If Another World is Possible, Who is Doing the Imagining? Building an Ecofeminist Development Alternative in a Time of Deep Systemic Crisis


Mapondera, Margaret, Trusha Reddy, and Samantha Hargreaves. 2020. If Another World is Possible, Who is Doing the Imagining? Building an Ecofeminist Development Alternative in a Time of Deep Systemic Crisis. The Bread & Butter Series 6. African Women's Development Fund. 

Authors: Margaret Mapondera, Trusha Reddy, Samantha Hargreaves


This article discusses the ecological and climate crisis, as a critical dimension of the manifold threats facing the planet and most of its peoples today. We locate the crises in an economic system founded on production for profit which places nature in service of the minority of the world’s people. This economic system meets patriarchy which subjects women to extreme exploitation of their labour and their bodies. In the article, we critique mainstream solutions to the climate crisis, many of them technological in nature, which are false, distract us from the real problems, and are serving to perpetuate further injustice and inequality between peoples. The article considers some key struggles against fossil fuels and large-scale energy projects in Africa, and outlines what women are defending and proposing in their resistances. The article points out that women are protecting the environments and ecosystems upon which their lives and that of their families and communities depend. They are defending the rights of future generations to have air to breathe, water to drink, and safe food to eat. And they are resisting the imposition of projects that are contributing to planetary destruction. We argue that the majority of women in Africa, who carry the burden of the climate and ecological crisis and who have paradoxically contributed the least to the problem, are practicing and proposing, in their resistance, a development alternative which all humanity must respect and echo if we and the planet are to survive. The article concludes by describing and promoting an Africa-wide charter building process in which working class and peasant women will define a Just Development Agenda for nature and humanity.

Topics: Class, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods Regions: Africa

Year: 2020

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