Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version


The Remaking of Social Contracts: Feminists in a Fierce New World


Sen, Gita, and Marina Durano, eds. 2014. The Remaking of Social Contracts: Feminists in a Fierce New World. Zed Books. 

Authors: Gita Sen, Marina Durano


Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN) argues that social contracts must be recreated if they are to fulfil the promise of human rights. In The Remaking of Social Contracts, leading thinkers and activists address a wide range of concerns - global economic governance, militarism, ecological tipping points, the nation state, movement-building, sexuality and reproduction, and religious fundamentalism. These themes are of wide-ranging importance for the survival and well-being of us all, and reflect the many dimensions and inter-connectedness of our lives. Using feminist lenses, the book puts forward a holistic and radical understanding of the synergies, tensions and contradictions between social movements and global, regional and local power structures and processes, and it points to other alternatives and possibilities for this fierce new world.

Table of Contents

  1. Front Cover
  2. About the Editors
  3. About DAWN
  4. Title
  5. Copyright
  6. Contents
  7. Foreword (Josefa Franscisco)
  8. Part I: Introductory Overview (Gita Sen & Marina Durano)
  9. Part II: Governing Globalization: Critiquing the Reproduction of Inequality
  10. Chapter 1: Financialization, Distribution and Inequality (Stephanie Seguino)
  11. Chapter 2: New Poles of Accumulation and Realignment of Power in the Twenty-first Century (Yao Graham & Hibist Wendemu Kassa)
  12. Chapter 3 The Modern Business of War (Oscar Ugarteche)
  13. Chapter 4: The Convergences and Divergences of Human Rights and Political Economy (Aldo Caliari)
  14. Part III: Political Ecology and Climate Justice: Tackling Sustainability and Climate Change
  15. Chapter 5: Climate Non-negotiables (Anita Nayar)
  16. Chapter 6: Geoengineering: A Gender Issue? (Diana Bronson)
  17. Chapter 7: Land Grabs, Food Security and Climate Justice: A Focus on Sub-Saharan Africa (Zo Randriamaro)
  18. Part IV: Secularism and Biopolitics: Confronting Fundamentalism and Deciphering Biopolitics
  19. Chapter 8: Negotiating Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights at the UN: A Long and Winding Road (Alexandra Garita & Francoise Girad)
  20. Chapter 9: The Making of a Secular Contract (Fatou Sow & Magaly Pazello)
  21. Chapter 10: Sexuality as a Weapon of Biopolitics: Rethinking Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill (Rosalind P. Petchesky)
  22. Part V: Frontier Challenges: Building Nation-States and Social Movements
  23. Chapter 11: The State of States (Claire Slatter)
  24. Chapter 12: Religious Fundamentalism and Secular Governance (Amrita Chhachhi)
  25. Chapter 13: Reframing Peace and Security for Women (Kumudini Samuel)
  26. Chapter 14: Feminist Activisms for New Global Contracts amidst Civil Indignation (Josefa Franscisco & Peggy Antrobus)
  27. Contributors
  28. Index
  29. Back Cover




In The Remaking of Social Contracts, leading thinkers and activists address a wide range of concerns - global economic governance, militarism, ecological tipping points, the nation state, movement-building, sexuality and reproduction, and religious fundamentalism. These themes are of wide-ranging importance for the survival and well-being of us all, and reflect the many dimensions and inter-connectedness of our lives.

Using feminist lenses, the book puts forward a holistic and radical understanding of the synergies, tensions and contradictions between social movements and global, regional and local power.

Topics: Economies, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Religion, Sexuality

Year: 2014

From Guerrilla Girls to Zainabs: Reassessing the Figure of the “Militant Woman” in the Iranian Revolution


Gordan, Arielle. 2021. "From Guerilla Girls to Zainabs: Reassessing the Figure of the "Militant Woman" in the Iranian Revolution." Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 17 (1): 64-95.

Author: Arielle Gordon


Scholars have long accounted for representations of women in the Iranian Revolution by categorically classifying them as “devout mothers” or “heroic sisters,” embodied respectively in the Shiʾi archetypes of Fatima and Zainab. However, a closer look at images of militant women finds them residing within the traditions of their time, as part and parcel of an era of liberation movements in which the idiom of the female fighter featured prominently. This article takes a transnational look at tropes of women’s militancy and traces how they filtered into Iranian revolutionary culture. Finally, it contends that only with the consolidation of Khomeini’s power and the start of the Iran-Iraq War is this figure renamed Zainab and sustained as a central icon of the Islamic Republic.

