The Journal of International Women's Studies is an on-line, open-access, peer reviewed feminist journal that provides a forum for scholars, activists, and students to explore the relationships among theories of gender and sexuality and various forms of organizing and critical practice.

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The Globethics.net library contains articles of Jounral of International Women's Studies as of vol. 1(2001) to current.

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  • Entrenched Fissures: Caste and Social Differences among the Devadasis

    Geetha, K. A. (Virtual Commons - Bridgewater State University, 2021-04-30)
    The religiously sanctioned Devadasi system in India exemplifies intersectional oppression of gender, caste, and sexuality. Historically, Devadasis, or “servants of God,” were women wedded to God who performed temple duties and were considered sacral women with ritual powers. As part of her duties, the Devadasis offer sexual services to her patrons, invariably the economically and socially powerful patriarch/s in society. The Devadasis were not a monolithic community; there were caste-based segregations within the Devadasi community which delineated their social positions. Devadasis were drawn from castes lower in the hierarchy (non-Brahmins) and the Scheduled castes (Dalits). To distinguish the two categories, the Devadasis from the non-Brahmin castes were referred to as Kalavantin/Isai Vellalar/ Kalavantulu and those from the Dalit castes were referred to as Jogini/Mathamma; their social and economic status were entirely different. The Devadasis from the non-Brahmin communities performed classical music and dance, while the Dalit Devadasis performed folk dances during temple festivals. Though the Devadasi system was outlawed in 1988, the practice of dedicating young girls as Devadasis continues to be prevalent among the Scheduled castes. This paper argues that the activists who fought for the liberation of the Devadasis from the oppressive system focused mostly on the Devadasis from the non-Brahmin castes, excluding the Devadasis from the Scheduled castes. This paper contextualizes the prevalence of the Devadasi system within the interconnected matrices of caste and gender structures in Hindu society. Drawing on the socio-historical trajectory of the emancipation of Devadasis in Goa, a state in Western India, this paper analyzes the caste hierarchies and social inequities embedded within the Devadasi system. Apart from discussing the legal interventions initiated by the State to abolish the Devadasi system, this paper also analyses the role of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the emancipation and empowerment of Dalit Devadasis.
  • Narratives of Dalit Women and ‘the Outsider Within’: Toward a Literary Practice of Dalit Feminist Standpoint

    Sharma, Bhushan (Virtual Commons - Bridgewater State University, 2021-04-30)
    This paper establishes an experimental methodology for developing a Dalit Feminist Standpoint Theory through the analysis of Baby Kamble’s The Prisons We Broke and Urmila Pawar’s The Weave of My Life. Exploration suggests an outline method to attain a standpoint and represents the more significant issues of marginalization of Dalit women, their subjectivity, their lack of voice as reflected in the Dalit Movement, Dalit Literature, Indian feminism, and in their everyday lives. This study claims that Dalit women writers have a potent standpoint as an 'outsider within,' and argues that their triply oppressed caste, class, and gender identity allows for diverse perspectives that appraise one another and helps readers gain an understanding of their condition as women and Dalit subjects. Thus, Dalit women create this new knowledge that subverts dominant androcentric knowledge construction. This study marks an awakening of consciousness, an approach to social change, Dalit women’s activism, and empowerment. Most of all, this exploration may help other marginalized groups of people or sociologists by putting greater trust in the creative potential of their narratives and cultural biographies.
  • The Liberation War of Bangladesh: Women and the Alternative Narratives of the War

    Deb, Steffi S. (Virtual Commons - Bridgewater State University, 2021-04-30)
    The year 1971 symbolizes an episode of a bloodbath in the history of South Asia. Popularly known as the ‘muktijuddho’, the liberation war of 1971 resulted in the creation of the independent nation of Bangladesh. The history of the liberation war has been extensively documented, and the nation's collective memory is filled with tales of heroism displayed by hundreds of thousands of ‘muktijoddhas’ (freedom fighters). However, such a masculine, selective memorialization of the war escapes women's memories from across communities in Bangladesh, who were significant partakers in the liberation struggle. The lived experiences of the women, who not only suffered the brutalities of the war but were silenced in the years after the nation emerged victorious, remain obscured from the collective memory of the liberation war. Therefore, this research paper aims to revisit the liberation war to comprehend women's experiences of the war and their post-war lives. The paper engages with the idea that nations preserve specific memories of their traumatic past, thereby silencing others. The paper follows an exploratory method, looking into the complexities of the gendered understandings of the collective memory that the nation has upheld, and the systematic silencing of women’s experiences in the post-war decades.
  • Building an Inclusive Talent Pipeline: A Study on Women of the Indian Informational Technology Sector

