GENDER, SEXUALITY AND GLOBAL INEQUALITIES. UNDERSTANDING THE INTERCONNECTIONS
Also in this issue: • ‘Born out of Fire’ Interview with Loes Keysers • Where are they now? Finding ISS alumni • Children and Youth in Development. ISS staff/student discussion
From the guest editors – Silke Heumann and Wendy Harcourt Gender, Sexuality and Global Inequalities. Understanding the Interconnections The feminist slogan ‘the personal is political’ has helped us to understand that our private lives are closely intertwined with the public. It is in our everyday lives – at home in the family, in school, among friends, that we develop distinct gendered identities and (re)produce in a seemingly ‘natural’ way the social differences that then translate into the inequalities along the lines of gender, sexuality, class and ‘race’ that we see reflected on a structural level. At the same time, global restructuring has made increasingly obvious how much the organization of the economy and the state affects our lives, producing specific gendered, sexualized and racialized patterns in the organization of intimacy, employment, labour, consumption and migration. The recent economic crises have revealed even more starkly the interconnections among our individual, private lives and pubic, economic, political and social processes and the importance of understanding these in any quest for social justice. The contributions that we have selected for this special issue speak to this in different ways. ‘Born out of fire’ – an interview with longstanding sexual and reproductive health and rights activist Loes Keysers - talks about the history of struggle for women’s right to health as well as reproductive and sexual self-determination over time, taking very different forms in different contexts: from confronting forced sterilization and birth control, to demanding access to birth control and abortion rights. Laura Santamaria introduces Zambra Malaga from southern Spain, as part of the recent wave of anti-capitalist movements responding to today’s economic crisis. She shows how this collective of young people confronts the interconnected workings of capitalism, hetero normativity and patriarchy through innovative understandings of care and embodiment. Sara Coumans unpacks our understanding of comprehensive sexuality education. She suggests that though it sets out to empower young people, in practice it turns sexuality education into an instrument of control. She problematizes the gendered sexual values that shape the messages of sexuality education that reproduce inequalities along the lines of gender, sexuality and age. Rotina Mafume makes visible the lives and challenges of women in prison with her article on the gendered effects of female imprison ment on spousal and family relationships in Zimbabwe. She shows the connection between the sphere of interpersonal and intimate spousal and family relationships and the structural dynamics of gendered institutions. The contributions by Brenda Rodríguez and Tasneem Kakal on teenage pregnancy challenge our tendency to pathologize teenage pregnancy. Rodríguez shows that adolescent pregnancy in Mexico is not always experienced as negative and that stigma unnecessarily adds to the challenges that young parents (and especially young mothers) are facing. Kakal studies the socioeconomic outcomes of teenage pregnancy in South Africa by comparing siblings, in a study that combines quantitative and qualitative methods. She shows that teenage pregnancy has a negative effect on educational attainment, but correlates positively with employment and welfare. Both studies point towards the need to complement efforts of delaying childbearing with efforts to create supportive environments for young parents, at the level of families and schools. Together these contributions build on an emerging body of literature that tries to understand the connections between the personal, intimate sphere of people’s lives and the broader social, economic and political structures. They are also part of a rising voice within development studies aimed at paying more attention to the body and embodiment, and specifically gender and sexuality, in interaction with other markers of difference and inequality, such as class and race. Their perspective takes on board political economy, and particularly the geopolitical structures of power in which our social and personal relationships are embedded. They highlight the importance of looking at intersecting structures and dynamics that affect our lives and define power and inequality.
This DevIssues reflects the research and teaching carried out by ISS on gender and sexuality over many years. ISS teaching has explored dominant understandings of sexualities and gender from a pluriversal and intersectional perspective. ISS has established an international network of academics/activists and practitioners of alumni around the world. In recent years several staff members and former students have come together in the Sexuality Research Initiative (SRI) of the Civic Innovation Research Initiative (CIRI). See www.iss.nl/sri
About the cover The cover is of participants at the Sexuality Research Initiative meeting held in June 2013 at ISS. The photo is taken by Giovanna Di Chiro (Swathmore College)
We hope that you find them challenging and thought-provoking reading.
ISS is the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam
Page 4 / ‘Born out of Fire’: a Life Devoted to Global Activism for Local Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights Wendy Harcourt interviews Loes Keysers Page 6 / Some Recent Publications by ISS Staff and PhD Researchers Page 7 / Unpacking Comprehensive Sexuality Education Sara Vida Coumans Page 10 / Zambra, Malaga: Resubjectifying Bodies Through the Use of Care Laura Santamaría Buitrago Page 12 / Female Imprisonment and the Impact on Gender Norms and Sexuality in Zimbabwe Rotina Mafume Page 14 / Salir Adelante: A Look into how Teenage Pregnancy is Experienced in the City of Monterrey, Mexico. Brenda Rodríguez Cortés Page 16 / ‘A Tale of Two Sisters’: Investigating the Socio economic Outcomes of Teen Childbearing in South Africa Tasneem Kakal Page 18 / Children and Youth in Development: Vulnerability as Identity? Stephen Ucembe and Kristen Cheney Page 20 / ISS News Page 22 / Where are They Now? Page 23 / Development and Change Page 24 / Working Papers The views expressed in DevISSues are those of the original authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Institute. The online versions of all articles with full bibliography can be found at www.iss.nl/devissues
‘Born out of Fire’: a Life Devoted to Global Activism for Local Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights Wendy Harcourt interviews Loes Keysers THE TITLE OF THE INTERVIEW IS TAKEN FROM ONE OF YOUR WRITINGS, CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT YOU MEAN BY ‘BORN OUT OF FIRE’? I used the term to describe the fiery anger as well as passion with which we founded the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) in 1984 in Amsterdam. The fire of anger at what women around the world were suffering at the hands of medical authorities and population controllers – such as the forced sterilizations in India and Bangladesh, and among indigenous women living in reservations in North America. In combination with the fire of passion to fight for women’s right to be in charge of their own body and to celebrate womanhood. The urgent need to move beyond dispersed protests and local women’s health alternatives and thus to organize globally for women’s reproductive rights, had become clear at the 1981 triennial international women’s health meeting in Geneva in which I participated together with other ISS Women and Development classmates. We brought to this meeting the realities of the atrocities that were happening to women’s bodies, lives and livelihoods in the global South, taking the issue of women’s health beyond Europe. In Geneva, a Dutch-based women’s collective agreed to hold a tribunal as part of the 1984 international women’s health meeting where women from different parts of the world spoke out about their demands for reproductive rights – not only in terms of their fertility and its control but also for their autonomy and selfdetermination. This led to the birth of the WGNRR with a coordination office in Amsterdam and also started off a long and lively connection with ISS staff and students in networking, teaching, research, lobbying and campaigning at ISS itself and all over the globe.
I saw the initial fire – of anger and passion - continuing through the work of the WGNRR, and particularly blazing in the run-up to the Cairo meeting on Population and Development in 1994, and beyond.
to end disabling conditions. So fire and passion was in our collective struggles and campaigns against the many invasions of women’s bodies and population control, the right for abortion, the right to safe motherhood.
WHAT WERE THE MAIN CONCERNS OF THE WOMEN’S HEALTH MOVEMENT AND WGNRR IN THIS PRE-CAIRO PERIOD?
In that period it was a lot about ‘fire’ – about the need for change and protest to make change happen at the local level, building and working with solidarity among women at the global level. Members of WGNRR lived and worked in different countries, so for example in India it was a rural women’s collective that linked fertility issues to food security and economic livelihoods. In sub-Saharan Africa the focus was on reproductive rights and safe motherhood because of the high level of maternal mortality. And in Latin America there was an active exploration of the right to be yourself beyond the constraints of heteronormativity.
