Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version


Tigers and ‘Good Indian Wives’: Feminist Political Ecology Exposing the Gender-Based Violence of Human-Wildlife Conflict in Rajasthan, India


Doubleday, Kalli F. 2020. “Tigers and ‘Good Indian Wives’: Feminist Political Ecology Exposing the Gender-Based Violence of Human-Wildlife Conflict in Rajasthan, India.” Annals of the American Association of Geographers: 1-19. 

Author: Kalli F. Doubleday

Keywords: conservation, feminist political ecology, gender-based violence, well-being


This qualitative study, based on fifty-two focus groups, interviews, and participant observation within a 10-km buffer around Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan, India, builds on Monica Ogra’s foundational work bringing together feminist political ecology and human–wildlife conflict studies. Specifically, it exposes gender-based violence as a hidden cost of the socioenvironmental network of the tiger reserve landscape. This study asks these questions: How do gendered geographies in and around a protected area influence tiger reintroduction, and how do tiger reintroductions influence gendered geographies? What is the nature of the relationships between women’s economic and gender roles and attitudes toward tigers (original and reintroduced), and what are the main factors influencing this relationship? This research finds that (1) gender-based violence is a hidden cost of women working in and around Sariska and the reintroduced tigers, a hidden cost of human–wildlife conflict otherwise unnoted in the literature, (2) this hidden cost is not solely the product of human–wildlife encounters but in large part a consequence of the highly patriarchal society that dictates gendered human–environmental relations. The results and presented framework seek to inform developing debates and theory around just conservation, gender-based violence in relation to environmental change, human dimensions of apex predator conservation, and sustainable rural livelihoods in and adjacent to protected areas. (Summary from original source)


Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

Feminist Perspectives on Environment and Society


Littig, Beate. 2001. Feminist Perspectives on Environment and Society. London: Routledge.

Author: Beate Littig


“Feminist perspectives, or gender issues, are rarely dealt with explicitly in environmental sociology (Die Grünen 1987; Schultz and Weller 1995; Schultz 1998). The specific effects of certain environmental measures on women, or the study of specific female practices, form, at most, only apart of more general studies; for instance, representative surveys that try to compare the level of environmental consciousness between men and women. Nor is feminist theory much concerned with questions of environmental sociology - at any rate, the effects of equal rights policies or welfare regimes or of reproductive work on the environment are hardly ever discussed. Nevertheless, in specific feminist fields of study - for example, feminist analysis of housing and traffic planning - environmental effects play an important part. Falling between environmental sociology and feminist theory one may find the so called ecofeminism. This is concerned with the destructive relationship between society and the environment based on a radically feminist analysis of patriarchy, which challenges both environmental sociology and feminist theory. This hook offers a critical overview of the sociological and feminist discussions dealing with the interrelationships of environment and society. Based on this critique I will propose a new feminist approach to investigate environmental problems which I call gender-sensitive socio-ecological research, combining both gender studies and environmental studies” (Littig 2001, 2).

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy

Year: 2001

Feminist Principles in Global Affairs: Undiplomatic Practice


Goetz, Anne Marie. 2021. “Feminist Principles in Global Affairs: Undiplomatic Practice”. In The Future of Global Affairs, edited by C. Ankersen, and W.P.S. Sidhu, 149-173. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Author: Anne Marie Goetz


Feminist analysis of international relations has been a significant disruptor, revealing that the defense of ‘national sovereignty’ has allowed states to protect patriarchal preferences, not only blocking women’s rights but contributing to some of the most destructive features of national and international decision-making such as conflict-propensity. Efforts to institutionalize gender equality domestically and internationally have been troubled by the need to work with patriarchal states to build capacities to challenge male dominance. The recent emergence of feminist foreign policy (FFP) shows it may be possible to institutionalize feminist principles in international relations in ways that challenge the use of ‘national sovereignty’ as an excuse for discrimination against women. But for FFP to deliver a significant course correction in international affairs, its practitioners must accept that ending diplomatic silence on abuses of women has costs. It can bring diplomatic isolation or trigger domestic protest since it may make transnational business arrangements, including arms deals, contingent on respect for women’s rights. 

Topics: Feminisms, Feminist Foreign Policy, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Patriarchy, Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2021

Land, Labour and Gendered Livelihoods in a 'Peasant' and a 'Settler' Economy


Amanor-Wilks, Dede-Esi. 2009. “Land, Labour and Gendered Livelihoods in a 'Peasant' and a 'Settler' Economy. Feminist Africa 12: 31-50.

