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Poverty

Can We Turn the Tide? Confronting Gender Inequality in Climate Policy

Citation:

Huyer, Sophia, Mariola Acosta, Tatiana Gumucio, and Jasmin Irisha Jim Ilham. 2020. “Can We Turn the Tide? Confronting Gender Inequality in Climate Policy.” Gender & Development 28 (3): 571–91.

Authors: Sophia Huyer, Mariola Acosta, Tatiana Gumucio, Jasmin Irisha Jim Ilham

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Emerging global crises such as climate change, massive migrations, pandemics, and environmental degradation are posing serious risks to humanity, threatening ecosystems and rural livelihoods across the globe. The poor, and especially the most marginalised among the poor, are disproportionately affected. Climate change in particular is expected to exacerbate pre-existing social inequalities, including gender inequalities. Therefore, innovative and equitable climate adaptation and mitigation strategies will be needed. This article reviews the progress so far in integrating a gender perspective into climate change policy discussions and agreements at global and national levels.

 

SPANISH ABSTRACT:
Las crisis emergentes a nivel mundial, por ejemplo, el cambio climático, las migraciones masivas, las pandemias y la degradación del medio ambiente, están planteando graves riesgos para la humanidad, amenazando los ecosistemas y los medios de vida rurales. Los pobres, y entre ellos sobre todo los más marginados, son afectados de manera desproporcionada. Se prevé que el cambio climático, en particular, exacerbe las desigualdades sociales preexistentes, incluidas las desigualdades de género. Ello significa que serán necesarias estrategias innovadoras y equitativas de adaptación al clima y de mitigación de los daños provocados por sus cambios. El presente artículo examina los avances realizados hasta la fecha en la integración de una perspectiva de género a los debates y los acuerdos sobre políticas relativas al cambio climático, tanto a nivel mundial como nacional.

 

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
Les crises mondiales émergentes comme le changement climatique, les migrations en masse, les pandémies et la dégradation environnementale représentent des risques sérieux pour l’humanité ; elles menacent les écosystèmes et les moyens d’existence partout dans le monde. Les personnes pauvres, et en particulier les pauvres les plus marginalisés, sont touchées de manière disproportionnée. On s’attend en particulier à ce que le changement climatique exacerbe les inégalités sociales préexistantes, y compris les inégalités entre les sexes. Ainsi, des stratégies innovantes et équitables d’adaptation et d’atténuation en matière de changement climatique seront requises. Cet article examine les progrès effectués jusqu’ici dans l’intégration d’une perspective de genre dans les discussions et les accords sur les politiques face au changement climatique à l’échelle mondiale et nationale.

Keywords: gender, equality, climate change, vulnerability, transformation, 'retributive' justice, adaptation, mitigation

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

Year: 2020

Caregivers at the Frontline of Addressing the Climate Crisis

Citation:

Butt, Myrah Nerine, Saleha Kamal Shah, and Fareeha Ali Yahya. 2020. “Caregivers at the Frontline of Addressing the Climate Crisis.” Gender & Development 28 (3): 479–98.

Authors: Myrah Nerine Butt, Saleha Kamal Shah, Fareeha Ali Yahya

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
This article draws on Oxfam’s work in Pakistan. It explores the burdens of addressing the climate crisis on the unpaid labour of poverty-stricken women in Badin, Pakistan. A case study methodology has been used to highlight the experiences of four women farmers in Badin and understand the impact of climate change on their care workload. Seawater intrusion and rising temperatures are key stressors leading to acute shortages of water. This is increasing women’s time spent on key care activities like fodder and water collection, and livestock rearing. A severe negative impact has been observed on the drudgery of care work and, in turn, on the health and well-being of the women. In a context where prevalent gender inequality and social norms lead to unequal life chances for women, it has been observed that due to climate change, women have to travel further, work harder, and assume more care responsibilities. It has also been observed that care is primarily seen as a feminine task with residual care responsibilities falling on the shoulders of other women in the household, particularly girls, crippling their life chances. Despite all these challenges, women are organising and raising their voices on key issues around climate change. The article recommends that the four ‘Rs’ framework – recognise, reduce, redistribute, and represent –  developed by feminist economists and care experts, be integrated across mainstream climate policy and programmes to help women in poverty improve their well-being and exercise their social, economic, and political rights.

