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Climate Change and Gender Equality in Developing States

Citation:

Eastin, Joshua. 2018. "Climate Change and Gender in Developing States." World Development 107: 289-305.

Author: Joshua Eastin

Abstract:

It is commonly accepted that women can be more vulnerable than men to the adverse environmental effects of climate change. This paper evaluates whether the unequal distribution of costs women bear as a result of climate change are reflected across broader macro-social institutions to the detriment of gender equality and women's rights. It argues that gender disparities in climate change vulnerability not only reflect preexisting gender inequalities, they also reinforce them. Inequalities in the ownership and control of household assets and rising familial burdens due to male out-migration, declining food and water access, and increased disaster exposure can undermine women's ability to achieve economic independence, enhance human capital, and maintain health and wellbeing. Consequences for gender equality include reductions in intra-household bargaining power, as women become less capable of generating independent revenue. Outside the home, norms of gender discrimination and gender imbalances in socio-economic status should increase as women are less able to participate in formal labor markets, join civil society organizations, or collectively mobilize for political change. The outcome of these processes can reduce a society's level of gender equality by increasing constraints on the advancement of laws and norms that promote co-equal status. I empirically test this relationship across a sample of developing states between 1981 and 2010. The findings suggest that climate shocks and climatic disasters a broadly negative impact on gender equality, as deviations from long-term mean temperatures and increasing incidence of climatological and hydro-meteorological disasters are associated with declines in women's economic and social rights. These effects appear to be most salient in states that are relatively less-democratic, with greater dependence on agriculture, and lower levels of economic development.

Keywords: climate change, gender equality, women's rights, development, vulnerability, developing states

Topics: Development, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2018

Post-Conflict Ruptures and the Space for Women's Empowerment in Bangladesh

Citation:

Hossain, Naomi. 2018. “Post-Conflict Ruptures and the Space for Women's Empowerment in Bangladesh.” Women's Studies International Forum 68: 104–12.

Author: Naomi Hossain

Abstract:

Bangladesh is widely deemed to have made rapid progress on gender equality and women's empowerment. How to understand the apparent advances of women in a poor, populous, Muslim-majority country in the belt of classic patriarchy? This paper locates the origins of these changes in the immediate aftermath of Bangladesh's struggle for independence in 1971, when a series of visible ruptures to the patriarchal bargain dramatized the ongoing crisis of social reproduction. This drew elite attention to the conditions of landless rural women, creating space for their programmatic inclusion in the political settlement, within a newly biopolitical project of national development. The paper argues that it is possible to make sense of the gains women have made as well as old and new obstacles to gender justice - including women's continuing responsibility for care - in this critical juncture in the political history of gender relations in Bangladesh.

Keywords: Bangladesh, women's empowerment, biopower, patriarchal bargains, post-conflict gender relations

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2018

Travel Choice Reframed: “Deep Distribution” and Gender in Urban Transport

Citation:

Levy, Caren. 2013. “Travel Choice Reframed: ‘Deep Distribution’ and Gender in Urban Transport.” Environment and Urbanization 25 (1): 47–63. 

Author: Caren Levy

Abstract:

Transport is a critical system in the city, which, through providing access to essential activities, enables diverse women and men, girls and boys to “appropriate” their right to the city and to realize a fully rounded and substantive urban citizenship. Yet, despite decades of work on gender in urban development and urban planning, mainstream transport planning still remains largely untouched by debates on diversity and difference in cities. The tendency to focus on the economic and now environmental aspects continues to dominate urban transport. In contrast, concerns for the identity of urban residents or “users” are addressed through, and ultimately marginalized to, “the social” and distributional aspects of urban transport planning. This paper argues that the distributional aspects of transport are cross cutting, and go beyond the disaggregation of transport users by social relations such as class, gender, age and ethnicity. The social identities of transport “users” are deeply embedded in social relations and urban practices, the latter ranging from the everyday lives of people to urban policies and planning. Furthermore, in transport, these social relations are played out in public space, with implications for how diverse women and men, girls and boys are able to exercise individual and collective “travel choice” and negotiate access to essential activities in the city. Recognition of these processes, as reflected in the “deep distribution” of the transport system, is essential to reframing the notion of “travel choice” and, ultimately, to urban transport and urban planning that is committed to social justice in cities.

