Are women victims, agents or perpetrators of climate change?
Gender and climate change discourses in policy & research
Bim...
Purpose & arguments
• Gender a ‘late-comer’ in climate change policies.
But gaining focus due to adaptation &
vulnerabilit...
Conceptual framework:
Feminist Political Ecology
• Political ecology – “a concern with tracing the genealogy of narratives...
“In many contexts, women are more vulnerable to the effects of climate
change than men – primarily as they constitute the ...
Productions and reproduction of stark
figures with shock value
Women constitute 70% of the poor and 14 times more
likely t...
Persistence and pitfalls?
• Driven by motivation to put women and unequal power
relations to policy discussions over clima...
•

Gender discourses in
forestry/agriculture/agroforestry
policy research
Increasing pressure/concern to consider gender a...
Lessons for future policy research
• Facts and figures investigated and not
assumed
• Sound gender analysis
• Normative im...
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Session 6.1 are women victims, agents, perpetrators of climate change

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Session 6.1 are women victims, agents, perpetrators of climate change

  1. 1. Are women victims, agents or perpetrators of climate change? Gender and climate change discourses in policy & research Bimbika Sijapati Basnett Center for International Forestry Research World Congress on Agroforestry, Delhi, Feb 10th – 14th, 2014
  2. 2. Purpose & arguments • Gender a ‘late-comer’ in climate change policies. But gaining focus due to adaptation & vulnerability, on the one hand, and pressure to consider gender as an important variable for analysis, on the other. • But two recent trends require critical scrutiny. – Policy - Premise for integrating gender rests on tenuous assumption and weak empirical evidence. – Research on gender and agroforestry – tabulate gender disaggregated data and make far-reaching conclusions.
  3. 3. Conceptual framework: Feminist Political Ecology • Political ecology – “a concern with tracing the genealogy of narratives concerning “the environment”, with identifying power relationships supported by such narratives, and with asserting the consequences of hegemony over, and within these narratives for economic and social development, and particularly for constraining possibilities for selfdetermination” (Stott and Sullivan 2012) • Feminist political ecology– is there a gender dimension to these narratives and how might these interact with feminist objectives, strategies and practices? • Recent advances in feminist theory - gender as beyond description of women and men. As political, relational, intersectional, and performative. • Discourse analysis – trace shared meaning of a phenomenon; actors and processes producing, reproducing and transforming discourses; and social impacts and policy outcomes of discourses.
  4. 4. “In many contexts, women are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than men – primarily as they constitute the majority of the world’s poor and are more dependent for their livelihoods on natural resources that are threatened by climate change” (UN Women 2013)
  5. 5. Productions and reproduction of stark figures with shock value Women constitute 70% of the poor and 14 times more likely to die of natural disasters. • But such data isin’t available! • Gender and poverty are two separate issues • Comparing male and female-headed HHs exaggerates asset poverty of women. • Originated from anecdotal use in natural hazards workshop in 1994 and repeated endlessly. • Gender gaps in mortality rates only makes sense when combined with other forms of disadvantage such as class, caste, ethnicity etc.
  6. 6. Persistence and pitfalls? • Driven by motivation to put women and unequal power relations to policy discussions over climate change. • Seek sympathy and strategic coalition with those who privilege ‘efficiency’/investing in women as /smart economics’. • But understanding of gender is limited to stereotypes of women and men. • Instrumental use of gender/women. Previous research suggests women’s work increased without accompanying benefits. • Weaken the credibility gender research and implement policies that reproduce/reify gender inequalities.
  7. 7. • Gender discourses in forestry/agriculture/agroforestry policy research Increasing pressure/concern to consider gender as an important variable. But focus on tabulating gender disaggregated data rather than carrying out gender analysis informed by over 20 years of feminist research. • Either – differences in responses by women and men unexplained or lacking in careful gender analysis (paucity of history, politics, structural inequalities). • Make far-reaching consequences based on findings. Methodological considerations. “Contrary to expectations and gender stereotypes, the increased involvement of women in landscape level decision making may serve to increase emissions from deforestation in the area, thus posing further challenges to emissions reductions”. • But also, normative implications of research for policy. Fodder to neoconservativism? “.. .policy support for greater gender equality in decision making does not necessarily and immediately coincide with environmental goals, and hard choices between objectives may have to be made”.
  8. 8. Lessons for future policy research • Facts and figures investigated and not assumed • Sound gender analysis • Normative implications of research • Rights-based rather than instrumental approach

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