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Women

The Power and the Promise of Ecological Feminism

Citation:

Warren, Karen J. 1990. “The Power and the Promise of Ecological Feminism.” Environmental Ethics 12 (2): 125–46.

Author: Karen J. Warren

Annotation:

Summary:
Ecological feminism is the position that there are important connections-historical, symbolic, theoretical-between the domination of women and the domination of nonhuman nature. I argue that because the conceptual connections between the dual dominations of women and nature are located in an oppressive patriarchal conceptual framework characterized by a logic of domination, (1) the logic of traditional feminism requires the expansion of feminism to include ecological feminism and (2) ecological feminism provides a framework for developing a distinctively feminist environmental ethic. I conclude that any feminist theory and any environmental ethic which fails to take seriously the interconnected dominations of women and nature is simply inadequate. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy

Year: 1990

Feminism and the Mastery of Nature

Citation:

Plumwood, Val. 1993. Feminism and the Mastery of Nature. London: Routledge.

Author: Val Plumwood

Annotation:

Summary:
Two of the most important political movements of the late twentieth century are those of environmentalism and feminism. In this book, Val Plumwood argues that feminist theory has an important opportunity to make a major contribution to the debates in political ecology and environmental philosophy.

Feminism and the Mastery of Nature explains the relation between ecofeminism, or ecological feminism, and other feminist theories including radical green theories such as deep ecology. Val Plumwood provides a philosophically informed account of the relation of women and nature, and shows how relating male domination to the domination of nature is important and yet remains a dilemma for women. (Summary from CRC Press)

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality

Year: 1993

Ecofeminism

Citation:

Mies, Maria, and Vandana Shiva. 2014. Ecofeminism. London: Zed Books.

Authors: Maria Mies, Vandana Shiva

Annotation:

Summary:
This groundbreaking work remains as relevant today as when it was when first published. Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva argue that ecological destruction and industrial catastrophes constitute a direct threat to everyday life, the maintenance of which has been made the particular responsibility of women. In both industrialized societies and the developing countries, new wars, violent ethnic chauvinisms and the malfunctioning of the economy pose urgent questions. Is there a relationship between patriarchal oppression and the destruction of nature in the name of profit and progress? How can women counter the violence inherent in these processes? Should they look to a link between the women's movement and other social movements? These two world-renowned feminist environmental activists offer a thought-provoking analysis of these and many other issues from a unique North-South perspective. (Summary from WorldCat)

Topics: Armed Conflict, "New Wars", Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Violence

Year: 2014

Filling the Legal Void? Impacts of a Community-Based Legal Aid Program on Women’s Land-Related Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices

Citation:

Mueller, Valerie, Lucy Billings, Tewodaj Mogues, Amber Peterman, and Ayala Wineman. 2018. “Filling the Legal Void? Impacts of a Community-Based Legal Aid Program on Women’s Land-Related Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices.” Oxford Development Studies 46 (4): 453–69.

Authors: Valerie Mueller, Lucy Billings , Tewodaj Mogues, Amber Peterman, Ayala Wineman

Abstract:

Securing women’s property rights improves overall welfare. While governments in Africa often make provisions for gender-equal legal rights, the dichotomy between de jure and customary practices remains. Community-based legal aid (CBLA) has been promoted to address this chasm through provision of free legal aid and education. We evaluate a one-year CBLA program in Tanzania using a randomized controlled trial. Results show women in treatment communities had higher exposure to legal services and increased their legal knowledge. Women who had access to a trained voluntary paralegal experienced a 0.31 standard deviation increase in a legal service index, and a 0.20 standard deviation increase in an index documenting their knowledge of land-related regulations. These changes were, however, insufficient to shift women’s attitudes or result in more favorable gendered land practices. Estimates by village size and progressiveness reveal that transaction costs and social context influence program success.

Topics: Education, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2018

Financialization, Resistance, and the Question of Women’s Land Rights

Citation:

Collins, Andrea M. 2018. "Financialization, Resistance, and the Question of Women’s Land Rights." International Feminist Journal of Politics 21 (3): 454- 76.

Author: Andrea M. Collins

Abstract:

The financialization of food and agricultural land has been a critical driver of the “land-grabbing” phenomenon in the post 2007–2008 period: the potential for land to be both a productive and financial asset has driven interest in long term land rentals and sales. Scholars and activists have highlighted the negative effects of these trends for rural populations. International institutions have promoted the recognition of land rights as a means to secure land from seizure, ensure equal participation in land acquisitions, and enable low income populations, including women, to access credit. At the same time, activists are promoting collective land rights, customary modes of land tenure and the rights of Indigenous peoples. For activists, land reform models that promote the collective rights of peoples to govern land are critical to resisting individualized land ownership models that encourage the alienation of land. This article reviews these rights-based frameworks using a critical feminist perspective and argues that both the institutionalist and activist approaches require more nuanced understandings of gender and difference in order to effect gender-equitable change. This article concludes by mapping new feminist research directions that consider land and resources within the context of local–global processes, the global economy, intersectionality and global rights-based discourses.

Keywords: land governance, gender, food sovereignty, collective rights, international institutions

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Land grabbing, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights

Year: 2018

Extractives vs Development Sovereignty: Building Living Consent Rights for African Women

Citation:

The WoMin Collective. 2017. “Extractives vs Development Sovereignty: Building Living Consent Rights for African Women.” Gender & Development 25 (3): 421-37.

