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Intersectionality

‘Less Able’: How Gendered Subjectivities Warp Climate Change Adaptation in Ghana’s Central Region

Citation:

Garcia, Alicea, Petra Tschakert, and Nana Afia Karikari. 2020. “‘Less Able’: How Gendered Subjectivities Warp Climate Change Adaptation in Ghana’s Central Region.” Gender, Place & Culture 27 (11): 1602–27.

Authors: Alicea Garcia, Petra Tschakert, Nana Afia Karikari

Abstract:

Vulnerabilities to climate change and adaptive action vary based on social differences that are bound up in complex power dynamics in any given place, culture, or context. Scholarly interest has shifted from gendered dynamics of climate change adaptation to the socio-political drivers of gendered inequalities that produce discriminatory opportunities for adaptation. This study utilises an intersectional subjectivities lens to examine how entrenched power dynamics and social norms related to gender, as well as age and marital status, galvanise or inhibit capacities to adapt in farming communities of Ghana’s Central Region. Through the use of interviews, focus group discussions, and photovoice sessions, we highlight gendered and intersectional subjectivities, roles, and responsibilities that centre on perceived differences in men’s and women’s strength and power. We then link resulting normative performances of gender to specific barriers to adaptation, such as lack of resources and agency, and demonstrate a pronounced dichotomy as women experience the brunt of these barriers and a persistent power imbalance that positions them as ‘less able’ to adapt than men. Such nuanced assessments of intersectional subjectivities are instrumental in supporting marginalised groups when deliberating and renegotiating inequitable power relations in climate change adaptation. Through repeated efforts at power subversion, emboldened social actors and critical scholars attuned to navigating power differentials can strengthen adaptive capacities and facilitate trajectories toward transformation.

Keywords: agriculture, gendered inequalities, power, (re)negotiation, subjectivities, transformational adaptation

Topics: Age, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Intersectionality Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2020

Intersectionality and Collective Action: Visioning a Feminist Green New Deal in the US

Citation:

Daniel, Tara, and Mara Dolan. 2020. “Intersectionality and Collective Action: Visioning a Feminist Green New Deal in the US.” Gender & Development 28 (3): 515–33.

Authors: Tara Daniel, Mara Dolan

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
In the wake of the introduction of the Resolution for a Green New Deal to the US House of Representatives in 2019, feminist climate justice activists and organisers initiated and cultivated the Feminist Coalition for a Green New Deal. The Coalition advances an intersectional feminist analysis as part of the national conversation about the Green Deal, which entails elucidating and enacting processes for coalition-formation and creating shared values, principles, and policy positions. This article shares insights from interviews with five Coalition members about the relevance of the Coalition’s creation, operating processes, and key outcomes –namely the principles for a Feminist Green New Deal – for communities, advocates, and policymakers, particularly in this moment of reckoning with a global pandemic. Their reflections illustrate their fervent dedication to the feminist tool of intersectional analysis, their proposals for an alternative economy centred on principles of care and regeneration as the essential scaffolding for a Feminist Green New Deal, and their commitment to the power of collective action as the most effective means of movement building. The responses also demonstrate the interconnectedness of feminist climate advocacy with feminist development critiques, the essentiality of a comprehensive reframing of governments’ general policy processes and aims, and the criticality of movement building that is intentional and responsive.

 

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
Au lendemain de l’introduction de la Résolution pour une Nouvelle donne verte auprès de la Chambre des représentants des États-Unis en 2019, les activistes et organisateurs féministes de la justice climatique aux États-Unis ont initié et cultivé la Coalition féministe pour une Nouvelle donne verte (Feminist Coalititon for a Green New Deal). Cette coalition met en avant une analyse féministe intersectionnelle comme élément de cette conversation nationale, qui suppose l’éclaircissement et la promulgation de processus de formation de coalitions et la création de valeurs, principes et positions de politiques communs. Cet article propose des aperçus tirés d’entretiens avec cinq membres de la coalition sur la pertinence de la création, des processus d’opération et des résultats clés de la coalition - c’est-à-dire les principes d’une Nouvelle donne verte féministe - pour les communautés, les défenseurs et les décideurs, a fortiori alors même que nous sommes confrontés à une pandémie mondiale. Leurs réflexions illustrent leur fervent dévouement envers l’outil féministe de l’analyse intersectionnelle, leurs propositions concernant une économie alternative axée sur les principes des soins et de la régénération comme échafaudage essentiel pour une Nouvelle donne verte féministe, et leur engagement en faveur du pouvoir de l’action collective comme moyen le plus efficace de bâtir un mouvement. Les réponses démontrent également l’interconnectivité des activités de plaidoyer féministes en matière de climat et des critiques féministes du développement, le caractère essentiel d’une reformulation
complète des processus et objectifs de politique générale des gouvernements, et l’importance critique d’une construction de mouvements intentionnelle et réactive.

