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What does it mean to advance women’s status and well-being? And how should we think about the role of the state in bringing about that advancement? Our work analyzes the approach and role of the state in promoting women’s empowerment, drawing on large-N country-level data and in-depth case studies of state action in the United States, Norway, and Japan. Our three country cases vary greatly in terms of the state’s approach to women’s rights; we picked them because we believe them to be extreme examples of how state action is driven by different visions of what women’s empowerment is about. Conducting fieldwork in these different contexts allows us to study some of the variation in people’s views of both state action and empowerment. It sharpens our awareness of important assumptions that underlie studies of empowerment. It also helps us determine the right questions to ask. To the extent that we study causal relationships, we do so based on large-N data within cases, not across them. And rather than assume that the same causal patterns apply across cases, we draw on our fieldwork to better understand why the same policies produce vastly different effects in different contexts. This chapter is a reflection on some of the goals of comparative studies that are unrelated to drawing causal inferences, and how to think about research design and case selection to achieve these goals.
This chapter examines the struggles confronted by the women of Matsu. I take three women, born between 1950 and 1980, who lived through the era of military rule and beyond, as examples of the rise of a new female self and for the changing meanings of contemporary family and marriage.
To investigate the seasonal variations of women’s dietary diversity (WDD) (items consumed and food supply) and its linkages with agriculture, market and wild resources.
A cohort of 300 women was followed-up over a year to investigate WDD and food sources (production, purchase or foraging). Monthly qualitative 24h-recalls allowed computing WDD Scores from a standard 10-food groups (FG) classification (WDDS-10). Associations between farm/women’s characteristics and WDDS-10 were investigated using multivariate mixed models including interaction terms factor*months.
Tuy province, Burkina Faso
300 women of reproductive age
Both dietary diversity and food sources were seasonal. The mean WDDS-10 was relatively stable from August to January (ranging from 3.1 to 3.5 FG) when farm production predominated. The WDDS-10 gradually increased from February, concomitantly with an increase in food purchases (onions, tomatoes, mangoes), and reached its highest levels (>4 FG) from March to June, when food purchases were still relatively high and when more women consumed foraged fruits (shea plums, wild grapes). Women living on farms owning >3 plough oxen and different animal species had significantly higher WDDS-10 than others (+0.28 and +0.35 FG, respectively). Women who practiced off-farm activities also had higher WDDS-10 than those who did not (+0.21 FG, p<0.05). Other factors, e.g. the number of foraged edible species, provided advantages in terms of dietary diversity only during certain seasons (October-January, P for interaction<0.01).
Diversifying women’s diets throughout the year requires complementary interventions aimed at diversifying production, promoting foraging and increasing income-generating activities to enable food purchasing.
This chapter examines Gwendolyn Brooks’s representation of everyday African American lives in what was at midcentury affectionately known as “Bronzeville.” Her literature elevates the ways these people – especially Black women – found meaning and value in their regular lives, even as they lived in the shadow of a disinterested and segregated city. With a focus on Brooks’s first collection of poetry, A Street in Bronzeville, and her novel, Maud Martha, this chapter explores how Brooks’s writing exemplifies humanism and places it in the same populist Chicago tradition of Carl Sandburg, while also maintaining ties to the sociologically informed neighborhood writing of Richard Wright, James T. Farrell, and Nelson Algren. Even though Brooks did not define herself as an African American humanist, she engages with some of its core concepts. Namely, she shows how Black people challenge Christian ideals and how they process death and loss without relying on religious doctrines. Instead, Brooks’s characters look inward and toward their community for aid and redemption.
Women are entitled to the equal enjoyment and protection of all human rights, including the right to life. The duty to protect life requires that certain acts be criminalised for everyone under a State’s jurisdiction. These include all acts of gender-based violence directed against women, but especially those that endanger life. In a novel approach to oversight of treaty compliance, a group of experts on action against violence against women and domestic violence (GREVIO) was established under the Istanbul Convention to monitor its implementation. In addition to receiving and considering State reports, GREVIO may organise country visits to clarify possible non-compliance. The chapter also considers maternal health and the right to life.
Moving beyond the focus on violence against women and violence committed by women, this article interrogates violence countered by women. The article sheds new light on the gendered practices of counterinsurgency in northeast Nigeria, with critical attention to why women joined the civilian resistance to the Boko Haram insurgency and their complex role and agency as local security providers. Using the voices and lifeworlds of women who joined the Civilian Joint Task Force (yan gora) in Borno State as well as the Vigilante Group Nigeria and Hunters Association (kungiya marhaba) in Adamawa State, the article underscores the layered and gender-bending role of women as frontline fighters, knowledge brokers, state informants, and producers of vigilante technologies. The article finds that women counterinsurgents mobilized after Boko Haram shifted its strategy toward using female insurgents, especially as suicide bombers. Women joined the war against Boko Haram for complex reasons, including personal loss, revenge, family ties, community attachment, patriotism, and a collective yearning for normalcy.
