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Le Féminisme ou la Mort


Eubonne, Françoise d'. 1974. Le Féminisme Ou La Mort. Paris: P. Horay.

Author: Françoise d' Eubonne



"It was not until the 1974 publication of Le Féminisme ou la Mort by French feminist author and civil rights activist Françoise d´Eaubonne (1920-2005) that a term to describe feminist efforts and attitudes towards environmental practices was coined: Ecofeminism. In her book, d´Eaubonne argues that many parallels exist between the patriarchal suppression of women and the suppression of nature, and this suppression results in environmental destruction. Since then, numerous theoretical and practical additions to d´Eaubonne’s argument have been made. Many begin by collapsing patriarchal dualisms: male/female, nature/culture, and mind/body but come to fundamentally challenge dominant epistemologies that inherently and efficiently bury other standpoints and ways of knowing. Issues such as the exploitation of nature by industrial resource consumption and Western paradigms of progress and technology have been explicitly designated as ecofeminist concerns. Furthermore, the ecofeminist movement strives for anti-oppression practices, meaning a society free of hierarchy, in which all living beings interact equally and are treated as parts of a common organism, the Earth" (Summary from Environment & Society Portal).

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Patriarchy

Year: 1974

Ecofeminism Revisited: Introduction to the Discourse


Dātār, Chāyā. 2011. Ecofeminism Revisited: Introduction to the Discourse. Jaipur: Rawat Publications.

Author: Chāyā Dātār



"Most strands of feminism uphold, in varying degrees, the modernist dichotomy between nature and culture. Simone de Beauvoir, in her book Second Sex, points out that this distinction equates women with nature (characterized by their biological composition) and men with culture (characterized by their ‘risk-taking’ behaviour). Liberal and Marxist feminists argue that the traditional notion of a connection between women and nature is a relic of patriarchy—an instrument of oppression—which should be allowed to wither away. For them, ecofeminism smacks of essentialism (biological determinism). Despite such criticism, one needs to acknowledge the fact that exploring ecofeminist arguments rising from a material base (social, historical, dialectical) creates support in favour of alternative development models as opposed to market-oriented capitalist ones. Poor women often find a potential for liberation within such models. It also provides a better understanding of movements like the Narmada Bachao Andolan, opposition to SEZ etc. which strongly emphasise on women in the third world, their concern for food security and as such their vested interest in the preservation of ecological bases for the survival of their communities. Concepts like ‘decentralised communities’, ‘subsistence production’ etc. need to be understood against a theoretical background which justifies the need to start thinking about alternative development models. The book aims at an introduction to the discourse of ecofeminism as a perspective from which to understand the world around us, where women’s concerns of reproduction and subsistence are placed at the centre stage of the human activities" (Summary from Rawat Publications). 

Topics: Development, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2011

Reclaim the Earth: Women Speak Out for Life on Earth


Caldecott, Léonie, and Stephanie Leland, eds. 1983. Reclaim the Earth: Women Speak Out for Life on Earth. London: Women’s Press.

Authors: Léonie Caldecott, Stephanie Leland



Essays discuss nuclear proliferation, chemical pollution, land rights, childbirth, infanticide, ecology, and feminist activities around the world (Summary from Google Books).

Table of Contents:

1. The Eco-Feminist Imperative
Ynestra King

2. Unity Statement
Women’s​ Pentagon Action

3. Unholy Secrets: The Impact of the Nuclear Age on Public Health
Rosalie Bertell

4. The Long Death (poem)
Marge Piercy

5. Sveso Is Everywhere
Women’s Working Group, Geneva; translated and extracted from the French by Frances Howard-Gordon

6. The Politics of Women’s Health
Nancy Worcester

7. Feminism: Healing the Patriarchal Dis-Ease
Jill Raymond and Janice Wilson

8. Ask A Stupid Question (poem)
Susan Saxe

9. Feminism and Ecology: Theoretical Connections
Stephanie Leland

10. Roots: Black Ghetto Ecology
Wilmette Brown

11. Seeds That Bear Fruit: A Japanese Woman Speaks
Manami Suzuki

12. Another Country (poem)
Marge Piercy

13. Thought for Food
Liz Butterworth

14. The Power to Feed Ourselves : Women and Land Rights
Barbara Rogers

15.  The Land Is Our Life: A Pacific Experience
Léonie Caldecott

16. A Micronesian Woman (poem)
Rosalie Bertell

17.  Greening the Desert: Women of Kenya Reclaim Land
Maggie Jones and Wanagari Maathai

18.  Greening the Cities: Creating a Hospitable Environment for Women and Children
Penelope Leach

19.  Against Nuclearisation and Beyond
Statement of Sicilian women

20. For the Hiroshima Maidens (poem)
Léonie Caldecott

21. Gaea: The Earth as Our Spiritual Heritage
Jean Freer

22. He Wanine, He Whenau: Maori Women and the Environment
Ngahuia Te Awekotuku

23. All of One Flesh: The Rights of Animals
Norma Benney

24. The Mothers Do Not Disappear
Marta Zabaleta; translated by Jackie Rodick

25. Invisible Casualities: Women Servicing Militarism
Lesley Merryfinch

26. Alternative Technology: A Feminist Technology?
Chris Thomas

27. Safety and Survival
Margaret Wright

28. Birth: The Agony or the Ecstasy?
Caroline Wyndham

29. A New Form of Female Infanticide
Manushi Collective

30. Saving Trees, Saving Lives: Third World Women and the Issue of Survival
Anita Anand

31. Time for Women: New Patterns of Work
Sheila Rothwell

32. Personal, Political and Planetary Play

33. The Warp and the Weft: The Coming Synthesis of Eco-Philosophy and Eco-Feminism
Hazel Henderson

34. Prayer for Continuation (poem)
Susan Griffin

Topics: Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Health, Infrastructure, Urban Planning, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Political Participation, Race, Rights, Land Rights, Security, Food Security, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Regions: Africa, East Africa, Asia, East Asia, Oceania Countries: Japan, Kenya, Micronesia, New Zealand

Year: 1983

Ecofeminism: Exploitation of Women and Nature


Anjum, Tasneem. 2020. “Ecofeminism: Exploitation of Women and Nature.” International Journal of English Literature and Social Sciences 5 (4): 846-8.

Author: Tasneem Anjum


Ecofeminism fuses ecology and feminism into one and seeks to draw parallels between the exploitation of the environment and the exploitation of women. It believes that the earth is interconnected, and nature does not recognize human boundaries. It holds that one of the reasons for the destruction of the Earth is that patriarchy only values the masculine traits of conquering and dominance and devalues the ‘feminine’ traits of life-giving and nurturing. The patriarchal culture has been habitual to see women and nature as ‘objects’.

Keywords: environment, ecology, exploitation, feminism

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Femininity/ies, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy

Year: 2020

Family, Gender, and Labour in the Greek Mines, 1860–1940


Papastefanaki, Leda. 2020. “Family, Gender, and Labour in the Greek Mines, 1860–1940.” International Review of Social History 65 (2): 267–88.

Author: Leda Papastefanaki


To date, research on work in the mines in Greece has ignored the significance of gender in the workplace, since mining is associated exclusively with male labour. As such, it is considered, indirectly, not subject to gender relations. The article examines the influence of family and gender relations on labour in the Greek mines in the period 1860–1940 by highlighting migration trajectories, paternalistic practices, and the division of labour in mining communities. Sources include: official publications of the Mines Inspectorate and the Mines and Industrial Censuses, the Greek Miners’ Fund Archive, British and French consular reports, various economic and technical reports by experts, literature and narratives, the local press from mining regions, and the Archive of the Seriphos Mines.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Extractive Industries, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy Regions: Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Greece

Year: 2020

When Subterranean Slavery Supports Sustainability Transitions? Power, Patriarchy, and Child Labor in Artisanal Congolese Cobalt Mining


Sovacool, Benjamin K. 2021. “When Subterranean Slavery Supports Sustainability Transitions? Power, Patriarchy, and Child Labor in Artisanal Congolese Cobalt Mining.” The Extractive Industries and Society 8 (1): 271–93.