Author: Dede-Esi Amanor-Wilks


“Africa historically has been land-abundant and labour-scarce. The situation in Africa contrasts with that in Asia, which has historically been labour-abundant and land-scarce. And it means that until relatively recently, land scarcity was not a major problem for African producers. In spite of this, we can surmise that access to land for women, or more crucially control over land, has been an issue for as long as patriarchy has existed. This is because labour applied to land creates capital; therefore land is a crucial source of power, whereas patriarchy is essentially the monopolisation of power by men. Yet there exists a perception that women in West Africa have more secure land rights than do women in East and Southern Africa. This article seeks explanations for this perception, from a framework of the peasant-settler dichotomy in Africa. While there is a growing literature on women’s land rights in Africa that makes no distinction between the former “peasant” and “settler” colonies, in African historiography generally, a major distinction has been drawn between them. We thus have separate literatures on “peasant” and “settler” economies of Africa that rarely speak to each other, and comparative African studies rarely cross the peasant-settler divide (Amanor-Wilks, 2006 and forthcoming). The main difference between “peasant” (or “peasant export”) and “settler” colonies is that in the former, land remained in the hands of African producers, who dominated local and export agricultural production. In the settler colonies by contrast, prime lands were expropriated to European settlers, who competed directly with Africans in both food and export production. Alongside the question of differential gender access to land across the peasant-settler divide, this article considers two sets of questions on which there is division in the literature on land tenure and gender justice. Is customary law harmful to women’s land rights or should it be codified to protect women’s land rights? Is access to land for women “negotiated”, or are access and control products more of social conflict? The hypothesis of this article is that the assumption that access is negotiated works best in conditions of relative land abundance and that in conditions of scarcity, it is social conflict that produces change.” (Amanor-Wilks 2009, 31-2).

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa

Year: 2009

Could Mapping Initiatives Catalyze the Interpretation of Customary Land Rights in Ways that Secure Women’s Land Rights?


Paradza, Gaynor, Lebogang Mokwena and Walter Musakwa. 2020. “Could Mapping Initiatives Catalyze the Interpretation of Customary Land Rights in Ways that Secure Women’s Land Rights?” Land  9 (10): 344-360.

Authors: Gaynor Paradza, Lebogang Mokwena, Walter Musakwa


Although land forms the basis for marginal livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa, the asset is more strategic for women as they usually hold derived and dependent rights to land in customary tenure areas. Initiatives to secure women’s land tenure in customary areas are undermined by the social embeddedness of the rights, patriarchy, lack of awareness by the communities, legal pluralism, and challenges of recording the rights. As pressure on customary land tenure increases due to foreign and local land-based investment interests, land titling initiatives, tourism, and mineral resources exploration, communities and women within them are at real risk of losing their land, the basis of their livelihoods. Women stand to lose more as they hold tenuous land rights in customary land tenure areas. Accordingly, this study analyzes case studies of selected mapping initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa to interrogate the extent to which mapping both as a cadastral exercise and emerging practice in the initiation of participatory land governance initiatives, catalyze the transmission of customary land rights in ways that have a positive impact on women’s access to land in customary land tenure areas. The results indicate that mapping initiatives generate opportunities, innovations, and novel spaces for securing women’s access to land in customary tenure areas which include catalyzing legislative changes and facilitating technology transfer, increasing awareness of women’s interests, providing opportunities for women to participate in decision-making forums, providing a basis for securing statutory recognition for their land rights, and improving natural resource stewardship. The potential challenges include the community’s capacity to sustain the initiatives, the expense of the technology and software, widespread illiteracy of women, power asymmetries and bias of the mapping experts, increased vulnerability of mapped land to exploitation, the legal status of the maps in the host community and /or country, compatibility with existing land recording systems, statutory bias in recording land rights and the potential of mapping initiatives to unearth existing land boundary conflicts. These challenges can be mediated by sensitive planning and management to ensure real and sustainable land tenure security for women. The paper contributes to debates around customary land tenure dynamics, specifically the issues pertaining to registration of primary and derived customary rights to land. These includes policy debates and choices to be made about how best to secure tenuous customary land rights of women and other vulnerable people. The paper also contributes to our understanding of what instruments in land registration toolkits might strengthen women’s land rights and the conditions under which this could be done.

