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Intersectionality

A Political Ecology of Women, Water and Global Environmental Change

Citation:

Buechler, Stephanie, and Anne-Marie S. Hanson, eds. 2015. A Political Ecology of Women, Water and Global Environmental Change. New York: Routledge.

Authors: Stephanie Buechler, ed. , Anne-Marie S. Hanson, ed.

Annotation:

Summary:
This edited volume explores how a feminist political ecology framework can bring fresh insights to the study of rural and urban livelihoods dependent on vulnerable rivers, lakes, watersheds, wetlands and coastal environments. Bringing together political ecologists and feminist scholars from multiple disciplines, the book develops solution-oriented advances to theory, policy and planning to tackle the complexity of these global environmental changes. Using applied research on the contemporary management of groundwater, springs, rivers, lakes, watersheds and coastal wetlands in Central and South Asia, Northern, Central and Southern Africa, and South and North America, the authors draw on a variety of methodological perspectives and new theoretical approaches to demonstrate the importance of considering multiple layers of social difference as produced by and central to the effective governance and local management of water resources. This unique collection employs a unifying feminist political ecology framework that emphasizes the ways that gender interacts with other social and geographical locations of water resource users. In doing so, the book further questions the normative gender discourses that underlie policies and practices surrounding rural and urban water management and climate change, water pollution, large-scale development and dams, water for crop and livestock production and processing, resource knowledge and expertise, and critical livelihood studies. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of environmental studies, development studies, feminist and environmental geography, anthropology, sociology, environmental philosophy, public policy, planning, media studies, Latin American and other area studies, as well as women’s and gender studies. (Summary from Routledge)
 
Table of Contents: 
1. Introduction: Towards a Feminist Political Ecology of Women, Global Change and Vulnerable Waterscapes

Anne-Marie Hanson and Stephanie Buechler

2. Interrogating Large-Scale Development and Inequality in Lesotho: Bridging Feminist Political Ecology, Intersectionality and Environmental Justice Frameworks
Yvonne Braun

3. The Silent (and Gendered) Violence: Understanding Water Access in Mining Areas
Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt

4. Urban Water Visibility in Los Angeles: Legibility and Access for All
Kathleen Kambic

5. Advances and Setbacks in Women’s Participation in Water Management in Brazil
Andrea Moraes

6. Climate-Water Challenges and Gendered Adaptation Strategies in Rayon, a Riparian Community in Sonora, Mexico
Stephanie Buechler

7. International Partnerships of Women for Sustainable Watershed Governance in Times of Climate Change
Patricia E. (Ellie) Perkins and Patricia Figuieredo Walker

8. Women’s Contributions to Climate Change Adaptation in Egypt’s Mubarak Resettlement Scheme through Cactus Cultivation and Adjusted Irrigation
Dina Najjar

9. Shoes in the Seaweed and Bottles on the Beach: Global Garbage and Women’s Oral Histories of Socio-Environmental Change in Coastal Yucatán
Anne-Marie Hanson

10. Heen Kas’ el’ti Zoo: Among the Ragged Lakes – Storytelling and Collaborative Water Research with Carcoss/Tagish First Nation (Yukon Territory, Canada)
Eleanor Hayman with Mark Wedge and Colleen James

11. Pamiri Women and the Melting Glaciers of Tajikistan: A Visual Knowledge Exchange for Improved Environmental Governance
Citt Williams and Ivan Golovnev

12. Conclusion: Advancing Disciplinary Scholarship on Gender, Water and Environmental Change through Feminist Political Ecology
Stephanie Buechler, Anne-Marie Hanson, Diana Liverman and Miriam Gay-Antaki

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Intersectionality, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, MENA, Central Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, North America, South America, Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Lesotho, Mexico

Year: 2015

Embodied Urban Political Ecology: Five Propositions

Citation:

Doshi, Sapana. 2017. “Embodied Urban Political Ecology: Five Propositions.” Area 49 (1): 125-28.

Author: Sapana Doshi

Abstract:

This commentary makes a case for a more rigorous treatment of the body as a material and political site within the sub-field of urban political ecology. I propose an embodied urban political ecology grounded in a feminist, anti-racist and postcolonial approach consisting of five orienting propositions. They include attention to metabolism, social reproduction, intersectionality and articulation, emotion and affect, and political subjectivity. Although applicable to political ecology broadly, I focus on the urban because of how often the body is mobilised in conceptualisations of cities and infrastructure despite the fact that material embodiment remains under-studied and disparately theorised in the subfield. I suggest that theoretical and empirical attention to embodiment in these five key arenas can deepen understandings of the terrain of environmental politics and potential transformation within the subfield of urban political ecology.

