Resource Conflict

The Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve: A Postcolonial Feminist Political Ecological Reading of Violence and Territorial Struggles in Honduras


Mollett, Sharlene. 2018. “The Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve: A Postcolonial Feminist Political Ecological Reading of Violence and Territorial Struggles in Honduras.” In Land Rights, Biodiversity Conservation and Justice. Routledge.

Author: Sharlene Mollett


This chapter aims to rethink the relationship between “parks and people” by making visible mundane and spectacular forms of violence inside the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve. In spite of landmark territorial legislation awarded to Miskito Territorial Councils beginning in 2013, the Miskito peoples continue to face impending colono land invasions inside ancestral customary territories. Drawing from ongoing research in Honduras, this chapter blends ethnographic data collection with news media, archival documents, development reports and secondary literatures to examine the violent challenges to Miskito territorial autonomy. Such violence extends beyond the Reserve and is emplaced on the bodies of land and territorial defenders mobilized against a growing extractivist Honduran state. With a focus on a coloniality of power and postcolonial intersectional thinking, this chapter maintains that biodiversity conservation and extractive development are linked, imbued with past logics of race and gender employed in the dehumanization of Indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples in the present. Thus, in Honduras, I argue, contemporary Indigenous struggles over land and territory are simultaneously historical contests that work to disrupt state and elite practices of Indigenous peoples’ dehumanization, in the name of modernity and development.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Conflict, Resource Conflict, Development, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Indigenous, Intersectionality, Land Tenure, Race, Violence Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Honduras

Year: 2018

The Gendered Criminalization of Land Defenders in Ecuador: From Individualization to Collective Resistance in Feminized Territories


Venegas, Melissa Moreano, and Karolien van Teijlingen. 2021. “The Gendered Criminalization of Land Defenders in Ecuador: From Individualization to Collective Resistance in Feminized Territories.” In Environmental Defenders. Routledge.

Authors: Melissa Moreano Venegas, Karolien van Teijlingen


This chapter reflects upon two features of the violence against land and environmental defenders, anti-extraction activists, and communities that oppose extractive activities in Ecuador. The first aspect is the gendered character of this violence, which produces feminized territories; the second aspect is the perils of individualization of struggles in relation to this violence, and the benefits of its collectivization. We use a critical feminist geography perspective and base this reflection on various interviews and long-term fieldwork in the Amazon region, particularly with communities affected by extractive activities, and on the analysis of the political action of the collective Mujeres Amazónicas (Amazonian Women).

Topics: Conflict, Resource Conflict, Environment, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Gender, Indigenous Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Ecuador

Year: 2021

Necessity or Choice: Women’s Migration to Artisanal Mining Regions in Eastern DRC


Bashwira, Marie-Rose and Gemma van der Haar. 2020. “Necessity or Choice: Women’s Migration to Artisanal Mining Regions in Eastern DRC.” Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue Canadienne Des éTudes Africaines 54 (1): 79-99.

Authors: Marie-Rose Bashwira, Gemma van der Haar


Women have long remained invisible in representations of artisanal mining in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Based on original field data, this paper seeks to fill that gap. It shows how women come to mining sites with the hope of finding a degree of security, economic possibilities and the start of a new life. Contrary to what dominant discourses on the “resource curse” and sexual violence towards women have suggested, women may find a degree of protection in mining areas. We take the analysis beyond the “push” and “pull” factors with which migration is usually explained, to understand women’s motivation to move into mining areas as complex and changing. The study situates women’s movement to the mines within their life trajectories which are shaped by violence and various forms of insecurity. The notion of social navigation is brought in to understand how they cope with gender discrimination, challenges and risks in the mining economy. The paper shows how push and pull factors merge over time and how some women succeed in creating new sources of revenue and manage to mitigate the situation of vulnerability in which they find themselves.

