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Gender and Sustainability

Lessons from Asia and Latin America

Edited by Cruz-Torres, María Luz and McElwee, Pamela

Publication Year: 2012

This is one of the first books to address how gender plays a role in helping to achieve the sustainable use of natural resources. The contributions collected here deal with the struggles of women and men to negotiate such forces as global environmental change, economic development pressures, discrimination and stereotyping about the roles of women and men, and diminishing access to natural resources—not in the abstract but in everyday life. Contributors are concerned with the lived complexities of the relationship between gender and sustainability.

Bringing together case studies from Asia and Latin America, this valuable collection adds new knowledge to our understanding of the interplay between local and global processes. Organized broadly by three major issues—forests, water, and fisheries—the scholarship ranges widely: the gender dimensions of the illegal trade in wildlife in Vietnam; women and development issues along the Ganges River; the role of gender in sustainable fishing in the Philippines; women’s inclusion in community forestry in India; gender-based confrontations and resistance in Mexican fisheries; environmentalism and gender in Ecuador; and women’s roles in managing water scarcity in Bolivia and addressing sustainability in shrimp farming in the Mekong Delta.

Together these chapters show why gender issues are important for understanding how communities and populations deal daily with the challenges of globalization and environmental change. Through their rich ethnographic research, the contributors demonstrate that gender analysis offers useful insights into how a more sustainable world can be negotiated—one household and one community at a time.

Published by: University of Arizona Press

Title page

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

This book would have not been possible without the help and support of many people. Some of the ideas presented in this book were initially discussed in a research cluster titled “The Narrative Prisms of Women and Sustainability,” sponsored and funded by the Institute for Humanities...

List of Acronyms

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pp. ix

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1. Introduction: Gender and Sustainability

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pp. 1-21

Early on a Sunday, before her family left for church, Doña Basilia invited me to stop by her house. It was a chilly morning just before springtime began in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and I was relieved to be invited inside for a warm cup of breakfast maizena (cornstarch). I had interviewed Doña...

Part I. Gender and Forests

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2. Environmentalism and Gender in Intag, Ecuador

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pp. 25-49

Intag, a subtropical area situated between the western rainforest and the eastern montane valleys of Ecuador, is a place to think about the ways local and global biodiversity issues are linked. With the threat of mining in the 1990s, local and international environmental, feminist, and indigenous...

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3. Democratic Spaces across Scales: Women’s Inclusion in Community Forestry in Orissa, India

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pp. 50-70

On 10 November 2004, a few days before Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, the rural town of Ranpur in Orissa is taken over by women. The mundane main street comes alive with a riot of colors as more than 1,500 women attired in saris of different hues and shades march through....

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4. The Gender Dimensions of the Illegal Trade in Wildlife: Local and Global Connections in Vietnam

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pp. 71-93

An important aspect to remember in the study of gender is that it is not just about women. That is, analyses of the role of gender in environmental problems and sustainability, as this book has focused on, should ideally outline the differential roles of both men and women and highlight areas...

Part II. Gender and Water

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5. Gender, Water Scarcity, and the Management of Sustainability Tradeoffs in Cochabamba, Bolivia

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pp. 97-120

Sustainable governance requires humans to make decisions that strike a balance between environmental, economic, and social resource uses. While recent research has explored the costs and benefits of these sustainability tradeoffs, gender-oriented analyses are often absent from this...

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6. Gendered Fruit and Vegetable Home Processing Near the US–Mexico Border: Climate Change, Water Scarcity, and Noncapitalist Visions of the Future

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pp. 121-141

A more rapid pace of change has been evident in San Ignacio, a community in Sonora, Mexico, near the border with the United States, for many years and in many different forms, including through globalization, livelihood transformations, and environmental degradation. Perhaps most...

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7. Meaningful Waters: Women, Development, and Sustainability along the Bhagirathi Ganges

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pp. 142-162

The need for gender inclusion in debates over resource management and sustainability has long been recognized. Academics, environmentalists, and development practitioners, among others, are working to increase awareness of and attention to the gender dimensions of resource concerns...

Part III. Gender and Fisheries

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8. Gender, Sustainability, and Shrimp Farming: Negotiating Risky Business in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta

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pp. 165-186

It was around 9:00 a.m. one January morning in 2008. The sun was up high and glaring, warning of a hot day to come. Sau, a local woman, and I joined a group of villagers at a local tea shop. Sipping from her little cup of green tea, Sau spoke of a recent spat with her husband: “My husband...

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9. The Role of Gender in the Reduction of Fishing Effort in the Coastal Philippines

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pp. 187-206

A principal aim of coastal resource management (CRM) projects and related conservationist interventions is to reduce pressure on fish stocks by curtailing destructive fishing practices and establishing marine protected areas to allow fish stocks to recover. In the Philippines, the record of such...

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10. Contested Livelihoods: Gender, Fisheries, and Resistance in Northwestern Mexico

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pp. 207-228

In October 2004, fishermen and women shrimp traders from southern Sinaloa coastal communities organized a protest to demand the end of a moratorium imposed on shrimp harvesting and consumption (Zapién 2004). The Health Department in Mazatlán had implemented the...

Part IV. Conclusion

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11. Why Gender Matters, Why Women Matter

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pp. 231-243

As noted in the introduction to this book, it is timely to acknowledge gender as it pertains to sustainability, particularly in macro-level issues such as global warming and globalization, where the voices of women (or any actual people) are often ignored in studies of deforestation, soil...

List of Contributors

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pp. 245-247


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pp. 249-253

E-ISBN-13: 9780816599479
Print-ISBN-13: 9780816530014

Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2012