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Feminisms

"Para el Bien Común" Indigenous Women's Environmental Activism and Community Care Work in Guatemala

Citation:

Hallum-Montes, Rachel. 2012. “‘Para El Bien Común’ Indigenous Women’s Environmental Activism and Community Care Work in Guatemala.” Race, Gender & Class 19 (1/2): 104–30.

Author: Rachel Hallum-Montes

Abstract:

This article adopts an "eco-intersectional" perspective to examine the motivations and strategies that guide indigenous women's environmental activism in Guatemala. A total of 33 indigenous Kaqchikel women who work with a transnational environmental organization were interviewed in 2006 and 2009. The interviews reveal that gender, race, and class figured prominently in women's decisions to become environmental activists. Women mobilized around their identities as mothers and caregivers, and viewed their environmental activism as a way of caring for both their families and the indigenous community. Women also linked their local activism to larger social movements—including the indigenous, women's, and environmental movements. The article concludes by discussing recommendations for academic, activist, and policy work.

Keywords: gender, indigenous, environment, Guatemala, ecofeminism

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Women, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Race Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Guatemala

Year: 2012

An Offering from the Bayou

Citation:

Pichon Battle, Collette. 2021. “An Offering from the Bayou.” In All We Can Save, edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson. Penguin Random House.

Author: Collette Pichon Battle

Annotation:

Book Summary:

There is a renaissance blooming in the climate movement: leadership that is more characteristically feminine and more faithfully feminist, rooted in compassion, connection, creativity, and collaboration. While it’s clear that women and girls are vital voices and agents of change for this planet, they are too often missing from the proverbial table. More than a problem of bias, it’s a dynamic that sets us up for failure. To change everything, we need everyone.

All We Can Save illuminates the expertise and insights of dozens of diverse women leading on climate in the United States—scientists, journalists, farmers, lawyers, teachers, activists, innovators, wonks, and designers, across generations, geographies, and race—and aims to advance a more representative, nuanced, and solution-oriented public conversation on the climate crisis. These women offer a spectrum of ideas and insights for how we can rapidly, radically reshape society.

Intermixing essays with poetry and art, this book is both a balm and a guide for knowing and holding what has been done to the world, while bolstering our resolve never to give up on one another or our collective future. We must summon truth, courage, and solutions to turn away from the brink and toward life-giving possibility. Curated by two climate leaders, the book is a collection and celebration of visionaries who are leading us on a path toward all we can save. (Summary from Penguin Random House)

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Gender, Girls, Women Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2021

Gender Dimensions of Sustainable Consumption

Citation:

Weller, Ines. 2017. “Gender Dimensions of Sustainable Consumption.” In Routledge Handbook of Gender and Environment, edited by Sherilyn MacGregor, 331–44. London: Routldege.

Author: Ines Weller

Annotation:

Summary:

Sustainable consumption and production patterns have been prominent issues from the very start of the sustainable development debate. In fact, Agenda 21, the plan of action adopted at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro stated that ‘the major cause of the continued deterioration of the global environment is the unsustainable pattern of consumption and production, particularly in industrialized coun-
tries . . .’ (UN 1992:31). Although the urgent need for fundamental changes in consumption and production patterns, which would transform societies and push them in the direction of sustainable development, has been recognized since that time, particularly in the Global North, there are still very few signs that any such transformation is taking place. World energy consumption grows unabated as global carbon emissions continue to rise. The fundamental inequalities between the Global North and South also remain, despite very high rates of growth in the newly industrialized and developing countries of the Global South in particular (IEA 2013). In this context, and especially in the context of sustainable patterns of consumption and production, the attitudes and behaviours of private citizens and consumers, their perceptions of environmental problems, and associated use of resources all play an important role. Hitherto, however, these debates have neglected the significance of gender, gender relations, and gender justice for sustainable consumption.

In this chapter, I will focus on debates and research in Germany/Western Europe. I begin by introducing the definitions, objectives, and areas of responsibility of various actors for sustainable consumption. This compact overview focuses in particular on the relationship between production and consumption as gendered societal spheres. I then move on to consider the tension that exists between the theory of privatized environmental responsibility, on the one hand, which criticizes tendencies to overstate and moralize the power of private consumers to shape change and, on the other, women as change agents for more sustainable consumption. The next part of the chapter is organized around the distinction, which is useful for analyzing the gender aspects of sustainable consumption, between explicit and implicit gender dimensions. With reference to feminist theorist Sandra Harding (1986), I draw together the individual and structural levels of gender as explicit gender dimensions. Both of these are for the most part based on statistical data and empirical findings, particularly concerning gender differences and, in this respect, link to ambivalence between the analysis of gender and gender hierarchies, on the one hand, and the reproduction of traditional gender images and dichotomies on the other. The discussion focuses in particular on the symbolic conceptual level of gender, which I consider in detail in relation to a specific example. The background is the feminist critique of the claim of the natural sciences to objectivity (Orland and Scheich 1995). Drawing on the example of a study on the volume of food waste, I draw attention to several gender-related ‘blank spaces’ and gaps in the data that have been produced in this field. This emerges more clearly from closer consideration of the treatment given to male-coded production and female-coded consumption. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Development, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Justice Regions: Europe, Western Europe Countries: Germany