Les femmes sont restées longtemps invisibles dans les représentations de l’exploitation minière artisanale dans l’Est de la République démocratique du Congo. Fondé sur des données originales de terrain, cet article vise à combler cette lacune. Il montre comment les femmes arrivent sur les sites miniers avec l’espoir d’y trouver un degré de sécurité, des opportunités économiques et le début d’une nouvelle vie. Contrairement à ce que les discours dominants sur la « malédiction des ressources naturelles » et la violence sexuelle à l’égard des femmes ont laissé entendre, les femmes peuvent trouver un certain degré de protection dans les zones minières. Nous poussons l’analyse au-delà des facteurs attractifs et répulsifs par lesquels la migration est habituellement expliquée pour comprendre les motivations des femmes à s’installer dans les zonesminières comme quelque chose de complexe et changeant. L’étude situe le déplacement des femmes vers les mines dans leurs trajectoires de vie, qui sont déterminées par la violence et diverses formes d’insécurité. La notion de navigation sociale est introduite pour comprendre comment les femmes font face à la discrimination, aux difficultés et aux risques dans l’économie minière. L’article montre comment les facteurs attractifs et répulsifs fusionnent au fil du temps, et comment certaines femmes réussissent à créer de nouvelles sources de revenu et parviennent à atténuer la situation de vulnérabilité dans laquelle elles se trouvent.

Keywords: migration, mobility, social navigation, women, artisanal mining, violent conflict, eastern DRC, mobilité, navigation sociale, femmes, exploitation minière artisanale, conflit violent, Est de la RDC

Topics: Conflict, Resource Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2020

Emotional Political Ecology


Sultana, Farhana. 2017. “Emotional Political Ecology.” In The International Handbook of Political Ecology, edited by Raymond L. Bryant, 633-645. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publsihing


Author: Farhana Sultana


This chapter develops an emotional political ecology approach by integrating scholarship in feminist political ecology, resources management and emotional geographies. Emotions matter in resource struggles. They influence outcomes of practices and processes of resource access, use and control while shaping how resources-related interactions are actually experienced in everyday lives. I demonstrate the importance of heeding the various emotions and meanings attached to resource access, use and conflict in order to better elucidate the emotionality thereby engaged in everyday struggles. Through a case study of a water crisis, the chapter draws attention to the emotional geographies of water that are important in explaining the ways that feeling subjects relate to water and how water mediates broader social relations. Conflicts over resources are thus as much about embodied emotions, feelings and lived experiences as they are about property rights and entitlements, long the focus in political ecology. Not only does such an approach lead to greater nuance in understanding resources struggles and politics; it also rejects the idea that ‘real’ scholarship is about ‘rational’ social interactions over resources that leaves emotive realities about how resources are accessed, used and fought over firmly to one side. Indeed, (feminist) political ecology will be immeasurably strengthened when often abstract articulations of ‘resource struggles’ and ‘resource conflicts’ are grounded in embodied emotional geographies of places, peoples and resources, enabling enhanced comprehension of how resources and emotions intermingle in everyday resource management practices. I believe that more comprehensive and productive analyses are possible that can greatly expand current debates to better explain why and how specific nature–society relations play out the way they do. An emotional political ecology approach thus elucidates how emotions matter in nature–society relations, and can thus greatly enhance future political ecology scholarship. (Summary from ElgarOnline)

Topics: Conflict, Resource Conflict, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation

Year: 2017

Gender, Conflict, and Global Environmental Change


Fröhlich, Christiane, and Giovanna Gioli. 2015. “Gender, Conflict, and Global Environmental Change.” Peace Review 27 (2): 137–46.


Authors: Christiane Fröhlich, Giovanna Gioli


"Gender has long been identified as an important variable in both conflict (de-)escalation processes and vulnerability or adaptive capacity toward global environmental change.We understand gender as the socioculturally and politico-economically constructed roles and responsibilities ascribed to men and women that change over time, are context- and history-specific, and are inseparable from power relations. With increasing scarcity and degradation of land and water, those who are poor in resources, income, and power—many of them women—lose their rights to use these existential resources. The loss of livelihood due to environmental change, regardless of whether it was caused mainly by global warming or more by bad governance, is often the starting point of resource-related conflicts on the micro and meso levels. Such escalation processes have gender-differentiated causes and consequences: each societal group is affected differently both by environmental change and by conflict, depending on its specific position in the respective structures along which access to resources, income, and decision-making power is distributed. This position is defined by various in- and out-group markers: age, ethnicity, (dis-)ability, religion, and so on—and, crucially, by gender. Thus, gender is a relevant category both for the analysis of (de-)escalation processes in violent conflicts and for examinations of the different vulnerabilities and adaptive capacities of women and men to (global) environmental change. This understanding, however, has yet to be translated into a comprehensive research framework that integrates gender as an analytical category into environmental and conflict research. With no pretense of being exhaustive, we provide a critical review of the main frameworks and research gaps in the relevant fields with a special regard for the current or potential integration of a gender lens. These include environmental conflict research; gender and environment; and gender and conflict. Hence, provided is a list of common fallacies and gaps, thereby uncovering popular myths and answering the very crucial question: What are we talking about when referring to gender in the context of conflict and global environmental change?" (Fröhlich & Gioli 2015, 137).