 

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
Cet article s’inspire des travaux menés par Oxfam au Pakistan. Il se penche sur le fardeau représenté par les efforts de la lutte contre la crise climatique sur le travail non rémunéré des femmes pauvres de Badin, au Pakistan. Une méthodologie d’étude de cas a été employée pour mettre en relief les expériences de quatre agricultrices de Badin et pour comprendre l’impact du changement climatique sur leur charge de travail liée aux soins. L’intrusion de l’eau de mer et la hausse des températures sont des facteurs de stress clés qui entraînent des pénuries aiguës d’eau. Cela a pour effet d’accroître le temps consacré par les femmes aux activités de soins comme la collecte de fourrage et d’eau, et l’élevage. Un grave impact négatif a été observé en ce qui concerne la pénibilité des activités de soins et, en conséquence, sur la santé et le bien-être des femmes. Dans un contexte où les inégalités existantes entre les sexes et les normes sociales donnent lieu à des chances de réussite inégales pour les femmes, on a observé qu’en raison du changement climatique, les femmes doivent parcourir de plus longues distances, travailler davantage et assumer plus de responsabilités de soins. On a également observé que les soins sont principalement perçus comme une tâche féminine et que les responsabilités résiduelles de soins reposent sur les épaules des autres femmes du foyer, en particulier les filles, ce qui compromet leurs perspectives de réussite. Malgré ces défis, les femmes s’organisent et se font entendre sur des questions clés relatives au changement climatique. Cet article recommande que le cadre des quatre « R » — reconnaître, réduire, redistribuer et représenter — mis au point par les économistes et les experts féministes en matière de soins, soit intégré dans tous les programmes et politiques généraux en matière de climat pour aider les femmes pauvres à améliorer leur bien-être et à faire valoir leurs droits sociaux, économiques et politiques.

 

SPANISH ABSTRACT:
Partiendo del trabajo realizado por Oxfam en Pakistán, el presente artículo examina la carga que supone para el trabajo no remunerado de las mujeres afectadas por la pobreza en Badin, Pakistán, abordar la crisis climática. Con este propósito se utilizó una metodología de estudio de casos para poner de relieve las experiencias de cuatro agricultoras de Badin, a fin de comprender el impacto del cambio climático en su carga de trabajo vinculada al cuidado. Tanto la filtración de agua de mar como la elevación de temperatura constituyen factores estresantes fundamentales que provocan una grave escasez de agua. Esto determina que las mujeres deban aumentar el tiempo que dedican a actividades clave de cuidado, como la recolección de forraje y agua, y la cría de ganado. Ello ha ocasionado un grave impacto negativo, tanto en el trabajo de cuidado como en la salud y el bienestar de las mujeres. En un contexto en que la desigualdad de género y las normas sociales predominantes dan lugar a desiguales oportunidades en la vida para las mujeres, se ha observado que, debido al cambio climático, las mujeres tienen que viajar más lejos, trabajar más duro y asumir más responsabilidades de cuidado. Además, se ha constatado que el cuidado es considerado sobre todo como una tarea de mujeres y que las responsabilidades residuales del cuidado recaen sobre los hombros de otras mujeres del hogar, en particular las niñas, lo que limita sus oportunidades en la vida. A pesar de todos estos desafíos, las mujeres se están organizando y alzando su voz en cuestiones clave relativas al cambio climático. El artículo recomienda que el marco de las cuatro “R” —reconocer, reducir, redistribuir y representar— desarrollado por economistas feministas y expertos en cuidados, se integre a la política y los programas climáticos principales para ayudar a las mujeres marginadas a mejorar su bienestar y ejercer sus derechos sociales, económicos y políticos.

