Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version


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

Land, Status and Security – A Burden Borne by Women


Luwaya, Nolundi. 2018. “Land, Status and Security – A Burden Borne by Women.” Agenda 32 (4): 103-10.

Author: Nolundi Luwaya


Women in rural South Africa, living on communal land, struggle for recognition of both their land rights and claims to land across and within multiple spaces. The arenas within which these women wage their struggles are multidimensional; various dynamics, interests, and laws weave together to knit a particular tapestry. Women in rural communities experience extreme poverty and inadequate access to basic services, woven together with the legacies of colonial and apartheid era land legislation. It is a cruel irony that such extreme poverty is experienced in the former homelands where these high levels of poverty are sharpened by the existence of vast mineral wealth beneath the surface. This mineral wealth is frequently enjoyed by traditional elites who are often privileged to the disadvantage of the communities that they serve. The strands within this complex tapestry that I wish to unravel in this paper are centred around the historical legal construction of the status and land rights of black women and the implications thereof on current struggles. The construction of racist, patriarchal, historical narratives cannot be discussed without examining recent legislative responses dealing with communal land, in particular, by the post-apartheid state, and their effect on women. The Constitution’s promises of land reform and tenure security for people living on communal land must be fulfilled. This fulfilment must be sensitive to the particular challenges faced by women in these rural communities, women who have and continue to lay their bodies on the line for land.

Keywords: women's land rights, communal land, status, security of tenure, South Africa

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2018

Gender Roles and Practices in Natural Resource Management Among the Kilosa Maasai in Tanzania


Massoi, Lucy W. 2019. “Gender Roles and Practices in Natural Resource Management Among the Kilosa Maasai in Tanzania.” Tanzania Journal of Development Studies 17 (1): 102-16.

Author: Lucy W. Massoi


This article empirically describes gender roles and practices in natural resource management among the pastoral Maasai society of Kilosa, Tanzania. Through a qualitative approach, a descriptive case study design was adopted to collect and analyse data using content analysis. Results show that gender roles and practice in land management is gender differentiated. There is a strong patriarchal system in Maasai societies that govern access to, and use of, land. Women have limited access/ownership to land and have to seek permission from men to use land. In this regard, the hardest hit are women who use land without having independent access or muscles for negotiating due to existing norms and values that license their exclusion. The article argues that unless customary practices are addressed, women issues will remain unchanged given the presence of a male-centred customary practice built on strong patriarchal system that side-lines women in land management.

Keywords: gender, gender roles, natural resource management, pastoral Maasai women

Topics: Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Patriarchy, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2019

Female Access to Fertile Land and Other Inputs in Zambia: Why Women Get Lower Yields


Burke, William J., Serena Li, and Dingiswayo Banda. 2018. “Female Access to Fertile Land and Other Inputs in Zambia: Why Women Get Lower Yields.” Agriculture and Human Values 35: 761–75.

Authors: William J. Burke, Serena Li, Dingiswayo Banda


Throughout the developing world, it is a well-documented fact that women farmers tend to get lower yields than their male counterparts. Typically this is attributed to disproportionate access to high-quality inputs and labor, with some even arguing there could be a skills-gap stemming from unbalanced access to training and education. This article examines the gender-based yield gap in the context of Zambian maize producers. In addition to the usual drivers, we argue that Zambia’s patriarchal and multi-tiered land distribution system could disfavor women with respect to accessing quality soils. We are uniquely able to control for soil characteristics using farm data from a sample of 1573 fields with accompanying soil analysis. We find an expected difference in yields, but no evidence of a gap in unobserved characteristics, like skill, after controlling for access to inputs, especially quality soil, suggesting women are indeed disproportionately disadvantaged. We discuss how our findings could be used to develop self-targeting policy interventions that could empower women and would be consistent with the government’s stated equity goals.

Keywords: gender yield gap, productivity, soil quality, Sub-Saharan Africa, Zambia

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Patriarchy, Land Tenure Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zambia

Year: 2018

Earth Follies: Feminism, Politics and the Environment


Seager, Joni. 1993, reissued 2019. Earth Follies: Feminism, Politics and the Environment. New York: Routledge.

Author: Joni Seager


First published in 1993. The question of ‘agency’ is essential to our understanding of environmental problems - who is responsible, and why? Threats such as ozone depletion, global warming and overconsumption are all precipitated by the powerful institutions which shape modern life – institutions which are overwhelmingly controlled by men and dominated by masculine presumptions.

Joni Seager argues that the gender bias inherent in western culture is inextricably linked to our environmental crisis. She analyses the traditional institutes of power – governments, the military and transnational corporations - and also takes a critical look at the equally patriarchal environmental establishment, comparing the work of the official environmental movement, grounded in masculine thought, with the smaller-scale, direct actions taken by women driven to protect their homes and communities.