There was anger at the atrocities and the structural nature of the violations of women’s bodies by marital, medical, religious, and population control authorities as well as celebration for women’s passion and strength – all as part of a global sisterhood for women’s self-determination. At the core was ‘the personal is political’. We discovered our own bodies for ourselves – we acknowledged our deeply felt pains but also our passions and pleasures. The term the personal is political really meant that we went beyond the taboo and shame of the ‘privacy’ of our personal life and material body, and acknowledged how it was caught within a complex web of power relations. Our work was to reclaim our bodies by addressing openly both the internalized and the public unequal power relations. We had self-help groups that helped women to see their own bodies, literally view their own vaginas and speak about orgasm and celebrate motherhood and care as something powerful and wonderful. We wanted to organize on our own terms our ability to give birth and to challenge and end the unjust circumstances under which women give birth. At the same time we wanted women to be able to safely terminate an unwanted or coerced pregnancy. We saw women’s ability to give birth from a political angle and from a wider context that demanded that we work together
AND WHAT ABOUT EUROPE, WHERE YOU LIVED AND WORKED? Of course ‘Western Europe’ was there with lots of activism, but in that pre-Cairo period we fought against a split between women from the north and from the south. We were women, sisters together, with so much in common across the divides. In ISS for example we had a newsletter ‘In Sisterhood’, with the telling subtitle: Divided in Culture, United in Struggle. In the Netherlands we worked on our ‘local’ issues –We had ‘We Women Demand’ fighting to legally decriminalize abortion, while there was already a vibrant network of caring women through which safe non-medical abortions were provided for women from all over Western Europe. We also set up women’s health centres that were self-organized and through our networking worked in solidarity with women’s collectives around the world.
In that sense we were not and did not want to be divided into north and south which was how the ‘development and development industry’, using terms like ‘donors’ and ‘recipients’, spoke. We were united with our women’s bodies and worked from our local settings. Global sisterhood, it sounds so innocent now. HOW DID THE POLITICS OPERATE WITHIN THE GLOBAL ARENA OF WOMEN’S HEALTH RIGHTS? The differences in the global mix we found ourselves in was not captured by the term north and south. Yet within the global feminist women’s movement there were certainly hierarchies and factions, a smouldering arena of internal politics, while we often had to close ranks vis-à-vis the powerful actors ‘out there’. There emerged a top layer of often donor-sponsored ‘experts’, a feminist elite which one saw in global meetings talking about local conditions. And then there were the people struggling to make changes at the local level – looking at how to ensure there were midwives and contraception and health support, sometimes wanting practically the very things that the global experts strategically campaigned against – such as injectable contraceptives. There was a constant tension between the global and the local, between the internal and the external. WGNRR operated at the intersections as a bridge but also as a
‘’thorn in the side’. It was more political activist than advocacy oriented. I have often felt that global level advocates were too focused on the high level policy negotiations and not enough on what it meant for women in their day-to-day realities. When WGNRR entered the global arena we were often seen as radical activists, spoiling and endangering the fragile gains that the advocate organizations had brokered with those in power – such as the Population Council, WHO and those people at or behind the tables at Cairo. We did not want to act in collusion with the development industry mafia. In our horizontal solidarity networking we upheld the feminist principles of bottom-up organizing to realize women’s rights to reproductive health and well-being on their own terms. IT IS CLEAR THAT THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE FOR POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT (ICPD) HELD IN 1994 IN CAIRO IS A MAJOR MOMENT IN YOUR JOURNEY. ‘Cairo’ marked a major shift in my generation of women Reproductive Rights activists’ understandings and practices around women, sex, gender, reproduction and sexuality in the wider context of so-called development. There were shifts and rifts in the strategies and tactics of the local and the global level women’s movements and campaigns around the body.
At that time the women’s health and rights movement challenged and changed, to some extent, the development industry. Reproductive rights had different meanings in different settings, and global activism and advocacy required fine tuning to local needs and demands. At the risk of overgeneralizing, in this period in Northern Europe abortion rights were still seen as a symbol for women’s self-determination in fertility matters. In South Asia the focus was against population control. The demand for safe motherhood came more out of Africa. And from Latin America there were discussions about sexuality and decolonialization. However in all regions, we shared the quest for women’s self-determination in enabling conditions. We began to acknowledge and speak about sexual rights to mean more than the ‘reproductive’ right to decide if, with whom and when to have sex and to procreate and began to include sexual diversity and to move outside a heteronormative framing. Of course, there have been fierce internal battles about strategy and tactics, but on the whole the Reproductive Rights and the Women’s Health movement has brought about crucial changes for the better, not only in the formulations of policies but also in the practice. These changes have been studied and enacted in courses, study visits, campaigns and projects by staff and students at ISS. SO NOW IN 2015, WHERE IS THE FIRE NOW? For me, body politics has now shifted to include generational concerns from an intersectional perspective that has moved us beyond the early focus on fertility issues, population control and self-determination – for example it now includes the importance of adolescent sexuality and masculinity and LGBT rights. But rest assured, my generation is still stoking the fire, keeping it from being stamped out – even if we are not, as in those earlier years, blazing ourselves. Loes Keysers is lecturer of Women. Gender and Generation in Population and Development. Wendy Harcourt is Associate Professor writing on sexual and reproductive rights, environment, globalization
Loes Keysers talking to participants during the CSE Expert Meeting at ISS in October 2014
and development from a gender perspective.
Some recent publications by ISS staff and PhD researchers The Oxford Handbook of Transnational Feminist Movements Edited by Rawwida Baksh Wendy Harcourt, the book explores the historical, political, economic and social contexts in which transnational feminist movements have emerged and spread, and the contributions they have made to global knowledge, power and social change over the past half century.
‘Enacting Nationalism through Youthful Mobilities? Youth, Mobile Phones and Digital Capitalism in a Lao-Vietnamese Borderland’ Article by Roy Huijsmans and Trân Thi Hà Lan in Nations & Nationalism (Vol. 21/2). The article investigates the interplay between the everyday styles of being young, the forces of digital capitalism and the enactment of nationalism.
Economics after the Crisis Written by Irene van Staveren, the book offers an introduction to economics that takes into account criticisms of the orthodox approach, and which acknowledges the role that this largely Western approach has played in the current global financial and economic crisis.
‘Subsidizing Tibet: An Interprovincial Comparison of Western China up to the End of the Hu–Wen Administration’ In this article in China Quarterly (Vol. 221), Andrew Fischer examines Chinese state subsidies paid to provinces in western China, highlighting the exceptionality of the Tibet Autonomous Region.
‘ICN2: Perpetuating a troubled legacy’ Article by ISS PhD researcher Christina Sathyamala in Development (Vol. 57/2) in which she revisits the precursor to the WHO and the post-war emergence of FAO and the ‘marriage’ between nutrition and commerce brokered within these institutions. ‘Twenty-Five Years of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Achievements and Challenges’ This article by Karin Arts in Netherlands International Law Review (Vol. 61/3) reviews the Convention’s record of achievements and challenges in protecting children’s rights worldwide.
‘No Time to Lose Common Ground: Why land matters in nutrition debates’ Written by ISS PhD researchers Zoe Brent, Christina Schiavoni and Alberto Alonso-Fradejas and published in Development (Vol. 57/2), the article explores the complex nexus between land and nutrition in light of current policy debates.
Conflict, Peace, Security and Development - Theories & Methodologies Edited by Helen Hintjens and Dubravka Zarkov, this book reflects on how to deal with the convergence of war and peace in the context of global economic and geo-political development.
Unpacking Comprehensive Sexuality Education Sara Vida Coumans Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) is a lifelong process which aims to assist all human beings, of all ages, to understand and enjoy a holistic view of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in order to make informed decisions regarding their own life and environment with dignity, equality, security and respect. CSE is implemented by many government and non-government based organizations across the globe.