Keywords: gender, deep distribution, right to the city, travel choice, transport

Topics: Gender, Infrastructure, Transportation, Justice, Rights

Year: 2013

Joint Titling in Rural Peru: Impact on Women’s Participation in Household Decision-Making

Citation:

Wiig, Henrik. 2013. “Joint Titling in Rural Peru: Impact on Women’s Participation in Household Decision-Making.” World Development 52: 104-19.

Author: Henrik Wiig

Keywords: land titling, gender, empowerment, intra-household decisions, Peru, Latin America

Annotation:

Summary: 
Peru has implemented joint property rights between spouses and cohabitants on 57% of 1.5 million formalized agricultural plots. Bargaining theory indicates such redistribution of assets should empower women. This project measures influence on decision-making in 1,280 rural households, interviewing men and women separately. A historical coincidence during the land reform of the 1960–70s made only some communities eligible for plot titling. The process was exogenous and independent of both household and community characteristics. The significantly positive impact on female empowerment in simple mean comparison and econometric models including pre-titling historic variables is hence unbiased. (Summary from original source) 


Topics: Gender, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Peru

Year: 2013

Women’s Human Rights in a Changing Climate: Highlighting the Distributive Effects of Climate Policies

Citation:

Bendlin, Lena. 2014. “Women’s Human Rights in a Changing Climate: Highlighting the Distributive Effects of Climate Policies.” Cambridge Review of International Affairs 27 (4): 680–98. 

Author: Lena Bendlin

Abstract:

A women’s rights perspective can inform and structure research on climate policy impacts on women. To date, climate policy analysis has mostly considered women as agents of climate protection, that is, objects of mitigation policies, rather than subjects in their own right. However, climate change mitigation involves direct and indirect distributive effects depending on which sectors are involved, which instruments are chosen and how funds are obtained and allocated. Since gender roles impact on individual livelihoods and activities, distributive effects are likely to be gendered. This paper suggests that women’s human rights can be used as a framework for research aiming to fill this gap. They provide a well-developed, tested range of criteria for gender justice. Such assessments would allow for a more systematic and comprehensive understanding of the gendered distributive effects of climate policies, notably with regard to the particularly understudied situation in the industrialized world.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Justice, Livelihoods, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2014

Are Climate Challenges Reinforcing Child and Forced Marriage and Dowry as Adaptation Strategies in the Context of Bangladesh?

Citation:

Alston, Margaret, Kerri Whittenbury, Alex Haynes, and Naomi Godden. 2014. “Are Climate Challenges Reinforcing Child and Forced Marriage and Dowry as Adaptation Strategies in the Context of Bangladesh?” Women’s Studies International Forum 47 (November): 137–44.

Authors: Margaret Alston, Kerri Whittenbury, Alex Haynes, Naomi Godden

Annotation:

Summary:
This paper outlines the link between child and forced marriage, dowry and climate changes in Bangladesh. Drawing on a three year research study on the gendered impacts of climate change, we argue that climate crises are creating significant economic hardships. This has led to dowry being viewed by the families of young men as a form of capital accumulation. For the families of girls, dowry has become a significant burden, a burden that increases with the age of the girl. We argue that the economic crises created by climate challenges are leading to an increase in child and forced marriages because the dowry is cheaper. We conclude that attention to climate challenges must take a much broader focus on social consequences in order to protect the human rights of women and girls in vulnerable communities. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2014

Contesting Customary Law in the Eastern Cape: Gender, Place and Land Tenure

Citation:

Weinberg, Tara. 2013. "Contesting Customary Law in the Eastern Cape: Gender, Place and Land Tenure." Acta Juridica 2013 (1): 110-7.

