NMML to Host Seminar on Environmental Governance, Policy and Gender


The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library cordially invites all interested to a Seminar on ‘40 years of environmental governance, policy and gender studies: Where do we stand?’ by Dr. Seema Arora Jonsson of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

It is now widely accepted, even if not always acted upon, that gender is an important category that needs to be taken account in environmental governance – in policy, practice and academic writing on the subject. Forty years of gender research in the field of environmental management and governance has shown us that women’s work in the environment is often unacknowledged. Feminists have demonstrated the ways in which women’s work is invisibilized and discrimination comes about. A backdrop of 40 years of feminist scholarship and an accumulating body of knowledge shows how women can act together to effect change but equally that it cannot be assumed that it is in the interest of all women, divided by other crosscutting categories, to come together in groups.

There have been calls for the presence of a critical mass of women in organizations for environmental governance and in some places policies framed to Change has been mixed. It is clear that adding women to existing structures is not enough. The assumption that competing interests can be negotiated within institutions for environmental governance is problematic. Stereotypes about women and men often buttressed by gender research predominate in policy and programmes.

The talk starts with a retrospective on what gender research in the past forty years (from about the 1970s when gender gained increasing importance in research and policy) has shown us and what we know today. The talk will discuss what we can say have been the consequences of this body of knowledge in practice and what might its effects have been? What appears to be standing still, what has moved on and where does gender research on environmental governance appear to be heading in the present globalizing context of environmental governance?

Date: 25 March, 2013 (Monday)
Time: 3.00 pm
Venue: Common Room, Second Floor, Annexe Building, Nehru Memorial Museum & Library

About the Speaker:

Dr. Seema Arora-Jonsson is Associate Professor at the Department of Urban and Rural Development at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. She works at the intersection of the fields of gender, development and environmental governance with a focus on understanding the dynamics of development relationships between local communities and outside interventions. Particular research interests concern citizenship in environmental management, institutions and rural development, and questions of identity, gender, ethnicity and class. Issues of research approach engage her a) the doing of the research – participatory research, ethics and b) analytically – analyzing environmental questions in a North-South perspective in the globalizing context of environmental governance.

In a recent book, Gender, Development and Environmental Governance: Theorizing Connections, she analyzes questions of development and environmental governance in their specific contexts in India and Sweden but as inextricably shaped by its global connections. At the moment her  projects include research on REDD+ projects in countries in Africa, on local politics and association work in the Swedish countryside and she compares Swedish policy and practice in relation to participation and gender in the work of Swedish natural resource bureaucracies within the country and in their work in Africa through development aid.

Image by Chef Cooke via Flickr

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