    Khan, Mohammed A. R.; Banerjee, Sudatta; Alok, Swati (Virtual Commons - Bridgewater State University, 2021-04-30)
    Of the many women that are a part of the Informational Technology (IT) workforce, very few make it to senior roles. Occupational commitment measured as affective (AC), normative (NC), and continuance (CC) as well as career satisfaction (CS) are considered to be crucial in understanding this pattern of women not making it to senior roles. AC explains one's emotional attachment to their career, NC is the obligation to stay the course in a career, and CC explains the opportunity cost to transfer from one career to the next. This study aims to understand the role of individual determinants (career identity, career adaptability) and occupational culture fit (the concept of screening potential candidates that is focused on aligning employees and employers with shared values, beliefs, and attitudes). This study also focuses on forms of organizational support (managerial support, job autonomy) that either act as enablers or barriers to sustaining commitment and satisfaction in IT occupations. Data collected from 200 IT women with at least 5 years of experience working in top 20 NASCOM companies were regressed to test the hypotheses. The result indicated that women with high scores in occupational culture (i.e., greater congruence with IT occupational demands) show higher career satisfaction (CS), affective commitment (AC), and normative commitment (NC). This indicates that there is a chance for organizations to actively improve women’s occupational demand of long, late, and erratic work schedules by looking at their safety and providing flexi-timing to help them manage a work-life balance. A performance evaluation system that focuses on results, rather than hours of effort, and that allows women flexibility to attend to certain late-night commitments at home could go a long way in helping them achieve a better culture fit. Women with strong career identities show higher AC and CC. Women that have high career identities are intrinsically motivated and place a high value on their work; hence, they continuously seek skill improvement opportunities. Employers can utilize this knowledge to proactively identify female employees with high career identities early in their professional journey then engage them in tasks that are meaningful and aligned with their interests and values. Further, results indicated that job autonomy—a person's ability to have an influence over what happens in their work environment, in particular, the ability to influence matters that are relevant to their personal goals—led to higher CC; higher managerial support leads to career satisfaction, thereby indicating that managers can provide support by providing a participative decision-making mechanism and flexible timing for better work-life balance.
  • Confronting Discrimination and Structural Inequalities: Professional Nigerian Women’s Experiences of Negotiating the UK Labour Market

    Ogbemudia, Joy (Virtual Commons - Bridgewater State University, 2021-04-30)
    The line between hypervisibility and invisibility appears to be blurred for Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) women in the workplace due to their race and gendered status (Lander and Santoro 2017). The intersection of race and gender exposes many BAME women to discrimination, structural inequalities, and the dynamics of tokenism, which can be a cause of intense job dissatisfaction (Stroshine and Brandl 2011). It is often the case that discussions on the economic integration of immigrants focus mainly on how the socio-economic dynamics of the host country can limit them to certain labour market sectors. While this is a key area that must be discussed, “the interaction between the internal cultural and social differences and the wider structural and ideological processes of the country of residence” must also be interrogated (Anthias 1992: viii). Such deep exploration contributes to the examination of migrant women’s experiences of the intersection of gender, identity, and social mobility within the labour market and their personal lives. In this paper, based on individual accounts and drawing on intersectionality as an analytical framework (Crenshaw 1989; Bowleg 2012; Collins and Bilge 2020), I examine the multiple and complex interlocking structural inequalities suffered by immigrant women. This paper also presents how personal narratives can illuminate often hidden complexities in the workplace and labour market at large. Based on three main themes, deskilling and downward mobility, settling for BBC2 jobs, and confronting discrimination in skilled employment, I examine the different ways migrant women engage with their stories about negotiating the labour market, which lay bare some of the limits and gaps between policies and practices in the post-industrial labour market. I present how the different ways they engage with narratives of their experiences in the workplace is very telling of the far-reaching impact their experiences have on their self-identity and well-being. As a feminist researcher, and one whose life is also marked by migration experiences, I go beyond examining the process of deskilling to exploring how participants make sense of their experiences, the impact on their lives, and their present sense of identity.
  • Intersectional Alliances to Overcome Gender Subordination: The Case of Roma-Gypsy Traveller Women