In October 2014, Dutch based organizations working in the field of SRHR gathered at the Institute of Social Studies to reflect on evidence and research gaps, and to share experiences in designing and implementing CSE1. In this article, inspired by exchanges at the CSE Expert Meeting, I unpack assumptions underneath sexual and reproductive health strategies around CSE by questioning who CSE targets, what CSE focusses on and by whom CSE is facilitated. CSE - FOR WHOM? If CSE is generally targeted at young people, we need to ask ourselves: how do we define young people? The idea of ‘youth’ is usually tossed about with ease, homogenizing an already mostly arbitrary social construct (Nandigiri 2012: 114). Beyond a constantly shifting age limit, there’s no agreed universal concept of whom we define as youth (ibid.). While the United Nations uses a chronological age-based definition of young people, age needs to be 1 The CSE Expert Meeting was co-organized by Share-Net International, Share-Net Netherlands, Institute of Social Studies (ISS/EUR), IS Academie (UvA), Rutgers WPF and dance4life.
understood as an act that is situated, negotiated and continually constructed through interaction. Age is actually ‘done’ and lived, it is not simply an objective fact. However, this idea is not always recognized in CSE design and implementation. Children and adolescents are often boxed into rigid age categories and are then dealt with in a ‘one-size fits all’ approach. Young people do not need protection as per traditional schools of thought, but are hungry for education that does not ‘homogenize’ them and is not restricted to information related to HIV and early pregnancy, but rather also deals with body images, identity, self-esteem, gender equality and sexual diversity. CSE - ABOUT WHAT? Young people’s sexuality has been associated with fear, control and repression. This comes from the narrow idea that sexuality is related to sexual intercourse and a discourse that does not acknowledge that sexuality is experienced and expressed in thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, behaviours, practices, and relationships and is influenced by gendering processes (WHO 2002: 5). Adolescents’ sexuality is influenced by a gendering process from
early childhood onwards; even though gendered behaviour can differ through distinct phases in adolescents (Tolman et al. 2003). When one does not acknowledge that adolescent sexuality is gendered, barriers to fulfilling ones sexual and reproductive rights are easily overlooked. UNESCO produced a video on CSE with the title ‘Young People Today’. Despite the claim inherent in the title, the video’s narrative is an example of how young people are framed with their citizenship and rights in the future and not in the present, a discourse in which ‘they are the future of tomorrow’. Furthermore, within this discourse young people’s sexuality is approached in the present from a risk-based approach, without talking about pleasure and the sexual rights of adolescents and young people. As a consequence of this narrow understanding of the term sexuality, an environment is created in which age control mechanisms (such as parental consent laws), virginity tests and heteronormative practices shape the dominant discourse of CSE. While developing CSE packages and implementation strategies there is a need to continuously reflect on whether CSE curricula deliver a comprehensive scope of information. Yet, more
importantly, there is a need to reflect on who defines what is comprehensive and for whom? CSE - BY WHOM? There is no consensus on who is best equipped to provide CSE. Roughly speaking, CSE providers can be organized into three categories: (extended) family members, teachers, and peers. While some young adolescents receive information primarily through their parents, it should be noted that ‘most parents are ill-equipped to address issues related to puberty, sexual and reproductive health and gender roles, and lack communication skills attuned to the young adolescents in their lives’ (Igrasa et al. 2014: 559). If (extended) family members are not providing CSE, community institutions such as schools are expected to provide young people with the necessary information. However, while schools are
expected to play a protective role, structural gender and cultural norms, in effect, diminish protection, particularly for girls in puberty (Igrasa et al. 2014: 559). The teachers’ attitudes affect the way even well-designed sexuality education is delivered, thus which parts of the programmes are rejected, omitted, or are only partially covered. Recognizing that neither family members nor teachers might be the best ‘messengers’ for CSE, peer-led CSE appears to be promising. Some studies have shown the effectiveness of peer-led education (Okonofua et al. 2003; Speizer et al. 2001; Brieger et al. 2001), whereas other research shows that peer-led education might not be the most preferred depending on the topic (Ebreo et al. 2002). To avoid adult-centred bias in determining what is ‘effective’, it is important time and again to ensure the participation of the receivers of CSE in determining the content and how it will be provided.
Participants get warmed up in a plenary for interactive discussions at the CSE Expert Meeting. Credit: Tamara Harte
CSE - ON WHOSE AND WHICH TERMS? The fear- and risk-based narrative within sexuality education programmes needs to be placed in a wider discourse of how we ‘look at’ young people. Mainstream development theories envision a linear path of what young people should be doing at a specific point in their lives and which steps they should follow to get there. This is problematic as it imposes a set of norms without recognizing diversity and the rights of young people to shape their own life stages. Besides seeing young people, notably girls, as structurally vulnerable and in need of protection, all too often young people are framed in terms of economic costs or benefits. In such a context, young pregnancies are framed as problematic as the ‘utility of youth’ is now reduced. Within mainstream development theories and practices, young people’s sexuality is often framed as harmful, as it might interfere with how youth are expected to progress in terms
of stages, and hence sexuality education is framed in restrictive moralist terms and as protectionist control over young people.
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While CSE is often appropriated by a neo-liberal school of thought within industrialized countries, it is important to recognize that there are a wide range of types of CSE which have been developed in different ’spaces’ and across time. Only by recognizing the diversity in CSE approaches and methods, as well as the specificity of the local cultural context of young people’s needs for information, can appropriate CSE be developed so as to ensure its relevance and effectiveness. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH Inspired by conversations during the CSE Expert Meeting, it is important to recognize that there are many questions and assumptions in relation to CSE which are worth unpacking further. I would like to close this article by laying out three key areas for future research and analysis. First, CSE is most often targeted at young people. However, given that a chronological age definition does not capture the diversity of needs and experiences among this group, it remains unclear which young people are aimed at and reached and how appropriate the education will be. Second, while comprehensive can be understood as holistic, messages within sexuality education curricula keep a strong prevention and control angle shaped by mainstream development discourses which see sexuality mainly as a potential threat to the health and well-being of youth. Third, the majority of CSE curricula seem to be provided within the school context. However, there remains a lack of youth-centred and youth-led research on what would be the best channels and who should be involved. Sara Vida Coumans graduated with an MA in Development Studies from ISS. She is a member of the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights
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In Memoriam FORMER ISS PROFESSOR SYATAUW PASSED AWAY With sadness we share the news that Joop Syatauw, former ISS professor in International Law and International Relations, passed away on 8 February 2015 at the age of 91.
In Memoriam ISS ALUMNA ISME DODIK HARTANTO PASSED AWAY It is with great sadness that we share the news that our alumna Isme Dodik Hartanto passed away on 25 March 2015 in Indonesia. Isme was in the MA programme Economics of Development in 2010/2011. She passed away from complications after giving birth to her second child.
Zambra, Malaga: Resubjectifying Bodies Through the Use of Care Laura Santamaría Buitrago In the last decade Spain has been subsumed in a state of economic, political and economic crisis, which has worsened since 2008. It has brought about unemployment, exorbitant mortgage debts, and cuts in public budgets, among other effects (Observatorio Metropolitano, 2011). Yet at the same time, this panorama has spurred diverse forms of activism, like the well-known 15M Movement of Indignados and several feminist autonomous initiatives. Autonomous groups have developed heterogeneous modes of struggle that locate some topics once considered ‘private’ at the centre of social and political actions (Harcourt and Escobar 2002). Using the theories of Sandra Harding (2005), Donna Haraway (1988) and Chandra Mohanty (2003), I explored the consciousness of the autonomous struggle of one of these groups: Zambra Malaga. This is a coalition of young women and men working in the city of Malaga, Andalucia, in southern Spain. They do not identify themselves as a feminist group but their main struggles are against hetero-patriarchy and its particular influence on poverty and exclusion processes. Responding to the effects of the crisis, Zambra has five projects in the most excluded neighbourhoods of the city with a specific focus on women, advocating for the recognition of the importance of care work on the one
hand, and exploring how to resist the effects of the crisis using everyday practices on the other. Accordingly, what I found interesting about this group is the conscious interconnection they make between capitalism and heteropatriarchy and the forms of resistance towards its effects. They do this by integrating agendas from diverse moments/currents of feminism (queer, second wave feminism) and joining these to an anti-capitalist struggle intimately related to the current socioeconomic context. Consequently, the transformative power of changing everyday practices is under-
stood as a tool for resistance. Such change happens from the use of the category of care. Caring, for them, is a way to construct communitarian relationships based on mutual support. It is a multi-layered category located at the edges of their activist initiative and related to the effects of heteropatriarchal economic systems over women lives. Zambra has enabled its participants to reconfigure their own embodiment. By taking care of others and themselves in the everyday, they construct what they call ‘the collective body’ - a symbolic space or web of relations that enables
Zambra and other collectives discussing in the Annual ‘Baladre’ meeting - Santander City, Spain Source: Fieldwork, 2014
them to confront gendered structural violence in their lives and exercise resistance. The body, in this process, becomes political.
‘Thinking about our bodies as territories for struggle over which we, and only we, have the right to decide, that made me feel different, bigger, stronger...’
