What areGender and Equality Problematics? Sandra Pertek firstname.lastname@example.org
Agenda I Intro to Equality & Inequality II IV Gender Views on GenderFindings& Future Equality Equality in the past & today III Policies’ Rationale
I Intro toEquality &Inequality Gender Equality • Sen: Capabilities Approach; Frazer: Parity of participation. • "A social order in which women and men share the same opportunities and the same constraints on full participation in both the economic and the domestic realm.” Bailyn (2006); • Man and women are equal but not identical “Gender equality does not imply that women and men are the same, but that they have equal value and should be accorded equal treatment.” International Planned Parenthood Federation.
Gender Equality• Key to Human and Social Development Freedom to run life one values (Sen); increase in ‘power to’, ‘power with’ and ‘within’ increase life quality Transform social & economic relations. Empowerment• Considered in terms of: Distribution (e.g.education, health) Participation (e.g. in labour force, in politics) Freedom/autonomy (access to legal rights) Decision making (households’ level) Recognition (value/voice in communities, in market) Inclusion, new opportunities, rights
Gender Inequalities “While it is estimated that women perform two-thirds of the world’s work, they only earn one tenth of the income, and own less than one per cent of the world’s property.” UNICEF, 20101. Social – education, welfare, Socially constructed roles, household work division. Moser (1989)2. Political – participation and decision making. Male: productive, constituency based3. Economic– exclusion from politics. employment, disparity in vs. wages, rights to land & Female: productive, reproductive property. (biological, labour power and social), community managing.4. Cultural – harmful practices for females. 1-2 role/s vs. 3 roles.
Reasons for gender inequalities Derive from Indivualist – Interactional – Institutionalist Gender understanding1. Structural marginalization; Social structures institutionalize gender differences and limit agency; Dimension of symbols, images (emotions); masculinity and femininity. Notion of femininity forces women to relate to subject positions and negotiate the dominant discourse.2. Power relations; Male hegemony, through many ages power was exercised unconsciously; Scott’s (1985) “weapons of the the weak” (early Feminism). Men as being powerful shape social discourse; Central role of reproduction role; Unequal power relations cause attribution of power to institutions; It relates to multiple identities; Knowledge as power (e.g. of rights); Intra-household distribution of power – ‘cooperative conflict’ Sen (1990); Gender power relations on global, national and local level, claimed, visible, hidden (all levels defined by Gaventa (2006) are to be found).
Diversity & Intersectionality of Gender Class Cross-cutting factors of gender relations with Rural/Urban Origin Age other social relations; Diversity Examples: 1. Gender and Disability, Gender and Race - increase Religion Ability implications on poverty and social exclusion – invisible Ethnicity intersectionality. 2. Feminism comes from India before colonialism – noWhy is it that challenging gender recognition, subordinated!inequalities is seen as tampering withtraditions of culture, and thus taboo, Women experiences ofwhile challenging inequalities in terms of womanhood are different inwealth and class is not?(Mehta 1991 in DAC Source Book) cultures – gender relations are context specific.
II Views on GenderEquality inthe past & Cases underpinning gender theory today • All women share the same history of patriarchy and face problem of male-oriented hegemonic social structure. 1. Islam – fluidity of gender relations and change over time, role of stereotype. 2. Eve’s legacy – Myth of Women, role of symbol in Judeo- Christian traditions. 3. Women human rights in the past and current approach. 4. Main factors affecting gender inequality: feminization of labour force and feminization of poverty.
Advent of Islam (622AD) vs. Islam Today as a case of gender fluidityOriginally Islam brought: Human Equality; Women Rights; Justice Direct impact on females’ conditions: 1. Equality between man and women: "For Muslim [submitted to God] men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allahs praise-- For them all has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward" Qur’an (33:35). "Truly I will never cause to be lost the work of any of you, Be you a male or female, you are members one of another" (3:195). No Eve’s legacy (Qur’an 2:36, 7:20-24), both Adam and Eve were responsible for eating an apple.