Topics: Conflict, Resource Conflict, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Livelihoods

Year: 2015

La Violencia hacia las Mujeres en Oaxaca. En los Caminos de la Desigualdad y la Pobreza


Briseño-Maas, María Leticía, y Eduardo Bautista-Martínez. 2016. “La Violencia hacia las Mujeres en Oaxaca. En los Caminos de la Desigualdad y la Pobreza.” LiminaR. Estudios Sociales y Humanístico 14 (2): 15-27.

Authors: María Leticía Briseño-Maas, Eduardo Bautista-Martínez


The  increase  in  manifestations  of  violence  against  women  in  Oaxaca  and  links  between  these  expressions  should  be  explained  beyond  immediate  situations  and  in  a  perspective  of  intersectionality.  Given  the  breadth  of  expressions  of  gender  violence  and  the  predominantly  rural  and  indigenous  constitution  of  the  state  of  Oaxaca,  this  paper  focuses  on  the  nature  of  violence  faced  by  indigenous  women  within  their  community,  concerning  land  conflicts,  the  struggle  for  land  tenure  and  the  relative  recent  participation  of  women  in  positions of authority not traditional assumed by them.
El incremento de las manifestaciones de violencia contra las mujeres en Oaxaca y los encadenamientos de esas expresiones deben explicarse más allá de coyunturas inmediatas y en una perspectiva de interseccionalidad. Dada la amplitud de las expresiones de violencia de género y la constitución eminentemente rural e indígena del estado de Oaxaca, el presente texto se enfoca en las violencias que sufren las mujeres  indígenas  relacionadas  con  los  conflictos  comunitarios  y  agrarios,  las  luchas  por  la  tenencia  de  tierras  y  su  participación  en  los  sistemas de organización tradicional, expresiones consideradas dentro de la modalidad de violencia en la comunidad.

Keywords: violencia hacia las mujeres, desigualdad, pobreza, violence against women, inequality, poverty

Topics: Conflict, Resource Conflict, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Indigenous, Intersectionality, Land Tenure Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2016

Women in Post-Conflict Niger-Delta of Nigeria: Amnesty versus Restorative Justice


Abimbola, Foluke Oluyemisi. 2019. "Women in Post-Conflict Niger-Delta of Nigeria: Amnesty versus Restorative Justice." Journal of Law and Criminal Justice 7 (1): 23-34.

Author: Foluke Oluyemisi Abimbola


The Niger-Delta of Nigeria is known for violence and conflicts as a result of opposition of militant groups to oil exploration activities concentrated in this area of Nigeria. The militant groups are still agitating for a share of the oil revenue and for the development of their region. Women in the Niger-Delta of Nigeria have experienced different levels of violence and torture during these conflict situations. Some of the crimes perpetrated against women during these conflicts are rape, forced labour, sex slavery, and brutal murder of their family members. In addition, during conflict situations and even thereafter, the women experience a deeper level of poverty as a result of their inability to continue with their economic activities such as farming or fishing due to displacements caused by the conflict as most of the women living in the Niger-Delta rural communities are subsistence farmers. Following years of insurgency by angry militants against the Nigerian government, the amnesty strategy was eventually mapped out by the government of the day in order to give the militant youth economic opportunities to stem the tide of conflicts. However, the vast majority of women and girls who were and are still victims of these conflicts were not included. This paper shall highlight the need for restorative justice especially for women who are victims of the insurgency. Whereas amnesty seeks to give a better future to the militants, the women are unable to recover effectively with little or no means of indemnifying their losses. This paper proposes restitution or compensation for victims while creating constructive roles for victims in the criminal justice process.

Keywords: women, Niger Delta, post-conflict mechanisms, amnesty, restorative justice

Topics: Age, Youth, Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Economies, Poverty, Conflict, Resource Conflict, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Governance, Justice, Torture, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Slavery, SV against Women, Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2019

Jinn, Floods, and Resistant Ecological Imaginaries in Kashmir


Bhan, Mona. 2018. “Jinn, Floods, and Resistant Ecological Imaginaries in Kashmir.” Economic and Political Weekly 53 (47): 67-75.