BUT… HOW? When I ask Patri, one of the members, to tell me what belonging to Zambra has meant to her, she says ‘well, I am a different person’. Being part of Zambra helped her to acknowledge that it was not her body that was wrong; instead it was an oppressive system that demanded normalizing behaviours and shapes. Knowing that made her feel a little freer. This redefinition of bodies is made mostly via Zambra’s Akelarre Zambrero project. Its main objective is to deconstruct the effects of the heteropatriarchal system over lives. Although Zambra participants do not want to fit into a particular strand of feminism, ideas of queer have influenced the project. In Spain, queer has been translated as Transfeminismo, which stresses that specific sexual orders over bodies have been responsible for the establishment of hegemonic capitalist systems (Solá 2013). That is why Akelarre focuses on resisting capitalist and hetero-patriarchal systems using bodies as the focus.
THE EXAMPLE OF SEXUALITY When interpersonal relationships go beyond the basic necessity to survive and are transformed into a conscious exercise to construct mutual wellbeing, we are able to construct care webs (Bowden in Held 2006). The experience within Zambra enabled a new form of understanding sexuality as a collective process. In this process, taking care of the others’ and owns’ bodies implies also a new way of struggling against structural gendered violence: first, by understanding that the management of our sexuality is in our own hands, and second, by caring for each other, people ensure a good, safe sexuality. When we acknowledge that bodies are sites where hegemonic discourses are seen and practiced (Harcourt 2009), we also become open to the opportunity to deconstruct hetero-patriarchal standards and walk towards transformative possibilities (Gargallo 2013). To continuously share experiences about patriarchy in their lives and bodies enables the Zambra collective to create higher consciousness about the possibility of change. This deconstruction of hegemonic patriarchal power happens in a communitarian way – through care and makes them feel empowered and united. The body is then reconstructed as a place of togetherness. GETTING TOGETHER, A POWERFUL STRATEGY According to Casas-Cortes et al. (2008), activist groups are not the builders of big transformations but they create spaces for new knowledges, possibilities for actions and constant deconstruction from their own micro-political practices. In that sense, seeing bodies as the portrayers of creative resistances enables us, at least in the micro-sphere, to tackle structural or gender-based violence.
Laura Santamaría Buitrago graduated from ISS in 2014. This article is based on her research paper ‘Together somewhere, Anywhere alone: Zambra Malaga, care as an embodied Feminist Resistance’. More information on Zambra can be found at http://www.asociacionzambra.org/ and https://www.facebook.com/zambra.malaga?fref=ts
REFERENCES Casas-Cortés, M., Osterweil, M. & Powell, D. (2008) Blurring Boundaries: Recognizing KnowledgePractices in the Study of Social Movements. Project Muse. 81 (1): 17-58 Gargallo, F. (2013) ‘Feminismos desde Abya Yala. Ideas y proposiciones de las mujeres de 607 pueblos en nuestra América’ (Feminisms from Abya Yala. Ideas and propositions from women of 607 places of Latin America). Corte y Confección: Mexico D.F. Haraway, D. (1988) ‘Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective’, Feminist Studies 14 (3):575-599 Harcourt, W. (2009) ‘Body Politics in Development: Critical Debates in Gender and Development’. Zed Books: London. Harcourt, W. & Escobar, A. (2002) ‘Women and the Politics of Place’. Development. 45 (1): 7-14. Harding, S. (2005) `Rethinking Standpoint Epistemology: What is “Strong Objectivity”?’ in Cudd, A.E & Anderson, R.O. (eds.) Feminist Theory. A Philosophical Anthology, Blackwell Publishing, pp. 218-236. Held, V. (2006) ‘The Ethics of Care: Personal, Political and Global’ Oxford University Press: New York. Observatorio Metropolitano de Madrid (2011), ‘Crisis and Revolution in Eu- rope: People of Europe, Rise Up!’, Madrid: Traficantes de Sueños. Solá, M. (2013) ‘Pre-textos, contextos y textos’ (Pretexts, contexts and texts), in M. Solá, & y E. Urko
During their meetings there is a space for formation-reflection around certain topics related to feminist theory and practice. These discussions usually involve different activities such as performance, dancing or acting that use the body to explore the concepts. These meetings have enabled Zambra members to understand their embodied experiences: realizing the existence and persistence of gender-based forms of structural violence, enables them to imagine and create ways out.
In feminist terms, Zambra constructs a double-sided conception of ‘the personal is political’: while the individual body is resubjectified, the collective body is constructed and enforced. By using care as the thread to weave their webs, Zambra members politicize their everyday lives. They live resistance as a process that gives them a new possibility to be in the world. That is a major step; one that development research needs to acknowledge and explore.
(comp.) Transfeminismos. Epistemes, fricciones y flujos. (Transfemi- nismo: Epistemologies, frictions and fluxes). pp. 15-27. Txalaparta: Tafalla
Female Imprisonment and the Impact on Gender Norms and Sexuality in Zimbabwe Rotina Mafume Two weeks ago I was sitting across from Vongai (not her real name) as we ate lunch in a public eating place. She recounted her journey since our last encounter. My heart went out to her as she explained how her husband had chased her away from home and how she had sought refuge with her only married sister, who lived in a very small crowded room. She told me about the fate of her intelligent son who had dropped out of school because the father had abandoned the family. As she explained her ordeal to me, she caught me off guard as she said: ‘A spirit came upon me Rotina, a spirit to kill both my children and myself in the process, however when I called you and you responded I knew there was hope…’.
The author leading a gender-based violence training workshop held with Mutare Remand Female Offenders at Wise Owl Motel as part of Prison Friends Network gender response programmes. Photo credit Prison Friends Network
I had previously interviewed Vongai in 2014 when she was in prison. She was released two months ago. I remember her well because she had told me that this spirit of rejection had enshrouded her since the day she had been incarcerated. This spirit was used to explain why her husband never bothered to visit her. During our 2014 interview, Vongai had expressed her desire to reunite with her husband of eighteen years. However, when she was released from prison, she found that he had deserted her, leaving her to look after their children even though she was economically unable to do so. STIGMA AND GENDER ROLES IN PRISONS The stigma of being imprisoned is unacceptable for women, especially in Zimbabwe.1 Prison is conceived as a male space and imprisoned females are seen as deviants and social misfits. The highly gendered arena of the prison creates further discrimination towards a group already labelled as ‘deviants’. The way a woman is treated the moment she ’deviates’ from society by being imprisoned reflects social constructs of femininity. The woman in prison continues to symbolize a patriarchal system that places men above women (Mafume 2014). In prison, women often find themselves having to negotiate and battle societal expectations about criminality. Incarcerated women are no longer able to conform to the patriarchal expectation of being mothers, care givers and child bearers. Their absence from the normative, socially-scripted gendered roles impacts heavily on their relationships. The prison becomes a miniature playing out of gendered roles where women struggle around masculinity (being in prison) and femininity (expected roles in the society) (Mafume 2014). THE CHALLENGE TO SEXUAL NORMS Vongai’s husband could well have seen it as a challenge to his masculine identity to continue living with a woman who is an outcast from society and branded with the derogatory names of ‘banditti’ and ‘gororo’. Zimbabwean 1 Figures on female inmates around the world are estimated to be around 660 000 as of early 2013 (Walmsley 2014).
society is organized around identities and categorizations of people categorizations which also penetrate the prison walls. When imprisoned, a woman is stigmatized and discriminated by being named a criminal - essentially a male identity. Once an imprisoned woman is named ‘gororo’, her femininity is taken away and indirectly she is ascribed a masculine gender, thus making her a ‘deviant’ who is unfit to perform her socially-scripted feminine roles (Mafume 2014). The virtues of purity and goodness that are attributed to the female gender are stripped away from the female prisoner and she is seen as a ‘sinner’. Female inmates are supposedly then unfit to be married to a ‘good man’. ‘Who wants to remain married to a criminal?’ almost always crops up in relation to a female inmate, yet their male counterparts are often accepted in society (Mafume 2014). When men leave prison they are seen as ‘reformed’ and some even become religious pastors and leaders of churches. The alienation of the female prisoner, on the other hand, sticks beyond the prison walls and follows her for the rest of her life.
the imprisoned woman can no longer perform her reproductive function i.e. bearing children for her husband. IMPRISONED WOMEN’S AGENCY There is still a gap in the literature on women and imprisonment in Zimbabwe, and indeed Africa as a whole, and my research brings out other realities in the experiences of imprisoned women. It is important to note that imprisoned women do exercise agency. Towards the end of this second conversation with Vongai, she told me of her determination to start a business and look after her family. The flicker of hope, will and determination revealed the importance of not looking at her as a victimized, vulnerable individual but as person with her own agency. I listened as she spoke about how she was creating and rewriting her own reality. Rotina Mafume is a prison reform and gender activist, and a Christian feminist. She is currently the Programs Coordinator for Prison Friends Network (PFN), an organization working for the rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners in Zimbabwe. This article is based on research she conducted at ISS in fulfillment of her MA in Development Studies at ISS.
