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Patriarchy

Feminist Foreign Policy as Ethical Foreign Policy? A Care Ethics Perspective

Citation:

Robinson, Fiona. 2019. “Feminist Foreign Policy as Ethical Foreign Policy? A Care Ethics Perspective.” Journal of International Political Theory, February 25. https://doi.org/10.1177/1755088219828768

Author: Fiona Robinson

Abstract:

This article argues that a liberal cosmopolitan approach to feminist foreign policy reproduces existing relations of power, including gender power relations and Western liberal modes of domination. I suggest that a critical feminist ethic of care offers a potentially radical and transformative account of ethics as a basis for a transnational feminism – one that reveals and troubles the binary gender norms that constitute the international and which exposes the ways in which patriarchal orders uphold political hierarchies that obstruct the building of empathy and repairing of relationship. To illustrate this argument, I address the recent diplomatic crises faced by Sweden and Canada in their relationships with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Policymakers and diplomats must aim to build understanding by recognizing the material and discursive factors that have constructed, over time, the relationships between Saudi Arabia and Sweden/Canada, as well as the ways in which patriarchal structures – across the globe and at multiple scales – hinder the possibility of attentive listening and connection across borders. It is only through the prism of this relationship – where difference takes on meaning – that the more complex role of Western states in the contemporary system of transnational militarism is revealed.

Keywords: care, cosmopolitanism, ethics, feminism, foreign policy, post-colonialism

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Feminist Foreign Policy, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality

Year: 2019

Labour’s International Development Policy: Internationalism, Globalisation, and Gender

Citation:

Riley, Charlotte Lydia. 2019. “Labour’s International Development Policy: Internationalism, Globalisation, and Gender.” Renewal: A Journal of Social Democracy 27 (1): 52-7.

Author: Charlotte Lydia Riley

Annotation:

Summary:
“In March 2018, Kate Osamor, then Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, launched the Labour policy paper A world for the many not the few, setting out a future for Britain’s aid policy under a Corbynite government. The document is remarkable for a number of reasons: firstly, its conception of Britain’s role in the world; secondly, its framing of aid and development policies and the purpose of these policies; and thirdly, its repeated and explicit invocation of a feminist approach to aid and development. This explicit engagement with feminist politics in a field which has been so shaped by patriarchal structures is welcome; but Labour could do with a more critical engagement with the long legacies of imperialism in British policies and the complicated history of the party’s own role in this imperial history” (Riley 2019, 52).

Topics: Development, Feminisms, Feminist Foreign Policy, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2019

Empowerment Through Energy? Impact of Electricity on Care Work Practices and Gender Relations

Citation:

Standal, Karina, and Tanja Winther. 2016. “Empowerment Through Energy? Impact of Electricity on Care Work Practices and Gender Relations.” Forum for Development Studies 43 (1): 27–45.

Authors: Karina Standal, Tanja Winther

Abstract:

Electricity provides a range of desirable services such as the electric light and the use of mobile phones and is regarded as a conditional factor for economic growth. Gender equality and women's empowerment are also promoted as a key to development on the international agenda. However, relatively little is known about how the advent of electricity in new contexts affects gender relations. The present analysis of electricity's impact on gender relations engages with the concepts of care work and empowerment. Based on two ethnographic case studies in rural communities in Uttar Pradesh, India, and Bamiyan, Afghanistan, we examine how and to what extent the introduction of electricity affected women’s care work practices and empowerment – and potentially transformed gender relations. We also draw on our own empirical material from other parts of India (West Bengal and Jharkhand). We find that electricity affected everyday life in terms of providing important resources and enhancing women’s opportunities to perform their expected role as care workers more efficiently and in a qualitatively better way. The women appreciated this positive effect of electricity in their everyday lives. However, we argue that in India, electricity at the same time reinforced structures of gender inequality such as patriarchy and dowry practices, and we trace this tendency to the conceptualisation of women as care workers in combination with conventional, gender ‘neutral’ electricity interventions. In contrast, there are signs that women’s status increased in the Afghanistan case, which we link to the unusual inclusion of women engineers in the electricity supply.

Keywords: electricity, gender relations, empowerment, care work, India, Afghanistan

Topics: Development, Economies, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, India

Year: 2016

‘Women with No Femininity’: Gender, Race and Nation-Building in the James Bay Project.