Keywords: intersectionality, social reproduction, postcolonial urban feminism, feminist political ecology, embodiment, metabolism

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Intersectionality

Year: 2017

Water Worries: an Intersectional Feminist Political Ecology of Tourism and Water in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia

Citation:

Cole, Stroma. 2017. “Water Worries: an Intersectional Feminist Political Ecology of Tourism and Water in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia.” Annals of Tourism Research 67: 14-24.

Author: Stroma Cole

Abstract:

Framed in feminist political ecology, this paper presents an intersectional analysis of the gender-water-tourism nexus. Based in an emergent tourism destination, Labuan Bajo, Indonesia, it goes beyond an analysis of how women bear the brunt of burdens related to water scarcity, and examines which women and why and how it affects their daily lives. Based on ethnographic research and speaking to over 100 respondents, the analysis unpicks how patriarchal cultural norms, ethnicity, socio-economic status, life-stage and proximity to water sources are intertwined to (re)produce gendered power relations. While there is heterogeneity of lived experiences, in the most part tourism is out competing locals for access to water leading to women suffering in multiple ways.

Keywords: gender, water, Indonesia, intersectionality, patriarchy

Topics: Environment, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Intersectionality, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Indonesia

Year: 2017

Conflict, Disaster and Changing Gender Roles in Nepal: Women’s Everyday Experiences

Citation:

K.C., Luna. 2019. "Conflict, Disaster and Changing Gender Roles in Nepal: Women’s Everyday Experiences." PhD diss., Wageningen University.

Author: Luna K.C.

Annotation:

Summary:
Nepal suffered from the civil conflict from 1996 to 2006 as the Communist party of Nepal (so-called Maoist) sought to end the monarchical system that had been in place for 240 years and establish a People’s Republic. The Maoist-party ideology was highly focused upon the structural transformation of the country and had a strong message about women’s empowerment. The conflict brought a dramatic shift in the social, economic, and the political situation of Nepal. In November 2006, the peace agreement was signed, the country then started the post-conflict reconstruction process, such as writing a new constitution, constitution assembly election, state restructuring, and the policy formation.
 
The Maoist conflict produced multiple gendered effects upon women’s everyday lives. One category of women joined as Maoist combatants in search of equality and empowerment and performed roles equal to men in the war. Another category of women stayed behind when the men fled from the war to the cities or neighbouring countries, and their husbands, fathers or sons were killed, or became rebels or disappeared in the war. Women non-combatants experienced a situation where men’s work shifted onto their shoulders and they performed dual roles; at home and outside.
 
After the earthquake happened on 25 April 2015 in Nepal, women were impacted in a different way. When men were killed or became disabled, were away, or lost income in the earthquake, women took over men’s roles and responsibilities, such as rescued their family members, searched for the food, accommodation, financial support, jobs, health care, including took care of the children and elderly people. At the same time, women were also involved in a multiple role during post-earthquake settings.
 
The conflict/post-conflict/disaster period produces gendered effects; thus, gender analysis becomes fundamental during this time to understand how women and men deal with the rapid gender role change in the context of crisis and its aftermath, when there is a certain return to the normal situation.
 
This thesis is about women and changing gender roles in Nepal. The study traces the gendered effects of the Maoist war and the earthquake on women’s everyday lives. It examines how women experience the impact of the Maoist war and the post-conflict era in relation to shifting gender roles, responsibilities, challenges, and new openings. The thesis then asks similar questions about women affected by the earthquake, that happened while the country was still struggling with post-conflict issues.
 
Chapter 1 presents the introduction, which offers an overview of the main concern of the thesis and the theoretical perspectives (the sexual division of labour and power, ideology of gender, structural factors, and the role of the policy) that inform it. Chapter 2 outlines the methodology (in-depth interview, focuses group discussion, participant observation, and key informant interview) applied to conduct this study.
 