2. Respect for daughters; stop burying alive female infants: "To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. He creates what Hewills. He bestows female children to whomever He wills and bestows malechildren to whomever He wills" (42:49).3. Regulated relation between man and women." And among His signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves, thatyou may dwell in tranquility with them and He has put love and mercy between yourhearts: verily in that are signs for those who reflect" (30:21)."The believers, men and women, are protectors, one of another: they enjoin what isjust, and forbid what is evil, they observe regular prayers, practise regular charity, andobey Allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour His Mercy: for Allah is Exaltedin power, Wise" (9:71).4. Women receives rights, examples:a) Property Rights:"From what is left by parents and those nearest related there is a share for men and ashare for women, whether the property be small or large --a determinate share"(4:7).b) Political rights: nomination to political affairs, participate in public affairs (58:1-4;60:10-12).c) Legal rights (full personality, sue for divorce).d) Social (education - 39:9, 58:11)
5. Special recognition for mothers:"A man asked the Prophet: Whom should I honor most? The Prophet replied:Your mother. And who comes next? asked the man. The Prophet replied: Yourmother. And who comes next? asked the man. The Prophet replied: Yourmother!. And who comes next? asked the man. The Prophet replied: Yourfather" (Sunna: Bukhari and Muslim)."And We have enjoined on man to be good to his parents:In travail upon travail did his mother bear him and in two years was hisweaning. Show gratitude to Me and to your parents" (31:14).6. Importance of mutual agreement in family decisions (Qur’an 2:233).7. Respect from husband: “…but consort with them in kindness, for if you hatethem it may happen that you hate a thing wherein God has placed much good”(Qur’an 4:19)8. Equal expectations:“And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what isreasonable. But the men have a degree over them [in maintenance andprotection]” (2:228) Patriarchy
What about current gender relations in Islam? Social construction changing in context-specific setting After 3rd generations of prophet Mohammed Qur’anic message started to blur what affected women because of:• Historical social & political conditions started to prevail the discourse with disadvantage on a just society and gender equality;• Many sects and male Qur’anic interpretations; Power of knowledge Role of dicourses In patriarchal societies power of male patronage dominated original given rights to women . Unlike stereotypes Women rights will be always embedded in original Islamic scriptures Quran and Sunna. This discourse can enhance power of Gender Identity but it is difficult to achieve in male hegemonic settings.
Judeo-Christian Eve’s legacy as a symbol & creation myth Women is blamed for committing the first sin. "The woman you put here with me --she gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it." Genesis 2:4 3:24; "No wickedness comes anywhere near the wickedness of a woman...Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die" (Ecclesiasticus 25:19,24). In consequence women have no rights and must be subordinated to man. Old Testament: “The woman being man’s property”; “In the Mosaic Law divorce was a privilege of the husband only...” The Encyclopedia Biblica, 1902, p. 782, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.“ Genesis 2:4-3:24. "The birth of a daughter is a loss" (Ecclesiasticus 22:3). (More look at St. Tertullian 6; St. Augustine (acknowledged women’s sole reproductive role), Ecclesiasticus26:10-11) New Testament "A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. dont permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner" (I Timothy 2:11-14). ” If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church." (I Corinthians 14:35) Question to raise for reflection: How the Biblical myth/symbol of creation affected women in the past?
Conclusions Gender relations are fluid and change over time and within groups in one culture or religion. The same as symbols. Gender relations are subordinated to cultural and ethnic norms (Levy, 2009, p. 3); Stereotypes create subordination and discrimination; hinder from understanding complexity of social identity and gender relations; It opposes universalism and political project of GAD; Embedded rights and symbols of women and gender equality/inequality in traditions not always mean their exercise.
Women Human Rights in the pastAncient Ages Modern Ages Modern TimesIn India women excluded Japanese Law allowed to sell Right to vote – 1893 –from right to inheritance . and buy women till 1845. New Zealand(The Encyclopedia Britannica 1911, (Haqqi 2005).p.782)In Rome and Greece total In China as ornaments in First female Primedependency on social meetings and objects Minister – 1960 – Srihusband/father/brother. of recreation. (Haqqi 2005). Lanka(Allen, History of Civilization,p.444)In Persia regarded In England, a property of a wife In France suffragettes’ became possession of her movement – in resultas piece of goods husband. (Badawi, 1980); women got independentand was sold as a After 1887 married women personality in 1945.slave (Haqqi, 2005) achieved the right to own property. (English Common Law; Until 1850 – women were not considered as citizens.