Keywords: customary, land, tenure, women, mapping, Sub-Saharan Africa

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa

Year: 2020

Women's Land Rights and Maternal Healthcare in Southwestern Uganda: Exploring the Implications of Women's Decision-Making Regarding Sale and Use of Land on Access to Maternal Healthcare


Nyakato, Viola N., Charles Rwabukwali, and Susan Kools. 2020. "Women's Land Rights and Maternal Healthcare in Southwestern Uganda: Exploring the Implications of Women's Decision-Making Regarding Sale and Use of Land on Access to Maternal Healthcare." African Journal of Reproductive Health 24 (1): 62-80.

Authors: Viola N. Nyakato, Charles Rwabukwali, Susan Kools


Most traditional land tenure practices among developing economies are opposed to protecting and promoting women’s land ownership rights. In Uganda, land tenure practices are largely customary and patriarchal in nature, in most communities women’s land tenure security is dependent on marriage. This paper builds a body of evidence on how gender biased land tenure negatively affects maternal healthcare decision-making for family planning, antenatal care services and skilled care during childbirth. A cross-sectional mixed methodology was used to collect household survey data. Qualitative data from individual and focus group interviews were analysed using thematic content analysis. Land was found to be an important household factor that shapes women’s maternal healthcare decision-making, not only through land ownership, but also through lands role as a source of identity, gendered land use decision-making patterns, and the allocation of resources that accrue from work on land. Most of the land-owning households are headed by men. More women than men expressed insecurity of tenure, despite the households’ land ownership status. Land use decision-making, including its sale was significantly associated with maternal healthcare decision-making. Feeling secure on land was significantly associated with maternal healthcare decisions for planned pregnancy and use of antenatal care. Land purchasing was found to significantly determine place and skill level of providers for childbirth. In conclusion, women involvement in land purchasing decisions demonstrates more control and agency in the number of children. Women’s land insecurity undermines their prospects for positive maternal health behaviours.
La plupart des pratiques foncieres traditionnelles dans les economies en développement sont opposées å la protection et å la promotion des droits de propriété fonciere des femmes. En Ouganda, les pratiques foncieres sont en grande partie coutumieres et de nature patriarcale ; dans la plupart des communautés, la sécurité fonciere des femmes dépend du mariage. Cet article établit un ensemble de preuves sur la façon dont le régime foncier sexiste affecte négativement la prise de décision en matiere de soins de santé maternels pour la planification familiale, les services de soins prénatals et les soins spécialisés pendant l'accouchement. Une méthodologie mixte transversale a été utilisée pour collecter les données des enquetes aupres des ménages. Les données qualitatives issues d'entretiens individuels et de groupes de discussion ont été analysées å l'aide d'une analyse de contenu thématique. La terre s'est avérée etre un facteur important pour les ménages qui façonne la prise de décision des femmes en matiere de soins de santé maternelle, non seulement par la propriété fonciere, mais aussi par le rôle de la terre en tant que source d'identité, les modeles de prise de décision en matiere d'utilisation des terres selon le sexe et l'allocation des ressources qui découlent du travail å terre. La plupart des ménages propriétaires fonciers sont dirigés par des hommes. Plus de femmes que dhommes ont exprimé leur insécurité doccupation, malgré le statut de propriété fonciere du ménage. La prise de décision concernant l'utilisation des terres, y compris sa vente, était significativement associée å la prise de décisions en matiere de soins de santé maternelle. Le sentiment de sécurité å terre était significativement associé aux décisions de soins de santé maternels concernant une grossesse planifiée et l'utilisation des soins prénatals. L'achat de terres a permis de déterminer de maniere significative le lieu et le niveau de compétence des prestataires pour l'accouchement. En conclusion, l'implication des femmes dans les décisions d'achat de terres démontre plus de contróle et d'agence sur le nombre d'enfants. Linsécurité fonciere des femmes compromet leurs perspectives de comportements positifs en matiere de santé maternelle.

Keywords: land ownership, decision-making, gender, maternal healthcare, Uganda

Topics: Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Hierarchies, Patriarchy, Health, Reproductive Health, Households, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2020

Multispecies Ecofeminism: Ecofeminist Flourishing of the Twenty-First Century


Power, Chelsea. 2020. “Multispecies Ecofeminism: Ecofeminist Flourishing of the Twenty-First Century.” PhD diss., University of Victoria.

