Gender, Environmental Degradation and Eco-Feminism


Bell, Karen, Karen Kime, and Heather Boetto. 2019. "Gender, Environmental Degradation and Eco-Feminism." In Social Work Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability Volume 2, edited by Meredith Powers and Michaela Rinkel, 117-37. Bern: International Federation of Social Workers.

Authors: Karen Bell, Karen Kime, Heather Boetto


This chapter focuses on eco-feminism, gender oppression, the gendered impacts of environmental degradation and climate change. It also outlines how eco-feminism can inform ecosocial approaches to practice. The lesson is based on a week-long learning module from a semester-long course developed by the authors to explore holistic ecosocial practice in the human services. The learning material is appropriate for individual engagement as well as for groups. Participation is possible via online or on-campus delivery and the range of material will appeal to varied learning styles. Stimulus material is included in each section of the module and questions for consideration are proposed to encourage critical reflection and peer-to-peer interaction. Students are provided with material about gender oppression as a global issue, eco-feminism is defined and the work of some key theorists is explored in relation to ecosocial practice.

In the concluding section we outline how eco-feminism can inform eco-social practice. Using an online case study as a basis for critical reflection, we explore the multidimensional impacts of environmental degradation via a structured learning activity with stimulus questions for discussion and guided reflection.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender

Year: 2019

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