Vongai’s husband could not continue in the marriage without bringing shame upon himself and his family. Women are stigmatized both by their own families and their in-laws. Marriage in Zimbabwe is a communal affair: one marries into an extended family. When lobola (dowry) negotiations are made for the woman, the man’s family has a say and if there are problems in the relationship, they again have a say. Yet rejection also comes from the woman’s own family. Such is the stigma that the imprisoned woman’s own family may actually discourage her husband from caring and continuing the relationship with her (Mafume 2014).
REFERENCES Walmsley, R. (2014) http://www.prisonstudies.org/ news/female-imprisonment accessed 9 May 2014. Mafume, R. (2014) ‘Understanding Incarceration and Spousal/Partner Relationships: An exploration of female imprisonment and its effects on family relations in Zimbabwe’ Research Paper submitted at the Institute of Social Studies in partial fulfillment for MA in Development Studies. Muchenje, F., R,Gora, & B, Bondai, B. (2013). ‘Constraints Of Private Sphere Responsibilities On Availability Of Time To Study: A Case Study of Married Women Students at The University of
Men are not bound by the same moral principles that determine women’s lives. A man will not wait for the woman who is in prison as, supposedly ‘naturally’, he cannot live long without sex. Indeed Vongai’s husband was at liberty to look for another woman to satisfy his sexual desires and abandon his imprisoned wife. In contrast, in Zimbabwe, women’s sexual desires are not expected to be fulfilled outside the arena of repro duction (Muchenje et al. 2013). Apart from not fulfilling her conjugal duties,
Zimbabwe’s Faculty of Education. Constraints, 4(3). Accessed 19 May 2014 http://www.savap.org.pk/ journals/ARInt./Vol.4(3)/2013(4.3-52).pdf.
Salir Adelante: A Look into how Teenage Pregnancy is Experienced in the City of Monterrey, Mexico Brenda Rodríguez Cortés Teenage pregnancy is predominantly portrayed as a big social problem worldwide, as something that must be eradicated because of its ‘disastrous consequences’. This phenomenon has also gained increasing attention in the international development agenda, among national governments and local NGOs. Many efforts and resources have been put into place in the development sector to tackle the issue.
In the past decade, there has been a lot of concern about the prevalence of teenage pregnancy in Mexico, which has been defined as a problem that must be wiped out because it ‘hinders development’. But teenage pregnancy is also embedded in gendered, economic and racialized power relations. My article explores the subjective experiences of teenage pregnancy from an intersectionality approach. I look at intersectionality as the interrelationship of multiple social divisions of oppression; and how these systems shape the diverse identities and lived experiences of people. According to official reports by INEGI, in Mexico there were 468,116 births to mothers aged 19 years or under (457,192 were aged 15-19 and 10,924 below the age of 15), which represent approximately 18.7 percent of the total births in Mexico in the year 2012. Most of these young mothers face shame, discrimination and stigmatization
because of the ‘construction of teenage mothering as a uniformly negative experience for the mothers themselves, their children and for society as a whole’ (Duncan et al. 2010:3). My research tried to move away from that negative connotation and aimed to give voice and listen to the teenage mothers instead. As stated by Llanes Díaz, teenage pregnancy and ‘it’s construction as an object of study has not been neutral, but has been done under the hegemonic discourses about the regulation of fertility, and using universal conceptualizations of adolescence, maternity, and family as starting points’. This is why there is a need to understand this phenomenon in ‘a different analytical level, understanding it as a subjective experience’ (Llanes Díaz 2012:235). STUDYING TEENAGE REALITIES THROUGH AN INTERSECTIONAL LENS Intersectionality was first coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw (Yuval-Davis 2006:193-202) looking at the interrelationships of gender, class and
race as systems of oppression that reinforce one another. Throughout the years, other forms of oppression have been added to the intersectional analysis including age, sexuality, nationality, ethnicity, (dis)ability and citizenship, among others (ibid). My study was based on fifteen in-depth semi-structured interviews held in the summer of 2014, with teenagers who had experienced or were currently experiencing pregnancy. I also spoke to five doctors, teachers and NGO practitioners. Researching teenage pregnancy from an intersectionality approach allowed me to see how teenage pregnancy was experienced in various and different ways. Xóchitl (all interviewees names have been changed to protect their privacy), confided that when she was about to give birth, she faced discrimination by the health providers, not only on the basis of being young and a woman, but also as a result of being poor and indigenous.
Amelia, a young women with a physical disability exercised her sexual and reproductive rights by choosing to become a mother. Her experience disrupts the notion of teenage pregnancy as being something unintended and irresponsible, or the general perception that people with disabilities are not sexual or capable of parenting.
Brenda Rodríguez holds a Master in Development Studies with a specialization in Women and Gender Studies from ISS and a Bachelor in International Relations from Tecnológico de Monterrey. She is particularly interested in issues regarding gender, sexuality(ies), poverty and inequality, as well as social movements of resistance.
REFERENCES Duncan S., Alexander C. and Edwards R. (2010)
Dulce, a teenage mother who now identifies herself as a lesbian, also challenges the highly heteronormative way of understanding teenage pregnancy, and sexuality in general. Her lived experience draws attention to how sexuality can be fluid. It also points to adolescence as an important stage of sexual experimentation and construction of sexuality allowing people to later subscribe to a different sexual orientation. Mariana, a teenage mother from Monterrey’s upper class, had a very different experience to women from a lower socioeconomic status or ethnicity, who are often more excluded and marginalized. For her, a teenage pregnancy did not prevent her from pursuing her university studies (in a private school), have (private) medical care and a corporate job. An experience very different from the other teenage mothers I interviewed, who had little access to health services, decent jobs and basic education. Nonetheless, all the teenage mothers I spoke to had something in common. They all expressed their willingness to ‘salir adelante’ or overcome their situation, and none regret having their babies at an early age. Their resilient points of view contrast with the dominant discourse that a teenage pregnancy is an event that will forever ruin their lives. Recent studies have also refuted such ideas by confirming that ‘age at which pregnancy occurs seems to have little effect on future social outcomes (like employment and income in later life), or on current levels of disadvantage for either parents or their children’ (Duncan et al. 2010:4). AN ECOLOGICAL APPROACH TO TEENAGE PREGNANCY What I noted during my research is that teenage mothers and fathers need support and not stigma. Poverty,
“What’s the problem with teenage parents?” Chapter 1 in: Teenage Parenthood: What’s the Ecological model of adolescent pregnancy,
Problem? The Tufnell Press, London, pp 1-22.
UNFPA 2013 GIRE, Grupo de Información en Reproducción
unemployment, and no access to education and health services, played a huge role before the pregnancy, due to structural economic and social marginalization. Tackling such systemic issues instead of portraying teenage pregnancy as the cause of their problems, is what young people and their families need.
Elegida (2013) “Movement for the recovery of lost opportunities” http://recuperaunaoportunidad.gire. org.mx INEGI, National Institute of Statistics and Geography of Mexico (2014) “Natality statistics” <http://www.inegi.org.mx/est/contenidos/ proyectos/registros/vitales/natal idad/default.aspx> Llanes Díaz, N. (2012) “Acercamientos teóricos a la
Analyzing teenage pregnancy by taking an ecological approach that ‘takes into account the full range of complex drivers of adolescent pregnancy and the interplay of these forces’ (UNFPA 2013:33) can also help us to identify the work that has to be done outside the personal sphere of the teenager. My research findings show that there is much to be done in the health and educational sectors in terms of sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people. First, educational and health professionals require training in order to be sensitive to teenager’s needs and their right to be acknowledged as sexual beings who deserve healthy sex lives. Total education and health coverage is a must, as is providing young people with decent job opportunities. This has to be accompanied by a comprehensive sexual education programme at school from the earliest years, as well as by access to more and better information and contraceptive methods. The huge diversity of teenage pregnancy experiences, even among the small group of people who participated in my research, can further guide us to fully unpack and understand all of the complexities surrounding the phenomenon of teenage pregnancy when designing and implementing development programmes or policies.
maternidad adolescente como experiencia subjetiva (Theoretical Approaches to Teen Maternity as a Subjective Experience) in Sociológica, No. 77 (September-December 2012), pp. 235-266 UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund (2013) “Motherhood in Childhood: Facing the challenge of adolescent pregnancy”, New York. Yuval-Davis N. (2006) “Intersectionality and Feminist Politics”, European Journal of Women’s Studies, SAGE Publications, London.
