Goal 5: Gender Equality

SDG 5 aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Browse books and journal articles relating to this SDG below and find out more on the UN Sustainable Development Goals website.
 

Goal 5: Gender Equality

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Exploring what it means to enact feminist geography, this book brings together contemporary, cutting edge cases of social justice activism and collaborative research with activists. From Black feminist organising in the American South to the stories of feminist geography collectives in Latin America, the editors present contemporary case studies from the Global North and South.

The chapters showcase the strength and vibrancy of activist-engaged scholarship taking place in the field and serve as a call to action, exploring how this work advances real-world efforts to fight injustice and re-make the world as a fairer, more equitable and more accepting place.

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Activist Feminist Geographies explores cutting-edge work in scholar activism and activist-engage research in feminist geography through eight chapters exploring scholar activism across a range of cultural contexts including Afghanistan, the UK, North America, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

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In Latin America, feminist geography collectives are part of larger critical geography praxis. As the Critical Geography Collective of Ecuador, in this chapter we explore the potentials of collective feminist geographic praxis that has organized around geographical critiques of extractivist industry, patriarchy, and the connections between the two. Members of the Critical Geography Collectives of Ecuador, accompany social movements in the defense of their territories against extractive industry, militarization, migrant criminalization, and patriarchal formations of space. This work is implemented from critical geography methods and developing geospatial analysis based on the needs of the communities with whom we work. In this chapter we explore our work within feminist geography praxis and activism more broadly; then we underscore two key examples that are demonstrative of our feminist geographical activist praxis; and, last, we reflect on the link between Latin American feminist geographical activist process and cuerpo-territorio (body-territories) on the move.

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This chapter provides an overview of activist scholarship in the context of Afghanistan over the course of 20 years. It begins with an overview of Afghanistan’s geopolitical history, followed by the author’s research and engagement with research associates in the country. The chapter’s main focus rests with the failures of international intervention, and the challenges that occurred when the author, her collaborators, and volunteers attempted to help Afghan colleagues and friends to evacuate from the country after the resurgence of the Taliban and withdrawal of US military, aid, and development in August 2021. This includes the bureaucratic barriers, and massive financial and legal hurdles, many of which were impossible to surmount. The author further questions the effective role of research and researchers when they are unable to provide direct assistance due to geopolitical obstructions.

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In 2012, the UK government’s Home Office, under the leadership of then Home Office Secretary Theresa May, outlined a series of policies aimed, in May’s words, at creating a ‘really hostile environment for illegal migration’. Formalized in subsequent pieces of legislation on immigration in 2014 and 2016, these policies sought restrict migrants’ ability to access education, rental accommodation, driving licenses, bank accounts, and healthcare. Although healthcare during pregnancy is defined by the UK government as ‘immediately necessary’ and therefore should never be withheld, fear of being asked for payment upfront has meant women without legal right to remain may delay or avoid accessing needed healthcare. This chapter explores activist responses to hostile environment policies related to maternal care in the UK. It focuses on local projects aimed at resisting the Hostile Environment policy and the vulnerability faced by pregnant and birthing women navigating ‘hostile healthcare’ during their pregnancies and births. Linking the disciplining of pregnant bodies to broader anxieties over migration and citizenship, this chapter considers how the practices of accompaniment through the healthcare system by midwives, doulas, birth companions, and activists bring together the radical ethos of reproductive justice movements and the embodied politics of birth activism.

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This chapter introduces readers to the key themes in the book, discusses where the idea for the book came from, how it extends into existing literature, and provides an outlines for the chapters.

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This chapter centres the lives and work of Southern Black women and movement work based in Southern Black feminism to elucidate the profound and rich impact of Southern Black women in reshaping the social, political, and economic landscape of the South and the United States more broadly. Only recently has geography considered the role of Black women in the production of space. Previous engagements with Black women’s lives, especially Black women in the South, have only been done in monolithic terms. Through examining the lives of Black women and the work of three Southern-based movement organizations, the chapter demonstrates how ingrained Black feminist activist legacies in Southern histories and geographies are, with attention to movement work entrenched in systems developed by Black women and prioritizing connectivity, community, care, and dignity.

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In this chapter, I focus on providing a perspective through which we may understand the current conditions and challenges of LGBT+ activism in Czechia and the other countries that are part of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). By zooming out from the current Czech context, I will show how are broader transnational contexts influenced by overlooked specific developments. Departing from clumsy discourses of ‘belatedness’, and ‘immaturity’ of the regional LGBT+ rights, I will also detour from representations of the situation as mere stagnation. Instead, by discussing the research on so-called ‘anti-gender movements’, I will represent the current situation as dynamic equilibrium, or an active stalemate caused by the simultaneous vibrancy of activists’ efforts and particularly vocal political opposition. Instead of focusing on their further description, I will attempt to understand these novel challenges as an opportunity to notice a vast set of relatively overlooked or underestimated issues. Building on previous work, I suggest that ontological insecurity may represent one such overlooked phenomenon or a type of resource, that is being aroused by populist politicians who exploit morality politics. Finally, I will focus on our NGO Queer Geography, in which we seek to employ strategies that may help buffer Czech society against efforts of moral entrepreneurs.

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It has long been established that research spaces are relational. This chapter explores the ways in which research was undertaken to investigate the everyday spatial experiences of those who oppose or are concerned about new gender and sexual landscapes, including those who see marriage as between a man/woman, who are pro-life, gender critical, and/or who contest trans inclusions. It argues that research that seeks to understand polarization and division and to work across difference may be transformative, but must also carefully negotiated. These negotiations and flexibilities are necessary to create respectful relationalities between the researcher and the researched that are open to hearing and understanding complexities, contradictions, and stories. Thus, we argue that respectful relationalities can be formed through forms of feminist engagements with narratives as well as queer methodological approaches that see binaries and ‘sides’ as incongruous, fluid and continually redefined.

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Rights to space has been a foundational issue in Feminist Geography from its earliest days. To paraphrase Gill Valentine’s keystone work in this area, the tendency for women and other feminized subjects to limit their use of space due to fear of gender violence can be understood as a spatial expression of hetero-patriarchy. This chapter critically reviews key trends in scholarship on sexual harassment in public and activist efforts to combat it. It focuses on the spatial contexts of the street, the night-time economy and higher education institutions. A fundamental question of spatial justice, I argue that sexual harassment can be approached through three conceptual lenses: the relational emergence of bodies; the politics of everyday spatial practice; and the ways affects and the atmospheres they generate shape spatial experience. I argue that geographers have a vital role to play in advancing knowledge on this issue, and conclude by outlining a research agenda tracing outlines along which this work might unfold.

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