    Corradi, Laura (Virtual Commons - Bridgewater State University, 2021-04-30)
    By linking the oppression of women with other axes of oppression, the intersectional theories and methodologies employed in the last few decades have proved to be strategic in building awareness, forming alliances, and influencing transversal politics. In this paper, the case of Roma/Gypsy/Traveller (RGT) women is discussed through the multiple discriminations they suffer from, the birth of feminism and gender activism in the communities, intersectional alliances with non-Gypsy feminists, and the anti-racist and LGBTIA-Queer movements. In the second part of the paper, I offer a focus on shared political ‘emotions’, ‘fluid identities’, ‘travelling activism’, and the need for decolonization of concepts, practices, and relations. To deepen the reflection around intersectional alliances, coalition building, and the ongoing risk of assimilation/domestication, feminist RGT epistemology is pivotal in order to overcome subordination and internalized forms of oppression, feelings of inferiority and inadequacy, and to become resilient political subjects in ethnic and non-ethnic marginalized groups and stateless nations. The political alliances between RGT women, gender activists, and feminists of different backgrounds—in terms of economic status, education, skin color, religion, sexuality, ability, and geopolitical background—will create unity in diversity to fight for social rights and to gain freedom.
  • Interrogating the Male-Female Gender Dichotomy in Nawal El Saadawi’s Woman at Point Zero

    TUGUME, BENON (Virtual Commons - Bridgewater State University, 2021-04-30)
    This article examines the male-female gender dichotomy in Nawal El Saadawi’s Woman at Point Zero. Firdaus, the woman protagonist in the novel, after a careful observation of her own life and the status of women in her patriarchal society, postulates that men are criminals and women are prostitutes. Firdaus’ dichotomy of the male and female gender into criminals and prostitutes respectively is the focus of the discussion in this article. This paper analyzes Firdaus’ life of captivity by the forces of oppression right from childhood to womanhood and eventually to prison awaiting execution for committing murder. It applies Nawal El Saadawi’s strand of feminism, particularly the theory’s main tenet of the links among patriarchy, class, and religion, to examine the systems responsible for women’s oppression. The focus is on class oppression, male hegemony, and deception. Using Frantz Fanon’s theory of violence, the article discusses Firdaus’ use of women’s liberative violence to extricate themselves from men’s captivity. Firdaus kills Marzouk, the pimp, to free herself and achieve total liberation. Consequently, her refusal to live and her fearlessness of death when sentenced to die by the Egyptian court of law symbolize her resolve to achieve freedom and dignity not in her phallocentric society but in death. In this article, I argue that the male oriented justice system criminalizes Firdaus and gives her the maximum sentence of death to permanently silence her and thwart her struggle for liberation through physical and moral attacks on the male hegemony and religious idiosyncrasy of her society.
  • Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment-Social Barricades and Implementation of Laws in Pakistan

    Deeba, Malieka F. (Virtual Commons - Bridgewater State University, 2021-04-30)
    Sexual harassment infringes the fundamental human rights of women. It restricts the most important segment of society from demonstrating their full potential and their right to work and attain equal opportunity. The quantum of this behaviour in a society can only be evaluated when women in general are fully aware of the nature of this behaviour and the legal protection available. Sexual harassment is an ambiguous term for many; when hearing of an incident of sexual harassment, many might not understand exactly what crime has been committed. Under which category does it fall? What if the complainant is lying? Pakistan has enacted special and general laws to fight the epidemic of sexual harassment. This article presents the appraisal and implementation of all the prevailing laws related to sexual harassment of women in Pakistan. It examines the hurdles, restraints, and resistance women have faced during the course of adjudication and determination of such matters due to various factors including social barricades that persist in this society. This qualitative and quantitative study examined whether the prevailing laws sufficiently cover the full nature, scope, and underlying themes of sexual harassment through implementation, by analyzing the procedures adopted at the time of implementations. I also explored whether sexual harassment is really a form of discrimination and what prevailing laws should entail to combat the practice and whether the law is generally accepted by the social community because of certain intrinsic differences. The study also recommended changes and additions to the existing methods and procedures in the laws, policies, and guidelines and implementations and examined how rampant sexual harassment is in the workplace, and whether employers address harassment through policies, training, and acting on complaints.
  • Shattering or Supporting Stereotypes? Examining Gender In/equality in English Language Textbooks in Brunei

