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Political Economies

Gendering Women’s Livelihoods in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining: An Introduction


Buss, Doris, and Blair Rutherford. 2020. “Gendering Women’s Livelihoods in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining: An Introduction.” Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue Canadienne Des Études Africaines 54 (1): 1–16. 

Authors: Doris Buss, Blair Rutherford


Until recently, women were largely invisible as miners within the array of initiatives, laws and policies seeking to regulate mining in sub-Saharan Africa. This invisibility is beginning to change as gender and women are increasingly referenced in mining reform initiatives. In this paper, we provide an overview of extant research on gender and women’s livelihoods in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM), mostly of precious or high-value minerals, and some of the gaps that the papers assembled in this special issue address. This introductory paper also seeks to frame the special issue by questioning the forms of visibility of “women in mining” in policy and scholarly work. Knowledge claims about women and their mining work need to be emplaced within wider presumptions, power relations and political economies at various scales. Gender, we argue, provides an important analytical and methodological lens to critically consider the materialization of “women” in relation to ASM.

Jusqu’à récemment, les femmes étaient largement invisibles en tant que mineuses dans l’ensemble des initiatives, lois et politiques visant à réglementer l’exploitation minière en Afrique subsaharienne. Cette invisibilité commence à changer, à mesure que le genre et les femmes sont de plus en plus mentionnés dans les initiatives de réforme minière. Dans cet article, nous offrons un aperçu des recherches existantes sur le genre et les moyens d’existence des femmes dans l’exploitation minière artisanale et à petite échelle (EMAPE), principalement des minéraux précieux ou de grande valeur, et certaines des lacunes traitées par les articles réunis dans ce numéro spécial. Ce document introductif cherche également à encadrer ce numéro spécial en mettant en question les formes de visibilité des « femmes dans le secteur minier » dans les politiques et les travaux académiques. Les connaissances sur les femmes et leur travail dans le secteur minier doivent s’inscrire dans le cadre de présomptions plus larges, de relations de pouvoir et d’économies politiques à différentes échelles. Selon nous, le genre offre un important prisme analytique et méthodologique pour examiner, de façon critique, la matérialisation des « femmes », relativement à l’EMAPE.

Keywords: gender, women, mining, Sub-Saharan Africa, ASM, genre, femmes, secteur minier, Afrique subsaharienne, EMAPE

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Livelihoods, Political Economies Regions: Africa

Year: 2020

Gendering Climate Change: A Feminist Criminological Perspective


Wonders, Nancy A., and Mona J. E. Danner. 2015. “Gendering Climate Change: A Feminist Criminological Perspective.” Critical Criminology 23 (4): 401–16. 

Authors: Nancy A. Wonders, Mona J. E. Danner


Drawing on insights from feminist scholars and activists, this article examines the dialectical relationship between climate change and the social construction of gender. We examine in detail how gender inequalities associated with capitalism, particularly in its latest Neoliberal incarnation, help to produce global warming, as well as to produce gendered vulnerabilities and unequal impacts. After a brief review of past successes and failures to integrate gender concerns into climate change debates and policies, we suggest several criminological interventions that are compatible with a feminist perspective on climate change. We argue that a stronger criminological focus on the global political economy, particularly on the gendered inequalities it produces, is analytically essential for understanding both the etiology and harmful consequences of climate change. Simultaneously, we urge critical criminologists to employ the tools of our trade to take a more proactive role in the social construction of a just and sustainable society.

Topics: Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Political Economies

Year: 2015

Thinking Fragments: A Disciplinary Reflections on Feminism and Environmental Justice


Asher, Kiran. 2017. “Thinking Fragments: A Disciplinary Reflections on Feminism and Environmental Justice.” Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience 3 (2): 1–28.

Author: Kiran Asher


Feminisms and environmental justice are some of the names of struggles to understand nature-culture linkages and conceptualize just worlds for nonhumans and their human kin. In this paper, I revisit my journey of doing environmental justice research, i.e. of my feminist scientific practice in Asia and Latin America. In this retrospective telling I highlight how gender, political economy, and race were and remain fundamental in producing the subjects and objects of my research and analysis. I discuss how an implicit feminism helped me grapple with the complex nature-culture linkages I observed in the field. Postcolonial and marxist insights supplement and complement feminisms in the questions I pose as we attempt to imagine new nature-cultures.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Justice, Political Economies, Race Regions: Americas, Asia

Year: 2017

Macroeconomic Interventions and the Politics of Postwar Justice


Lai, Daniela. 2020. “Macroeconomic Interventions and the Politics of Postwar Justice.” Politics & Gender 16 (3). doi:10.1017/S1743923X20000331