Author: Chelsea Power


Ecofeminism has had a nonlinear developmental path. Although it was celebrated as a potentially revolutionary project in the 1970s, by the time climate change and environmental crises had worked their way into mainstream discourse ecofeminism had become practically unheard of. The purpose of this thesis is to reflect on the failure of early ecofeminism and to explore ecofeminism’s potential as a transformative project of the twenty-first century. This thesis is motivated by my own personal experience of ecofeminism as transformative and also by what I would call a recent resurgence of interest in ecofeminism by young students, budding feminists, and fledgling environmentalists that understand the climate and environmental crises as fundamentally linked to the oppressions of colonial capitalist-patriarchy. Recounting the origin, history, and marginalization of the project of ecofeminism, I explore the rift between materialist and spiritual/cultural approaches to argue that the effectiveness of ecofeminism is dependent upon a collaborative recovery from the damages done by extensive anti-essentialism critiques. The onto-epistemology of our current paradigm— defined by neoliberal capitalism and colonial patriarchy—limits response to the environmental crises of our times to that of incremental policy change that is more symbolic than substantive. I argue that, in order to escape the chains of the neoliberal/capitalist/patriarchal subject that are cast upon us by these predatory onto-epistemologies, we must envisage ways to be human otherwise; in reciprocal relationships with more-than-human nature. As a prefigurative project that centres the more-than-human yet maintains a comprehensive intersectional anti-oppressive framework, a contemporary ‘multispecies ecofeminism’ can endow us with this potentiality. In our times of immense ecological degradation and ‘point-of-no-return’ deadlines, ecofeminism is a needed ‘third story’ that resonates as revolutionary with young scholars of the twenty-first century.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy

Year: 2020

Ecofeminism and Environmental Protection: A Legal Perspective


Bangun, Budi Hermawan. 2020. “Ecofeminism and Environmental Protection: A Legal Perspective.” Jambe Law Journal 3 (1). doi:10.22437/jlj.3.1.1-18.

Author: Budi Hermawan Bangun


Women are very important figures to ensure sustainable development. This paper discusses the role of women in environmental protection from the perspective of eco-feminism and law. This research is a non-doctrinal legal research with a socio-legal approach. The data used are secondary data obtained through literature studies, then the data that has been obtained is analyzed qualitatively. It is learnt from the discussion that eco-feminism as a thought that criticizes the dominance of patriarchy over control of environmental management and has succeeded in encouraging environmental protection movements carried out by women in various countries. Women are key actors in using, managing and protecting natural resources. Environmental preservation is closely related to the role of women. From a legal perspective, eco-feminism is an effort by the people to seek justice as the main goal of law and ensure the principle of equality before the law in monitoring, protecting and enjoying the benefits of environmental sustainability.

Keywords: ecofeminism, environmental protections, legal perspective

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Patriarchy, Justice

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

Legal Establishments and Gendered Access to Land in Patriarchal Societies of North-Western Ghana


Doghle, Kizito, Rudith Sylvana King, and Paul Bniface Akaabre. 2018. “Legal Establishments and Gendered Access to Land in Patriarchal Societies of North-Western Ghana.” African Journal on Land Policy and Geospatial Sciences 2: 77–99.

Authors: Kizito Doghle, Rudith Sylvana King, Paul Bniface Akaabre


Denial of women in land entitlements especially in patriarchal societies has been a major development concern in Ghana, resulting in promulgation of legal establishments that seek to enhance equality in access to land. This paper examines the underlying factors for gender inequality in land access and usage despite laws established to bridge the gap. Interviews with land custodians and households in North-Western Ghana revealed the desire to preserve cultural heritage as the primary reason for non-inclusion of women in access rights. The interpretation of these laws also tend to look at all other things except access to land. Further, limited knowledge about the existence of legal establishments that seek to ensure gender equality accounts for the persisting exclusion of women in access to land. Consequently, legal establishments need not only strict enforcement but also sensitization programs if the persisting gender inequality gap in patriarchal societies is to be bridged.

Keywords: land, gender, ownership and access, patriarchal societies, rights and interests, legal establishments, Nandom District, North-Western Ghana

Topics: Development, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Patriarchy, Households, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2018


© 2021 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at

Subscribe to RSS - Patriarchy