Project Description

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  • Gender, economy, environment and development

  • Gender Equality in Low-Carbon/”Green” Economies

  • NGOs and civil society organizations



Professor; Canada Research Chair in Global Women’s Issues; Member, The College of the Royal Society of Canada (2015);
Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, Western University

Bipasha Baruah is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Global Women’s Issues at Western University. Professor Baruah earned a PhD in environmental studies from York University, Toronto, in 2005. She specializes in interdisciplinary research at the intersections of gender, economy, environment, and development. Most of her current research aims to understand how to ensure that a global low-carbon economy will be more gender equitable and socially just than its fossil-fuel based predecessor. Author of a book and more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and other works, Professor Baruah serves frequently as an expert reviewer and advisor to Canadian and intergovernmental environmental protection and international development organizations. The Royal Society of Canada named her to The College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists in 2015. “The College” is Canada’s only national system of multidisciplinary recognition for the emerging generation of Canadian intellectual leadership. Every year, it names individuals who have made exceptional professional contributions to Canada and the world within 15 years of completing their doctorates.

I am currently working on 3 major research programs:

1. How to promote social equity in the global green economy Devising concrete solutions for transitioning to a more socially equitable but less carbon-intensive (green) economy is an urgent global priority. This 5-year SSHRC-funded research project builds upon 2 previous SSHRC Knowledge Synthesis Grants (awarded in 2015 and 2017) that enabled the collection of secondary data on existing initiatives that promote employment equity in 4 sectors (clean energy, construction, manufacturing, transportation) that are critical to the Canadian and global green economy. Whereas previous research enabled us to simply document and synthesize information about existing programs and initiatives, this research program entails collecting primary data to understand them in more detail, to evaluate them for their effectiveness in promoting employment equity, and to understand their potential for replication in Canada and elsewhere. The primary focus of the proposed research is on policies and programs to promote decent work in the green economy (as defined by the International Labour Organization) in these 4 sectors and in 4 additional sectors: mining, forestry, agriculture, waste management and remediation. Employment equity, as defined by the Canadian Employment Equity Act, requires employers to engage in proactive employment practices to increase the representation of 4 designated groups: women, workers with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, and visible minorities. We include rural Canadians and newcomers to Canada in our definition of employment equity because they have been identified as underrepresented groups in Canada’s green economy.

2. What does degrowth say about gender equality and social justice? The concept of degrowth or planned economic contraction — through strategies such as work-time reduction, part-time work, job sharing and flexible work, and the simultaneous expansion of social security nets through policies such as Universal Basic Income and Universal Social Protection — has received significant attention within some European countries since the first International Degrowth Conference for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity was held in Paris in 2008. An evolving body of scientific evidence has emerged in the past decade that almost unanimously endorses the role degrowth in industrialized countries can play in balancing global economic needs with environmental concerns, thereby enabling humans to live within the Earth’s carrying capacity. However, within this literature, the link between degrowth and environmental sustainability is much more clearly established than the link between degrowth, gender equality and social justice. This SSHRC-funded research project reviews the existing literature and evidence on degrowth, gender equality and social equity, and identifies potential impacts degrowth in industrialized countries may have on gender relations, gender equality and social equity.

3. Gender equality, climate change and agriculture in the MENA region: priorities and possibilities The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is both disproportionately vulnerable to compound climate fragility risks and among the most gender unequal regions in the world. This ongoing research program is carried out in collaboration with the International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) with funding from various sources including the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization. It enables us to understand the opportunities and challenges women experience in agriculture, the gendered effects and outcomes of climate change upon agriculture, and the roles women have played and could play in the future in adapting and building resilience to climate effects. We also identify gaps in evidence and knowledge and make practical recommendations for future research and public policy.