Chapter 3 examined how the Maoist conflict in Nepal affected women ex-combatants and non-combatants, looking at changes in gender roles during and after the conflict particularly from the standpoint of livelihood challenges in the post-war period. Major findings indicate that changing gender roles largely depend upon everyday practice of sexual division of labour and power as it evolved during and after the conflict. It also shows that the conflict produced different and contradictory effects on both categories of women who experienced shifts in gender roles. In post-war settings, these changes were partly reversed, and especially ex-combatant women faced severe livelihood challenges and returned to traditional gender roles.
 
Chapter 4 investigated how the Maoist armed conflict in Nepal was a struggle for the emancipation of women and it particularly looked at how women ex-combatants were engaged with ideas of gender equality and women’s empowerment during the Maoist war and afterwards. It further explores what happens to women’s ideological drive as gender roles ‘shift back’ after the war. The results demonstrate that in the Maoist war women ex-combatants were strongly committed to the Maoist gender ideology and experienced empowerment through this process, as they adopted non-traditional roles and crossed gender as well as caste lines. However, in the post-war, they felt ambivalent empowerment because there was a lack of commitment from the Maoist party to issues of gender equality and at the same time the patriarchal structures continued intact and, in some ways, even strengthened, and women faced multiple exclusions. 
 
Chapter 5 looked at how women ex-combatants experienced the reintegration process in the aftermath of war. The study found that the reintegration programming of Nepal lack gender framework due to which woman encountered a range of challenges in the post-war period. Mainly, the challenges were two-fold: At the societal level; they struggled to gain recognition, and at the family level they negotiated/renegotiated to rebuild relationships and safety-nets.
 
Chapter 6 investigated what challenges women faced in the wake of the earthquake and how these were related to their gender position. It asks how gender roles changed in relation to the earthquake in Nepal. Findings illustrate that different categories of women faced the effects of earthquake differently, especially with regards to the intersectionality of gender and migration and family composition. The earthquake provided women a window of opportunity to change gender roles. On the other hand, women encountered great difficulties in addressing their everyday needs and experienced gender-based exclusion.
 
Chapter 7 synthesises the outcomes of the four substantive chapters, discusses the findings, and offers four recommendations for policy implications.
 
Table of Contents:
Acknowledgements
Chapter 1: Introduction
 
Chapter 2: Methodology
 
Chapter 3: Changing Gender Role: Women’s Livelihoods, Conflict and Post-Conflict Security in Nepal
 
Chapter 4:Living Maoist Gender Ideology:Experiences of Women Ex-Combatants in Nepal 79
 
Chapter 5: Everyday Realities of Reintegration: Experiences of Maoist ‘Verified’ Women Ex- Combatants in the Aftermath of War in Nepal
 
Chapter 6: Exploring Gendered Effects of the 2015 Earthquake in Nepal through Women’s Eyes
 
Chapter 7: Conclusion and Discussion

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Caste, Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Displacement & Migration, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Intersectionality, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Peace Processes Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2019

The Poverty of Neoliberalized Feminism: Gender Equality in a ‘Best Practice’ Large-Scale Land Investment in Ghana

Citation:

Lanz, Kristina, Elisabeth Prügl, and Jean-David Gerber. 2020. “The Poverty of Neoliberalized Feminism: Gender Equality in a ‘Best Practice’ Large-Scale Land Investment in Ghana.” The Journal of Peasant Studies 47 (3): 525-43.

Authors: Kristina Lanz, Elisabeth Prügl, Jean-David Gerber

Abstract:

Feminist ideas have entered the neoliberal agricultural development agenda, including increasingly ubiquitous public-private partnerships and businesses. Rhetorically committed to gender equality, these new development actors have reduced equality to a matter of numbers, seeking to include women in their projects while disregarding intersectionally gendered power relations that suffuse any development context. This article seeks to illustrate how such power relations inhabit business-led development projects. Based on ethnographic research of a ‘best practice’ large-scale land investment in Ghana's Volta Region, we argue that a narrow focus on including women and superficial Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) promises fail to address intersectional inequalities because they pay inadequate attention to local institutions for resource management and the power relations they embed. Focusing on gender equality without regard to local institutions at best serves to empower a few well-connected women and at worst acts as a cover-up of highly exploitative practices.

Keywords: gender, intersectionality, large-scale land investment, institutions, power relations

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Intersectionality, Land Grabbing Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2020

Intersections of Gender and Water: Comparative Approaches to Everyday Gendered Negotiations of Water Access in Underserved Areas of Accra, Ghana and Cape Town, South Africa

Citation:

Harris, L., D. Kleiber, J. Goldin, A. Darkwah, and C. Morinville. 2016. "Intersections of Gender and Water: Comparative Approaches to Everyday Gendered Negotiations of Water Access in Underserved Areas of Accra, Ghana and Cape Town, South Africa." Journal of Gender Studies 26 (5): 561-82.

