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Women

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

Toward a Postcapitalist Feminist Political Ecology’s Approach to the Commons and Commoning

Citation:

Sato, Chizu, and Jozelin Maria Soto Alarcón. 2019. “Toward a Postcapitalist Feminist Political Ecology’s Approach to the Commons and Commoning.” International Journal of the Commons 13 (1): 36–61.

Authors: Chizu Sato, Jozelin Maria Soto Alarcón

Abstract:

Feminist scholars are deeply involved in current global debates surrounding natural resource management. Looking at feminists’ engagement through the entry point of the commons and commoning, feminists’ voices are diverse. Somewhat separate from feminist discussions on the commons and commoning, scholars of postcapitalist community economies have recently linked their scholarship to the study of the commons and commoning. This essay expands feminist political ecology’s approaches to the study of the commons and commoning by integrating some insights from existing eco- and autonomist Marxist feminisms as well as postcapitalist community economies. We first discuss a postcapitalist feminist political ecology’s perspective. After introducing our site and methods, we explore the productivity of this framework through an examination of the case of a women-led cooperative that has been producing agave syrup in rural Mexico for the last two decades. To conclude, we discuss several insights this approach may offer for transformative politics.

Keywords: commoning, community economies, cooperatives, feminist political ecology, mexico, multispecies

Topics: Economies, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2019

The Lives of Women in a Land Reclamation Project: Gender, Class, Culture and Place in Egyptian Land and Water Management

Citation:

Rap, Edwin, and Martina Jaskolski. 2019. “The Lives of Women in a Land Reclamation Project: Gender, Class, Culture and Place in Egyptian Land and Water Management.” International Journal of the Commons 13 (1): 84–104.

 

 

Authors: Edwin Rap, Martina Jaskolski

Abstract:

This article links feminist political ecology with the academic debate about commoning by focusing on the gendered distribution of common pool resources, in particular land and water. The research is set in the context of a coastal land reclamation project in Egypt’s Nile Delta, in a region where conflicts over resources such as arable land and fresh water are intensifying. Drawing on recent literature on commoning, we analyse the conditions under which different groups of resource users are constrained or enabled to act together. The article presents three case studies of women who represent different groups using land and water resources along the same irrigation canal. Through the concepts of intersectionality, performativity, and gendered subjectivity, this article explores how these women negotiate access to land and water resources to sustain viable livelihoods. The case studies unpack how the intersection of gender, class, culture, and place produces gendered subject positions in everyday resource access, and how this intersectionality either facilitates or constrains commoning. We argue that commoning practices are culturally and spatially specific and shaped by pre-existing resource access. Such access is often unequally structured along categories of class and gender in land reclamation and irrigation projects. 

Keywords: common pool resources, commoning, Egypt, feminist political ecology, gender, intersectionality, Nile, performativity

Topics: Class, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Humanitarian Assistance, Context-Appropriate Response to Trauma, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Intersectionality, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Middle East Countries: Egypt

Year: 2019

Globalisation Masculinities, Empire Building and Forced Prostitution: A Critical Analysis of the Gendered Impact of the Neoliberal Economic Agenda in Post-Invasion/Occupation Iraq

Citation:

Banwell, Stacy. 2015. “Globalisation Masculinities, Empire Building and Forced Prostitution: A Critical Analysis of the Gendered Impact of the Neoliberal Economic Agenda in Post-Invasion/Occupation Iraq.” Third World Quarterly 36 (4): 705–22.

Author: Stacy Banwell

Abstract:

Adopting a transnational feminist lens and using a political economy approach, this article addresses both the direct and indirect consequences of the 2003 war in Iraq, specifically the impact on civilian women. Pre-war security and gender relations in Iraq will be compared with the situation post-invasion/occupation. The article examines the globalised processes of capitalism, neoliberalism and neo-colonialism and their impact on the political, social and economic infrastructure in Iraq. Particular attention will be paid to illicit and informal economies: coping, combat and criminal. The 2003 Iraq war was fought using masculinities of empire, post-colonialism and neoliberalism. Using the example of forced prostitution, the article will argue that these globalisation masculinities – specifically the privatisation agenda of the West and its illegal economic occupation – have resulted in women either being forced into the illicit (coping) economy as a means of survival, or trafficked for sexual slavery by profit-seeking criminal networks who exploit the informal economy in a post-invasion/occupation Iraq. 

