Ann Oberhauser, professor of geography at West Virginia University, has co-edited “Global Perspectives on Gender and Space: Engaging Feminism and Development,” a book exploring the link between gender and global development.

Oberhauser co-edited the book with Ibipo Johnston-Anumonwo, professor of geography at State University of New York College at Cortland. Johnston-Anumonwo, originally from Lagos, Nigeria, and Oberhauser have worked together since they were students at Clark University’s Graduate School of Geography.

The book, which includes the work of researchers from across the world, provides geographic comparisons of widespread gender inequality that impact power dynamics and social change.

The topics in this collection broaden society’s understanding of “the economy, public policy, the environment and societal structures that shape women’s, and men’s, gendered worlds,” according to the book’s introduction. “Case studies from communities and regions in South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, North America and the Caribbean illustrate diverse, yet related socio-economic and political contexts in which women struggle to empower themselves.”

The book, divided into three sections, showcases the following issues:

  • The impact of neoliberal policies on transnational migration, public services and microfinance programs
  • Feminist and participatory methodologies employed in the evaluation of land use, women’s cooperatives and liberation struggles
  • Gendered approaches to climate change, natural disasters and conservation in the global South.

Each of the issues is filtered through a feminist geography perspective, an approach that applies the theories, methods and practice of feminism to studies of the environment, society, and space.

For example, one chapter by Ram Alagan and Seela Aladuwaka, who earned their doctorates in geography from WVU, analyzes how women and men were affected differently by the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka.

“When the tsunami hit, women were more vulnerable than men, because they tended to be closer to the home itself,” Oberhauser said.

“Also, because of their clothing, they couldn’t run as fast, and in that society, too, girls aren’t taught to swim, whereas boys are in and around water all the time.”

Oberhauser’s research interests include gender and economic restructuring, rural development, women’s economic networks and feminist methodology.

In March, she was awarded the 2014 Mary Catherine Buswell Award for her efforts advancing the concerns of women.

Oberhauser received her master’s degree and doctorate from the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University.

For more information, contact Ann Oberhauser at (304) 293-2249 or



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