Land Grabbing

Trade, Gender and Post-War Recovery, Part Two: Visioning Feminist Trade Alternatives for Sustainable Peace

Nancy Kachingwe

Nandini Chami

Diyana Yahaya

April 27, 2022

Online via Zoom

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This webinar series is co-sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Boston's Anthropology Department; Asian Studies Department; Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance; Economics Department; History Department; The Honors College; Latino Studies Program; School for Global Inclusion and Social Development; School for the Environment; Sociology Department; and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department and Human Rights Minor.

Women, Land-Struggle and Globalization: An International Perspective


Federici, Silvia. 2014. “Women, Land-Struggle and Globalization: An International Perspective.” In Grabbing Back: Essays Against the Global Land Grab, edited by Alexander Reid Ross, 115–124. New York: AK Press.

Author: Silvia Federici

Topics: Gender, Women, Land Grabbing

Year: 2014

Black Women on the Edge: A Conversation on the Gendered Racial Struggle for Urban Land in Salvador, Brazil


Perry, Keisha-Khan Y., and Ana Cristina da Silva Caminha. 2014. “Black Women on the Edge: A Conversation on the Gendered Racial Struggle for Urban Land in Salvador, Brazil.” 2014. In Grabbing Back: Essays against the Global Land Grab, edited by Alexander Reid Ross, 147–157. New York: AK Press.

Authors: Keisha-Khan Y. Perry, Ana Cristina da Silva Caminha

Topics: Land Grabbing, Race Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Brazil

Year: 2014

‘You Can’t Have Our Land’: Land Grabbing and the Feminization of Resistance in Aloguinsan, Cebu


Ocasiones, Leny G. 2018. “‘You Can’t Have Our Land’: Land Grabbing and the Feminization of Resistance in Aloguinsan, Cebu.” Philippine Sociological Review 66: 35–60.

Author: Leny G. Ocasiones


Land grabbing has been present in the Philippines for the past decades. It occurs when local communities and individuals lose access to land that they previously used, thus threatening their lives and livelihood. Civil society organizations that are skeptical toward the growing trend of large-scale acquisitions by foreign corporations, however, argue that land grabbing can be committed by domestic actors and sometimes in cooperation with foreign actors. Land grabbing raises important questions about the welfare, livelihood, and land security of farmers in the Philippines. Using archival sources, key informant interviews, and focus group discussions, this study investigates women's experiences of land grabbing and resistance among farmers of Aloguinsan, Cebu. This study reveals that land grabbing has profound impacts on the lives of the farmers and that women farmers are affected differently than men because women are generally considered a vulnerable group. Further, land grabbing generated fierce resistance from farmers, especially from women who developed creative ways to defend their lives, land and community. The study concludes that the resistance put up by the Aloguinsan farmers is gendered, and serves as a case of the feminization of resistance.

Keywords: land grabbing, feminization, resistance, women

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Land Grabbing, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Philippines

Year: 2018

Land Grabbing and the Gendered Livelihood Experience of Smallholder Farmers in Northern Ghana: Through a Human Development and Capability Lens


Agbley, Gideon Kofi. 2019. "Land Grabbing and the Gendered Livelihood Experience of Smallholder Farmers in Northern Ghana: Through a Human Development and Capability Lens." Ghana Journal of Development Studies 16 (1): 155-80.


Author: Gideon Kofi Agbley


The phenomenon of land grabbing in developing countries has led to worsening livelihood choices for smallholder farmers who depended on communal lands for subsistence. While previous analyses of land grabs were framed in a paradigm that emphasised outcomes, this study is framed within a human development approach which places emphasis on both outcomes and procedural concerns. The procedural concerns are in relation to representation prior to and during negotiations for land acquisitions. The study is based on analysis of in-depth interviews and focus group discussions to assess BioFuel Africa Limited’s investments in two communities in northern Ghana. Results show the company is no longer operating its jatropha (jatropha curcas) plantation and therefore the inability to provide jobs promised. Meanwhile the clearing of large contiguous tracts of lands have had devastating impacts on the livelihoods of women and men. The study revealed that there was poor participation of women in all stages and processes of the land acquisitions for the project, and that the land acquirer had failed to fully implement the procedural concerns of equity, efficiency, participation and sustainability in the acquisitions of lands for the project. It is recommended that large-scale land deals should be conditioned on proper disposal and utilization of lands within specified time frames, failure for which land is reverted to original use.