Citation:

Desbiens, Caroline. 2004. “‘Women with No Femininity’: Gender, Race and Nation-Building in the James Bay Project.” Political Geography 23 (3): 347–66.

Author: Caroline Desbiens

Abstract:

This paper seeks to gender the nation-state through an analysis of the links between gender, colonial history and governmentality in Québec’s James Bay region. In the early 1970s, a new governmental framework was introduced in Northern Québec with the construction of a large-scale hydroelectric complex. The James Bay project coincided with an intensive period of nation-building by Francophones in the province, which led to the 1980 referendum on separation from Canada. Looking at the space of the labor camps, I explore the differential positioning of men and women in dominant narratives of the nation-state. While both men and women who worked in James Bay were cast as heroes of the nation, everyday geographies in the work camps reveal several axes of difference on the basis of gender, race and class. By looking at the production of these geographies and the dual positioning of women as both “outcasts” and “daughters” of the patriarchal state, I call for a broader understanding of difference in the elaboration of a feminist political geography.

Keywords: gender, labor, colonial history, nation-building, political geography

Topics: Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Infrastructure, Energy, Race Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2004

The Power and the Promise of Ecological Feminism

Citation:

Warren, Karen J. 1990. “The Power and the Promise of Ecological Feminism.” Environmental Ethics 12 (2): 125–46.

Author: Karen J. Warren

Annotation:

Summary:
Ecological feminism is the position that there are important connections-historical, symbolic, theoretical-between the domination of women and the domination of nonhuman nature. I argue that because the conceptual connections between the dual dominations of women and nature are located in an oppressive patriarchal conceptual framework characterized by a logic of domination, (1) the logic of traditional feminism requires the expansion of feminism to include ecological feminism and (2) ecological feminism provides a framework for developing a distinctively feminist environmental ethic. I conclude that any feminist theory and any environmental ethic which fails to take seriously the interconnected dominations of women and nature is simply inadequate. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy

Year: 1990

Re-Writing Corporate Environmentalism: Ecofeminism, Corporeality and the Language of Feeling

Citation:

Phillips, Mary. 2014. “Re-Writing Corporate Environmentalism: Ecofeminism, Corporeality and the Language of Feeling.” Gender, Work & Organization 21 (5): 443–58. 

Author: Mary Phillips

Abstract:

For ecofeminism, the rationalist and instrumentalist responses of most corporations to multiple ecological crises are characteristic of a ‘logic of patriarchy’ based on interrelated and cross-cutting dualisms that support the subordination of nature and other oppressed groups. Dualisms such as culture/nature, reason/body justify corporate denial or appropriation of the feminine, the maternal and nature. Combining ecofeminist philosophy and the work of Helene Cixous, the paper suggests that a subversive approach utilizing embodied, poetic writing could begin to move corporations, and those who work with and in them, to value feeling and organic embeddedness and encourage a more ecocentric engagement with the world.

Keywords: ecofeminism, Cixous, embodiment, nature, ecological crisis

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

Year: 2014

Ecofeminism

Citation:

Mies, Maria, and Vandana Shiva. 2014. Ecofeminism. London: Zed Books.

Authors: Maria Mies, Vandana Shiva

Annotation:

Summary:
This groundbreaking work remains as relevant today as when it was when first published. Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva argue that ecological destruction and industrial catastrophes constitute a direct threat to everyday life, the maintenance of which has been made the particular responsibility of women. In both industrialized societies and the developing countries, new wars, violent ethnic chauvinisms and the malfunctioning of the economy pose urgent questions. Is there a relationship between patriarchal oppression and the destruction of nature in the name of profit and progress? How can women counter the violence inherent in these processes? Should they look to a link between the women's movement and other social movements? These two world-renowned feminist environmental activists offer a thought-provoking analysis of these and many other issues from a unique North-South perspective. (Summary from WorldCat)

Topics: Armed Conflict, "New Wars", Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Violence

Year: 2014

Green Politics: Ecofeminist, Ecofeminine or Ecomasculine?

Citation:

Mellor, Mary. 1992. “Green Politics: Ecofeminist, Ecofeminine or Ecomasculine?” Environmental Politics 1 (2): 229–51.