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

  1. Najjar, D. and B. Baruah. 2023. “Even the goats feel the heat:” gender, livestock rearing, rangeland cultivation, and climate change adaptation in Tunisia. Climate and Development. DOI: 10.1080/17565529.2023.2253773
  2. Baruah, B. and S. Biskupski-Mujanovic. 2023. Indigenous Women’s Employment in Natural Resource Industries in Canada. Women’s Studies International Forum 99: 102784.
  3. Baada, J., B. Baruah and I. Luginaah. 2023. Limit(ation)s, sustainability, and the future of climate migration. Dialogues in Human Geography. DOI: 10.1177/20438206231177071
  4. Baruah, B. and C. Gaudet. 2022. Creating and Optimizing Employment Opportunities for Women in the Clean Energy Sector in Canada. Journal of Canadian Studies 56(2): 240-270.
  5. Ragetlie, R., D. Najjar and B. Baruah. 2021. Paying “Lip Service” to Gender Equality: The Hollow Implementation of Gender Mainstreaming in Jordan. Civil Society Review 5: 18-45.
  6. Baada, J., Baruah, B., Sano, Y. & I. Luginaah. 2021. Mothers in a ‘Strange Land’: Migrant Women Farmers’ Reproductive Health in the Brong-Ahafo Region of Ghana. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 32(2): 910-930.
  7. Martel, A., Reilly-King, F. and B. Baruah. 2021. Next Generation of Knowledge Partnerships for Global Development. Introduction. Canadian Journal of Development Studies DOI: 10.1080/02255189.2021.1919065
  8. Baruah, Bipasha and S. Biskupski-Mujanovic. 2021. Navigating sticky floors and glass ceilings: Barriers and opportunities for women’s employment in natural resources industries in Canada. Natural Resources Forum DOI: 10.1111/1477-8947.12216
  9. Baada, J., Baruah, B. and I. Luginaah. 2020. Looming crisis – changing climatic conditions in Ghana’s breadbasket: the experiences of agrarian migrants. Development in Practice DOI: 10.1080/09614524.2020.1854184
  10. Najjar, D., Baruah, B. and A. El Garhi. 2020. Gender and Asset Ownership in the Old and New Lands of Egypt. Feminist Economics, DOI: 10.1080/13545701.2020.1743877

Book Chapters

  1. Baruah, B. 2022. Gender Equality and Empowerment in the Social and Solidarity Economy. In Yi, I. etal (eds.) Encyclopedia of the Social and Solidarity Economy. Cheltenham and Northampton, MA. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited in partnership with United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE).
  2. Baruah, B. and S. Biskupski-Mujanovic. 2021. Closing the Gender Gaps in Energy Sector Recruitment, Retention and Advancement. In Webb, J., Tingey, M. & F. Wade (eds.) Research Handbook on Energy and Society. Edinburgh, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. pp. 169-184.
  3. Ferroukhi, R., López, C. & B. Baruah. 2021. Global Trends in Women’s Employment in Renewable Energy: Continuities, Disruptions, Contradictions. In Williams, A. & I. Luginaah (eds.) Gender Matters Globally: Geography, Health and Sustainability. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 56-78.
  4. Baada, J. and B. Baruah. 2021. Internal migration as a determinant of antenatal care in the Brong-Ahafo Region, Ghana: Does length of residence matter? In Williams, A. & I. Luginaah (eds.) Gender Matters Globally: Geography, Health and Sustainability. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 183-199.
  5. Najjar, D., Dhehibi, B., Baruah, B., Aw-Hassan, A. and A. Bentaibi. 2021. Climate-Induced Migration, Women, and Decision-Making Power in the Agricultural Wage Sector in Saiss, Morocco. In Eastin J. and K. Dupuy (eds.) Gender, Climate Change and Livelihoods: Vulnerabilities and Adaptations. Oxfordshire, UK: CAB International. pp. 185-195.
  6. Najjar. D. and B. Baruah. 2021. Gender and climate change adaptation in livestock production in Tunisia. In Eastin J. and K. Dupuy (eds.) Gender, Climate Change and Livelihoods: Vulnerabilities and Adaptations. Oxfordshire, UK: CAB International. pp. 143-158.
  7. Baruah, B. and S. Biskupski-Mujanovic. 2021. Gender Analysis of Policymaking in Construction and Transportation: Denial and Disruption in the Canadian Green Economy. In Magnusdottir G.L. & A. Kronsell (eds.) Gender, intersectionality and climate institutions in industrialised states. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 143-163.
  8. Baruah, B. 2021. Women on Wheels in New Delhi, India: Can Social Innovation Promote Gender Equality? In Kim, E. & H. Miura (eds.) Social Economy in Asia: Realities and Perspectives. New York and London: Lexington Books. pp. 173-196.
  9. Masikini, N. and B. Baruah. 2020. Gender Equity in the “Sharing” Economy: Possibilities and Limitations. Saraswati, L.A., Shaw, B. and H. Rellihan (eds). Introduction to Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies: Interdisciplinary and Intersectional Approaches (2nd Edition). New York and London: Oxford University Press. pp. 483-488.