Women on the Frontlines of Resistance to Extractivism


Cirefice, V’Cenza, and Lynda Sullivan. 2019. ‘Women on the Frontlines of Resistance to Extractivism.’ Policy and Practice: A Development Education Review, no. 29, 78–99.

Authors: V'Cenza Cirefice, Lynda Sullivan


We are living in extreme times with planetary boundaries being breached and our current economic model pushing life to collapse.  The pressure to switch to renewable energy can no longer be avoided.  However, many industry actors want to continue with our current economic model and simply switch the energy source.  For this to happen, mining needs to increase dramatically.  Rural and indigenous communities are disproportionately impacted by mining and other extractive industries, with severe negative consequences on local livelihoods, community cohesion and the environment.  In this article we will explore the gendered impacts experienced by these communities, which see women facing the worst impacts of a neoliberal extractive agenda.  Conversely, women are leading the resistance to extractivism and stepping outside of traditional gender roles to be leaders in movements fighting destructive extraction.  We will draw upon examples from the Americas, through a lens of ecofeminism and feminist political ecology, to explore how the women of these movements are demanding systematic change to the paradigms of capitalism, colonialism and patriarchy – highlighting that these forms of domination are connected and thus, need to be eliminated together.

Keywords: ecofeminism, extractivism, feminist political ecology, resistance, climate change, neoliberalism, gender, Americas

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Environment, Climate Change, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Indigenous, Livelihoods Regions: Americas

Year: 2019

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