 

SPANISH ABSTRACT:
Una vez que la Resolución para un Nuevo Trato Verde fue introducida en la Cámara de Representantes de los Estados Unidos en 2019, activistas y organizadoras feministas en torno a la justicia climática de este país dieron inicio y cultivaron la Coalición Feminista para un Nuevo Trato Verde. Como parte de esta conversación nacional, dicha Coalición realizó un análisis feminista intersectorial, cuyo propósito apuntaba a elucidar y promulgar procesos para la formación de coaliciones, así como a crear valores, principios y propiciar posiciones políticas compartidos. En el presente artículo se examinan ideas surgidas de entrevistas realizadas con cinco miembros de la coalición respecto a la relevancia que asignan a su creación, sus procesos operativos y sus resultados clave —es decir, los principios para un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde Feminista— orientados a comunidades, defensores y responsables encargados de la formulación de políticas, sobre todo en un momento en que, debido a la pandemia mundial, se experimenta una nueva realidad. Sus reflexiones dan cuenta del uso que hacen de la herramienta feminista llamada análisis interseccional y de su ferviente dedicación a impulsar sus propuestas en pos de una economía alternativa centrada en los principios de cuidado y regeneración. Estos elementos resultan esenciales para construir el andamiaje básico de un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde Feminista, a lo que se suma su compromiso de impulsar el poder de la acción colectiva como el medio más eficaz para fortalecer el movimiento. Asimismo, las respuestas suscitadas en las entrevistas revelan la interconexión existente entre la incidencia feminista en torno al clima y las críticas feministas del desarrollo, la necesidad de un replanteamiento integral de los procesos y los objetivos de política general de los gobiernos, y la importancia crítica implícita en el hecho de que la construcción de movimientos sea intencional y responda a las necesidades de este periodo crítico.

Keywords: gender equality, feminism, feminist analysis, intersectionality, movement building, collective action, climate change, Green New Deal

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Feminist Economics, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Intersectionality, Political Participation Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2020

Gendered Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change

Citation:

Alston, Margaret. 2020. “Gendered Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change.” In Routledge Handbook of Gender and Agriculture, edited by Carolyn E. Sachs, Leif Jensen, Paige Castellanos, and Kathleen Sexsmith, 137-48. Abingdon: Routledge.

Author: Margaret Alston

Abstract:

This chapter challenges the notion of women as either undifferentiated vulnerable victims of climate change events or virtuous defenders of environmental health, arguing the need for a complex attention to the intersectional factors that shape gender vulnerability in the face of climate disasters. Offering a nuanced assessment of vulnerability, adaptation, and resilience, the chapter argues for a commitment to transformative resilience to address the potential for gender inequalities to be cemented by climate-based actions. Noting the widespread dominance of climate denial amongst policy makers and the slow and incremental attention to gender at international climate forums, the chapter notes the need for critical attention to gender. Outlining the gender impacts of health impacts, food and water insecurity, and displacement, the chapter notes that gender, poverty, and rurality are critical elements of vulnerability. Moving forward the chapter calls for attention to the complexity of gender and power relations in climate change policies and practices to give the lie to the simplistic notion of women as vulnerable or virtuous.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Intersectionality, Security, Food Security

Year: 2020

Intersectionality and Energy Transitions: A Review of Gender, Social Equity and Low-Carbon Energy

Citation:

Johnson, Oliver W., Jenny Yi-Chen Han, Anne-Louise Knight, Sofie Mortensen, May Thazin Aung, Michael Boyland, and Bernadette P. Resurrección. 2020. “Intersectionality and Energy Transitions: A Review of Gender, Social Equity and Low-Carbon Energy.” Energy Research & Social Science 70. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2020.101774.

Authors: Oliver W. Johnson, Jenny Yi-Chen Han, Anne-Louise Knight, Sofie Mortensen, May Thazin Aung, Michael Boyland, Bernadette P. Resurrección

Abstract:

Transitions to low-carbon energy systems are essential to meeting global commitments to climate change mitigation. Yet “greening” energy systems may not make them any fairer, inclusive or just. In this paper, we review the academic literature to understand the state of knowledge on how diffusion of low-carbon technologies impacts gender and social equity in intersectional ways. Our findings indicate that renewable energy projects alone cannot achieve gender and social equity, as energy interventions do not automatically tackle the structural dynamics embedded within socio-cultural and socio-economic contexts. If existing power asymmetries related to access and resource distribution are not addressed early on, the same structural inequalities will simply be replicated and transferred over into new energy regimes.