‘A Tale of Two Sisters’: Investigating the Socioeconomic Outcomes of Teen Childbearing in South Africa Tasneem Kakal Normative and moral perceptions of teenage pregnancy and motherhood often limit the discussion of the issue to stereotypical debates. The presence of this moral panic in South Africa is no different. A middle-income country with a relatively high incidence of teenage pregnancies, the discourse on teen mothers is one of an irresponsible generation engaged in pre-marital sex and facing unwanted consequences. However, this sensationalization has diverted attention from the actual heart of the matter. Does being a teen mother cause poor socioeconomic outcomes in the future, such as poverty, unemploy ment and welfare dependency, or are there pre-childbearing factors that do so? This is a key current academic debate persisting between the main stream school and the revisionists. The former proposes the existence of a direct causal link, whereas the latter notes the presence of a selection effect; girls who fall pregnant are disproportio nately more likely to have dropped out of school irrespective of their pregnancy status. This could be attributed to pre-childbearing characteristics such as growing up in a poor neighbourhood. Using the National Income Dynamics Study, conducted in 2012, along with semi-structured interviews conducted in
Cape Town, this paper contributes to this debate. It compares the socio economic outcomes of sisters approxi mately 10 years after the first birth, of whom one gave birth as a teenager (below 19 years) and one did not. Since sisters grow up in the same household, with similar circumstances regarding schooling, neighbourhood and family, the research could account for heterogeneous, unobserved family-level behaviour which previous studies had failed to do. This included taking into account characteristics such as differing investments of resources in children across families. This sibling fixed-effects technique was complemented by semi-structured interviews conducted with 11 teen mothers and key stakeholders such as schools and teen mother support organizations. This added a nuanced and holistic interpretation to the regression results. On comparing sisters, the study found that teenage childbearing has a significant negative relationship with schooling and a positive relationship with access to welfare and employment. No statistically significant estimate on poverty and income level was found. These findings show that family-level heterogeneity cannot be ignored and must be taken into consideration. The
qualitative data sheds further light on these issues. With respect to schooling, conducive school and family support systems along with the presence of role models play a part in determining whether teen mothers are sufficiently encouraged to complete their education. Teens also face a number of challenges in negotiating their newfound identity as mothers. This includes wearing oversized uniforms to school to hide their pregnancy and to preserve their identity as a student. Such acts can be seen as symbols of resistance to an environment where education comes to be regarded as an obligation to fulfil due to making the ‘wrong choices’ (Pillow 2004:71). The counter-intuitive finding on employment can be interpreted in two ways. It could indicate that a higher level of work experience is more valued in the labour market. It could also mean that only elementary sectors have job opportunities, within which the highly educated are unwilling to participate. While teen mothers are trying to move away from the label of being welfare dependant, the welfare system, in the form of the Child Support Grant in particular, provides a much-needed safety net and strengthens the
bargaining power of the young mother, providing her with a fall-back position. Hence, taking an evidence-based understanding of the issue is important to shift the conversation away from a moral, towards a data-supported argument. These findings are particularly important in the context of the post2015 development goals agenda and the recent roll-out of the National Development Plan in South Africa. The study found that it is necessary to focus on policies which delay teenage childbearing while also concentrating on the needs of parent learners through school and welfare systems. The expansion of the Child Support Grant, the introduction of the Life Orientation curriculum focusing on sex education,
along with legal frameworks that allow pregnant girls to stay in school, are already paving the way for this. Such a two-pronged approach will create an empowering space for young girls to make autonomous choices that improve their future socioeconomic position.
REFERENCES Kakal, T. (2015). A tale of two sisters: Investigating the socio-economic outcomes of teen childbearing in South Africa (No.604). ISS Working Paper Series/ General Series (Vol.604, pp1-46). International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)
Tasneem Kakal graduated with an MA in develop
Pillow, W. S. (2004) ‘Unfit Subjects: Educational
ment Studies from the ISS in 2014 where she also
Policy and the Teen Mother. Psychology Press.
conducted this research for her Masters thesis. She is co-founder of The Campus Bicycle Project and Jal Jyoti, two not-for-profit youth-led projects based in Mumbai. It was her brief stint at Jameel Poverty Action Lab that sparked her keen interest in mixed methods research. She is intrigued by interdisciplinary issues of education, gender and economic development and currently works as a trainee at Oxfam Novib.
ISS News Professor Inge Hutter appointed new Rector of ISS The Executive Board of the Erasmus University has appointed Professor Inge Hutter to the post of Rector of ISS. She will replace the current rector, Professor Leo de Haan who is retiring. Professor Hutter holds an MA in cultural anthropology and an MSc and a PhD in demography. Her PhD thesis was on the nutrition of pregnant women in South India. She will start work at ISS in mid-August. Dr. Riad Al-Malki, Foreign Minister of the Palestinian Authority, gives lecture at ISS His lecture, entitled ‘Palestine, the International Criminal Court and the General Election in Israel: Prospects for a Just Peace’, was delivered at ISS on 31 March 2015. Over 250 people registered to attend the lecture. Dr. Al-Malki was in The Hague to attend a ceremony on 1 April in which Palestine’s membership of the International Criminal Court will be formally recognized. ISS staff working with the multi-stakeholder Task Team on Civil Society Organization The Task Team on CSO Develop ment Effectiveness and Enabling Environment is a multi-stake holder body which aims to advance norms and the imple mentation of international commitments made at the Accra and Busan High Level Forums in relation to civil society, aid and development. The Secretariat of the Task Team, hosted at ISS since mid-2013, has been active in supporting the aims of the Task Team.
La Via Campesina leader Nettie Wiebe joins ISS as regular visiting researcher Dr. Wiebe is an organic farmer, social movement activist, and academic. She will join the Political Economy of Resources, Environment and Population Studies (PER) research programme as a regular visiting researcher. Over the next three years, she will visit ISS on a regular basis for collaborative initiatives with PER staff and PhD researchers. Mahmoud Messkoub wins research grant Senior Lecturer Mahmoud Messkoub has been successful, as part of an EU-wide consortium of universities and antipoverty NGOs, in winning an EU grant under its Horizon 2020 call. The research project is called RE-InVEST and has a strong social policy framework. It will critically engage with the EU Social Investment Package which has been introduced to alleviate the social impact of the financial crisis. The research project will take four years to complete. The RE-InVEST grant is for € 53,000. Andrew Fischer new research associate of Tibet Governance Project Associate Professor Andrew Fischer has joined the Tibet Governance Project (TGP) at the Elliot School of International Affairs, George Washington University as a research associate. Amongst other activities, he will collaborate on research, play an advisory role, and participate in policy forums with the State Council of Ethnic Affaires of China.
Children and Youth in Development: Vulnerability as Identity? ISS MA student Stephen Ucembe (SU) and senior lecturer Kristen Cheney (KC) discuss the place of children and youth studies in development studies.