Author: The WoMin Collective

Abstract:

This article focuses on the right of consent for women and their communities in respect of extractives and large-scale (or ‘mega’) infrastructure projects that affect their access to, and control over, land and natural resources indispensable to their lives and livelihoods. As we point out, the right of consent is determined by prevailing deeply unequal power structures. Poor women confront a double exclusion from power and decision-making about land and resource use – on the basis of both their class and gender. The political economy of power and vested interest surrounding these projects at all levels from the community to the international spheres mean that communities, and women within them, rarely enjoy the right of consent on a free, prior, informed, and ongoing basis. In addition, women are locked out of rights of land ownership in communities living under common property and this, combined with other patriarchal power relations in family and community, inhibits their voice and influence in community decision-making. This is the second exclusion they suffer, this time on the basis of their gender. Consent, even if legislated or institutionalised in policy and systems of state, corporate, or multilateral bodies is rarely granted but rather won through struggle and demand. The article will present an inspiring case in the South African context where unequal power has been inverted and a unique community, with women playing a leading role, has claimed the right of consent in practice through struggle. It concludes with some suggestions for the work needed to strengthen women’s rights of consent in respect of mega ‘development’ projects in Africa.

Keywords: resource extraction, land, Rights, women, gender, inequality, consent, development, exclusion, social struggle

Topics: Class, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Livelihoods, Political Economies, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2017

Widows' Land Rights and Agricultural Investment

Citation:

Dillon, Brian, and Alessandra Voena. 2018. “Widows' Land Rights and Agricultural Investment.” Journal of Development Economics 135: 449-60.

Authors: Brian Dillon, Alessandra Voena

Abstract:

This paper examines the connection between widows' land inheritance rights and land investments in Zambia. We study whether the threat of land expropriation upon widowhood deters households from fallowing, applying fertilizer, and employing labor-intensive tillage techniques. Variation in inheritance by widows is based on customary village practices, which we observe in surveys of village leaders. Controlling for possible confounding factors, both OLS and IV estimates show lower levels of land investment by married couples in villages where widows do not inherit. Concern over prospective loss of land by the wives reduces investment in land quality even while the husband is alive.

Keywords: land tenure security, widowhood, land investment, gender discrimination, African development, farm productivity

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zambia

Year: 2018

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

Citation:

Meinzen-Dick, Ruth, Agnes Quisumbing, Cheryl Doss, 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 on  going 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, Gender Roles, Households, Rights, Land Rights

Year: 2019

Toward a Sustaining Production Theory

Citation:

O’Hara, Sabine U. 1997. “Toward a Sustaining Production Theory.” Ecological Economics 20 (2): 141–54.

Author: Sabine O’Hara

Abstract:

Production is commonly described as the root of wealth creation, growth and progress. Mainline production theory ascribes this wealth generating ability to a limited number of inputs transformed into equally narrowly defined goods and services. Output which is not part of the official economy's market exchange, or inputs not employed in their production process remain external and unaccounted for. Many of these unaccounted for goods and inputs are provided in households, gardens, subsistence production, or ecological and biophysical systems through the ‘free’ services of women or nature. Thus an alternative view of production is suggested, one which views production itself as linked to the social and bio-physical contexts within which it takes place. This context first makes the generation of input streams, the receiving of output streams and the processing of inputs by means of fund factors (Georgescu-Roegen) possible. As production is contextualized it becomes evident that processes which sustain input generation, waste absorption and material transformation are critical to the production process. These are referred to as sustaining services. A sustaining production process is one which maintains sustaining services instead of destroying them. It is further argued that steps toward the implementation of a sustaining production concept require a move from abstraction to material concreteness. Three areas of concreteness are discussed as moving from solely monetary to physical valuation criteria, moving from methodological homogeneity to diversity, and moving from a mystified and distanced decision making process about quantity and quality of production to one of informed, participatory discourse.

Keywords: production theory, sustainability, ecosystem services, social sustainability, flow/ fund factors, feminist theory

Topics: Economies, Ecological Economics, Informal Economies, Environment, Gender, Women, Gender Roles

Year: 1997

The Triangle of the Human Economy: Household - Cultivation - Industrial Production An Attempt at Making Visible the Human Economy in Toto

Citation:

Pietilä, Hilkka. 1997. “The Triangle of the Human Economy: Household - Cultivation - Industrial Production An Attempt at Making Visible the Human Economy in Toto.” Ecological Economics 20 (2): 113–27.

Author: Hilkka Pietilä

Abstract:

This paper is an attempt at outlining a comprehensive framework within which it would be possible to perceive that the totality of the human economy consists of three distinct components: household, cultivation and industrial production. Each one of these components operates according to its own particular logic. Therefore, the logic of one cannot be imposed on the logic of another without serious consequences — as is now already seen, when the logic of industrial production has hitherto been imposed upon the whole human economy. It is to be hoped that establishing a new, more comprehensive and relevant perception of the human economy as a whole would help humanity to adopt a lifestyle which will provide the prerequisites for a dignified quality of life for all people, with due respect to the ecological boundaries of the biosphere. In this process, a recognition of the economic, social and cultural contribution of women is decisive, as well as a respect for the values and priorities set within women's culture and way of life.

Keywords: women's work, gender and economics, cultivation economy, alternative economics, new theory of economics, economy versus ecology, the human economy, unpaid work and production, household as basic economy

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Ecological Economics, Environment, Gender, Women, Households

Year: 1997

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