Author: Mona Bhan


How Kashmiri women experience and narrate questions of resource sovereignty and dispossession within the context of Kashmir's long-drawn-out military occupation, and India's investments in mega hydroelectric dams on Kashmir's rivers have been discussed. The devastating floods in 2014 led Kashmiris to increasingly challenge perceptions of nature or natural disasters as apolitical. Dams are an integral part of border-making processes, and gender, space, and borders are continually co-produced through militarised infrastructures. Women's resistant imaginaries, which combine political and ecological metaphors, and rely on conceptions of jinn and other non- human agency, offer a way to rethink Kashmir beyond its securitised geographies. (Summary from Economic & Political Weekly)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Resource Conflict, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2018

Partners in Conflict: the Politics of Gender, Sexuality, and Labor in the Chilean Agrarian Reform, 1950-1973


Tinsman, Heidi. 2002. Partners in Conflict: The Politics of Gender, Sexuality, and Labor in the Chilean Agrarian Reform, 1950-1973. Durham: Duke University Press.

Author: Heidi Tinsman


Partners in Conflict examines the importance of sexuality and gender to rural labor and agrarian politics during the last days of Chile’s latifundia system of traditional landed estates and throughout the governments of Eduardo Frei and Salvador Allende. Heidi Tinsman analyzes differences between men’s and women’s participation in Chile’s Agrarian Reform movement and considers how conflicts over gender and sexuality shape the contours of working-class struggles and national politics.
Tinsman restores women to a scholarly narrative that has been almost exclusively about men, recounting the centrality of women’s labor to the pre-Agrarian Reform world of the hacienda  during the 1950s and recovering women’s critical roles in union struggles and land occupations during the Agrarian Reform itself. Providing a theoretical framework for understanding why the Agrarian Reform ultimately empowered men more than women, Tinsman argues that women were marginalized not because the Agrarian Reform ignored women but because, under both the Frei and Allende governments, it promoted the male-headed household as the cornerstone of a new society. Although this emphasis on gender cooperation stressed that men should have more respect for their wives and funneled unprecedented amounts of resources into women’s hands, the reform defined men as its protagonists and affirmed their authority over women.
This is the first monographic social history of Chile’s Agrarian Reform in either English or Spanish, and the first historical work to make sexuality and gender central to the analysis of the reforms. (Summary from Duke University Press)
Table of Contents
1. Patrón and Peón: Labor and Authority on the Great Estates 
2. Binding Ties: Campesino Sexuality and Family Negotiations
3. Making Men: Labor Mobilization and Agrarian Reform
4. Promoting Gender Mutualism: Rural Education, Mothers Centers, and Family Planning
5. Struggling for Land: Worker Bosses and Campesina Militants
6. Revolutionizing Women: Popular Unity and Female Mobilization
7. Coming Apart: Struggle, Sex, and Social Crisis


Topics: Agriculture, Conflict, Resource Conflict, Education, Gender, Women, Men, Gender Analysis, Households, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Sexuality Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Chile

Year: 2002

A Feminist Critique of Land, Politics and Law in Kenya


Meroka, Agnes K. 2012. "A Feminist Critique of Land, Politics and Law in Kenya." PhD diss., University of Warwick.

Author: Agnes K. Meroka


Land in Kenya has social, economic and political dimensions, which overlap and conflict. Land conflicts are one of the root causes of political crises which the country has experienced since the formation of the modern state through colonialism. Although the link between land and politics has been much studied, the gender dimension has been neglected. Where it has been addressed within the women‟s land rights discourse there has been a failure to appreciate the multi-dimensionality of land, addressing only the economic implications from a gender perspective. As a result there is little analysis of the way in which women experience inequalities arising out of political processes which shape and influence Kenya‟s land system. In 2008, the Commission of Inquiry into Post Election Violence (CIPEV) reported various types of inequalities which women faced with regard to land, and which arose as a result of distributional land problems in the country. It raised for the first time the way in which gender and ethnicity intersected to produce the inequalities and disadvantages women experienced during the period of election violence. This thesis addresses this intersectionality. It argues that the nature of women‟s inequality with regard to land in Kenya is much broader than questions of rights of access, control and ownership and consequently that gender inequality relating to land is Kenya is mis-framed. It analyses the nature of this mis-framing and drawing on the fieldwork conducted within three communities argues that what is needed is a contextualised understanding of intersectionality. Such an understanding of intersectionality requires analyses of the interplay between law and politics, and how this interplay produces experiences of inequality and disadvantage amongst women.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Conflict, Resource Conflict, Economies, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2012


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