Author: Mary Mellor

Abstract:

Many commentators have seen a ‘natural’ affiliation between the ecology movement and the feminist movement. The green movement has attracted many women members and supporters although the German Green Party has adopted the most overtly feminist stance. In Britain, neither feminism nor the presence of women appears to have had a profound effect on green politics. Ecofeminists argue that green politics should start from women's experience as women share with nature a common oppression at the hand of male‐dominated ‘progress’. They also share with the natural world a common experience of nurturing and life‐giving. The failure of mainstream (male) green thinking to incorporate women's experience of caring and nurturing is most clearly revealed in the debate around the future of work. Some aspects of women's lives have been incorporated into green thinking, particularly in the distinction between the feminine and masculine ‘principles’. Without a distinctively feminist perspective these principles are seen as cross‐gender and no account is taken of the imbalance of power between men and women that these ‘principles’ represent. In the absence of a positive integration between feminism and green thinking, green politics is in danger of reverting to, or never leaving, a masculinist stance reflecting the values of patriarchal society.

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Political Participation

Year: 1992

Extractives vs Development Sovereignty: Building Living Consent Rights for African Women

Citation:

The WoMin Collective. 2017. “Extractives vs Development Sovereignty: Building Living Consent Rights for African Women.” Gender & Development 25 (3): 421-37.

Author: The WoMin Collective

Abstract:

This article focuses on the right of consent for women and their communities in respect of extractives and large-scale (or ‘mega’) infrastructure projects that affect their access to, and control over, land and natural resources indispensable to their lives and livelihoods. As we point out, the right of consent is determined by prevailing deeply unequal power structures. Poor women confront a double exclusion from power and decision-making about land and resource use – on the basis of both their class and gender. The political economy of power and vested interest surrounding these projects at all levels from the community to the international spheres mean that communities, and women within them, rarely enjoy the right of consent on a free, prior, informed, and ongoing basis. In addition, women are locked out of rights of land ownership in communities living under common property and this, combined with other patriarchal power relations in family and community, inhibits their voice and influence in community decision-making. This is the second exclusion they suffer, this time on the basis of their gender. Consent, even if legislated or institutionalised in policy and systems of state, corporate, or multilateral bodies is rarely granted but rather won through struggle and demand. The article will present an inspiring case in the South African context where unequal power has been inverted and a unique community, with women playing a leading role, has claimed the right of consent in practice through struggle. It concludes with some suggestions for the work needed to strengthen women’s rights of consent in respect of mega ‘development’ projects in Africa.

Keywords: resource extraction, land, Rights, women, gender, inequality, consent, development, exclusion, social struggle

Topics: Class, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Livelihoods, Political Economies, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2017

Beyond Wishful Thinking: A FPE Perspective on Commoning, Care, and the Promise of Co-Housing

Citation:

Tummers, Lidewij, and Sherilyn MacGregor. 2019. “Beyond Wishful Thinking: A FPE Perspective on Commoning, Care, and the Promise of Co-Housing.” International Journal of the Commons (13) 1:  62–83. 

Authors: Lidewij Tummers, Sherilyn MacGregor

Abstract:

Co-housing has re-emerged in European cities as a model of common dwelling that aims to be ecologically and socially sustainable. Although it is the subject of growing academic interest, there are significant gaps in knowledge and wishful thinking about its promise that is not substantiated by evidence. We examine co-housing from a feminist political ecology (FPE) perspective with the aim of contributing to research on co-housing, and commoning more generally, as alternative practices in affluent Global North cities. Drawing on extensive research on co-housing in Europe and our observations from joint visits to four co-housing projects in the Netherlands and the UK, we cast critical feminist light on sharing practices at the level of the collectivized household. In addition to identifying synergies and tensions between FPE and recent literature on the radical promise of commoning, we raise questions about the extent to which the seeds of transformative, post-capitalist and post-patriarchal change are being sown in actually existing co-housing projects. We conclude with questions toward an agenda for co-housing research that moves beyond wishful thinking.

Keywords: co- housing, social reproduction, commons/commoning, gender justice, intersectionality

Topics: Economies, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Households, Intersectionality, Justice Regions: Europe, Northern Europe, Western Europe Countries: Netherlands, United Kingdom

Year: 2019

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