Year: 2017

Is This the Future We Want? An Ecofeminist Comment on the UN Conference on Sustainable Development Outcome Document

Citation:

Wilkinson, Kate. 2016. “Is This the Future We Want? An Ecofeminist Comment on the UN Conference on Sustainable Development Outcome Document.” In The Public Law of Gender: From the Local to the Global, edited by Kim Rubenstein and Katharine G. Young, 538–60. Cambridge University Press.

Author: Kate Wilkinson

Annotation:

Summary:
"In 2012, governments and people from across the globe reconvened in Rio de Janeiro for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), twenty years after the landmark UN Conference on the Environment and Development (UNCED). This conference was part of a long political process to refine and implement the concept of sustainable development so as to achieve the interrelated policy aims of environmental sustainability and socioeconomic development. At the UNCSD, governments met with one main objective: to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development. In order to achieve this, governments agreed to discuss three thematic areas in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. Two of these themes considered the green economy in the context of the latter and an institutional framework for sustainable development. The Conference resulted in a political Outcome Document, entitled the ‘The Future We Want’, which compiled the views, aspirations and objectives of governments to achieve sustainable development" (
Wilkinson 2016, 538-39).

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Year: 2016

How Women Can Save the Planet

Citation:

Karpf, Anne. 2021. How Women Can Save the Planet. Hurst Publishers.

Author: Anne Karpf

Annotation:

Summary: 
Here’s a perverse truth: from New Orleans to Bangladesh, women—especially poor women of colour—are suffering most from a crisis they have done nothing to cause. Yet where, in environmental policy, are the voices of elderly European women dying in heatwaves? Of African girls dropping out of school due to drought? Our highest-profile climate activists are women and girls; but, at the top table, it’s men deciding the earth’s future.
 
We’re not all in it together—but we could be. Instead of expecting individual women to save the planet, what we need are visionary, global climate policies that are gender-inclusive and promote gender equality.
 
Anne Karpf shines a light on the radical ideas, compelling research and tireless campaigns, led by and for women around the world, that have inspired her to hope. Her conversations with female activists show how we can fight back, with strength in diversity. And, faced with the most urgent catastrophe of our times, she offers a powerful vision: a Green New Deal for Women.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe

Year: 2021

“Now We Have Equality”: A Feminist Political Ecology Analysis of Carbon Markets in Oaxaca, Mexico

Citation:

Gay-Antaki, Miriam. 2016. “‘Now We Have Equality’: A Feminist Political Ecology Analysis of Carbon Markets in Oaxaca, Mexico.” Journal of Latin American Geography 15 (3): 49–66.

Author: Miriam Gay-Antaki

Abstract:

Carbon projects follow a neoliberal logic that stresses that nature is best conserved via market mechanisms. Studies and experiences of the impacts of development projects on communities and feminist political ecologies suggest that women, the elderly, the young, the poor, and the indigenous often perceive projects differently, benefit and lose in different ways, or shape the projects on the ground to fit their needs. Carbon projects have differentiated impacts within a community especially on the poor, women, and ecology; however, these differences do not tend to be the main focus of scholarship. The research presented here focuses on the effects of a wind project and a small scale reforestation project and the convergence of environment, gender and development as these are introduced into communities in Oaxaca, Mexico. This paper expands on carbon offset literature in Mexico by looking at the differential impacts of technologies on geographies and people with specific attention to gender. I find that there are important gendered differences between the wind and the forest projects, and suggest that a Feminist Political Ecology perspective is a necessary, though infrequently employed, lens through which to understand the impacts of carbon markets.

Keywords: feminist political ecology, Oaxaca, carbon projects

Topics: Development, Environment, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Indigenous Regions: Americas Countries: Mexico

Year: 2016

Access, Control and Ownership: Women and Sustainable Environmental Management in Africa

Citation:

Kameri-Mbote, Patricia. 2007. “Access, Control and Ownership: Women and Sustainable Environmental Management in Africa.” Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equity, no. 72: 36–46.

Author: Patricia Kameri-Mbote

Annotation:

"Both the Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies (NFLS) and the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) identify the need to upscale women's participation in environmental decision-making as a strategic action in the improvement of the overall status of women. This paper looks at the link between gender and environmental management, underscoring the disjuncture between the women's movement and the environment movement in Africa" (Kameri-Mbote, 2007, 37).