Around the world, Indigenous peoples have stories about wildlife that reflect knowledge and feelings about animals and their relationship to humans. Different people's experiences speak to the variety of interactions people have with animals in the spaces where humans and non-human animals live and interact. These stories are often told by women, reflecting the ways in which gender mediates human–environment relations. Yet gendered differences in knowledge and experience are rarely addressed in wildlife conservation research and action. Even community-based conservation efforts often ignore or marginalize the knowledge and experiences of women. We present women's stories and experiences of wildlife from Maasai communities in Tanzania and Soliga communities in India. We show that women have the desire and knowledge to participate in conservation decision-making but are currently marginalized from community conservation practice. We argue that including women in research and action is key for successful community-based wildlife conservation.
How does the transition to retirement affect female subjective wellbeing? The major theoretical perspectives that have been applied as frameworks to study the heterogeneous adjustment to retirement include role theory and continuity theory. They have often been integrated with a lifecourse approach, which allows us to study retirement as a transition set inside a lifelong process. In this paper, I assess how working life courses are related to changes in subjective wellbeing before and after retirement, using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) and concentrating on women. Firstly, I conduct sequence analysis and cluster analysis to identify groups of typical working lifecourses from ages 20 to 50. Secondly, regression models estimate how retirement transition is associated with changes in life satisfaction, according to the different working trajectories. The results show that some of the trajectories, constituted of discontinuity or part-time periods, exhibit a continuous increase in life satisfaction, passing from employment (or unemployment) to retirement. For other trajectories, such as the full-time one, retirement seems not to have implications for subjective wellbeing.
The chapter concentrates on two late medieval archives. The first preserves “act-books” or logs of daily court activity and annual fiscal information from the archdeaconry of Xanten on the Lower Rhine. The second keeps registers of sentences and the dossiers of complete suits or “cause papers” assembled by the bishop’s tribunal of Basel in Switzerland. Their examination establishes what Christians from both regions expected canonical adjudication to deliver in disputes over the validity of marriages. The ordinary judges of Basel and Xanten were heavily involved in inquests that did not exceed preliminaries from a legal standpoint. Decisions emanating from their activities found with greatest frequency that a supposed spousal union failed to rise to the level of lawful proof. Many of the defeated plaintiffs at Xanten were ready to take advantage of the outcome by bringing another suit in the same venue. Women who lost their claim to a spouse often returned to sue the winner for alimony, bridal money, or to compensate for the loss of their virginity.
Business is an essential part of human society, and the right to livelihood is a fundamental human right. Business can impact human rights, for better or worse. Recognition of this has led to a legal regime focused on preventing business-related human rights violations. The impact of these violations depends partly on a person’s place in society. Several cases may be used to illustrate how business can have differentiated impacts based on gender. For example, while maternity protection has been recognised in international labour law since 1919, a century later both pregnancy and breastfeeding discrimination, and maternity and paternity inequalities continue. The many gender-differentiated impacts of business on human rights require a gender-responsive business and human rights (BHR) framework. This chapter begins by defining key terms and the theoretical underpinnings of a gender-responsive approach to BHR. Next, it outlines international human rights law (IHRL) and policy relevant to gender, business, and human rights. It concludes that the current BHR regime does not provide adequate protection to those suffering gender-based rights violations. Nevertheless, there are ample legal and related texts presently available with which to begin to remedy this problem.
To investigate the association between plant-based diets (PBD) and overweight/obesity compared to regular meat eaters in older women.
1946–1951 birth cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH). PBD were categorised as vegan, lacto-ovo vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian, semi-vegetarian and regular meat eaters. Outcomes included body weight (BW), BMI and waist circumference (WC).
Women who completed Survey 7 (n 9102) with complete FFQ data.
Compared to regular meat eaters, BW, BMI and WC were significantly lower in pesco-vegetarians (−10·2 kg (95 % CI −5·1, −15·2); −3·8 kg/m2 (95 % CI −2·0, −5·6); −8·4 cm (95 % CI −3·9, −12·9)) and BW and BMI lower in lacto-ovo vegetarians (−7·4 kg (95 % CI −1·2, −13·6); −2·9 kg/m2 (95 % CI −0·6, −5·1)). In regular meat eaters, individuals consuming meat daily or multiple times/d had significantly higher BW, BMI and WC compared to those consuming meat >2 times/week but <daily or multiple times/d (2·5 kg (95 % CI 1·5, 3·5); 0·9 kg/m2 (95 % CI 0·5, 1·3) and 2·2 cm (95 % CI 1·3, 3·1)) and those consuming meat >1 but ≤2 times/week (6·8 kg (95 % CI 1·8, 11·8); 2·1 kg/m2 (95 % CI 0·3, 4·0) and 6·0 cm (95 % CI 1·7, 10·4)). This association was dose-dependent such that for every increase in category of weekly meat intake (i.e. >1 time/week but ≤2 times/week; >2 times/week but less than daily, and daily or multiple times/d), an associated 2·6 kg (95 % CI 1·8, 3·4) increase in BW, 0·9 kg/m2 (95 % CI 0·6, 1·2) increase in BMI and 2·3 cm (95 % CI 1·6, 3·0) increase in WC was reported.