Author: Daniela Lai


This essay connects feminist political economy and critical/feminist transitional justice through the analysis of macroeconomic interventions in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina. Previous contributions to Critical Perspectives have argued for the need to establish a dialogue and bring down divides between feminist security studies and political economy in feminist International Relations (Elias 2015; Chisolm and Stachowitsch 2017) and to look at the spaces where security and political economy intersect as a productive line of research (Sjoberg 2015). To build these connections, feminist scholars have stressed the importance of multidimensional concepts and questioned their unidimensional use whenever relevant. Security is certainly one of the concepts benefiting from a feminist critique that has opened up its meaning, with reference to its referent objects as well as its multiple dimensions (e.g., to include women's economic security alongside physical security; see Chisolm and Stachowitsch 2017; True 2015). Another concept that has been productively reframed as multidimensional by feminist scholars is violence (Bergeron, Cohn, and Duncanson 2017; Elias and Rai 2015; True 2012).

Topics: Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Justice, Transitional Justice, Political Economies, Post-Conflict, Security, Violence Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2020

Gender and Sexual Violence, Forced Marriages, and Primitive Accumulation during the Cambodian Genocide, 1975–1979


Tyner, James A. 2018. “Gender and Sexual Violence, Forced Marriages, and Primitive Accumulation during the Cambodian Genocide, 1975–1979.” Gender, Place & Culture 25 (9): 1305–21.

Author: James A. Tyner


Between 1975 and 1979 approximately two million men, women, and children died during the Cambodian genocide. These deaths are attributed to specific administrative policies and practices initiated by the Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK), all of which were geared toward the basic objective of increasing agricultural production as a means of building socialism. A crucial question regarding these practices was whether the CPK implemented policies designed specifically to destroy the traditional family structure of Cambodia. Drawing on the work of Silvia Federici, this article argues that policies and practices forwarded by the CPK constitute a variation of primitive accumulation; and that transformations of the traditional family structure were conditioned by the overall social organization of production initiated by the CPK. However, a more pressing form of gendered violence is apparent – a mode that pivots on the social ordering of the CPK’s political economy.

Keywords: Cambodia, gendered violence, primitive accumulation, Silvia Federici, social reproduction

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Genocide, Political Economies, Sexual Violence, Violence Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Cambodia

Year: 2018

Empowered by Electricity? The Political Economy of Gender and Energy in Rural Naryn


Kim, Elena, and Karina Standal. 2019. “Empowered by Electricity? The Political Economy of Gender and Energy in Rural Naryn.” Gender, Technology and Development 23 (1): 1–18.

Authors: Elena Kim, Karina Standal


This article examines if and how access to electricity has contributed to women’s empowerment in the broader context of the political economy of gender and energy in rural Naryn, Kyrgyzstan. Earlier literature has pointed to how electricity provided through development interventions has facilitated a range of desirable services, conditional for children’s education, communication technologies and economic growth. Access to electricity has been linked to gender equality and women’s empowerment via providing women new opportunities for agency and income. The context of this article is rural Kyrgyzstan where electricity has been available since the 1970s as a service delivered by the centralized Soviet state. This study provides important insights into how this has affected local development and gender relations in a post-socialist country. It reveals the complexity of energy access and challenges the assumptions that access to modern energy such as electricity will lead to fulfillment of SDG#7 on affordable and clean energy or increased economic activity and abandonment of traditional energy use. The findings demonstrate that electricity provides an important resource for communication, income generation and household chores. However, the lack of reliability and affordability of electricity in rural areas in the larger context of post-Soviet transitional challenges and changing gender norms, has undermined women’s potential empowerment and has worked to maintain gender inequalities.

Keywords: gender, electricity, energy, women's empowerment, Kyrgyzstan

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, Political Economies Regions: Asia, Central Asia Countries: Kyrgyzstan

Year: 2019

The Political Economy of Conflict and Violence against Women: Towards Feminist Framings from the South


Samuel, Kumudini, Claire Slatter, and Vagisha Gunasekara, eds. 2019. The Political Economy of Conflict and Violence against Women: Towards Feminist Framings from the South. Zed Books.