    Curaming, Rommel; Alkaff, Sharifah N. H. (Virtual Commons - Bridgewater State University, 2021-04-30)
    This paper examines the representation of gender relations in textbooks used to teach the English language in public secondary schools in Brunei. The country is currently ranked 95th in the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s 2020 Global Gender Gap Index among 153 countries analysed. This fact seems to suggest that there is a significant gender gap existing in the country. As textbooks used in schools are considered among the most potent tools for promoting gender in/equality, they deserve to be examined in detail. Using Content Analysis and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) as methods of analysis, this paper seeks to address the following questions: (i) in what ways and to what extent, is gender inequality manifested in textbooks used to teach the English language in Brunei and (ii) what are the implications and pedagogical measures which may be taken to address the persistence of gender inequality? The findings of the study show that the portrayal of gender relations in the textbook is fairly balanced, which is rather surprising considering the pervasive perception of conservatism and patriarchy in many Muslim societies, including Brunei. This suggests the need for a nuanced discussion of the nation’s social, cultural, economic, and political milieu in order to obtain a true picture of gender relations in the country.
  • Improving Candidate-Quality Preference-Specification Mechanisms: Incorporating (Gender-Empowering) Voter-Chosen Quotas

    Wilde, Vishal (Virtual Commons - Bridgewater State University, 2021-04-30)
    I conceptualize the informal outlines of a new voting system/mechanism that is more holistic and democratically just; the proposed alternative would incorporate (gender) quotas amongst other fundamental, important aspects. This conceptual outline seeks to resolve the primary (intellectual) obstacles for the adoption of quotas in their current form which, I contend, is their discordance with mainstream conceptions of democratic justice. More precisely, the conceptualized voting system/mechanism seeks to increase the sophistication of preference-specification in voting procedures (thereby presenting an alternative to the prevailing, privileged paradigm of geospatial-constituency representation). I do not present results in the conventional sense; no data was analysed, no experiments run, and no software implemented. A rationale is provided for why this proposed voting system/mechanism, in addition to potentially solving/tackling some problems identified by feminist scholarship, could also solve an even larger class of fundamental political and democratic problems related to intersectionality (e.g., race, ethnicity, income, class, caste, disability, sexuality, education, age, occupation etc.) through enhancing the translation, representation, and implementation of voters’ interests. In terms of conclusions within the paper, they are largely intermediate conclusions as they relate to the investigation of problems as well as the informal conceptual outline of the proposed voting system/mechanism.
  • Changes in values: Evaluating opportunities for women’s chances of female empowerment in software development

    Sauer, Stefan (Virtual Commons - Bridgewater State University, 2021-04-30)
    The discrimination of women within the labor market has a vertical as well as a horizontal dimension. These dimensions culminate in the problem of highly skilled jobs within the technical sector. The proportion of women amongst employees and students in this area is very limited, the reasons for this often being old-fashioned bureaucratic structures and a hierarchical corporate culture. Despite these forms of organization, agile frameworks, which are becoming increasingly popular and important, especially within software development, are setting the benchmark for team-based structures as well as a corporate culture based on communication and cooperation. The research questions posed are therefore whether agile frameworks could be used to increase the attractiveness of jobs within the software development sector for women as well as to increase opportunities for women`s empowerment within this sector. To answer these questions briefly, this paper focuses on new agile management roles as well as on women software developers in several European countries. Therefore, we will see that there are opportunities for empowering women but there is also – once again – a risk of gender stereotyping.
  • Societal Security of Iranian Women: A Challenge of Subjectivity vs. Objectivity