Earth Follies represents an incisive and utterly convincing feminist critique of our environmental crises, and offers radical and productive priorities for the environmental agenda. (Summary from Routledge)


Table of Contents

Introduction: What’s the Problem Here?

1. Up in Arms Against the Environment: The Military

2. Business as Usual

3. On the Coattails of Men in Government 

4. The Ecology Establishment

5. The Eco-Fringe: Deep Ecology and Ecofeminism

6. Hysterical Housewives, Treehuggers, and Other Mad Women


Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy

Year: 2019

Women, Culture and Africa’s Land Reform Agenda


Akinola, Adeoye O. 2018. “Women, Culture and Africa’s Land Reform Agenda.” Frontiers in Psychology 9.

Author: Adeoye O. Akinola


Pre-colonial Africa pride itself on adherence to diverse cultural affinity and traditional belief system, which defines the place of women in respect to land access, use and ownership. Land resource continues to play important roles in both agrarian and industrial societies; thus, absence of effective land management and gender construction in land allocations has deepened gender inequality, restricted women’s capacity building and agricultural development in Africa. This article explores the impact of African traditional practices and cultural beliefs on women’s land ownership and use, it also reconciles women’s land rights (access and control) with the realities of land reform in post-colonial Africa. It explores how gender inequalities, in terms of land ownership and rights, have jeopardized attempts at agricultural productivity and sustainable development in Africa. Although, it is tasking to ‘universalize’ Africa culture and locate it in a centre, due to the diverse cultural values found in Africa. However, there are certain belief systems that run through most African communities, such as the denials of women’s land rights and patriarchal nature of the societies. Thus, the article found that, despite the development of legal frameworks that expands women’s property rights, cases of cultural impediments to the exercise of land rights abound in Africa.

Keywords: culture, women rights, land reform, land labour, human capacity building, Africa

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Patriarchy, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa

Year: 2018

Development Paradoxes: Feminist Solidarity, Alternative Imaginaries and New Spaces


Chowdhury, Elora Halim. 2016. “Development Paradoxes: Feminist Solidarity, Alternative Imaginaries and New Spaces.” Journal of International Women's Studies 17 (1): 117–32.

Author: Elora Halim Chowdhury


In his seminal work Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World (1995), post-development scholar Arturo Escobar likens development to a chimera. My work builds on a sophisticated body of post-development and transnational feminist theory drawing on conceptions of the relationship of representations of development in the Third World to the interconnected webs of various transnational patriarchal and economic dominations that affect, and are affected by, the realities of marginalized communities in the Global South. In particular, I am concerned with how development discourses interlock with global systemic hierarchies of race, gender, class as well as structural oppressions, including uneven global systems of economic restructuring, neo-colonial interventions, and donor-structured development operations that hinder global solidarity and cross-border feminist organizing. Enjoining development debates to cultural texts, I explore what disparate fields such as post-colonialism, feminism, post-development have to offer and enrich the ideas about the conflicted terrain of development discourse.

Keywords: development, post-development, post-coloniality, neocolonialism, transnational feminism, knowledge production, culture

Topics: Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Development, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Patriarchy, Race

Year: 2016

Decolonization and Afro-Feminism


Tamale, Sylvia. 2020. Decolonization and Afro-Feminism. Ottawa: Daraja Press.

Author: Sylvia Tamale


Why do so many Africans believe they cannot break the “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back” cycle?  Six decades after colonial flags were lowered and African countries gained formal independence, the continent struggles to free itself from the deep legacies of colonialism, imperialism and patriarchy.  Many intellectuals, politicians, feminists and other activists, eager to contribute to Africa’s liberation, have frustratingly, felt like they took the wrong path.  Analyzed through the eyes of Afro-feminism, this book revisits some of the fundamental preconditions needed for radical transformation.

The main focus of Decolonization and Afro-feminism is unlearning imperial power relations by relearning to “shake off” the colonial filters through which we view the world, including the instruments of law, education, religion, family and sexuality.  It re-envisions Pan-Africanism as a more inclusive decolonizing/decolonial movement that embraces Afro-feminist politics.  It also challenges the traditional human rights paradigm and its concomitant idea of “gender equality,” flagging instead, the African philosophy of Ubuntu as a serious alternative for reinvigorating African notions of social justice. (Summary from original source)


Table of Contents:


1. The Basics of Decolonization and Decolonial Futures

2. Feminists and the Struggle for Africa’s Decolonial Reconstruction

3. Challenging the Coloniality of Sex, Gender and Sexuality

4. Legal Pluralism and Decolonial Feminismn

5. Repositioning the Dominant Discourses on Rights and Social Justice

6. Rethinking the African Academy

7. Decolonizing Family Law: The Case of Uganda

8. Towards Feminist Pan-Africanism and Pan-African Feminism

Epilogue: Decolonizing Africa in the Age of Big Data

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Education, Feminisms, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Patriarchy, Religion, Sexuality Regions: Africa

Year: 2020


© 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