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Publication: Transnational Land Deals and Gender Equality: Utilitarian and Human Rights Approaches

This article by Poul Wosberg, published in Feminist Economics, is freely available from Routledge Social Sciences journals until June 30, 2015: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13545701.2013.862341#.VNt2_8msyuw

Abstract:

Transnational land deals pose vexing normative (ethical) questions, not least concerning gendered participation and outcomes. This article explores utilitarian and human rights approaches to gender equality in selected policy initiatives on the land deals. While global policy literature manifests growing attention to women in agriculture, the review found the analysis of gender in early policy initiatives to be absent or weak. Utilitarian arguments were used to justify deals but rarely presented women’s participation as a means of social progress or so-called smart economics. Human rights documents were more likely to be critical of the deals and to mention gender, though with little elaboration. While to some extent amended by the emphasis on gender equality in the 2012 Voluntary Guidelines on tenure governance, failures to mobilize the feminist potential in utilitarian and human rights approaches call for more proactive gender analysis and advocacy when addressing transnational land deals as gendered power struggles.

Other key publications from Routledge Social Sciences journals can be accessed here.


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Policy Reform toward Gender Equality in Ethiopia: Little by Little the Egg Begins to Walk

A new article by IFPRI researchers Neha Kumar and Agnes Quisumbing in World Development is available open access here.

Summary: There is growing interest in how reforms in different policy areas can be formulated in order to be consistent in promoting gender equality and empowering women. We use data from the Ethiopian Rural Household Survey (ERHS) to show how two seemingly unrelated reforms—community-based land registration, undertaken since 2003, and changes in the Family Code implemented in 2000—may have created conditions that reinforce each other in improving gender equity. Our findings suggest that the land registration process and the reform of the Family Code had mutually reinforcing effects on women’s rights and welfare.


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New article from Melinda Gates: “Putting women and girls at the center of development”

The development field needs to be more serious about gender inequities and women’s empowerment. By ignoring gender inequities, many development projects fail to achieve their objective. And when development organizations do not focus on women’s empowerment, they neglect the fact that empowered women have the potential to transform their societies. I also review the Gates Foundation’s record on gender and propose some approaches to improve it.

For the full article published September 12 in Science, click here.