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Privatization

Adding a Gender Perspective to China's Belt and Road Initiative as an International Human Rights Obligation

Citation:

Haina, Lu. 2019. “Adding a Gender Perspective to China's Belt and Road Initiative as an International Human Rights Obligation.” Frontiers of Law in China 14 (4): 455-77.

Author: Lu Haina

Abstract:

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has a significant impact on the gender equality of receiving countries. It is noted that many BRI countries are facing challenges to realizing gender equality. Nevertheless, China has not developed a gender-mainstreaming or rights-based approach to implement the BRI. Hence, this paper argues that it is China’s international human rights obligation to develop such an approach and the country should adopt a gender policy in its BRI to ensure that its overseas investments and aid programs respect and promote gender equality. First, this paper maps China’s overseas investments and aid globally and particularly in BRI countries, and examines, in general, how the BRI may have an impact on gender equality both globally and in BRI countries. Second, the paper reviews international standards on gender equality in transnational trade and foreign investment and aid projects in the context of international human rights’ norms. It clarifies China’s obligations to promote gender equality within the BRI framework under international law. Third, based on the aforementioned findings, this paper conducts a gap analysis on the gender policy followed by China’s overseas investment and aid programs set within the context of international standards. Finally, the paper recommends some possible policy steps to ensure gender equality is mainstreamed in BRI projects of China.

Keywords: gender equality, Belt and Road Initiative, BRI, China's overseas investment, foreign aid, human rights

Topics: Development, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, International Law, International Human Rights, Multi-National Corporations, Privatization, Rights, Human Rights Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 2019

Water Insecurity in Disaster and Climate Change Contexts: A Feminist Political Ecology View

Citation:

Resurrección, Bernadette P. 2019. “Water Insecurity in Disaster and Climate Change Contexts: A Feminist Political Ecology View.” In People and Climate Change: Vulnerability, Adaptation, and Social Justice, edited by Lisa Reyes Mason and Jonathan Rigg, 51–67. New York: Oxford University Press. 
 

Author: Bernadette P. Resurrección

Keywords: feminist political ecology, water, neoliberalism, emotions, subjectivities

Annotation:

Summary:
This chapter applies a feminist political ecology lens to episodes of climate change-related water insecurity in three Southeast Asian peri-urban area sites affected by flooding, water shortages, and pollution induced by long dry spells and heavy precipitation. It presents highlights from a 3-year research project that examined the everyday lives of women as they “deal with water” in the context of increasing water pollution, water scarcity, and flooding compounded by neoliberal socioeconomic conditions. These accounts illustrate how in water- and climate-change contexts, the neoliberal logics of privatization, commercialization, and reified separation between “the natural” and “the social” engage closely with emotions and intersectional gender subjectivities. The use of a feminist political ecology lens offers more holistic and grounded ways of probing into people’s experiences of climate-related water insecurity and stresses, aspects of which are often missed: gendered violence, hierarchies of place, affect, and insecurity in everyday life. (Summary from Oxford Scholarship Online)
 

Topics: Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Privatization, Violence Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam

Year: 2019

Agrarian Transformation(s) in Africa: What’s in It for Women in Rural Africa?

Citation:

Nyambura, Ruth. 2015. “Agrarian Transformation(s) in Africa: What’s in It for Women in Rural Africa?” Development 58: 306–13.

Author: Ruth Nyambura

Abstract:

Africa is undergoing agrarian transformation(s) characterized primarily by policy formulations at both regional and national levels that are primarily pushing for large-scale commercial agriculture, fragmented and excessive individual property rights and Foreign Direct Investments from multinational agribusiness companies. While rural African women in particular are posited as the main beneficiaries of these policies, the picture emerging is that of the privatization of the commons, privileging international, and to some extent local, private commercial agribusiness interests over those of smallholder farmers, mostly women, and promoting the rapid destruction of ecosystems and the increase in conflicts and displacements affecting the rural poor.