    Sajadi, Hamid (Virtual Commons - Bridgewater State University, 2021-04-09)
    Critical theories in the field of security have revealed the incompatibility of government-based approaches to security studies and the nature of domination and repression structures in society. The Copenhagen and Welsh Schools of security studies have made many attempts to reconceive the concept of security and security studies by criticizing the neglect of domestic security issues and the ignorance of the community and individuals. The formation of the concept of societal security, and in particular women's security, is one of the achievements of these theoretical developments. Assuming that the acceptance of new approaches in developing societies is strongly influenced by the norms of the political systems, the present article aims to identify the formulation of women’s societal security in Iran. Adopting a critical approach, the author discusses how the concept of women's societal security in Iran is constructed and tries to explain how the Iranian political system deals with the issue of women’s societal security. Data has been collected from secondary resources including books, papers, and archive collections of online newspapers in the last ten years. By systematically reviewing the sources and classifying the main themes, the author identifies the accepted and suppressed components in the area of women's societal security and in relation to the governing institution. The research results indicate the existence of a relationship between women's societal security model and the governing ideology, power, and institutions. The findings reveal how the traditions and the political system have manipulated the concept of women's security to achieve their own objectives by accepting and caring for some insecurities, marginalizing and abandoning a range of other insecurities, and suppressing or completely rejecting some aspects of insecurity. Ultimately it is concluded that the concept of women’s societal security in Iran is shaped by the objectivity of women.
  • ‘Angry Young Women’ Disrupting the Canon in Late Soviet Latvian Literature: Andra Neiburga’s Early Prose Fiction

    Meškova, Sandra (Virtual Commons - Bridgewater State University, 2021-04-09)
    In the late phase of ‘developed socialism’, shortly before Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms of perestroika or reconstruction in the Soviet Union in 1985 had reached Latvian cultural establishment, a young generation of poets, writers, playwrights, journalists, musicians, cinema and theatre artists throughout the socialist bloc countries and the Soviet Union initiated new trends in culture. In Soviet Latvia, the new trends in prose fiction produced by young writers were labelled the ‘new wave’. Among them emerged a group of women writers called ‘angry young women’ who challenged the established canon of socialist realism by addressing new themes including the negative sides of Soviet reality and everyday life, silenced pages of Latvian history under the Soviet regime, issues of sexuality, etc., as well as introducing new poetic features in the prose narrative. The representatives of the ‘new wave’ produced short prose fiction works that were published in the monthly journal Avots and thus were circulated among broad readership, arousing quick reaction. Andra Neiburga (1957–2019) is one of the ‘angry young women’ who entered the scene of Latvian literature in 1985 with the publication of short stories in Avots and other press periodicals; her first collection of stories Izbāzti putni un putni būros (Stuffed Birds and Birds in Cages) was published in 1988. The present paper regards the narrative peculiarities of A. Neiburga’s early short stories in a gender perspective that reflects the specific ambiguous characteristics of the late Soviet epoch as a time anticipating change in discourse and expression. Along with other young generation writers of the late Soviet period, A. Neiburga distanced herself from the canon of socialist realism and executed what Alice Jardine termed gynesis by introducing a new voice that expressed indignation, frustration, uncertainty and inscribed a radically different vision of reality that saw the subversive potential of accepted structures and forms of expression.
  • Sex Disaggregated Gender-Based Labor Differentiation among the Elected Barangay Officials in the First District of Cavite