BW, BMI and WC are lower in women following PBD and positively associated with increasing meat consumption. Results were robust to adjustment for confounders including physical activity levels, smoking status, habitual alcohol intake, use of supplements, and hormone replacement therapy.
From the establishment of a coherent doctrine on sacramental marriage to the eve of the Reformation, late medieval church courts were used for marriage cases in a variety of ways. Ranging widely across Western Europe, including the Upper and Lower Rhine regions, England, Italy, Catalonia, and Castile, this study explores the stark discrepancies in practice between the North of Europe and the South. Wolfgang P. Müller draws attention to the existence of public penitential proceedings in the North and their absence in the South, and explains the difference in demand, as well as highlighting variations in how individuals obtained written documentation of their marital status. Integrating legal and theological perspectives on marriage with late medieval social history, Müller addresses critical questions around the relationship between the church and medieval marriage, and what this reveals about both institutions.
Global awareness about an increase of chronic diseases and premature mortality due to ‘unhealthy eating’ and ‘sedentary lifestyles’ is embedded in various discourses shaped by relationships and power. In this article, I investigate the role of physical activity in the lives of middle-aged women in Australia and how their experiences with exercise influence the way they position themselves within the context of inter-discursivity regarding fitness and ‘healthy ageing’. Results reveal how ‘knowledge’ about ‘healthy lifestyles’ is created and accessed, and how women make sense of the healthism discourse, the obesity crisis, and discourses around menopause and ageing. The participants for this study are nine women in their forties to sixties who volunteered to participate in semi-structured interviews after completing an online survey about physical activity that was part of a larger project. Their accounts of health and fitness, healthy eating, weight management, mental wellbeing and ageing are categorised and interpreted in a post-structuralist framework through the lens of feminist relational discourse analysis. Results show that all women are influenced by healthism discourses as well as being affected by assumptions and recommendations for ageing, menopausal women. They shape female identity by adopting, but also by resisting, discourses around their bodies and minds.
Sacred forests or groves are patches of forest vegetation that are traditionally protected by local communities because of their religious or cultural significance. The ecological aspects of sacred forests have been the focus of most of the scholarly discourse; little scholarship has examined how local people perceive their sacred areas. This scholarly lacuna is especially pronounced with respect to women, as the majority of sacred forests have traditionally been the domain of the men. Until recently, the sacred forests tradition in most regions endured with minimal participation of women, but with changing socio-economic and cultural conditions, sacred forests are declining. By examining women's perspectives regarding their relationship with their sacred forests, this research informs the scholarship on gender and sacred forests, and explores the role women can play in forest conservation. In 2015–2017, we conducted village meetings and in-depth interviews in four villages located in and around the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary in the Western Ghats region of Maharashtra state, India. We found that apart from rules and taboos governing the protection of these sacred forests, taboos also revolve around the access and interaction of women with the sacred forests, with women having less control and decision-making power than men. Nevertheless, women expressed interest in continuation of the tradition of sacred forests, and the younger generation wants some of the gendered rules to change. We recommend including women in management and decision-making processes to strengthen the institution of sacred forests.
Gender is an explanatory factor in multiple dimensions of conservation, including women's access to and participation in conservation programmes, with gender bias in wildlife research persisting globally. There is reason to believe the current global wildlife crime crisis is no exception, with a lack of critical examination of gendered roles in security for biodiversity conservation. Despite the emergence of high-profile all-women ranger units (e.g. Akashinga in Zimbabwe) there has been a lack of systematic integration of gender within biodiversity protection. Theoretical and methodological applications from criminology have become progressively more common in response to an increase in a wide range of environmental crimes with consequences for women and their communities. Here we consider the implications of the lack of knowledge of women's direct and indirect roles in wildlife security. We used the criminology and conservation literature to identify key gaps in research, and relevant and robust typologies and frameworks informed by criminology to structure future research on women as offenders, protectors (handlers, managers, guardians) and victims of wildlife crime. We argue that more intentional research into the direct and indirect roles of women in wildlife crime is needed to address wildlife crime, protect biodiversity and support social justice in response to wildlife crimes.