Topics: Agriculture, Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Gender, Women, Privatization, Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa

Year: 2015

Gender, Politics and Sugarcane Commercialisation in Tanzania

Citation:

Sulle, Emmanuel, and Helen Dancer. 2019. “Gender, Politics and Sugarcane Commercialisation in Tanzania.” The Journal of Peasant Studies 47 (5): 1-20.

Authors: Emmanuel Sulle, Helen Dancer

Abstract:

This article explores relationships between state, corporate capital and local stakeholders in the political economy of sugarcane from a gender perspective. The findings, based on empirical research at the site of Tanzania’s largest sugarcane producer pre- and post privatisation, provide insights into the degree to which the estate out grower model can be regarded as ‘inclusive’ for women and men. Three aspects of commercial sugarcane production are analysed: land tenure, labour and leadership within canegrowers’ associations. We argue that politico-economic changes in the sector post-privatisation have increased gender differentiation in sugarcane production and consolidated power in the hands of local elites.

Keywords: agricultural commercialisation, gender, outgrowing, political economy, Tanzania, sugar

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Gender, Men, Women, Land Tenure, Privatization Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2019

Commoning for Inclusion? Political Communities, Commons, Exclusion, Property and Socio-Natural Becomings

Citation:

Nightingale, Andrea J. 2019. “Commoning for Inclusion? Political Communities, Commons, Exclusion, Property and Socio-Natural Becomings.” International Journal of the Commons 13 (1): 16–35.

Author: Andrea J. Nightingale

Abstract:

As a response to the march of privatization and neoliberal individualism, the commons have recently re-emerged as an attractive alternative. In this article, I bring a feminist political ecology critique to the burgeoning literature on commoning to develop a conceptualisation of how political communities of commoning emerge through socionatural subjectification and affective relations. All commoning efforts involve a renegotiation of the (contested) political relationships through which everyday community affairs, production and exchange are organised and governed. Drawing on critical property studies, diverse economies, feminist theory and commoning literatures, this analysis critically explores the relationship between property and commoning to reveal how the commons emerge from the exercise of power. Central to my conceptualisation is that commoning is a set of practices and performances that foster new relations and subjectivities, but these relations are always contingent, ambivalent outcomes of the exercise of power. As such, commoning creates socionatural inclusions and exclusions, and any moment of coming together can be succeeded by new challenges and relations that un-common. I argue for the need to focus on doing  commoning, becoming in common, rather than seeking to cement property rights, relations of sharing and collective practices as the backbone of durable commoning efforts. Becoming in common then, is a partial, transitory becoming, one which needs to be (re)performed to remain stable over time and space.

Keywords: common property, environmental subjectivities, exclusion, feminist political ecology, inclusion, Nepal, political communities

Topics: Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Privatization, Rights, Property Rights

Year: 2019

Cook, Eat, Man, Woman: Understanding the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, Nutritionism and Its Alternatives from Malawi

Citation:

Patel, Raj, Rachel Bezner Kerr, Lizzie Shumba, and Laifolo Dakishoni. 2015. “Cook, Eat, Man, Woman: Understanding the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, Nutritionism and Its Alternatives from Malawi.” The Journal of Peasant Studies 42 (1): 21-44.

Authors: Raj Patel, Rachel Bezner Kerr, Lizzie Shumba, Laifolo Dakishoni

Abstract:

The Group of Eight Countries (G8) launched the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition to improve nutritional outcomes through private sector involvement in agricultural development. The accession of Malawi to the Alliance reveals the assumptions behind the intervention. We show that while the New Alliance may seem to have little to do with nutrition, its emergence as a frame for the privatization of food and agriculture has been decades in the making, and is best understood as an outcome of a project of nutritionism. To highlight the failings of the approach, we present findings from the Soils, Food and Healthy Communities Initiative in northern Malawi, which has demonstrated success in combatting malnutrition through a combination of agroecological farming practices, community mobilization, women’s empowerment and changes in intrahousehold gender dynamics. Contrasting a political economic analysis of the New Alliance alongside that of the Soils, Food and Healthy Communities Initiative shows the difference between a concern with the gendered social context of malnutrition, and nutritionism. We conclude with an analysis of the ways that nutrition can play a part in interventions that are inimical, or conducive, to freedom. 

