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Presented by Markus Ihalainen, from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in Nairobi, Kenya, on August 29, 2017.

Published in: Environment
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  1. 1. INTERSECTIONALITY Markus Ihalainen - CIFOR
  2. 2. “Women are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than men” (UN WomenWatch)
  3. 3. “Women are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than men” (UN WomenWatch) “Women and children are 14 times more vulnerable than men in climate change-related natural disasters, such as the floods and droughts” (Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of UN Women)
  4. 4. “Women are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than men” (UN WomenWatch) “Women and children are 14 times more vulnerable than men in climate change-related natural disasters, such as the floods and droughts” (Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of UN Women) “While earlier studies have tended to highlight women’s quasi-universal vulnerability in the context of climate change … this focus can ignore the complex, dynamic, and intersecting power relations and other structural and place-based causes of inequality” (IPCC 2014, 808)
  6. 6. INTERSECTIONALITY – WHAT IS IT? • “We experience life - discrimination and benefits - based on different identities that we have … intersectionality is the combination - as opposed to the addition - of race and gender that creates a specific form of oppression” (Kimberlé Crenshaw, interview) • “The interaction between gender, race and other categories of difference in individual lives, social practices, institutional arrangements, and cultural ideologies and the outcomes of these interactions in terms of power” (Kathy Davis 2008, 68). • Intersectionality is “the best chance for an effective diagnosis and ultimately an effective prescription” (Ange- Marie Hancock 2007, 73) • “Intersectionality … does not provide written-in-stone guidelines for doing feminist inquiry … [i]nstead it encourages each feminist scholar to engage critically with her own assumptions in the interests of reflexive, critical, and accountable feminist inquiry” (Davis 2008, 79) 2013/04/24/intersectionality-a-fun-guide/
  7. 7. HISTORY OF THE CONCEPT • ‘Intersectionality theory’ was coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989, but many others have advanced similar thoughts before that. “That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman?” Sojurner Truth, 1851
  8. 8. HISTORY OF THE CONCEPT • ‘Intersectionality theory’ was coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989, but many others have advanced similar thoughts before that. • DeGraffenreid vs. General Motors (Crenshaw 1989) – “With Black women as the starting point, it becomes more apparent how dominant conceptions of discrimination condition us to think about subordination as disadvantage occurring along a single categorical axis … in race discrimination cases, discrimination tends to be viewed in terms of sex- or class-privileged Blacks; in sex discrimination cases, the focus in on race- and class-privileged women” (1989, 57). • Intersectionality and domestic violence ( 1991) – Structural intersectionality – Political intersectionality – Representational intersectionality
  9. 9. SOME KEY PRINCIPLES • “There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives” (Audrey Lorde) – Social categories interact with and co-constitute one another to create unique social locations that vary according to time and place – Important categories and relationships are identified rather than predetermined • Multi-level analysis – Linking individual experiences to broader structures and systems (macro – micro) • Power – Operates on multiple levels and shapes subject positions and categories (e.g. race, racialization, racism and anti-racism) – critical examination of categories – Power is relational – a person can simultaneously experience both privilege and oppression • Normative commitment to structural transformation and social justice – “Through the examination of the intersecting factors and conditions by which power is not only produced, reproduced but also actively resisted, intersectionality calls for a more complex approach to address the system that creates power differentials, rather than the symptoms of it” (Hancock 2007) • Reflexivity
  11. 11. EXAMPLE 1. Adoption of improved farming practices • Quantitative survey with male and female farmers to examine how factors such as age, ethnicity, gender and marital status affect the uptake of improved farming practices. • Results indicate no significant difference between male and female farmers. However, ethnicity, age and marital status are found to determine levels of uptake of improved farming practices: • Gender – no significant difference between men and women • Ethnicity – farmers from ethnic group A more likely to adopt than farmers from group B • Age – youth less likely to adopt • Marital status – farmers who are married and live together are more likely to adopt than unmarried, divorced/widowed
  12. 12. EMPIRICAL APPROACHES • Unitary approach • Multiplicative approach (Hancock 2007)/intercategorical approach (McCall 2005) – E.g. how does ethnicity or gender or ethnicity x gender affect employment opportunities on oil palm plantations? – Focus on categories to identify patterns of relations between them – Assumes that each category has a valid, stable social meaning – Allows for examining how e.g. gender is raced and race is gendered – Risks obscuring intra-group diversity and reinforcing categories (identity influence) • Intracategorical approach (McCall 2005)/Inclusion/Voice Models (Castello Jones et al) – Focus on understanding and amplifying experiences at neglected social locations (e.g. minority women’s experiences of tenure reform) – Allows to deal with fluidity of categories, to account for intra-group diversity and can help break down simplistic notions of status categories – Risks neglecting broader power structures as well as relations between social locations (focus on the ‘most vulnerable/marginalized’) • Anticategorical approach (McCall 2005) – Rejects the use of categories as they are artificial and exclusionary – Difficult to operationalize empirically
  13. 13. GENDER AND CLIMATE VULNERABILITY IN MALI DJOUDI & BROCKHAUS 2011 • Objective to understand socially differentiated perceptions of climate change in northern Mali, which is facing increasing climatic variability, including droughts • Workshops with different groups stratified by gender, age and ethnicity • Due to climate change, market shifts and tenure reforms, agriculture has become less viable • Men are adopting out-migration for employment purposes as a viable adaptation strategy • Women’s vulnerability has increased because of the adaptive strategy chosen by men, as male activities are being added to women’s already high workload. • Without secure tenure and command over financial resources, many women are unable to pursue agriculture in the drying climate. • Women from lower social classes are defying traditional gender norms barring women from entering charcoal production. Due to the social stigma associated with the activity, women from higher social classes are not able to engage in charcoal production.
  14. 14. MIGRATION, GENDER AND COMMUNITY FORESTRY SIJAPATI BASNETT 2013 • Objective to understand how migration and multi-local livelihoods affect the social dynamics of local natural resource management. • Ethnographic field work in two villages in Nepal • Discourses of equity; increased politicization of ‘gender’, ‘caste’, ‘class’ in Nepali politics • Village 2: historical patron-client relationship between high and low castes • Increasing outmigration by young men (incl. low castes) to Gulf countries • Conflict over community forestry: esp. low caste women dependent on forest products, high castes opposed due to practices of untouchability and presence of sacred sites in the forest. • Remittance-class (senior low caste men) launched caste-based struggle, capitalizing on the national Dalit struggle and discourses of ‘equality’ – women pressured to align themselves with their caste • Upon gaining control over community forestry, decision-making power was vested in senior men. To demonstrate that giving them control was the ‘right thing to do’, focus on protecting forest rather than ensuring secure access – Women’s concerns increasingly marginalized
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