Author: Tara Weinberg

Abstract:

This paper explores how government interventions to restrict African access to land in the 'Ciskei' in South Africa between 1930-1960 impacted disproportionately on women. It focuses on events in three districts, Fort Beaufort, Keiskammahoek and Peddie, making use of archival research to show how African people, particularly women, responded to government interventions that progressively rendered them landless. The paper interrogates how Africans' contestation of customary law and their relationship to the land was intricately tied up with the gendered nature of their family positions, privileges and responsibilities. Since the arenas in which women could voice their issues were limited, men sometimes articulated these issues (albeit in a mediated form) when the interest of a woman who approached them coincided with their own. Male Bunga Councillors appealed to a 'living' form of customary law in attempts to win greater rights to land inheritance for women and younger sons. They positioned their children as 'responsible' daughters and 'responsible' sons. In a context in which the state frequently used the language of 'African custom', in distorted ways, to justify its land policies, men and women contested not only the restraints on Africans' access to land, but also the nature and content of customary law. 

Topics: Governance, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2013

Land Registration and Gender Equality in Ethiopia: How State–Society Relations Influence the Enforcement of Institutional Change

Citation:

Lavers, Tom. 2017. “Land Registration and Gender Equality in Ethiopia: How State–Society Relations Influence the Enforcement of Institutional Change.” Journal of Agrarian Change 17 (1): 188–207.

Author: Tom Lavers

Abstract:

In recent years, the Ethiopian government has introduced reforms to promote gender equality in land rights, including legislative changes and a land registration programme that requires the names of both husbands and wives on certificates. This paper examines implementation of these reforms through a case‐based approach that links national policy processes to analysis of two village‐level case studies, based on fieldwork conducted in 2009–10. In both cases, government initiatives do appear to have enhanced women's land rights to a certain degree. However, the causal process involved is considerably more complex than the direct link between titling and women's land rights that is assumed in much of the existing literature. The cases suggest that government initiatives are contingent upon state–society relations, and that change to informal institutions and power relations within society can constitute an important complement to land registration. 

Keywords: ethiopia, land tenure, gender, political economy, state-society relations

Topics: Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia

Year: 2017

A Woman's Field is Made at Night: Gendered Land Rights and Norms in Burkina Faso

Citation:

Kevane, Michael, and Leslie C. Gray. 1999. “A Woman's Field is Made at Night: Gendered Land Rights and Norms in Burkina Faso.” Feminist Economics 5 (3): 1-26.

Authors: Michael Kevane, Leslie C. Gray

Abstract:

Gendered social norms and institutions are important determinants of agricultural activities in southwestern Burkina Faso. This paper argues that gendered land tenure, in particular, has effects on equity and efficiency. The usual view of women as holders of secondary, or indirect, rights to land must be supplemented by a more nuanced understanding of tenure. Women's rights are in fact considerably more complex than the simple right to fields from their husbands. First, women's rights to property obtained from men may be coupled with other rights and obligations. In many ethnic groups, women have share rights to the harvest of their husbands. Second, despite land scarcity and rises in land value certain types of rights are strengthening. Specifically, women are more and more able to obtain land through the market. Finally, government intervention in the gendering of tenure seems to have eroded women's individual rights to land even when government projects explicitly try to incorporate women as "partners" in land-use programs.

Keywords: land, africa, gender, women, Burkina Faso

Topics: Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Burkina Faso

Year: 1999

Formalising Land Rights Based on Customary Tenure: Community Delimitation and Women’s Access to Land in Central Mozambique

Citation:

Kaarhus, Randi, and Stefaan Dondeyne. 2015. "Formalising Land Rights Based on Customary Tenure: Community Delimitation and Women’s Access to Land in Central Mozambique." Journal of Modern African Studies 53 (2): 193-216.

Authors: Randi Kaarhus , Stefaan Dondeyne

Abstract:

The Mozambican Land Law of 1997 intends to provide flexible rules of access to land, while securing local people's customary rights, as well as equal rights for women and men. Drawing on participant observation during a ‘land delimitation’ process in central Mozambique, this article analyses the complex negotiation ensuing from the implementation of the Land Law in a local community. It shows how the delimitation process provided spaces for asserting – male – roles of power and authority, while local women were increasingly marginalised in the process. By presenting oral testimonies from women in the community, the authors seek to balance the account, providing women's perspectives on the highly gendered character of interests in, access to, and exclusion from land. The analysis ends with the question: What would be required to provide a space for local women to articulate their interests in a secure access to land during the delimitation process itself?

Topics: Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 2015

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