Keywords: New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, agroecology, nutritionism, gender, Malawi, Africa, food security, food sovereignty

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Gender, Political Economies, Privatization, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2015

Who Carries the Water: Feminist Reflections on Anatolian Hydroelectric Power Plants, Rivers, and Resistance

Citation:

Belkis, Fatma, and İz Öztat. 2018. “Who Carries the Water: Feminist Reflections on Anatolian Hydroelectric Power Plants, Rivers, and Resistance.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 14 (3): 368–73.

Authors: Fatma Belkis, İz Öztat

Annotation:

Summary:
"Following the Gezi Uprising in 2013, we felt the need to learn from grassroots struggles, ongoing since 1998, against the construction of small hydroelectric power plants (SHPs) on rivers in numerous valleys of Anatolia. The attempt by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to destroy Gezi Park and the occupation that followed made clear the widespread impact of construction-led growth policies in urban and rural contexts. The anti-SHP movement’s slogan is “Rivers will flow free,” which resonated with us as a radical desire for the right to life of all beings. The slogan voices a demand for the agency of rivers and challenges state and corporate decisions to control their courses with pipes, dams, and dredging.
 
"The grassroots struggle against SHPs coincides with legislation that allows the leasing of water-use rights in rivers to private energy companies for at least fortynine years. Following the privatization “the AKP government launched an aggressive programme” whose goal was building “2,000 small (and large) hydropower plants by 2023, the centennial of the Turkish Republic”(Erensu and Karaman 2017, 14). Governments, corporations, and banks frame SHPs as renewable energy production solutions that facilitate “development,” but in Turkey, as in many other places, their implementation involves removing the water from its bed and running it through pipes to feed multiple turbines, which deprives all living creatures in the ecosystem of their life source.
 
"Our collaborative installation work Who Carries the Water (Belkıs and Öztat 2015) took form as we visited valleys where residents resist the process of dispossession that ensues with the construction of SHPs" (Belkis and Öztat 2018, 368-9).

Topics: Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Privatization Regions: MENA, Asia, Europe, Southern Europe

Year: 2018

The Politics of Water: Urban Protest, Gender, and Power in Monterrey, Mexico

Citation:

Bennett, Vivienne. 1995. The Politics of Water: Urban Protest, Gender, and Power in Monterrey, Mexico. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Author: Vivienne Bennett

Annotation:

Summary:
Bennett unravels the politics of water in Monterrey by following three threads of inquiry.  First, she examines the water services themselves - what was built, when, why, and who paid for them.  She then reveals the response of poor women to the water crisis, analyzing who participated in protests, the strategies they used, and how the government responded.  And, finally, she considers the dynamics of planning water services for the private sector and the government in investment and management.  In the end, Monterrey’s water services improved because power relations shifted and because poor women in Monterrey used protests to make national news out of the city’s water crisis.
 
The Politics of Water makes a significant contribution to the emerging scholarship on regional politics in Mexico and to a deeper understanding of the Monterrey region in particular.  Until recently, most scholarly writing on Mexico spoke of the national political system as a monolithic whole.  Scholars such as Vivienne Bennett are now recognizing the power of local citizens and the significant differences among regions when it comes to politics, policy making, and governmental investment decisions. (Summary from original source)
 