Author: Benjamin K. Sovacool


Through the critical lenses of “modern slavery,” “dispossession,” and “gendering,” this study examines the contours of power, patriarchy, and child labor in the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) of cobalt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). There, a veritable mining boom for cobalt is underway, driven by rising global demand for batteries and other modern digital devices needed for future sustainability transitions. Based on extensive and original field research in the DRC—including 23 semi-structured expert interviews with a purposive sample, 48 semi-structured community interviews with ASM miners, traders, and community mem­ bers, and site visits to 17 artisanal mines, processing centers, and trading depots—this study asks: What power relations does ASM cobalt mining embed? What are its effects on patriarchy and gender relations? Critically, what is the extent and severity of child labor? It documents the exploitation of ASM miners by the government, the police, and even at times other mining actors such as traders or local communities. It reveals the often invisible gendered nature of mining, showing how many vulnerabilities—in terms of work, status, social norms, and sexual abuse and prostitution—fall disproportionately on women and girls. It lastly reveals sobering patterns of child labor and abuse, again at times by the government or police, but other times by families or mining communities themselves. These factors can at times make cobalt mining a modern form of slavery and a catalyst for social, economic, and even regional dispossession. However, rather than despair, the study also draws from its empirical data to showcase how mining can in selected situations empower. It also proposes a concerted mix of policy reforms aimed the Congolese government (at all scales, including local and national); suppliers and enduser companies for cobalt; and international governments and trading bodies. In doing so, the study humanizes the plight of Congolese cobalt artisanal miners, reveals the power relations associated with the recent mining boom, and also proposes pathways for positive change.

Keywords: artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM), Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Copper, Cobalt, modern slavery, disposession

Topics: Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Girls, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Governance, Multi-National Corporations, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2021

Mine Decline and Women: Reflections from the Free State Goldfields


Sesele, Kentse, Lochner Marais, Deidre van Rooyen, and Jan Cloete. 2021. “Mine Decline and Women: Reflections from the Free State Goldfields.” The Extractive Industries and Society 8 (1): 211–19. 

Authors: Kentse Sesele, Lochner Marais, Deidre van Rooyen, Jan Cloete


The formal mining industry has marginalised women and created masculine and patriarchal societies. But research on the industry’s effect on women is minimal and mostly atheoretical. The finite nature of mining and its volatility makes mining societies vulnerable. The gender issue is under-recognised, particularly the way mine closure affects women. Most of the mine closure research focuses on the mines’ environmental liabilities. This paper assesses African women’s experience of mine decline and closure in South Africa’s Free State Goldfields. The transition to democracy brought equal economic and political rights (formal equality) to African women in 1994, but mine decline has reinforced gender inequalities since the early 1990s. Substantive equality remains elusive. Women were historically excluded from work in the mining industry and very few were employed in the formal mining sector. Closure of a mine makes it even more difficult for them to participate. It reinforces masculine dominance and women’s household roles while also placing pressure on them to support their households financially.

Keywords: mining, domestic labour, gender inequality

Topics: Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Gender Roles, Masculinity/ies, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Patriarchy Regions: Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2021

Mining Companies and Gender(Ed) Policies: The Women of the Congolese Copperbelt, Past and Present


Pugliese, Francesca. 2020. “Mining Companies and Gender(Ed) Policies: The Women of the Congolese Copperbelt, Past and Present.” The Extractive Industries and Society (August).

Author: Francesca Pugliese


Mining companies of the past and present have promoted specific roles for men and women through their management practices. In DR Congo, first colonial and then state-owned companies naturalised the role of men as employees and breadwinners. At the same time, women were assigned responsibility for reproduction and were understood as being financially dependent on men’s salary, either that of their fathers or husbands. By contrast, some LSM (large-scale mining) companies today support gender equality programmes, mainly to improve their corporate reputation. Drawing on the literature on women in the industrial extractive sector elsewhere in the world, I show how these discourses and processes continue to produce Congolese Copperbelt mines as masculine spaces at different levels. I then move to the ethnographic component of the paper by arguing that new investors’ gender practices and equality policies are not easily implemented in the area. On the con­ trary, they have to confront a region marked by the paternalistic social policies of mining companies in the past, which have entrenched a certain gender hegemony. Through the biographies of different women involved in the industrial mining sector past and present, I show the effects of mining companies’ policies on gender roles in Haut-Katanga Province.

Keywords: women in mining, gendered policies, gender equality, Congolese Copperbelt

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Gender Roles, Masculinity/ies, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Patriarchy, Multi-National Corporations Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2020

Extractive Industries as Sites of Supernormal Profits and Supernormal Patriarchy


Bradshaw, Sarah, Brian Linneker, and Lisa Overton. 2017. “Extractive Industries as Sites of Supernormal Profits and Supernormal Patriarchy?” Gender & Development 25 (3): 439–54. 