Keywords: globalisation masculinities, post-colonialism, neoliberalism, gender-based violence, transnational feminism, political economy

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Economies, Informal Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Globalization, Infrastructure, Livelihoods, Sexual livelihoods, Political Economies, Security, Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq

Year: 2015

Ecofeminism and Natural Disasters: Sri Lankan Women Post-Tsunami

Citation:

Banford, Alyssa, and Cameron Kiely Froude. 2015. “Ecofeminism and Natural Disasters: Sri Lankan Women Post-Tsunami.” Journal of International Women’s Studies 16 (2): 170–87.

Authors: Alyssa Banford, Cameron Kiely Froude

Abstract:

Women experience a host of negative consequences during and after a natural disaster. A variety of feminist theories have been used to explore this phenomenon. The aim of this paper is to posit the need for an ecofeminist perspective on analyzing women’s vulnerabilities post- natural disaster. The authors will discuss the history and branches of ecofeminism, highlighting their utility in exploring the intersection of race, class, and gender in the aftermath of disaster. An ecofeminist analysis of Sri Lankan women’s vulnerability in the wake of the 2004 tsunami will be used to illustrate the utility of the theory. Implications of using ecofeminism in natural disaster research will be discussed.

Keywords: ecofeminism, natural disaster, tsunami, Sri Lanka

Topics: Class, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Women, Race Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 2015

Smallholder Farmers and Climate Smart Agriculture: Technology and Labor-Productivity Constraints amongst Women Smallholders in Malawi

Citation:

Murray, Una, Zewdy Gebremedhin, Galina Brychkova, and Charles Spillane. 2016. "Smallholder Farmers and Climate Smart Agriculture: Technology and Labor-Productivity Constraints amongst Women Smallholders in Malawi." Gender, Technology and Development 20 (2): 117-48. 

Authors: Una Murray, Zewdy Gebremedhin, Galina Brychkova, Charles Spillane

Abstract:

Climate change and variability present a major challenge to agricultural production and rural livelihoods, including livelihoods of women small- holder farmers. There are significant efforts underway to develop, deploy, and scale up Climate-Smart Agricultural (CSA) practices and technologies to facilitate climate change adaptation for farmers. However, there is a need for gender analysis of CSA practices across different farming and cultural systems to facilitate adoption by, and livelihood improvements for, women smallholder farmers. Climate change poses challenges for maintaining and improving agricultural and labor productivity of women smallholder farmers. The labor productivity of many women smallholders is constrained by lack of access to labor-saving technologies and the most basic of farm tools. Poorer smallholders face a poverty trap, due to low agricultural and labor productivity, from which they cannot easily escape without access to key resources such as rural energy and labor- saving technologies. In Malawi, the agricultural system is predominantly rainfed and largely composed of smallholders who remain vulnerable to climate change and variability shocks. Despite the aspirations of women smallholders to engage in CSA, our research highlights that many women smallholders have either limited or no access to basic agricultural tools, transport, and rural energy. This raises the question of whether the future livelihood scenarios for such farmers will consist of barely surviving or “hanging in”; or whether such farmers can “step up” to adapt better to future climate constraints; or whether more of these farmers will “step out” of agriculture. We argue that for women smallholder farmers to become more climate change resilient, more serious attention to gender analysis is needed to address their constraints in accessing basic agricultural technologies, combined with participatory approaches to develop and adapt CSA tools and technologies to their needs in future climates and agro-ecologies.

Keywords: climate change, women smallholders, labor productivity, participatory technology design, agriculture, economic growth

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2016

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