Keywords: land grabs, equity, efficiency, participation, sustainability

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Land Grabbing, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2019

Working Wives: Gender, Labour and Land Commercialization in Ratanakiri, Cambodia


Joshi, Saba. 2020. “Working Wives: Gender, Labour and Land Commercialization in Ratanakiri, Cambodia.” Globalizations 17 (1): 1–15.

Author: Saba Joshi


In Ratanakiri province, home to a large share of Cambodia's indigenous minorities, land commercialization involving large-scale land transfers and in-migration has led to shrinking access to land for indigenous households. Drawing on qualitative interviews and a household survey conducted in Ratanakiri, this paper explores the links between social reproduction and agrarian production in the current phase of agrarian transition through the lens of everyday gendered experiences. It argues that while wage labour is becoming an essential component of agrarian livelihoods for land-poor indigenous households, gendered hierarchies mediate access to local wage labour opportunities due to the incompatibilities between care work and paid labour. This paper contributes to the literature by exposing locally-specific processes through which gender- differentiated impacts are produced under multiple modes of dispossession. It also illuminates the links between dispossession and social reproduction and the tensions between capitalist accumulation and care activities in agrarian trajectories following land commercialization.


Keywords: Cambodia, land grabs, care labour, wage labour, indigenous peoples, gender

Topics: Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Households, Indigenous, Land Grabbing, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Cambodia

Year: 2020

Standing up for Forest: A Case Study on Baiga Women’s Mobilization in Community Governed Forests in Central India


Tyagi, Niharika, and Smriti Das. 2020. “Standing up for Forest: A Case Study on Baiga Women’s Mobilization in Community Governed Forests in Central India.” Ecological Economics 178 (November).

Authors: Niharika Tyagi, Smriti Das


The forest history in India is fraught with struggles between the forest dwelling communities and the state. While the state usurped power over forests, excluding the communities and privileging commercial interests; the alienation of communities from their own land and homes resulted in mobilization across different sites. The movement for protection of forest commons assumed significance through the decade of 1970s that saw the famous Chipko movement in Uttarakhand and other forms of resistance across the country. The demand upon the forests that had intensified with subsistence, commercial and urbanization pressures, further enhanced with pressures of globalization. The consequent environmental degradation and dispossession of the communities of their resources resulted in varieties of environmentalism. In the arena of environmental conflict, Central India has been a hotbed of contest with forcible evictions, increasing base of extractive industries and steady militarization. The tribal communities in Central India faced serious threat from a monolithic state as it prioritized ‘national development’ goals over social equity and environmental justice. Rooted in this inequity was widespread discontent and social mobilization across the forested landscape. The local mobilization in Baiga Chak area of Central India clearly marked recognition of their socio-cultural embeddedness in their natural setting, particularly forest. What was unique in this movement was the uprising of Baiga women to assert their rights over the forest contrary to their traditionally defined role. It gradually led to collectivization of demand for recognition of Baiga communities’ historical relationship and claims over forest resource. Using the framework of Feminist Political Ecology, this paper examines Baiga women’s movement against Forest Department’s unlawful practices in Baiga Chak region of Central India. Using a case-based approach, the paper addresses the following questions: What factors led to the feminized grassroots environmental movement? How have women’s bargaining power and gender relations evolved at the local level consequently? What effect does women’s resistance have on community governed forest systems? In response to state usurpation that threatened the livelihood and household well-being, Baiga women collectively struggled to regain control over local forest resources. The analysis of this gendered environmental movement establishes an intersection between local structural, economic and ecological concerns and signals possibility of several gendered social movements in contested resource geographies.

Keywords: women's movements, feminist political ecology, gender roles and relations, forest commons

Topics: Environment, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Indigenous, Land Grabbing, Livelihoods, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

Gender and Land Grabbing


Chung, Youjin B. 2020. “Gender and Land Grabbing.” In Routledge Handbook of Gender and Agriculture, edited by Carolyn E. Sachs, Leif Jensen, Paige Castellanos, and Kathleen Sexsmith. Abingdon: Routledge.