This chapter is mainly concerned with the political ideology, norms and behaviour associated with the Byzantine monarchy. It focuses on how the ceremonial and hierarchies of power played out in Constantinople, assessing contemporary expectations of the role and conduct of the emperor. Such expectations were often revealed most clearly in time of instability, as contemporary accounts of coups indicate. The chapter outlines the ceremonial life of the court and discusses the sacred and secular topography of Constantinople as the stage for the continuous display of elite power. The visual and non-verbal qualities to Byzantine ceremonial culture are stressed, as is the centrality of law to imperial authority, political office and spatial organisation. The principal imperial hierarchies of power (military, civil and clerical) and the relationship of the emperor and patriarch are explored, with women and eunuchs seen as integral to the workings of official hierarchies. Alternative concepts of power began to emerge in the later period, when the empire’s territorial integrity was eroding, yet the long-term resilience of traditional ideology, ceremonies and hierarchies is noteworthy.
Chapter Five, ‘Behind the Lines’, explores the men’s encounters with civilians. Focusing on spaces, like cafes, estaminets and domestic homes, in both Britain and France, the chapter begins with some of the youngest participants in colonial encounters - children. The chapter then explores how these more domestic contact zones were accessed, through entitlement or earning the right to connection with civilian women and the maternal, emotional, sexual and romantic support they might offer. In these spaces, we can see the beginnings of wartime encounter seeping beyond the boundaries of the conflict, especially through marriage. While camp and leave created memories of encounters that shaped veteran culture, civilian contact zones fostered in these liminal, overlapping spaces of living alongside the war had an impact on post-war life.
The spheres’ fifteenth-century political cultures are compared with earlier periods. The west was catching up, with increasingly complex and documented administration. It also saw more lay literacy and political participation by broader bands of actors, with assemblies approving general taxes. Debate was possible in the other two spheres: Islam generally allowed for multilateral discussion on religious law, while ideals of governance were debated in late Byzantium. The west fractured along religious lines to an extent not seen elsewhere: once the clerical monopoly of divine mediation had been fundamentally challenged, the plethora of arms-bearing, landed elites perpetuated conflict. State monopoly of violence characterised Byzantium, while in the Nile-to-Oxus region, ‘men of the sword’ tended not to wage sectarian war. Around 1500, women seldom exercised formal sovereignty. But the centrality of the household as a basic social unit gave them extensive informal power. Charitable foundations were another stabiliser across the spheres. Byzantium’s Muscovite offshoot would expand, but the Ottomans’ disciplined militarism looked invincible against the fractious westerners.
After considering what is meant by ‘political culture’, this chapter looks at how such an abstraction can be applied to the long period between c.700 and c.1500, over vast stretches of the western Eurasian landmass. The author looks for recurring themes – not grand theory, but rather elements visible in and shared by societies in the three spheres of the Latin west, Byzantium and the Islamic world in this period. Four such elements are suggested – religion, women, property and war – and the author only resorts to abstract analytic categories when they help in exploring these elements across the spheres. He suggests that alertness to them might help us find some fresh things to say about a number of long-established categories such as social hierarchy, loyalty, political legitimacy and the formation of political classes.
The study objective was to measure fluid intake and associations with background characteristics and hydration biomarkers in healthy, free-living, non-pregnant women aged 15–69 years from Hargeisa city. We also wanted to estimate the proportion of euhydrated participants and corresponding biomarker cut-off values. Data from 136 women, collected through diaries and questionnaires, 24h urine samples and anthropometric measurements, were obtained with a cross-sectional, purposeful sampling from fifty-two school and health clusters, representing approximately 2250 women. The mean (95 % CI) 24 h total fluid intake (TFI) for all women was 2⋅04 (1⋅88, 2⋅20) litres. In multivariate regression with weight, age, parity and a chronic health problem, only weight remained a predictor (P 0.034, B 0.0156 (l/kg)). Pure water, Somali tea and juice from powder and syrup represented 49⋅3, 24⋅6 and 11⋅7 % of TFI throughout the year, respectively. Mean (95 % CI) 24 h urine volume (Uvol) was 1⋅28 (1⋅17, 1⋅39) litres. TFI correlated strongly with 24 h urine units (r 0.67) and Uvol (r 0.59). Approximately 40 % of the women showed inadequate hydration, using a threshold of urine specific gravity (Usg) of 1⋅013 and urine colour (Ucol) of 4. Five percent had Usg > 1⋅020 and concomitant Ucol > 6, indicating dehydration. TFI lower cut-offs for euhydrated, non-breast-feeding women were 1⋅77 litres and for breast-feeding, 2⋅13 litres. Euhydration cut-off for Uvol was 0⋅95 litre, equalling 9⋅2 urine units. With the knowledge of adverse health effects of habitual hypohydration, Somaliland women should be encouraged to a higher fluid intake.