Table of Contents:
1. Introduction
 
2. Urban Water Services: Theory and Planning
 
3. Buildup of a Crises: The Evolution of Monterrey's Water Service, 1909-1985
 
4. The Voice of the People: Protests Over Water Service in Monterrey Between 1973 and 1985
 
5. Gender, Class, and Water: The Role of Women in Protests Over Water
 
6. Agua Para Todos: The Government's Response to the Water Crisis
 
7. Conclusion: The Politics of Water

Topics: Development, Economies, Environment, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Privatization Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 1995

“Traditional” Women, “Modern” Water: Linking Gender and Commodification in Rajasthan, India

Citation:

O’Reilly, Kathleen. 2006. “‘Traditional’ Women, ‘Modern’ Water: Linking Gender and Commodification in Rajasthan, India.” Geoforum 37 (6): 958–72.

Author: Kathleen O'Reilly

Abstract:

In this paper, I analyze the connections made between women and water in a Rajasthani drinking water supply project as a significant part of drinking water’s commodification. For development policy makers, water progressing from something free to something valued by price is inevitable when moving economies toward modernity and development. My findings indicate that water is not commodified simply by charging money for it, but through a series of discourses and acts that link it to other “modern” objects and give it value. One of these objects is “women”. I argue that through women’s participation activities that link gender and modernity to new responsibilities and increased mobility for village women involving the clean water supply, a “traditional” Rajasthani woman becomes “modern”. Water, in parallel, becomes “new”, “improved” and worth paying for. Women and water resources are further connected through project staff’s efforts to promote latrines by targeting women as their primary users. The research shows that villagers applied their own meanings to latrines, some of which precluded women using them. This paper fills a gap in feminist political ecology, which often overlooks how gender is created through natural resource interventions, by concerning itself with how new meanings of “water” and “women” are mutually constructed through struggles over water use and its commodification. It contributes to critical development geography literatures by demonstrating that women’s participation approaches to natural resource development act as both constraints and opportunities for village constituents. It examines an under-explored area of gender and water research by tracing village-level struggles over meanings of latrines.

Keywords: water, gender, India, NGOs, development, Latrines, commodification

Topics: Development, Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Economies, Privatization Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2006

“On the Network, Off the Map”: Developing Intervillage and Intragender Differentiation in Rural Water Supply

Citation:

Birkenholtz, Trevor. 2013. “‘On the Network, Off the Map’: Developing Intervillage and Intragender Differentiation in Rural Water Supply.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 31 (2): 354–71.

Author: Trevor Birkenholtz

Abstract:

Despite decades of water-supply development programs in the Global South, their effect on gendered access to water remains both unclear and contradictory. This paper addresses this lacuna by examining the expansion of a rural water-supply network aimed at reducing household water scarcity in the arid zone of Rajasthan, India. Specifically, the Indira Gandhi Canal was conceived and constructed during the green revolution to ‘green the Thar Desert’. But now, through a complex network of reservoirs, treatment facilities, distribution centers, and supply pipelines, it connects much of rural and urban western Rajasthan to a drinking water-supply network. The paper examines the interaction of water-supply technologies, social power relations and dynamic socioecological change operating within these development processes. To do so it draws on household surveys, interviews with water users and government engineers, and participant observation with women and children water collectors. The paper finds that this ongoing water development project rendered the water provision landscape technical on the surface, but that uneven flows of water between villages and people reveal a more complex water provision landscape. The expansion of the network based on a technical reimagining of water supply has resulted in intervillage scarcity, intragender differential access, usurious private water markets, the abandonment and then the proposed rehabilitation of traditional water bodies, and urban water logging. In the conclusion I argue for a rethinking of water-supply development programs through a political ecology approach that focuses on the emergent capacities of water-supply technologies to redirect existing socioecological associations in unanticipated ways. Looking at the relationship between nature— society and technology may illuminate the possible ruptures in these associations and the ways that they may be rearticulated to produce less differentiating modes of accessing water. 

Keywords: political ecology, water, power, gender, scarcity, India

Topics: Development, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Privatization Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2013

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