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Women Regions: Africa

Year: 2007

Ecological Borderlands: Body, Nature, and Spirit in Chicana Feminism

Citation:

Holmes, Christina. 2016.  Ecological Borderlands: Body, Nature, and Spirit in Chicana Feminism. University of Illinois Press. 

Author: Christina Holmes

Abstract:

Environmental practices among Mexican American women have spurred a reconsideration of ecofeminism among Chicana feminists. This book examines ecological themes across the arts, Chicana activism, and direct action groups to reveal how Chicanas can craft alternative models for ecofeminist processes. The book revisits key debates to analyze issues surrounding embodiment, women's connections to nature, and spirituality's role in ecofeminist philosophy and practice. By doing so, it challenges Chicanas to escape the narrow frameworks of the past in favor of an inclusive model of environmental feminism that alleviates Western biases. The book uses readings of theory, elaborations of ecological narratives in Chicana cultural productions, histories of human and environmental rights struggles in the Southwest, and a description of an activist exemplar to underscore the importance of living with decolonializing feminist commitment in body, nature, and spirit. The book attempts to revitalize ecofeminist theory by investigating its intersections with other theoretical traditions, including Chicana and new materialist feminisms.

Keywords: Mexican-American women, Chicana feminism, Chicana activism, direct action groups, ecofeminism, environmental feminism, ecofeminist philosophy

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2016

Feminisms, the Environment and Capitalism: On the Necessary Ecological Dimension of a Critical Latin American Feminism

Citation:

Schild, Verónica. 2019. “Feminisms, the Environment and Capitalism: On the Necessary Ecological Dimension of a Critical Latin American Feminism.” Journal of International Women’s Studies 20 (6): 23–43.

Author: Verónica Schild

Abstract:

Latin American women are on the move today, taking their demands to the streets throughout the region in unprecedented numbers. What these demands reveal is a growing frustration and anger among women with the distance between official democratic promises and protections and the limited gains in basic rights, even the reversal of minimal achievements in places like Central America and Brazil. Feminists are weaving together different struggles into an intersectional movement explicitly linking gender demands to the end of a neoliberal capitalist model of development and its devastating social, economic and ecological effects on Latin America’s overwhelming majority. A critical Latin American feminism aimed at apprehending the present predicament of women in the region, I suggest, needs to extend its commitment to producing knowledge from below and to the left, by reaching further, and engaging critically with Marx and his feminist critics. Given the widespread impact of the present capitalist modernity, tethered to neo-extractivism, not only on the lives of peasant and indigenous Latin Americans but also of increasingly broader sectors of rural and urban society and in particular, on the lives of women, it is imperative that we understand the structural nature of the relation between women, capitalism and nature.

Topics: Development, Environment, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Intersectionality, Rights

Year: 2019

Equality, Harmony, and the Environment: An Ecofeminist Approach to Understanding the Role of Cultural Values on the Treatment of Women and Nature

Citation:

Bloodhart, Brittany, and Janet K. Swim. 2010. “Equality, Harmony, and the Environment: An Ecofeminist Approach to Understanding the Role of Cultural Values on the Treatment of Women and Nature.” Ecopsychology 2 (3): 187–94. 

Authors: Brittany Bloodhart, Janet K. Swim

Abstract:

This research investigated the associations between hegemonic cultural values, gender equality, and environmental protection. Psychologists have largely studied domination of people over other people (e.g., men over women) rather than domination of people over the environment. Ecofeminism, however, theorizes that hegemonic systems of power and oppression materialize both as domination of men over women and as domination of people over the environment, leading to degradation of the ecosystems. Consequently, we theorize that gender inequality and impacts on the natural world should be related at a national level, and that cultural tendencies to prioritize hegemonic values of hierarchy of people (rather than egalitarianism) and mastery over the environment (rather than harmony) should be related to negative environmental impacts and gender inequality. Data from the United Nations (2009) on gender equality and women's empowerment, Schwartz's (2006) assessment of cultural value orientation, and Yale's Environmental Performance Index (2008) generally support ecofeminist predictions: controlling for gross domestic product, gender empowerment is related to a country's tendency to exploit the environment, and cultural hegemonic values are predictive of gender inequality and environmental exploitation. However, gender empowerment mediates the relationship between hegemony and environmental health, whereas it is mutually predictive with hegemony of ecosystem vitality. These results may be influenced by women's representation in law and policy creation as well as by men's differential self-interest in their own health over the health of animals, the biosphere, and marginalized human groups.

Topics: Economies, Ecological Economics, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health

Year: 2010

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