Keywords: climate, care work, agriculture, Pakistan, water, WE-Care

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Girls, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Pakistan

Year: 2020

Gendered Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change

Citation:

Alston, Margaret. 2020. “Gendered Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change.” In Routledge Handbook of Gender and Agriculture, edited by Carolyn E. Sachs, Leif Jensen, Paige Castellanos, and Kathleen Sexsmith, 137-48. Abingdon: Routledge.

Author: Margaret Alston

Abstract:

This chapter challenges the notion of women as either undifferentiated vulnerable victims of climate change events or virtuous defenders of environmental health, arguing the need for a complex attention to the intersectional factors that shape gender vulnerability in the face of climate disasters. Offering a nuanced assessment of vulnerability, adaptation, and resilience, the chapter argues for a commitment to transformative resilience to address the potential for gender inequalities to be cemented by climate-based actions. Noting the widespread dominance of climate denial amongst policy makers and the slow and incremental attention to gender at international climate forums, the chapter notes the need for critical attention to gender. Outlining the gender impacts of health impacts, food and water insecurity, and displacement, the chapter notes that gender, poverty, and rurality are critical elements of vulnerability. Moving forward the chapter calls for attention to the complexity of gender and power relations in climate change policies and practices to give the lie to the simplistic notion of women as vulnerable or virtuous.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Intersectionality, Security, Food Security

Year: 2020

Gender and Natural Resource Management: Livelihoods, Mobility and Interventions

Citation:

Resurrección, Bernadette P., and Rebecca Elmhirst. 2012. Gender and Natural Resource Management: Livelihoods, Mobility and Interventions. Abingdon: Routledge.

Authors: Bernadette P. Resurrección, Rebecca Elmhirst

Annotation:

Summary:
This book is about the gender dimensions of natural resource exploitation and management, with a focus on Asia. It explores the uneasy negotiations between theory, policy and practice that are often evident within the realm of gender, environment and natural resource management, especially where gender is understood as a political, negotiated and contested element of social relationships. It offers a critical feminist perspective on gender relations and natural resource management in the context of contemporary policy concerns: decentralized governance, the elimination of poverty and the mainstreaming of gender. Through a combination of strong conceptual argument and empirical material from a variety of political economic and ecological contexts (including Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam), the book examines gender-environment linkages within shifting configurations of resource access and control. The book will serve as a core resource for students of gender studies and natural resource management, and as supplementary reading for a wide range of disciplines including geography, environmental studies, sociology and development. It also provides a stimulating collection of ideas for professionals looking to incorporate gender issues within their practice in sustainable development. Published with IDRC. (Summary from Routledge)

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Feminisms, Gender Regions: Asia Countries: Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam

Year: 2012

Gains for Women from Farmland Redistribution in South Africa and Sustainable Pathways out of Poverty – Insights from Recent Evidence

Citation:

Motala, Shirin, Stewart Ngandu, and Aubrey Mpungose. 2016. “Gains for Women from Farmland Redistribution in South Africa and Sustainable Pathways out of Poverty – Insights from Recent Evidence.” Agenda 30 (4): 85-98.  

Authors: Shirin Motala, Stewart Ngandu, Aubrey Mpungose

Abstract:

Equitable access to land and other natural resources aimed at significant rural poverty reduction are at the forefront of ambitious goals entrenched in post-1994 land and agrarian policies. Among other targets, redistributive land policies promise that women should make up at least one-third of all land reform beneficiaries. After two decades of farmland redistribution, disputes persist as to whether these outcomes have been achieved.

This focus piece systematically reviews evidence from a micro-level study based on blended information gathering strategies in three provinces that vary in terms of their agrarian structures and agro-ecology. The study uniquely overlays farmland transfer data with provisioning of agricultural development support information.