Keywords: energy transitions, low-carbon energy, climate change, renewable energy, social equity, gender equality

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Infrastructure, Energy, Intersectionality

Year: 2020

Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics

Citation:

Crenshaw, Kimberle. 1989. “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics.” University of Chicago Legal Forum 1 (8): 139-67.

Author: Kimberle Crenshaw

Annotation:

Summary:
"One of the very few Black women's studies books is entitled 'All the Women Are White; All the Blacks Are Men, But Some of Us are Brave'. I have chosen this title as a point of departure in my efforts to develop a Black feminist criticism because it sets forth a problematic consequence of the tendency to treat race and gender as mutually exclusive categories of experience and analysis. In this talk, I want to examine how this tendency is perpetuated by a single-axis framework that is dominant in antidiscrimination law and that is also reflected in feminist theory and antiracist politics" (Crenshaw 1989, 139)

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Intersectionality, Race

Year: 1989

Beyond Dichotomies: Gender and Intersecting Inequalities in Climate Change Studies

Citation:

Djoudi, Houria. 2016. “Beyond Dichotomies: Gender and Intersecting Inequalities in Climate Change Studies.” Ambio 45 (3): 248–62.

Author: Houria Djoudi

Abstract:

Climate change and related adaptation strategies have gender-differentiated impacts. This paper reviews how gender is framed in 41 papers on climate change adaptation through an intersectionality lens. The main findings show that while intersectional analysis has demonstrated many advantages for a comprehensive study of gender, it has not yet entered the field of climate change and gender. In climate change studies, gender is mostly handled in a men-versus-women dichotomy and little or no attention has been paid to power and social and political relations. These gaps which are echoed in other domains of development and gender research depict a ‘feminization of vulnerability’ and reinforce a ‘victimization’ discourse within climate change studies. We argue that a critical intersectional assessment would contribute to unveil agency and emancipatory pathways in the adaptation process by providing a better understanding of how the differential impacts of climate change shape, and are shaped by, the complex power dynamics of existing social and political relations.

Keywords: adaptation, climate change, gender, intersectionality

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Intersectionality

Year: 2016

Gender and Climate Change Adaptation in Agrarian Settings: Current Thinking, New Directions, and Research Frontiers

Citation:

Carr, Edward R., and Mary C. Thompson. 2014. “Gender and Climate Change Adaptation in Agrarian Settings: Current Thinking, New Directions, and Research Frontiers.” Geography Compass 8 (3): 182–97.

Authors: Edward R. Carr, Mary C. Thompson

Abstract:

The impacts of climate variability and change impinge upon different lives and livelihoods within agrarian populations in complex ways. While academic, donor, and implementer efforts to understand and act on this complexity have been profoundly influenced by gender analysis, most contemporary analyses are predicated on a construction of gender as binary (men versus women). This approach runs contrary to current understandings of gender and identity in the wider social science literature, which treats gender as a social categorization that takes meaning from its intersection with other identities, roles, and responsibilities. An emerging adaptation literature takes on this intersectional approach to gender, making conceptual, methodological, and empirical arguments against assessing the vulnerability of agrarian populations to the impacts of climate variability and change through binary gender categories. This literature argues that binary approaches are likely to overlook the specific challenges facing significant portions of any agrarian population, and therefore can result in maladaptive interventions that enhance, instead of ameliorate, the vulnerability of the most marginal and vulnerable. Though this emerging literature makes a compelling case for change, efforts to convince the academic and implementation communities focused on agrarian adaptation to adopt intersectional gender analyses point to two broad research frontiers. First, convincing these communities of the value of this shift will require an expanded, rigorous empirical base of evidence for who is overlooked by binary gender analysis relative to intersectional analysis in particular places. Second, facilitating the implementation of intersectional approaches will require methodological innovations that have thus far been under-addressed in this literature.

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Analysis, Intersectionality, Livelihoods

Year: 2014

Photons vs. Firewood: Female (Dis)Empowerment by Solar Power in India

Citation:

Stock, Ryan, and Trevor Birkenholtz. 2020. “Photons vs. Firewood: Female (Dis)Empowerment by Solar Power in India.” Gender, Place and Culture 27 (11): 1628-51.

