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Gender and Vulnerable Populations in Benefit Sharing: An Exploration of Conceptual and Contextual Points

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 April 2009


Vulnerable populations have been defined as those who face a significant probability of incurring an identifiable harm while substantially lacking ability and/or means to protect themselves. Vulnerabilities within population groups can be differentiated by factors that determine the different probabilities of incurring identifiable harms (risks) people face and the means available to them to protect themselves (their protective capacity). Among these factors is gender.

Special Section: Vulnerability Revisited
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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16. For a critical discussion of the literature “revolving around the presumption of primordial gender equality and harmony among the San of southern Africa” see Becker H. The least sexist society? Perspectives on gender, change and violence among southern African San. Journal of Southern African Studies 2003;29(1):5–23.

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27. See note 23, Andanda and Lucas 2007:19.

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29. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR). Women's Equal Ownership, Access to and Control Over Land and the Equal Rights to Own Property and to Adequate Housing: Commission on Human Rights Resolution 200/49. Geneva: UNHCHR; 2002.

30. See note 5, Alvarez-Castillo, Feinholz 2006.

31. Squires J. Gender in Political Theory. Cambridge/Oxford: Polity Press; 1999:203, quoted in Sauer B. 2004:9 (see note 8). Also see Phillips A. The Politics of Presence. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1995.

32. Because there were no women candidates for membership of the Committee in the May 2008 election, the Committee appointed two women so that there would be women's representation. Data from a key informant communicated by Sachin Chaturvedi, June 2008.

33. Cited by a woman key informant. The Tropical Botanic Garden & Research Institute has independently implemented capacity building for women, including an entrepreneurship development program and cooperative society/self-help groups. Data from personal communications with Sachin Chaturvedi, October 2007, June 2008.

34. Maria Rani Centre. Women's Health in Kerala: Issues and Challenges, May 2006; available at (last accessed 19 October 2007).

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36. See note 14, Jewkes, Levin, Pen-Kekana 2003.

37. Dreze J, Sen A. Gender inequality and women's agency. In: Mohanty M, ed. Class, Caste and Gender. New Delhi: Sage; 2004.

38. For a fuller discussion, see Alvarez-Castillo, Lucas 2008.

39. Simonelli J, Comment on Rosenthal, J. Politics, Culture, and Governance in the Development of Prior Informed Consent in Indigenous Communities. Current Anthropology 2006;47-1:119–42 at p. 136.

40. The classic example here is “consciousness raising” in feminist politics. Frye M. The possibility of feminist theory. In: Garry A, Pearsall P, eds. Women, Knowledge and Reality, London: Routledge; 1996:34–47 at pp. 34–5.

41. See, for example, Reclaim the Night: A Women's Annual Global March to Protest Men's Sexual Violence, available at (last accessed 30 April 2008).

42. A gender-sensitive partnering approach is distinguished by the integration of gender in all aspects of the project. In research, this is exemplified in feminist and participatory action research approaches. For examples, see Banerjee UD, ed. Lessons Learned from Rights-Based Approaches in the Asia Pacific Region. Bangkok: United Nations Development Programme and Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; 2005.

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