    Rodil, Victoriano N.; Buena, Maria Ciella S.; Bernal, Frinze Al A.; Pedregosa, Annabee G.; Cantela, Seuz Rey R.; Dela Cruz, Sharmaine "K.C." B. (Virtual Commons - Bridgewater State University, 2021-04-09)
    This study was conducted from July 2018 to December 2019 to determine gender role differentiation among elected Barangay (smallest administrative division in the Philippines) officials in the 1st district of Cavite in the Philippines. We used a purposive incidental technique, focusing on 137 samples of male and female Barangay officials. The first district of Cavite Province, consisting of the city of Cavite and municipalities of Noveleta, Kawit, and Rosario, has 134 Barangays with 1,072 elected Barangay seats; of these seats, women occupied 298 (27.8%). In reproductive, productive, community managing, and leisure-related activities, both the female and male elected officials were dominant when it came to choices and decisions within their respective households. Most legislated gender policies addressed the protection and welfare of children, curbing delinquent gangs, and substance dependence and abuse. (The male elected officials dominate access, control of, and benefits from the reproductive, productive, community managing, and leisure activities in their respective household.) Men have access to and control of vehicles and house repairs while women manage finances, and care for sick children. Other household problems, needs, and constraints included waste management, noise nuisances, and teenagers' behaviors - also, (lack of proper knowledge on gender and development) also the difficulty in recalling new terminologies used during gender-related seminars. We suggest that the Barangay council attend orientation and training on the Harmonized Gender and Development Guide (HGDG) and be given materials (to) that would educate them on gender terminologies. Responsible parenting seminars would help families guide their youths; mothers would be given an important role in this program, and fathers, through all-male advocacy groups in the country like KATROPA, which would in turn strengthen family bonding.
  • Settling in a Foreign Land: Women’s Experiences in Exile in Latvian Writer Irma Grebzde’s Prose Fiction

    Kupšāne, Ingrīda; Meškova, Sandra (Virtual Commons - Bridgewater State University, 2021-04-09)
    Exile is a central motif of 20th century European culture, and literature was often tied to historical events throughout this century, especially during World War II. In Latvian literature, this motif was partially the result of the emigration of a great part of the population in 1944; many were fleeing direct warfare and the return of the Soviet army, escaping from Latvia. This paper examines the peculiarities of women’s experiences in exile in the prose fiction of Latvian émigré writer Irma Grebzde (1912–2000). Grebzde was among those 250,000 Latvians who fled as fugitives in 1944 for Sweden and Germany and then proceeded further to the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries. Grebzde fled to Germany where she stayed at Wurzburg refugee camp and in 1948 moved to Canada. She worked in New Brunswick, Ottawa, Montreal in 1973 and then settled in Toronto. Grebzde has produced about 30 short prose fiction collections and novels. An important subject in Latvian émigré literature is the lives of Latvian émigrés in lands of settlement. Their fiction is generally autobiographically marked, capturing the authors’ own experience in a fictional form. This goes for Grebzde’s short prose fiction texts and novels. In her works Canada is depicted as a land of welfare, a place unaffected by World War II. European refugees are safe there, though they face low social status and a condescending attitude from Canadians. Both in Latvian émigré literature generally and Grebzde’s works, exile consciousness is often presented in an urban setting. Canadian cities are positioned as a comfortable environment for consumer society, with posh resident areas, shops, advertisements, cafes, whereof just a small share may be enjoyed by European refugees due to their poorer financial means. The sphere of nature functions as the space where exiles can develop dialogical relations with the foreign land and search for similarities with the Latvian rural environment.
  • Psychological Resilience and Perceived Social Support Among Women Exposed to Traumatic Events of Saptari District, (Kanchanrup Municipality)

    Karki, Rakshya; Rayamajhi, Sharad; Khati, Kabita (Virtual Commons - Bridgewater State University, 2021-04-09)
    Saptari is the smallest district in Nepal; it lies in the country’s eastern development region. There have been limited studies conducted about Maithali women's status and domestic violence they face, however, no studies were conducted about the psychological resilience and social support they receive to overcome these adversities specifically in the Saptari district. The position of Madhesi women is worse because of analphabetism, and political, religious, and superstitious beliefs. The study's primary objective is to examine the relationship between resilience and social support among women facing traumatic events in life. A descriptive cross-sectional study consisted of 200 respondents from the paralegal committee and the Kanchanrup municipality community, in the Saptari district. Quantitative data was collected for this research. The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC) and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) were used to measure resilience and social support. Pearson's correlation and t-test analyses were performed to examine associations between resilience and independent variables. The collected data was analyzed using SPSS 16. The study findings indicated significant associations between resilience and social support (r==.853, p
  • Exploring Female Identity in and Through Art in Pakistan: Experiencing De-Colonial Feminism