Author: Youjin B. Chung


In the wake of food, fuel, and financial crises of 2007/8, there has been a surge in large-scale land acquisitions in the global South, a phenomenon which became popularly known as a “global land grab.” The early literature on the topic focused broadly on making sense of what was happening when, where, how, and why. Since mid-2012, there has been a growing body of empirical research on contemporary land deals that foreground gender and other forms of social difference. This chapter provides an overview of five thematic issues on gender and land grabbing, emerging from scholarship in feminist political ecology, critical agrarian studies, feminist economics, rural sociology, and related fields. These themes include: a) consultation and negotiation; b) access to land and livelihoods; c) compensation and resettlement; d) labor relations; and e) political reactions from below and above. The chapter concludes with an invitation for continued feminist inquiry into these interconnected issues, while opening up new questions and concerns for consideration.

Topics: Economies, Feminist Economics, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Land Grabbing, Livelihoods

Year: 2020

Gender and Land Dispossession: A Comparative Analysis


Levien, Michael. 2017. “Gender and Land Dispossession: A Comparative Analysis.” The Journal of Peasant Studies 44 (6): 1111–34.  

Author: Michael Levien


This paper seeks to advance our understanding of the gendered implications of rural land dispossession. It does so through a comparative analysis of five cases of dispossession that were driven by different economic purposes in diverse agrarian contexts: the English enclosures; colonial and post-colonial rice irrigation projects in the Gambia; large dams in India; oil palm cultivation in Indonesia; and Special Economic Zones in India. The paper identifies some of the common gendered effects of land dispossession, showing in each case how this reproduced women’s lack of independent land rights or reversed them where they existed, intensified household reproductive work and occurred without meaningful consultation with—much less decision-making by—rural women. The paper also demonstrates ways in which the gendered consequences of land dispossession vary across forms of dispossession and agrarian milieu. The most important dimension of this variation is the effect of land loss on the gendered division of labour, which is often deleterious but varies qualitatively across the cases examined. In addition, the paper illustrates further variations within dispossessed populations as gender intersects with class, caste and other inequalities. The paper concludes that land dispossession consistently contributes to gender inequality, albeit in socially and historically specific ways. So while defensive struggles against land dispossession will not in themselves transform patriarchal social relations, they may be a pre-condition for more offensive struggles for gender equality.

Keywords: land grabs, gender, dispossession, displacement, enclosure

Topics: Agriculture, Caste, Class, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Patriarchy, Households, Land Grabbing, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa, Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Gambia, India, Indonesia

Year: 2017

Territorialidad y desterritorialización en Atenco, Estado de México. Un análisis desde las mujeres


Tenango, María de los Ángeles, Verónica Vázquez García, María Eugenia Chávez Arellano, y Miguel Jorge Escalona Maurice. 2017. “Territorialidad y desterritorialización en Atenco, Estado de México. Un análisis desde las mujeres.” Clivajes: Revista de Ciencias Sociales, no. 8, 25-46.

Authors: María de los Ángeles Tenango, Verónica Vázquez García, María Eugenia Chávez Arellano, Miguel Jorge Escalona Maurice


En este texto se examina, desde la perspectiva de las mujeres, la transformación territorial de Nexquipayac y Atenco, dos de los seis ejidos que conforman el municipio de Atenco. Los datos fueron obtenidos, entre octubre de 2014 y junio de 2016, mediante observación participante, entrevistas, talleres y cuestionarios. Aquí se describe la vocación lacustre y agropecuaria de ambos ejidos, para documentar la transformación del territorio a raíz de nuevos usos ocupacionales del suelo, alteraciones del ecosistema, conflictos en torno a la tenencia de la tierra y, más recientemente, a causa de la aprobación del dominio pleno y la venta de tierras para el nuevo Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México, anunciado por Enrique Peña Nieto en septiembre de 2014. Concluye que hay una pérdida de recursos naturales y que las mujeres perciben de manera negativa las transformaciones del territorio, lo que ha dado lugar a un proceso de desterritorialización. 

Keywords: ejido, dominio pleno, aeropuerto, urbanización, territorio

Topics: Gender, Women, Land Grabbing, Land Tenure Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2017


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