Authors: Kumudini Samuel, Claire Slatter, Vagisha Gunasekara


The Political Economy of Conflict and Violence against Women shows how political, economic, social and ideological processes intersect to shape conflict related gender-based violence against women. Through feminist interrogations of the politics of economies, struggles for political power and the gender order, this collection reveals how sexual orders and regimes are linked to spaces of production. Crucially it argues that these spaces are themselves firmly anchored in overlapping patriarchies which are sustained and reproduced during and after war through violence that is physical as well as structural.
Through an analysis of legal regimes and structures of social arrangements, this book frames militarization as a political economic dynamic, developing a radical critique of liberal peace building and peace making that does not challenge patriarchy, or modes of production and accumulation. 
This book brings together the work of a group of feminists from the global South. The authors are diverse in their backgrounds, experience, and academic and disciplinary orientations. They work in different political, economic, social and cultural contexts and some have approached writing about the political economies of violence against women in their own countries as much (or more) from lived experience and experiential insights as from formal or scholarly research, which we consider entirely valid and in keeping with feminist epistemology. (Summary from DAWN)
Table of Contents:
Introduction: Framing a South Feminist Analysis of War, Conflict and Violence against Women: The Value of a Political Economy Lens 
Kumudini Samuel and Vagisha Gunasekara
The Construction of the ‘Responsible Woman’: Structural Violence in Sri Lanka’s Post-war Development Strategy
Vagisha Gunasekara and Vijay K. Nagaraj
Ending Violence against Women in Papua New Guinea’s Highlands Region: The Role of the State, Local Civil Society and Extractive Industries by Elizabeth
Box 6.1 Lessons from the Bougainville Experience
Michelle Kopi
Rural Women in Colombia: From Victims to Actors
Cecilia López Montaño and MaríA-Claudia Holstine
Contesting Territoriality: Patriarchy, Accumulation and Dispossession. “Entrenched Peripherality”: Women, Political Economy and the Myth of Peacebuilding in North East India
Roshmi Goswami
Re-Imagining Subversion: Agency and Women’s Peace Activism in Northern Uganda
Yaliwe Clarke and Constance O’Brien
The Prism of Marginalisation: Political Economy of Violence against Women in Sudan and South Sudan
Fahima Hashim


Topics: Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Political Economies, Peacebuilding, Violence

Year: 2019

The Political Economy of Gender and Peacebuilding


Chilmeran, Yasmin, and Jacqui True. 2019. "The Political Economy of Gender and Peacebuilding." In Handbook on Intervention and Statebuilding, edited by Nicolas Lemay-Hébert, 323-38. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.

Authors: Yasmin Chilmeran, Jacqui True


UNSCR 1325 and subsequent Security Council resolutions emphasise the importance of women’s participation in peace processes and peacebuilding to ensure the sustainability of peace and prevent the recurrence of conflict. However, in post-conflict contexts, gender inequalities are heightened, contributing to women’s vulnerability to gender-based violence and structural violence. This chapter applies a feminist political economy framework to examine women’s experiences of these forms of violence. Through an analysis of the post-occupation Iraq case we explore: (1) the political economy causes of women’s insecurity, and (2) the consequences of this insecurity for women’s participation in the peacebuilding process. We examine the types of peacebuilding women are involved in and why they are often excluded from major peacebuilding decisions with implications for the failure to adequately address conflict-related gendered violence. In particular, we consider the work that women are doing to address violence and insecurity within their communities outside of state-sanctioned processes. Above all, the case of Iraq demonstrates that there is an inextricable connection between the gendered experience of insecurity and unequal gendered forms of post-conflict participation.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Conflict Prevention, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Political Economies, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Peace Processes, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq

Year: 2019

Land Grabbing: A Gendered Understanding of Perceptions and Reactions from Affected Communities in Nguti Subdivision of South West Cameroon


Ndi, Frankline A. 2019. “Land Grabbing: A Gendered Understanding of Perceptions and Reactions from Affected Communities in Nguti Subdivision of South West Cameroon.” Development Policy Review 37 (3): 348–66.

Author: Frankline A. Ndi


This article examines the political economic processes and gendered consequences involved in large‐scale land acquisition (LSLA ) in rural South West Cameroon. The study adopts a gender‐disaggregated approach to data collection to understand local perceptions and reactions to LSLA in the region. It shows how traditional cultural prescriptions have combined with contemporary land laws to masculinize power over land to the detriment of women. It argues that although men and women are both affected by LSLA projects, the impacts are much greater for women because what the state considers “empty land” is used by them to secure household food security. Second, it argues that amid societal discrimination over land‐ownership rights, perceived gender differences between men and women appear “rational” in the event of LSLA —men follow their ascribed roles in overt reactions, women being more covert and much less vocal in land‐related contests. New policies that promote rural women's land rights will not only empower them during land struggles, they will also provide communities with greater security to sustain ecologically viable livelihoods.

Keywords: Cameroon, feminist political ecology, gender perceptions and reactions, land grabbing, large-scale land acquisition, rural livelihoods

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Land Grabbing, Livelihoods, Political Economies, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2019

Cleared for Investment? The Intersections of Transnational Capital, Gender, and Race in the Production of Sexual Violence and Internal Displacement in Colombia's Armed Conflict


Sachseder, Julia. 2020. “Cleared for investment? The Intersections of Transnational Capital, Gender, and Race in the Production of Sexual Violence and Internal Displacement in Colombia’s Armed Conflict.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 22 (2): 162-86.