Authors: Sarah Bradshaw, Brian Linneker, Lisa Overton


This article considers how patriarchal power relations between men and women are produced and reproduced within extractive industries, and examines the idea that the ‘supernormal profits’ to be made there encourage the development of ‘supernormal patriarchy’. By looking at the sites where extraction takes place and relationships between men and women within these sites, we show the extreme and exaggerated gender roles and relations that are found here. We nuance this account by highlighting the need to recognise that patriarchal power is not felt equally by all women and men. Exploring the different roles women adopt in the extractives context we demonstrate the fluidity of women’s identities as workers, ‘whores’, and wives with a focus on transactional sex. The article demonstrates the importance of not seeing women merely as victims of patriarchal relations, or making assumptions about how these relations operate, or the form they take. Better understanding of the range of gender roles adopted in the extractives and the supernormal patriarchal relations that produce and reproduce these is needed by policymakers. This will enable them to promote gender equality and natural resource justice, as part of an agenda to redistribute wealth gains from natural resource extraction.

El presente artículo examina cómo son producidas y reproducidas las  relaciones de poder patriarcales entre hombres y mujeres al interior de las industrias extractivas. Además, analiza la idea de que las “utilidades
extraordinarias” que se producen allí constituyen un aliciente para el desarrollo de un “patriarcado extraordinario”. Observando los sitios en que se realiza la extracción y las relaciones entre hombres y mujeres que se establecen en los mismos, los autores dan cuenta de los roles y las relaciones de género extremos y exagerados que pueden encontrarse en estos lugares. Por otra parte, matizan estos hallazgos y destacan la necesidad de reconocer que el poder patriarcal no es experimentado de la misma manera por las mujeres que por los hombres. Al examinar los distintos roles adoptados por las mujeres en el contexto extractivo, los autores muestran la fluidez que exhiben las identidades de las mujeres como trabajadoras, como “prostitutas” y como esposas, centrándose en el sexo transaccional. El artículo señala la importancia que reviste no ver a las mujeres solo como víctimas de relaciones patriarcales, no formular supuestos sobre cómo operan estas relaciones, y no definir su forma. Por ello, los formuladores de políticas deben comprender mejor la variedad exhibida por los roles de género presentes en la industria extractiva y las relaciones patriarcales extraordinarias que se producen y reproducen a partir de los mismos. De esta manera podrán promover la igualdad de género y la justicia en torno a los recursos naturales como parte de una agenda orientada a distribuir las ganancias producidas por su extracción.

Cet article traite de la manière dont les rapports de force patriarcaux entre les hommes et les femmes sont produits et reproduits au sein des industries extractives, et examine par ailleurs l’idée selon laquelle
les « bénéfices supranormaux » qui peuvent y être réalisés encouragent le développement d’un « patriarcat supernormal ». En se penchant sur les sites dans lesquels a lieu l’extraction et sur les rapports entre les hommes et les femmes dans ces sites, nous mettons en évidence les rôles de genre extrêmes et exagérés et les relations que l’on y observe. Pour nuancer ce compte rendu, nous mettons en relief la nécessité de reconnaître le fait que le pouvoir patriarcal n’est pas ressenti en même mesure par toutes les femmes et tous les hommes. Nous examinons les différents rôles qu’assument les femmes dans le contexte extractif pour mettre en évidence la fluidité des identités des femmes comme travailleuses, « putains » et épouses, en nous concentrant sur les rapports sexuels transactionnels. Cet article montre combien il est important de ne pas voir les femmes comme seulement des victimes des rapports patriarcaux, ou de faire des suppositions sur la manière dont ces rapports fonctionnent, ou la forme qu’ils prennent. Il faut que les personnes chargées de formuler les politiques comprennent mieux la variété de rôles sexo-spécifiques adoptés dans les industries extractives et les rapports patriarcaux supranormaux qui produisent et reproduisent ces rôles. Ils pourront ainsi promouvoir l’égalité entre les sexes et la justice en matière de ressources naturelles, dans le cadre d’un programme de redistribution de l’augmentation des richesses tirées de l’extraction des ressources naturelles.

Keywords: extractive industries, gender inequality, supernormal profit, supernormal patriarchy

Topics: Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Patriarchy, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2017

Gender, Land Tenure and Environment


Small, Janet and Fanelwa Norah Mhaga. 1996. “Gender, Land Tenure and Environment.” Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equality, no. 29: 55–61.

Authors: Janet Small, Fanelwa Norah Mhaga


In discussing land tenure reform, Janet Small and Fanelwa Norah Mhaga emphasise that land tenure cannot be isolated from women's social position and rights and their decision-making power.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Patriarchy, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa

Year: 1996


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