DevISSues (DV): Stephen, you are specializing in Children and Youth Studies (CYS). Can you explain why? SU: My interest in Children and Youth issues is inspired by the fact that I grew up in a child care institution without parental care. I first studied social work and child development but realised I wanted to do something more critical to widen my understanding of children and youth issues. Via a friend I was introduced to ISS. DV: Kristen, do you think he made the right choice in coming to ISS? KS: Our programme is interdisciplinary and links directly to international development. So if you’re interested in more structural issues, if you want to look at issues of global poverty, of international development and how they affect children, this is the place to be. DV: What are the issues that make children and youth studies relevant and why is it important? KC: Many of the Millennium Develop ment Goals deal with children’s issues. They target children yet we don’t see many programmes that involve children in any substantive way. At CYS we talk a lot about youth and child participation in social change and research. SU: I think the relevance of CYS is that it looks at issues significantly affecting orphans, and separated and
unaccompanied children. These are big issues. People need to understand what it actually means to intervene and work with children. At ISS I’ve learnt the importance of dignity – intervention with dignity, development with dignity. For me personally, the way I see people looking at orphans has made it a challenge for me to talk about being an orphan myself as orphans are seen as people with problematic issues. If you say you’re an orphan people think you’re begging – it’s a mentality that needs to change. KC: That’s where critical development studies comes in – it looks at what happens when you label children as orphans or vulnerable: people want to rescue them. Rescue them from what is another question. At ISS we are unique in having students who have lived that experience – I mean we’ve had child soldiers in our classrooms, we’ve had street kids and people who’ve been the objects of these interventions. The practical experience that they bring to the classroom is invaluable. SU: I agree. It’s important that their voices and perspectives are heard – as people who have lived that experience - to ask how they can use their experiences to enrich academic studies. DI: Given this objectification of children and orphans, why aren’t they a bigger feature of academic studies? KC: Children and youth studies is a field that has really grown since the 1990s.
We’re trying to shift the gaze from an adult-centred to a child-centred gaze – to ask how young people experience development. That’s not something development studies tends to do from the point of view of any target. For example, it has taken a while to get critical about how women are viewed in development. Children’s studies is still at the stage women’s studies was in the 80s or 90s – recognized as something that is important but relegated to the side. It’s still difficult to get universities to critically theorize age and generation. Work on children is still seen as ‘childish’ and immature as a discipline and research subject. SU: I agree – children are seen as lesser so intervention is left to the adults. This should not be the case. Children need to be seen as meaningful participants who are part and parcel of develop ment. As an academic institution, ISS contributes to this by, for example, organizing workshops and conferences with outside speakers. And ISS lecturers are well-known in the field of children’s studies. So ISS is relevant in this aspect. KC: And we try to stress a child-centred, participatory approach to development. Children easily become a footnote or window dressing of development. Many text books, for example, have children on the covers but not inside the books: children are decoration. At ISS, we include a child-centred approach in our foundation and core courses.
DI: In ten years hence, where would you like children’s studies to be? KC: I would like it to be integral to everyone’s education - not just ‘add children and stir’. Amongst our students there’s already a demand for looking at development from the child’s perspective and that means that we’ll see children and youth studies become more integrated. SU: I agree. We also need to encourage governments to appreciate the relevance of children and youth studies. This is already recognized by NGOs but governments are lagging behind, especially in developing countries. This also tells you the place of children in these societies. DI: Do you see yourself working for a government or persuading governments? SU: Persuading yes, I don’t know about working for the government! I think you can do much more working outside the government than from inside.
Kristen Cheney and Stephen Ucembe in discussion
KC: Children are always important rhetorically to states. Children are told that they are important to the develop ment of their country, yet they’re also told they’re powerless: that they should get the right education so that one day they can become useful citizens and contribute. But children want to be contributory citizens now. In Africa, half the population is under 15 so you ignore them at your peril! International humanitarianism maintains an attitude of ‘aid’. But what does this actually mean and what are the adverse consequences of, for example, targeting orphans and vulnerable children? Vulnerability itself can become an identity. So kids aren’t going into schools and saying, ‘I have a right to education, teach me’ but saying, ‘I’m a poor orphan, can you help me?’ because that appeal works better. I spoke to people from UNICEF who told me they were handing out books to kids who were orphaned, and they heard other kids in the crowd saying, ‘I wish my parents were dead so that I could get schools books too’. Is this the effect we want to have?
SU: But it’s not just the NGOs, it also comes from the donors. This image of children appeals to donors, so NGOs frame their message accordingly. The photos which are taken are quite scary – pictures of malnourished or disabled children - but what happens to the dignity of those children? Such photos will make millions but how much of that money actually benefits the children themselves? But that’s not the story; the story is the image. This situation has been created by NGOs but also by ourselves. Maybe we can’t give without seeing those kinds of images. How this can be changed, I don’t know yet. KC: That’s the conundrum of humanitarian intervention: emphasizing vulnerability gets the funds. Helping orphans has become part of an ‘orphan industrial complex’. Orphanages are being built to meet this ‘demand’ – so we see a proliferation of orphanages, not because there’s a proliferation of orphans but because there’s a proliferation of demand from the West for helping orphans. This is also a problem we need to solve.
ISS News ISS-led Centre for Frugal Innovation wins funding for four-year project Researchers of the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa (CFIA), in collaboration with Dutch companies and African entrepreneurs, are working to develop new ‘inclusive business models’ for successful innova tion in Africa. The title of their project is ‘The quest for inclusive business models for innovation in Africa’. The consortium, coordinated by ISS professor Peter Knorringa, has received funding for this four-year project from the Responsible Innovation programme of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The research project is co-funded by three Dutch companies in the ‘Water’ and ‘Health’ Top Sectors: Royal Philips and the water companies OASEN and Hatenboer. ISS co-organizes ‘hackathon’ to document environmental and human rights abuses From 7-11 February 2015, ISS, in cooperation with Digital Democracy, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, and Hivos, organized a ‘Hackathon’ in Tarapoto, Peru. Technologists, mobile app developers and passionate civic-hackers travelled to the Peruvian Amazon to build a mobile data collection app to support indigenous environmental monitors working to document oil contamination, illegal logging and more in the Amazon Rainforest. INCLUDE - the Knowledge Platform on Inclusive Development Policies ISS is part of the Secretariat of INCLUDE, which is responsible for the Platform’s knowledge management, together with the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), The Broker and the African Studies Centre (ASC). INCLUDE brings together researchers from African countries and the Netherlands who work with the private sector, NGOs and governments to exchange information and ideas on how to achieve better research-policy linkages on economic transformation and inclusive development. Dr Kristen Cheney awarded one-year research grant on sexual and reproductive health and AIDS. The grant is awarded by the Share-Net Netherlands network ‘Exploring Youth Explicit Media Usage to Improve the Responsiveness of CSE Programs in the Great Lakes Region’. The research project aims to explore young people’s exposure to sexually explicit media in Ethiopia and Uganda. The findings will help to create Comprehensive Sexuality Education CSE programming that is better equipped to respond to the realities in their local contexts.
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Antonio Alejo Jaime joins ISS as post-doc researcher Antonio Alejo Jaime joins the Civic Innovation Research Initiative. He will be working under the mentorship of Dr. Rosalba Icaza from March 2015 to October 2016 researching the concept of NGO diplomacy as a transnational activism that operates in a global political environment. Karin Arts new Executive Editor of the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights ISS professor in International Law and Development, Karin Arts, professor in International Law and Development is a new Executive Editor for the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights. The Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights is a peerreviewed academic publication published by Intersentia which contains scholarly articles on human rights issues and the promotion and protection of human rights through international human rights law from authors from around the world. Rolph van der Hoeven named honorary policy fellow at Institute for the Study of Labour ISS professor of Employment and Development Economics, Rolph van der Hoeven has been invited to become an Honorary IZA Policy Fellow at Forschungsinstitute zur Zukunft der Arbeit (Institute for the Study of Labour) in Bonn. As a Policy Fellow, Rolph van der Hoeven will provide policy advice to complement the academic network of IZA Research Fellows. ISS to host post-graduate course on Deaf Children in International Development This course, jointly taught by ISS and International Child Development Initiative (ICDI) staff, and hosted at ISS in The Hague, expands knowledge on the specific situation of deaf children in developing countries, embedded in the academic framework of International Development as well as practical implementation. Henrique Pereira guest professor at ISS Professor Henrique Pereira of the Federal University of Amazonas (UFAM) and member of the GOLLS project, is at ISS as part of this CAPES-NUFFIC funded exchange project (2014-17). He will work on the continuing acai/ peasant case study in the Amazon, on arrangements for future sandwich PhDs from UFAM within the project and on strategies for deepening the role of the ISS and project partners in sustainable development teaching and research in the Amazon.
ISS News Irene van Staveren receives two awards from the Association for Social Economics ISS professor of pluralist development economics Irene van Staveren has been awarded the Thomas S. Divine Award and the Patrick J. Welch best paper Award. Both awards are from the Association for Social Economics which seeks to promote high quality research in the broadly defined area of social economics. The awards were presented during the ASE annual meeting. Andrew Fischer wins prestigious European Research Council Starting Grant His research proposal is on the Political Economy of Externally Financing Domestic Social Policy in Developing Countries (‘Aiding Social Protection’ for short). The grant amounts to € 1.46 million, for a duration of five years, and includes grants for three, fully-funded PhD researchers. ‘Emerging Africa: The middle class and development challenges’ On 12 February 2015, Dr. Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, gave a lecture at ISS on the role of the middle classes in development in Africa.