Author: Julia Sachseder


Investigating the nexus of transnational capital, gender, and race, I argue that sexual violence and internal displacement tacitly serve the interest of transnational corporations (TNCs). Drawing on extensive ethnographic research in war-torn regions in Colombia, I elucidate how violence is deeply intertwined in the globalization of neoliberal capitalism and operates by exploiting and instrumentalizing constructions of gender and race that are articulated through colonial legacies and further dehumanize the “Other.” The focus on intersectional power relations advances a critical understanding of the political economy of armed conflict. First, it reveals how local and global (economic) actors are entrenched in exacerbating local forms of domination that produce sexual violence and internal displacement through a particular political economy of masculinity and neoliberal forms of expansion and exploitation. Beyond that, both forms of violence are not only the product of colonial, capitalist, and gendered structures and ideas but also serve to re-entrench these power relations between dominant and subaltern groups. I conceptualize this relationship as the “coloniality of violence.” It constitutes a shared space for violent forms of domination and appropriation that facilitates capital accumulation, and it may further foster a relation of structural oppression in “post-conflict” Colombia.
Mit Blick auf das Verhältnis von transnationalem Kapital, Geschlecht und “race” wird in diesem Artikel erarbeitet, wie sexuelle Gewalt und innere Vertreibung dem Interesse transnationaler Konzerne dienen. Auf Basis umfassender ethnografischer Forschung in einigen vom Krieg betroffenen Regionen Kolumbiens zeige ich den Zusammenhang zwischen politischer Gewalt und der Globalisierung des neoliberalen Kapitalismus auf. Dieser beutet Konstruktionen von Geschlecht und “race” aus, die im Kolonialismus verankert sind. Der Rückgriff und die Instrumentalisierung dieser (post)kolonialen Zuschreibungen helfen dabei, bestimmte Gruppen in Begriffen “der Anderen” zu kategorisieren und sie weitgehend zu dehumanisieren. Der Fokus auf intersektionale Macht- und Herrschaftsverhältnisse trägt somit zu einem kritischen Verständnis der politischen Ökonomie bewaffneter Konflikte bei. Erstens wird aufgezeigt, wie lokale und globale (ökonomische) Akteure soziale Ungleichheiten verstärken und durch eine spezifische politische Ökonomie von Männlichkeit und neoliberale Formen der Expansion und Ausbeutung sexuelle Gewalt und innerer Vertreibung hervorbringen. Darüber hinaus ist politische Gewalt nicht nur das Produkt kolonialer, kapitalistischer und geschlechtsspezifischer Strukturen und Diskurse sondern dient auch dazu, diese gesellschaftlichen Verhältnisse zwischen dominanten und subalternen Gruppen zu verfestigen. Dieses Verhältnis fasse ich mit dem Begriff der “Kolonialität der Gewalt.” Dieser stellt einen gemeinsamen Raum für gewaltvolle Formen der Beherrschung und Aneignung dar, der Kapitalakkumulation erleichtert und strukturelle Unterdrückung in der sogenannten Nachkriegszeit in Kolumbien forciert.
En mi investigación sobre la interrelación entre capital transnacional y formas de opresión basadas en concepciones de género y raza argumento que la violencia sexual y el desplazamiento interno sirven implícitamente a los intereses de los grandes grupos transnacionales. Partiendo de una investigación etnográfica integral en regiones afectadas por el conflicto armado en Colombia ilustro de qué manera la violencia está asociada a la globalización del capitalismo neoliberal y explico el mecanismo funcional subyacente que consiste en instrumentalizar y explotar construcciones de género y de raza que se manifiestan a través de históricos vínculos coloniales los cuales contribuyen a deshumanizar al “Otro.” El objetivo consiste en alcanzar una comprensión crítica de la economía política en el marco de un conflicto armado a través de un enfoque centrado en la interseccionalidad de las relaciones de poder. De esta manera se revela el arraigo profundo de las actores (económicos) locales y globales en formas locales de dominio, fenómenos que a su vez contribuyen a exacerbar la violencia sexual y el desplazamiento interno en Colombia por medio de una economía política basada en un determinado concepto de masculinidad y en formas neoliberales de expansión y explotación. Así mismo, ambas formas de violencia no solamente se pueden ver como resultado de determinadas estructuras e ideas coloniales, capitalistas y de género sino que sirven también para consolidar tales relaciones de poder entre grupos dominantes y subalternos. Conceptualizo esta relación cómo “colonialidad de violencia” que a su vez constituye un escenario compartido para formas violentas de dominación y apropiación. Considerada en su conjunto la colonialidad de violencia fomenta la acumulación de capital estimulando de esta manera una relación de opresión estructural y violenta en la Colombia del llamado “posconflicto.”

Keywords: gender, race, transnational capital, sexual violence, Colombian armed conflict

Topics: Armed Conflict, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Economies, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Intersectionality, Political Economies, Post-Conflict, Race, Sexual Violence, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2020


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