along these lines and made its self- imposed task of building a strong, cohesive gay and lesbian movement in the postapartheid era that much more difficult. I suggest that its subsequent flawed attempts to bridge a politics of recognition with a meaningful politics of redistribution should not be read as a failure to address the needs of 'poor, black gays and lesbians'. Rather, it should be read as the only possible outcome. The NCGLE/EP did not manage to shake off the yoke of the binary that divides South Africa’s gay and lesbian community into haves and have-nots because it played a role in producing this binary. By serving as a euphemism for community in South African gay and lesbian political discourse, this figure offered a way for the NCGLE/EP to make itself relevant to its intended audience while molding that audience into a cohesive group. The 'poor, black gay and lesbian' is a caricature that played a starring role in the NCGLE/EP’s performance of recognition and redistribution. This figure is the product of the overlay of divisions within the gay and lesbian community onto the strategy of the organization that exacerbated them” (Oswin 2007, 666).

Topics: Intersectionality, LGBTQ, Political Participation Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2007

Mobilizing ‘Intersectionality’ in Environmental Justice Research and Action in a Time of Crisis

Citation:

Di Chiro, Giovanna. 2020. “Mobilizing ‘Intersectionality’ in Environmental Justice Research and Action in a Time of Crisis.” In Environmental Justice: Key Issues, edited by Brendan Coolsaet. Abingdon: Routledge.

Author: Giovanna Di Chiro

Abstract:

This chapter reviews the concept of “intersectionality,” describing its roots in Black feminist thought and social justice activism, and its focus on the synergistic relationship between critical inquiry and critical praxis. It examines how scholars and activists use intersectionality to reveal multiple and interlocking identities and injustices that, when made visible, enable coalition building to eliminate all systems of oppression across a wide spectrum of social movements. I analyze how environmental justice activists mobilize intersectionality for environmental change by building coalitions across racial, gender/sexual, class, ethnic, and national differences, contrasting this approach with mainstream environmental and climate movements’ use of the universalizing discourse of the “global commons.” Further, drawing on the social and political construct of the “undercommons,” a critical, abolitionist praxis focused on dismantling colonial institutions and co-creating new forms of research and action, I conclude with examples from my engagement with intersectional environmental justice theory and coalition building with my students and community partners in Philadelphia.

Topics: Class, Environment, Climate Change, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Intersectionality, Race

Year: 2020

Climate Change Politics in the UK: A Feminist Intersectional Analysis

Citation:

Wilson, Joanna. 2017. “Climate Change Politics in the UK: A Feminist Intersectional Analysis.” Paper presented at ECPR General Conference, Oslo, September 6-9.

Author: Joanna Wilson

Abstract:

Despite growing concern of environmental and climate justice, the issue of gender and climate change has, to date, received comparatively little scholarly attention. What is lacking is empirical evidence showing the ways in which overwhelmingly masculinised discourses of climate change can exacerbate or entrench existing inequalities, such as the gendered division of labour or the feminisation of poverty. Currently, the majority of gender and climate change scholarship, and most gender and climate change focused NGOs, perpetuate a narrative of impacts and vulnerabilities of women in the Global South. While this has been critical in ensuring recognition of gender in climate politics, it has arguably kept the construction of women firmly rooted in problematic narratives of subdued, passive women in need of masculine protection. In this paper, therefore, we explore how gender priorities are considered in contemporary policy. We do so by first highlighting the ways in which UK climate change politics can, or does, exacerbate the gendered division of environmental labour through: the ‘good jobs’ in masculinised professions, performed by men; the ‘dirty’ jobs in recycling, performed by migrant labourers; and the ‘household’ jobs or reproductive work, performed by women. Finally, we conclude by offering insights into how gender experts and activists can respond to a changing political climate.

Keywords: climate change politics, gender, feminism, intersectionality, environmental justice

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Discourses, Intersectionality Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2017

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