    Kamran, Sadia P. (Virtual Commons - Bridgewater State University, 2021-04-09)
    This study looks into the identity of brown female artists living in the post-colonial society of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan today. It examines the role, status, and ideals of a handful of women artists and educators from the '80s, mostly members of the Women Action Forum, who have helped define the current identity of Pakistani women by initiating feminist debates. The concept of feminism in post-colonial society is multidimensional and needs to be explored to combat the misconstrued and imposed identity of Pakistani women as miserable, second-grade citizens of the third world. Dominant religions and cultural practices in this region designate woman to a distinct status in society. In Islam, women are seen as the followers of Fatima—the leader of all Muslim women in paradise—and are ranked amongst the greatest humans (Qutbuddin, 2006, 249) while Hinduism considers them as devis—divine beings (Pintchman, 2011). With this socio-cultural mind set and confirming the persuasive relationship between feminist aesthetics and feminist theory as proposed by Hilde Hein (1999), we analyse works of selected female artists and aim to understand the current wave of feminism here. The investigation adopts ethnographic methods of research along with established approaches to historiography that involve discussing, collecting, documenting, digitizing and analysing the information.
  • Feasibility of Off-Grid Solar Energy Enabling Sustainable Development of Women in Rural Kenya

    Hellqvist, Laura (Virtual Commons - Bridgewater State University, 2021-04-09)
    This paper examines the attempts of the government of Kenya and international development agenda to achieve the objective of providing energy access for all and facilitate empowerment and poverty reduction to the rural areas within the framework of sustainable development goals. Energy has been recognised as the key enabler of economic and social development, however, the efforts to bring energy access to women within rural communities are falling short. The policy tools and economic instruments prescribed to address energy deficiency are not designed according to the local socio-economic conditions, which will be examined through empirical evidence produced from an energy access project in Kenya. In the Last Mile Connectivity Project women are integrated into the project design in a piecemeal basis. Macroeconomic and structural drivers currently hinder women’s development in rural areas and prevent long-term access to economic opportunities and socio-economic growth, particularly for women suffering from rampant underdevelopment. This allows for the critical exploration of links between gender, energy, and poverty reduction within the international development framework under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals agenda. The remote locations are cumbersome, and the solutions prescribed by the international stakeholders are proving insufficient in the spreading of energy access to women, setting the ambitions of achieving long-term sustainable development at risk. Achieving energy access has positively impacted rural areas, but more should be done to provide sufficient energy to women in rural communities to increase their economic and social development because providing small-scale energy access levels in isolation might not adequately meet these goals. This analysis relies methodologically on a case-study of the Last Mile Connectivity Project in Kenya and on data analysis and interpretation of the overall off-grid solar energy levels in Kenya provided by International Renewable Energy Agency.
  • Iraqi Women’s Leadership and State-Building

    Alwan, Batool H.; Qati, Sana K.; Ali, Inass A. (Virtual Commons - Bridgewater State University, 2021-04-09)
    After 2003, Iraq witnessed radical changes in its political system. These changes occurred after many wars, multiple sanctions, and an external occupation during which its infrastructure and institutions were destroyed until it became one of the failed states from which the most serious problems that affect international security and stability emanate. It has also become an environment of conflict and multiple renewed crises, the most important of which is a crisis of leadership and state-building, which has become a necessity to discuss. This research focuses on the topic of the leadership crisis in Iraq and we look to women as a possible leaders in resolving crises and peacemaking in the stage of building the Iraqi state, and on the possibility of applying the relationship between women leadership and nation-building and what this relationship means in the context of continued insecurity and stability. Our research looks at a set of important points: 1- The possibility of exploring the role of women leaders in the process of building the Iraqi state; 2- The political behavior of Iraqi women and their role in the process of state-building; 3- The possibility of women’s participation in conflict resolution and reconstruction after a series of internal political conflicts; 4- The possibility of determining the status of Iraqi women as leaders in the context of political transitions and clarifying the roles they have already played in the transitional phase. Are Iraqi women considered essential actors in the processes of achieving peace and building the state?

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