Contemporary Human Rights ApproachHuman Rights for Women “Systematic discrimination orUniversal Declaration of Human Rights, inequality of condition…cannotInternational Covenant on Civil and be addressed via the rule-Political Rights, International Covenant based sameness of treatmenton Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,The European Convetion, the American approach. Indeed, the use ofConvention on Human Rights, African this model virtually makesCharter on Human Rights and People’s systematic disadvantageRights, Beijing Action Plan, Convention invisilble. By structuringof the Nationality of Married Women,The UN Convention on the Elimination equality around the maleof All Forms of Discrimination Against comparator, the assumption isWomen (CEDAW, ratified by 185, not made that equality exists…TheUS) and more … question then becomes canMany Women’s Conferences – [international human rights‘breakthrough’ 1995 in Beijing. law] support and deliver substantive equality?”Dominated by women from the West,subaltern had no voice – Spivak. Mahoney (Cook, 1994)
Lessons from Human Rights approach• Human rights approach discounts intrinsic differences (Cook, 1994);• Coomaraswamy (in Cook 1994) presumed that human rights to be effective they have to become a respected part [or legitimized] of culture and traditions of a given society (local and historical context);• In many regions the institution of law is associated with hatred because is seen as a central instrument used by colonizing powers to replace indigenous cultural, religious and social traditions with the mechanism of the modern West (Cook, 1994).Solutions?• Cross-cultural dialogue to understand and address subordination of women;• Human rights must take root in civil society, NGOs (Cook, 1994).
Main factors affecting Gender Equality Feminization of labour force - Feminization of poverty economic restructuring • Female-headed-households (FHH) -• Capital’s demand for the economic ‘poorest of the poor’ uniform category participation: that they are poor and require help - Tensions in home. economic & gender connotation;• Global chains of commodities and of care: Flexibilisation of labour; Often unprotected work conditions; • Asset deprivation; Women trafficking.• Structural Adjustment Programs: • FHH may be poor in economic terms Agriculture concentration on export crops – but is not reflected in social-cultural women workload got intensified; and psychological terms; Weak employment creation for women; Bias against small scale businesses run by women. • Can provide ‘enabling spaces’ in which women are better able to exert agency Exploitation of women’s formal and Chant (1997). unwaged work (unpaid care economy) or liberation from economic marginalization and patriarchal constraints?
References• Bailyn, 2006 Breaking the mold: Redesigning work for productive and satisfying lives. Ithaca, NY: Cornell.• Caroline Sweetman (editor), “Gender in the 21st century” in Oxfam Focus on Gender, GB Oxfam 2000.• Cornwall, A., Harrison, E., and Whitehead, A., “Gender myths and feminist fables: the struggle for interpretive power in gender and development” in Development and change, 38(1), pages 1-20.• DAC Source Book On Concepts And Approaches Linked To Gender Equality [http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/4/16/31572047.pdf], (accesssed 02.12.2010).• David and Vera Mace, “Marriage East and West”, Dolphin Books, Doubleday and Co., Inc., N.Y., 1960.• Jamal A. Badawi, “The Status of Women in Islam”, The Muslim Students’ Association of the US and Canada.• Khadija Elmadmud, “Women rights under Islam” in Wolfgang Benedek, Esther M. Kisaakye, Gerd Oberleitner (editors), “Human Rights of Women, International Instruments and African Experiences”, Zed Books, 2002.• Khasi’ Haqqi, “Lawful wives or unlawful girlfriends”, Al – Fidrous Ltd, 2005.• Rebecca J. Cook (editor), “Human Rights of Women, National and International Perspectives, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1994.• Levy, Caren, "Gender Justice in a Diversity Approach to Development? The Challenges for Development Planning" in International development planning review IDPR, 31(4), 2009,• The Encyclopedia Britannica (1911), 11th ed., 1911, Vol.28, p.782.• The Noble Qur’an *www.quran.com+, (accessed 01.12.2010).• UNICEF, Gender Equality, Big Picture [http://www.unicef.org/gender/index_bigpicture.html], (accessible 12.12.2010).
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