Authors: Ryan Stock, Trevor Birkenholtz

Abstract:

Renewable energy transitions are accelerating in the Global South. Yet many large-scale renewable energy infrastructures are developed on public lands with unknown impacts on commons access and usage. A prime example of this is the Gujarat Solar Park (GSP) in India, which is one of the world’s largest solar photovoltaic facilities. The GSP is situated on 2,669 acres of previously common property, which has historically been used by female pastoralists for firewood collection. In this paper, we examine the following research questions: How do gender and caste power shape natural resource access in this region?; Does the Gujarat Solar Park exacerbate already gendered social-economic-political asymmetries? Our study utilizes a feminist political ecology framework to analyze the social dimensions of the GSP, drawing on recent work in this vein that uses a postcolonial and intersectional approach to examine the production of social difference through the spatial processes and political economy of solar energy generation. We find that the enclosure of public ‘wastelands’ to develop the Gujarat Solar Park has dispossessed resource-dependent women of access to firewood and grazing lands. This spatial dislocation is reinforcing asymmetrical social power relations at the village scale. Intersectional subject-positions are (re)produced vis-à-vis the exclusion of access to firewood in the land enclosed for the solar park. Affected women embody this dispossession through inter- and intra-village emotional geographies that cut across caste, class and gender boundaries.

Topics: Caste, Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Energy, Intersectionality Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

Which Feminism(s)? For Whom? Intersectionality in Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy

Citation:

Morton, Sam E., Judyannet Muchiri, and Liam Swiss. 2020. “Which Feminism(s)? For Whom? Intersectionality in Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.” International Journal: Canada’s Journal of Global Policy Analysis 75 (3): 329–48.

Authors: Sam E. Morton, Judyannet Muchiri, Liam Swiss

Abstract:

The Government of Canada introduced its new Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) to guide its foreign aid programming in June 2017. This feminist turn mirrors earlier adoptions of feminist aid and foreign policy by Sweden and echoes the current Canadian government’s feminist rhetoric. This paper examines the FIAP and its Action Areas Policies to ask what kind(s) of feminism are reflected in the policy and what groups of people it prioritizes. The paper examines the values, goals, and gaps of the policy in order to understand what feminist values and goals are being operationalized and pursued and what gaps and contradictions exist. By examining the FIAP’s Action Area Policies using a discourse network analysis of the groups represented in the policies, we demonstrate the failings of the FIAP to incorporate an intersectional approach. Our results show that the FIAP adopts a mainstream liberal feminism that excludes many peoples and groups from the core of Canada’s aid efforts.

Keywords: foreign aid, feminism, feminist foreign policy, Canada

Topics: Feminisms, Feminist Foreign Policy, Intersectionality Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2020

Securing the Nation through the Politics of Sexual Violence: Tracing Resonances between Delhi and Cologne

Citation:

Holzberg, Billy, and Priya Raghavan. 2020. “Securing the Nation through the Politics of Sexual Violence: Tracing Resonances between Delhi and Cologne.” International Affairs 96 (5): 1189–208.

Authors: Billy Holzberg, Priya Raghavan

Abstract:

Postcolonial and black feminist scholars have long cautioned against the dangerous proximity between the politics of sexual violence and the advancement of nationalist and imperial projects. In this article, we uncover what it is in particular about efforts to address sexual violence that makes them so amenable to exclusionary nationalist projects, by attending to the political aftermaths of the rape of Jyoti Singh in Delhi in 2012, and the cases of mass sexual abuse that took place during New Year's Eve in Cologne in 2015. Tracing the nationalist discourses and policies precipitated in their wake, we demonstrate how across both contexts, the response to sexual violence was ultimately to augment the securitizing power and remit of the state—albeit through different mechanisms, and while producing different subjects of/for surveillance, control and regulation. We highlight how in both cases it is through contemporary resonances of a persistent (post)colonial echo—which enmeshes the normative female body with the idea of the nation—that sexual abuse becomes an issue of national security and the politics of sexual violence becomes tethered to exclusionary nationalisms. Revealing the more general, shared, rationalities that bind the nation to the normative female body while attending to the located political reverberations that make this entanglement so affectively potent in the distinct contexts of India and Germany helps distinguish and amplify transnational and intersectional feminist approaches to sexual violence that do not so readily accommodate nationalist ambitions.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Intersectionality, Nationalism, Security, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against Women Regions: Asia, South Asia, Europe, Central Europe Countries: Germany, India

Year: 2020

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