Oct 17 Qs

Pre-meeting Qs for Oct 17

On Hanson, “Gender and mobility”

When addressing the issue of women’s lower spatial mobility in relation to men, Hanson states that redress in terms of policy-making is complicated given that in addition to sensitive economic and environmental realities we do not currently understand how certain groups change their mobility patterns based on changing external circumstances. Hanson suggests that the best approach is to tease out the effects of context by synthesizing the body of context-sensitive studies identifying patterns and then making generalizations. She states she is aware that especially among feminists “the word ‘generalization’ sets off alarm bells and raises red, green and yellow flags”. Should it? How does what Hanson proposes differ from other methods of informing policy direction, such as social impact assessments?

Through the article, the issue of gender and mobility being so incredibly intertwined is discussed. Hanson identifies two distinct strands, which look at how mobility shapes gender and how gender shapes mobility. How is this applicable in Canada and in particular Vancouver? And do you think mobility for women in Canada is dictated by constraint or choice (as Hanson defines constraint/choice)?

I am curious to know if there have been any successful legal/social policies that have been created to cater to the gender and sustainable mobility relationship? If not, what would be a hypothetical example?

In my view I could call forced immigration unsustainable mobility. Hanson mentioned that men move more than women. But with neoliberalism and globalization women move more than men. Therefore, which category can we place forced immigration and trafficking?

On page 15 under the subheading of Gender and sustainable mobility, there is a paragraph about statistics and breaking down the percentage of women and men using sustainable modes of transport. I am interested to know where and how this data was collected. The author is trying to make a point that women contribute to fewer vehicle miles traveled (VMT)than men. However the author misses the fact maybe women are on foot or using cycling as a form of transport because maybe they cannot afford a maintaining a vehicle and all that it entails.

On Bourassa, “Racism, Sexism, and Colonialism” and NWAC recommendations, “Gender Matters”
 It is odd to me that an Aboriginal person can lose their status, when this can be described as being part of a cultural identity. Does the problem exist in the labeling of people? If you lose you status you may not be accepted back into the nation again, because you lost that label or the symbol of your actions portrays that you are identifying with a different culture. With regard to the article, why is it that we still enforce these policies that continue to divide Aboriginal women (see footnote in article). Does this relate to the “Downside of State Support” article? It seems again that the government is creating divisions within policies which divide people, more specifically women.

The NWAC (2012) contends that historic inequities and traditional community beliefs upheld in customary law should not outweigh contemporary priorities for Aboriginal women (Jackson, as cited in Bourassa et al, 2004). Do you believe that it is possible for Aboriginal women today to reach gender equity in the face of such challenges as discriminatory status entitlements and bands who fall back on the Indian Act’s earlier divisive policies? Why or why not?

One of NWAC’s recommendations called on Federal, Provincial and Territorial governments to focus on youth justice and the reintegration of youth by focusing on less punitive measures. The Youth Criminal Justice Act (2003) has some aspects which focus on reintegration of youth (although not perfect). Can you think of any other programs which have attempted/attempts, promises to solve, or adhere to some of the recommendations made by NWAC. Which recommendations stand out to you the most?

In Vancouver I see a great deal of sociopolitical divide between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women. There are several organizations and resources which offer services for Aboriginal women and the community at large but how effective and transformational are these spaces particularly for Aboriginal women’s cultural identity, health and well-being? Further I am at a loss to find inclusive programs that create a space for Aboriginal women and non-Aboriginal women to engage, learn and communicate in a way that may enable us to bridge cultural assumptions, oppression, colonialism and historical animosity. It feels as though there is a deep divide in the way that Aboriginal affairs are being conducted between government initiatives, and grassroots organizing. This tends to be a messy subject that is met with a great deal of fear and frustration which leaves our communities in a state of sociopolitical paralysis. If cultural, gender and political mobility is something we strive for how can we overcome the barriers of history and formal political structures to move forward? How can a multicultural collective be established? Is this possible given our very problematic history? The readings discuss the issues at hand but I still have no idea how one would begin to put the information and theories into practice on a larger scale than simply personal politics.

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