Gender and the Politics of Environments

Workshop on, Gender and the politics of environments
February 25-26, 2013, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Day one:
Thomas Håkansson and Seema Arora-Jonsson introduced the workshop by explaining
how they started to explore how much research is done in Sweden on the topic of
gender and natural recourses. The idea with the workshop is to think about research
we have in this field and hopefully move forward the network.
Discussion groups led by graduate students assembled around themes presented by
the keynote speaker and other presentations.
15:20 – 16:00 Plenary: important questions that came up in the smaller groups.
Feminist research does not have to be about gender. We are boxed as gender
people. How to relate to that?
In her keynote, Nightingale had suggested that in our research we start with
inequality, and see what emerges. Inequalities start in the household, you learn
to be a person in a hierarchical structure, and then you go out in the world and
do that.
The importance of intersectionality was discussed – when do you stop? Does
it become a meaningless word?
It is a concept that aim at understanding how people come to be positioned in
society and how they come to understand themselves
You can look at gender relations in relation to environmental change. Gender
actions that feed into environmental change, feeding into gendered effects.
We need to take environment in equally seriously. It is also complex. The
intersection between gender and environment would be much richer if we take
seriously the environment as we do gender.
What is a resource? It is something abstracted from a very complex set of
socio-ecological relationships and isolated in our gaze. But seeing something
as a resource is historical, and gendered.
Day two:
Dianne Rocheleau, key note:
Gender, culture, and Nature in Social Movements in Chiapas and Beyond:
Making another world in which many worlds (and futures) are possible.
Questions for working groups:
Knowledge production
Activist/scholar perspectives
How do we understand local change? Policy makers or local community?
What are the analytical concepts that we use to try to understand what we see?
The plenary discussion took up a number of issues such as: What are the
unquestioned rules when it comes to knowledge production? How do we combine
advocacy vs activist roles? A discussion followed about the importance of critical
distance in scholarly work.
The workshop ended in an involved discussion about the future of gender and the
environment in Swedish research. Where to take it from here?
Ask FORMAS for funding for these
Symposium at a larger yearly conference
Publications – short critical pieces
We decided to set up an email list and develop future activities. While there exist
an internationally known research profile on human-environmental relationships
(political ecology, human ecology, social-ecological systems), the gender aspect is
seldom foregrounded.