The analysis embeds the gender equity-land reform puzzle in the traditional poverty-land reform nexus. Its main question explores the extent to which land and agrarian reform interventions have produced an altered livelihood dynamic for land reform beneficiaries and more importantly to measure how this has translated into gendered sustainable livelihood impacts at household level. The study draws on the sustainable livelihoods framework as the lens for making sense of gender inequalities in the countryside and the extent to which there has been equitable redress in the interests of rural women.

The findings summarise trends in respect of access, ownership and control of land assets and the related livelihood outcomes by gender. Evidence suggests that shrinking numbers of black farmers gain ownership of land and enjoy access to Government-financed support for on-farm production and participation in agricultural value chains beyond the farm gate. This finding is more pronounced for women farmers. More importantly, it points to important design features of such interventions which can and do impact on promoting sustainable livelihoods, particularly for female headed households.

Keywords: land and agrarian reform, gender, gender inequality, sustainable livelihoods, pro-poor development, farmland transfer, land ownership

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Households, Land Tenure, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2016

Women's Land Rights as a Pathway to Poverty Reduction: Framework and Review of Available Evidence

Citation:

Meinzen-Dick, Ruth, Agnes Quisumbing, Cheryl Doss and Sophie Theis. 2019. “Women's Land Rights as a Pathway to Poverty Reduction: Framework and Review of Available Evidence.” Agricultural Systems 172: 72-82.

Authors: Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Agnes Quisumbing, Cheryl Doss, Sophie Theis

Abstract:

This paper reviews the literature on women’s land rights (WLR) and poverty reduction. It uses the Gender, Agriculture and Assets Project (GAAP) conceptual framework to identify pathways by which WLR could reduce poverty and increase wellbeing of women and their households in rural areas. It uses a systematic review search methodology to identify papers for inclusion, but adopts a more synthetic approach to assess the level of agreement and the amount of evidence within this literature. The paper examines the evidence from qualitative as well as quantitative studies on each of these pathways. Owing to the scarcity of experimental studies, the review of empirical work is based mostly on observational studies. We find some evidence on these relationships, but many of the key pathways have not been empirically analyzed. The evidence is strong for relationships between WLR and bargaining power and decision-making on consumption, human capital investment, and intergenerational transfers. There is a high level of agreement, but weaker evidence on the relationship between WLR and natural resource management, government services and institutions, empowerment and domestic violence, resilience and HIV risk, and consumption and food security. There is less agreement and insufficient evidence on the associations between WLR and other livelihoods, and a higher level of agreement, but still limited evidence on associations between WLR and credit, technology adoption, and agricultural productivity. Notably, we find no papers that directly investigate the link between WLR and poverty. Many gaps in the evidence arise from a failure to account for the complexity of land rights regimes, the measurement of land rights at the household level, the lack of attention paid to gender roles, and the lack of studies from countries outside Africa. Many studies are limited by small sample sizes, the lack of credible counterfactuals, lack of attention to endogeneity and selection bias, and possible response bias on questions of domestic violence and empowerment. There are very few rigorous evaluations of reforms that strengthened WLR. The paper concludes that gaps in the evidence should not deter the careful design and implementation of programs and policies to strengthen WLR, given the ongoing land tenure reforms in many countries. Different modalities and mechanisms for strengthening WLR could be tested, with appropriate counterfactuals. Program designers and evaluators can strategically identify pathways and outcomes where evidence gaps exist, and deliberately design studies to close those gaps.

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Households, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2019

Land, Status and Security – A Burden Borne by Women

Citation:

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

Author: Nolundi Luwaya

Abstract:

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, Poverty and Inequality in the Aftermath of Zimbabwe’s Land Reform: A Transformative Social Policy Perspective

Citation:

Tekwa, Newman, and Jimi Adesina. 2018. “Gender, Poverty and Inequality in the Aftermath of Zimbabwe’s Land Reform: A Transformative Social Policy Perspective.” Journal of International Women's Studies 19 (5): 45-62.