Authors: L. Harris, D. Kleiber, J. Goldin, A. Darkwah, C. Morinville

Abstract:

A large and growing body of literature suggests that women and men often have differentiated relationships to water access, uses, knowledges, governance, and experiences. From a feminist political ecology perspective, these relationships can be mediated by gendered labour practices (within the household, at the community level, or within the workplace), socio-cultural expectations (e.g. related to notions of masculinity and femininity), as well as intersectional differences (e.g. race, income, and so forth). While these relationships are complex, multiple, and vary by context, it is frequently argued that due to responsibility for domestic provision or other pathways, women may be particularly affected if water quality or access is compromised. This paper reports on a statistical evaluation of a 478 household survey conducted in underserved areas of Accra, Ghana and Cape Town, South Africa in early 2012. Interrogating our survey results in the light of the ideas of gender differentiated access, uses, knowledges, governance, and experiences of water, we open up considerations related to the context of each of our study sites, and also invite possible revisions and new directions for these debates. In particular, we are interested in the instances where differences among male and female respondents were less pronounced than expected. Highlighting these unexpected results we find it helpful to draw attention to methods – in particular we argue that a binary male–female approach is not that meaningful for the analysis, and instead, gender analysis requires some attention to intersectional differences (e.g. homeownership, employment, or age). We also make the case for the importance of combining qualitative and quantitative work to understand these relationships, as well as opening up what might be learned by more adequately exploring the resonances and tensions between these approaches.

Keywords: Ghana, South Africa, gender, water, methods, triangulation, intersectionality

Topics: Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gender Analysis, Governance, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Intersectionality, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana, South Africa

Year: 2016

Covid-19 and Feminism in the Global South: Challenges, Initiatives and Dilemmas

Citation:

Al-Ali, Nadje. 2020. "Covid-19 and Feminism in the Global South: Challenges, Initiatives and Dilemmas."' European Journal of Women's Studies: 1-15. doi: 10.1177/1350506820943617. 

Author: Nadje Al-Ali

Abstract:

The article addresses the gendered implications of Covid-19 in the Global South by paying attention to the intersectional pre-existing inequalities that have given rise to specific risks and vulnerabilities. It explores various aspects of the pandemic-induced ‘crisis of social reproduction’ that affects women as the main caregivers as well as addressing the drastic increase of various forms of gender-based violence. Both, in addition to growing poverty and severely limited access to resources and health services, are particularly devastating in marginalized and vulnerable communities in the Global South. The article looks at specific regions and countries to illustrate wider challenges faced by LGBTQ populations, ethnic minorities, domestic workers, migrants and sex workers. Against the background of these gendered intersectional challenges, the article then moves to discuss feminist initiatives and mobilizations to deal with the crisis in specific local contexts as well as nationally, regionally and transnationally. It concludes by highlighting a number of visions, tensions and dilemmas faced by feminists in the Global South that will need to be taken into consideration in terms of transnational feminist solidarities.

 

Keywords: Africa, Asia, Covid-19 pandemic, crisis in social reproduction, Global South feminism, accumulation by dispossession, middle east, transnational feminism

Topics: Domestic Violence, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Intersectionality, LGBTQ, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods Regions: Africa, MENA, Americas, Caribbean countries, Central America, South America, Asia, Middle East

Year: 2020

Black Feminism and Radical Planning: New Directions for Disaster Planning Research

Citation:

Jacobs, Fayola. 2019. "Black Feminism and Radical Planning: New Directions for Disaster Planning Research." Planning Theory 18 (1): 24-39.

Author: Fayola Jacobs

Abstract:

After Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of the United States’ Gulf Coast, conversations about flooding became focused on the interconnections between so-called “natural” disasters, poverty, gender and race. Although research has long shown that women, people of color and low-income communities are more vulnerable to natural hazards, the disproportionate effects of Hurricane Katrina and subsequent federal and state disaster response efforts forced the national spotlight on the institutional and systemic nature of racism, classism and sexism. Using Black feminism and radical planning theory, two lenses that provides a comprehensive framework for understanding racism, classism and sexism, this article examines the concept and literature of social vulnerability. I argue while social vulnerability research has made significant contributions to planners’ understandings of disasters and inequity, it fails to center community knowledge, identify intersectional oppressions and name them as such and encourage community activism, all of which are keys to making meaningful change.