Hawassa University and ISS sign MoU On 15 January 2015 ISS and Hawassa University signed a Memorandum of Understanding in order to achieve cooperation in academic education and research. In the photo Dr Yosef Mamo (r), President of Hawassa University and professor Leo de Haan (l), Rector of ISS.
ISS agrees Joint PhD Programme with Wits School of Law In February 2015, the Rector of ISS, Professor Leo de Haan, and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the South African University of the Witwatersrand for Research and Postgraduate Affairs, Professor Zeblon Vilakazi, concluded a Memorandum of Understanding and a Collaboration Framework Agreement to facilitate the awarding of joint doctoral degrees. As of mid-2015, it will be possible to admit candidates wishing to obtain a joint PhD degree from both Erasmus University Rotterdam and the University of the Witwatersrand. Jun Borras and Andrew Fischer receive awards during EUR Talent Day Every year Erasmus University recognizes researchers who have won prestigious grants and subsidies over the past year by awarding them an Talent Extraordinary award Professor Jun Borras received an award for winning the prestigious NWO Talent Grant in 2014 for research to be carried out by ISS PhD researcher Christina Schiavoni. Dr Andrew Fischer received an award for winning the ERC Starting Grant in 2014. ISS awarded 5-year research grant Senior ISS researchers Karin Arts and Jeff Handmaker, together with colleagues at the Erasmus School of Law (ESL) and the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC), have been awarded a research grant to fund a five- year research project entitled ‘Integrating Functional and Normative Approaches to Rule of Law and Human Rights’. The project involves 10 principal researchers located at the three EUR faculties and will support 2 post-doc positions, 4 visiting professors and a number of conferences and expert meetings.
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Where are They Now? Name Andrew Mbogori Graduation year 1987 Study programme at ISS Economic Policy and Planning Country of origin Kenya Current occupation United Nations - Head of Office What made your time at ISS special? A great place to meet and make friends, I was one of the regulars at the Butterfly Bar. Being with many students from different nationalities created a practical United Nations, the atmos-phere blended very well with Dutch culture…... And wow! First time seeing snow falling… I just sat there and looked at it.
Name Ariane Agnes Corradi Graduation year 2013 Study programme at ISS PhD Country of origin Brazil Current occupation Assistant Professor of Organizational Psychology at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil
What is your most memorable moment at ISS? International nights were great, the lecture by the former Sudanese President Al Mahdi was very moving. What does ISS mean to you now – how did your studies here influence your life choices? ISS built in me a culture of discipline, hard work, innovation and opportunitysearching. It opened my world to international peace development. 3 years after the MA I joined UNDP in Mogadishu, Somalia. Peace and Sustainable Development has been my calling ever since. The Hague is a perfect example of a city of knowledge and nature. I am a member of many networks based in The Hague, including the Hague Process on Refugees and Migration (THP). But more than that, I always visit Scheveningen beach when in The Hague…
What made your time at ISS special? Studying at and living in the ISS environment during the years of the PhD made me aware of the diversity and greatness of the world. It built, for me, a new notion of the ‘global’, much nuanced and populated with faces, traditions, and stories. These place a human touch upon names of cities and countries, news announcements, and widespread stereotypical judgements. What is your most memorable moment at ISS? I had many memorable moments at ISS, in the academic and social realms. Academically, the most memorable was my public defence, attended by so many of my friends, with their warmth and support. On the social side, the top moments are the International Days, especially for the Indonesian performances and the Palestinian food.
Andrew Mbogori was a panellist with Dutch Foreign Minister during the plenary of International Metropolis conference on protracted refugee situation in Africa at The Hague.
I am always impressed by the many developments which have taken place… it has expanded and changed to what it was 28 years ago!
What does ISS mean to you now – how did your studies here influence your life choices? ISS broadened my view of the world, adding to and deepening my previous knowledge on the multiple dimensions of science, development, interpersonal relations, international politics, and working in intercultural teams. It certainly has a strong influence on my research agenda, since issues of equity, inclusion, and power will always be taken into consideration. On the more practical side, ISS has given me an international network of professionals in development studies that represents powerful social capital. Moreover, the skills I developed during my PhD were crucial for this highly competitive professorship position I now hold in Brazil.
Current occupation Diplomat/Consul General What made your time at ISS special? One of the most memorable times of my life. Learned a lot, met people from different cultures and got exposed to different ideas and cuisines. The quality of the teaching staff was exceptional. Name Faisal Tirmizi Graduation year 2001 Study programme at ISS Post-Graduate Diploma in International Relations and Development Country of origin Pakistan
What is your most memorable moment at ISS? Study tour to Geneva with a large group. What does ISS mean to you now – how did your studies here influence your life choices? I got a better understanding of human rights with Prof Van Dame. I later used this understanding when I represented my country in the Commission on Human Rights in Geneva.
Development and Change Vol. 46, issue 1 January 2015
Cecile Jackson Modernity and Matrifocality: The Feminization of Kinship? Paul Stacey Political Structure and the Limits of Recognition and Representation in Ghana Julie A. Silva and Nicole Motzer Hybrid Uptakes of Neoliberal Conservation in Namibian Tourism-based Development Shareen Hertel Hungry for Justice: Social Mobilization on the Right to Food in India Youyenn Teo Interrogating the Limits of Welfare Reforms in Singapore Simon Pahle Bringing Workers’ Rights Back In? Propositions towards a Labour–Trade Linkage for the Global South Paul Shaffer Two Concepts of Causation: Implications for Poverty Review Essay Pauline E. Peters Analysing Land Law Reform Acknowledgement to Reviewers
Working Papers The ISS Working Paper series provides a forum for work in progress which seeks to elicit comments and generate discussion. The series includes academic research by staff, PhD researchers and visiting fellows, and award-winning research papers by graduate students.
The heterogeneity of world trade collapses ISS Working Paper Series / General Series, 606, 1-32 van Bergeijk, A.G. (Peter) Revisiting the role of the resource curse in shaping institutions and growth ISS Working Paper Series / General Series, 605, 1-28. Murshed, S.M. (Syed) , Badiuzzaman, M. (Muhammad) and Pulok, M.H. (Mohammad Habibullah) A tale of two sisters: Investigating the socio-economic outcomes of teen childbearing in South Africa ISS Working Paper Series / General Series, 604, 1-46. Kakal, T. (Tasneem Aliasgar) Grabbing the ‘clean slate’: The politics of the intersection of land grabbing, disasters and climate change – insights from a local Philippine community in the aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan ISS Working Paper Series / General Series, 603, 1-50. Uson, M. (Maria Angelina Mariano) Payroll tax reduction in Brazil: Effects on employment and wages ISS Working Paper Series / General Series, 602, 1-64. Scherer, C.R. (Clóvis) HCIA implementation and the best interests of the child ISS Working Paper Series / General Series, 597, 1-18. Richards, S. (Sarah) Force, fraud, and coercion: Bridging from knowledge of intercountry adoption to global surrogacy ISS Working Paper Series / General Series, 600, 1-30. Smith Rotabi, (Karen) Executive
summary of the International Forum on Intercountry Adoption and Global Surrogacy ISS Working Paper Series / General Series, 596, 1-40. Cheney, K.E. (Kristen)
Global surrogacy practices ISS Working Paper Series / General Series, 601, 1-54. Darnovsky, M. (Marcy) and Beeson, D. (Diane) Intercountry Adoption Agencies and the HCIA ISS Working Paper Series / General Series, 599, 1-35. Selman, P. (Peter) Intercountry adoption, countries of origin, and biological families ISS Working Paper Series / General Series, 598, 1-19. Högbacka, R. (Riitta) Empowering growth in Pakistan? ISS Working Paper Series / General Series, 595, 1-21. Siegmann, K.A. (Karin Astrid) and Majid, H. (Hadia) How far does a big push really push? ISS Working Paper Series / General Series, 594, 1-56. Misha, F.A. (Farzana) , Raza, W.A. (Wameq) , Ara, J. (Jinnat) and Van de Poel, E. (Ellen)
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