Authors: Newman Tekwa, Jimi Adesina

Abstract:

Gender equality is re-emerging as an important global and national agenda with emphasis placed on closing the gender gap in terms of women’s representation in public and private decision-making bodies. Though unrelatedly, the period had coincided with the elevation of social protection in the form of cash transfers as the magic bullet in tackling gendered poverty and inequality. Adopting a Transformative Social Policy Framework and land reform as a social policy instrument, the paper questions the efficacy of the current approaches in transforming gendered poverty and inequalities. Land reform is hardly ever assessed as a policy instrument for its redistributive, productive, social protection and social reproduction functions. This paper departs from ‘classical models’ of land reforms, often designed in the mould of neo-liberal discourses of individual tenure to offer an in-depth reformulation of the land question and notions of land reforms. It focuses on land reform as a relational question with potential for social transformation as social policies within the transformative social policy framework relates not only to protection from destitution, but transformation of social institutions and relations including gender. In the year 2000, the Zimbabwean government embarked on a radical land reform programme whose redistributive outcomes saw various categories of women (married, single, and widowed) comprising 12-18% of beneficiaries gaining access to land in their own right. Data gathered through a mixed methods approach combining ethnographic and survey methods and analysed using qualitative and quantitative methods, suggest that access to larger pieces of land, irrigation, credit, markets and support training services by both women and men had transformed women’s social and economic situation in relation to men within the resettled areas.

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zimbabwe

Year: 2018

Can Government-Allocated Land Contribute to Food Security? Intrahousehold Analysis of West Bengal’s Microplot Allocation Program

Citation:

Santos, Florence, Diana Fletschner, Vivien Savath, and Amber Peterman. 2014. “Can Government-Allocated Land Contribute to Food Security? Intrahousehold Analysis of West Bengal’s Microplot Allocation Program.” World Development 64: 860–72.

Authors: Florence Santos, Diana Fletschner, Vivien Savath, Amber Peterman

Abstract:

This study evaluates the impact of India’s land-allocation and registration program in West Bengal, a program that targets poor populations and promotes the inclusion of women’s names on land titles. Although we are unable to detect statistically significant program effects on current household food security, we find that the program has positive impacts on a range of outcomes that are expected to lay the foundation for future food security including improved security of tenure, agricultural investments, and women’s involvement in food and agricultural decisions. Findings provide lessons in designing and implementing innovative and integrated approaches to reduce hunger and undernutrition.

Keywords: food security, gender, land rights, intrahousehold dynamics, West Bengal, India

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Security, Food Security Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2014

Taking Gender Seriously in Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainability Science Research: Views from Feminist Debates and Sub-Saharan Small-Scale Agriculture

Citation:

Jerneck, Anne. 2018. “Taking Gender Seriously in Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainability Science Research: Views from Feminist Debates and Sub-Saharan Small-Scale Agriculture.” Sustainability Science 13 (2): 403–16.

Author: Anne Jerneck

Abstract:

People, places, and production contributing the least to climate change will suffer the most. This calls for adaptation as a key climate change response. But adaptation is surrounded by problems. Finance is uncertain and fragmented, mainstreaming into development is complicated, and technical solutions often overshadow existing social relations and institutions. From a gender perspective, and as a critical research initiative to support the building of sustainability science as an umbrella field, this article raises three pertinent questions on adaptation in the global South: what is its purpose, how can development inform it, and what institutions in terms of rights and responsibilities are core to it? Focusing on sub-Saharan small-scale agriculture, three main points emerge. Regarding the purpose, adaptation should be a transformative pathway out of poverty, ill-health, and food insecurity. Regarding development, adaptation can learn from how development theory, policy, and practice have addressed women, gender, and environment in varied settings and debates. Regarding core institutions, adaptation must address gender regimes that regulate access to, use of, and control over resources, especially those defining land distribution, labour division, and strategic decision-making power. To conclude, I propose gender-informed research questions for further inquiry.

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Health, Land Tenure, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa

Year: 2018

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