Keywords: Black feminism, disasters, environmental justice, feminism, social vulnerability, urban planning

Topics: Class, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Infrastructure, Urban Planning, Intersectionality, Race Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2019

Understanding Gender Dimensions of Climate-Smart Agriculture Adoption in Disaster-Prone Smallholder Farming Communities in Malawi and Zambia

Citation:

Khoza, Sizwile, Dewald Van Niekerk, and Livhuwani David Nemakonde. 2019. "Understanding Gender Dimensions of Climate-Smart Agriculture Adoption in Disaster-Prone Smallholder Farming Communities in Malawi and Zambia." Disaster Prevention and Management 28 (5): 530-47.

Authors: Sizwile Khoza, Dewald Van Niekerk, Livhuwani David Nemakonde

Abstract:

Purpose – Through the application of traditional and contemporary feminist theories in gender mainstreaming, the purpose of this paper is to contribute to emergent debate on gender dimensions in climate-smart agriculture (CSA) adoption by smallholder farmers in disaster-prone regions. This is important to ensure that CSA strategies are tailored to farmer-specific gender equality goals. 
 
Design/methodology/approach – An exploratory-sequential mixed methods research design which is qualitatively biased was applied. Key informant interviews and farmer focus group discussions in two study sites formed initial qualitative phase whose findings were explored in a quantitative cross-sectional household survey. 
 
Findings – Findings shared in this paper indicate the predominant application of traditional gender mainstreaming approaches in CSA focusing on parochial gender dichotomy. Qualitative findings highlight perceptions that western gender approaches are not fully applicable to local contexts and realities, with gender mainstreaming in CSA seemingly to fulfil donor requirements, and ignorant of the heterogeneous nature of social groups. Quantitative findings establish that married men are majority adopters and nonadopters of CSA, while dis-adopters are predominantly de jure female household heads. The latter are more likely to adopt CSA than married women whose main role in CSA is implementers of spouse’s decisions. Access to education, intra-household power relations, productive asset and land ownership are socio-cultural dynamics shaping farmer profiles. 
 
Originality/value – By incorporating African feminisms and intersectionality in CSA, value of this study lies in recommending gender policy reforms incorporating local gender contexts within the African socio-cultural milieu. This paper accentuates potential benefits of innovative blend of both contemporary and classic gender mainstreaming approaches in CSA research, practice and technology development in disaster-prone regions.

Keywords: agriculture, climate change adaptation, DRR, climate-smart agriculture adoption, gender and DRRM, gender policy

Topics: Agriculture, Education, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Intersectionality Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi, Zambia

Year: 2019

Feminist Geographies of Climate Change: Negotiating Gender at Climate Talks

Citation:

Gay-Antaki, Miriam. 2020. "Feminist Geographies of Climate Change: Negotiating Gender at Climate Talks." Geoforum 115: 1-10.

Author: Miriam Gay-Antaki

Abstract:

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time and will have differential impacts across different geographies and social strata. The Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the most important international meeting surrounding climate change. The 2015 Paris climate talks reflected the global preoccupation around climate change, in that it was the first time 150 Heads of State ever gathered to discuss an issue. For geographers, the COPs are important sites to study because decisions around our environmental commons can perpetuate or contest socio-environmental narratives responsible for social and environmental inequalities. Increasingly, gender is being introduced into the climate debate in sites such as the COPs. Using qualitative methods, this paper delineates the mechanisms by which some meanings of gender like gender balance dominate over others like gender equality. My research illustrates how discourses of gender and climate change arise, are perpetuated, and materialized through climate policy. I use an intersectional lens to underscore the practices that perpetuate injustices, and explore the discourses that are the most popular at the COPs around gender and climate change, who perpetuates them, which narratives are mobilized, and which become invisible. I highlight how material practices at the COPs that construct polarized divisions of gender are accompanied by polarized divisions of space. Feminist geographies of climate change can challenge the global conversation about gender and climate change to form new coalitions and techniques to find just and equitable outcomes in the face of climate change.

Keywords: climate negotiations, gender balance, gender equality, strategic essentialism, intersectionality

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Balance, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Intersectionality

Year: 2020

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