Keywords: visual culture, revolution, transnationalism, representation, 'gender'

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Combatants, Female Combatants, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Religion Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iran, Iraq

Year: 2021

“Drawing the Line” and Other Small-Scale Resistances: Exploring Agency and Ambiguity in Transnational Feminist and Queer NGOs


Liinason, Mia (she/her/hers), 2021. “'Drawing the Line' and Other Small-Scale Resistances: Exploring Agency and Ambiguity in Transnational Feminist and Queer NGOs." International Feminist Journal of Politics 23 (1): 102-124.

Author: Mia Liinason


This article explores the workings of gender expertise inside the institutions of the international governance system as it engages with faith-based actors. Utilizing narratives of gender experts, documentary analysis, and observation, I focus on these experts’ encounters regarding gender equality and women’s rights with religious leaders, religious actors, and conservative governments. Focusing on episodes in which the terms “cultural difference” and “religion” are used synonymously, first, I show how encounters between transnational actors can play a role in hegemonic interpretations of these terms. Second, I explore how powerful actors can become more authoritative in making claims of cultural difference or how the existing distribution of power may be disrupted. I contend that these power relations affect discussions of gender equality. My goal is to contribute to feminist debates by highlighting the ways in which these transnational interactions disrupt assumptions of West versus East. Paying attention to these complex processes can challenge ethnocentric and racist discourses without taking claims of cultural difference at face value.

Keywords: 'feminism', queer, NGOs, transnational, neoliberalism

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Intersectionality, NGOs, Religion, Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2020

Tracing the Ecological Footprints of our Foremothers: Towards an African Feminist Approach to Women’s Connectedness with Nature


Siwila, Lilian Cheelo. 2014. “Tracing the Ecological Footprints of our Foremothers: Towards an African Feminist Approach to Women’s Connectedness with Nature.” Studie Historiae Ecclesiasticae 40 (2): 131-147.


Author: Lilian Cheelo Siwila


Throughout church history, the subject of ecology has assumed prominence in church circles with resolutions constantly being reached on how the church can and has responded to the ecological crisis. For example, the early church fathers' experiences of connectedness to nature created another approach to the Christian concept of ecology of that time. A feminist approach to ecology shows that there has been a good amount of research on the subject matter, especially from an interventional perspective. Despite this positive response, this article argues that if ecofeminism is to be effective in responding to issues of ecology, discourses around African women's embedded ecological spiritualties need to be retrieved and transformed for the liberation of both women and nature. The article uses ecomatemalistic theory to argue for a need to promote the conceptualisation of the interconnectedness between women and nature. The article concludes by showing that discussions on ecofeminism can take different forms in different contexts. Thus in some African contexts this dualistic approach between women and nature also carries positive aspects that need to be identified as a tool for dialogue on African ecofeminism.

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Women, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Religion Regions: Africa

Year: 2014

Longing for Running Water: Ecofeminism and Liberation


Gebara, Ivone. 1999. Longing for Running Water: Ecofeminism and Liberation. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.


Author: Ivone Gebara


Summary"In her book, Latin American theologian Ivone Gebara brings together two contemporary strands of theological thought: Latin American liberation and ecofeminist theologies. Both engaging and critiquing her fellow Latin American colleagues, Gebara offers a critical assessment of the androcentrism and anthropocentrism of contemporary and historical theologies through an ecofeminist hermeneutic. One of the first monographs to extensively treat ecofeminism from a Latin American perspective, Gebara is influenced by her North American counterparts, especially Rosemary Radford Ruether and Sallie McFague." (summary from Michelle A. Gonzales, Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology)

Table of Contents



1. Knowing Our Knowing: The Issue of Epistemology
Epistemology in Search of Meaning
Knowledge and Ethics
The Hierarchical, Anthropocentric, and Androcentric Bias of Patriarchaal Epistemology
Patriarchal Epistemology in Theology
Ecofeminist Epistemology
2. The Human Person From an Ecofeminist Perspective
Beginning to Talk about the Human Person
Questioning the Autonomy of the Human Person
The Patriarchal Perspective: Its Value and Limitations
"Person" in an Ecofeminist Perspective: A Tentative Construction
3. God: An Ecofeminist Approach to the Greatest of Mysteries
Relatedness as a Language and an Experience of the Divine
Issues Raised about Ecofeminist Discource on God
God: Models and Mystery
God: My Hope
4. Ecofeminism and the Trinity
Feelings and Associations Related to the Trinity
What Human Experience Is Described by Trinitarian Language?
Religious Language and Its Crystallization in Institutions
Reconstructing Trinitarian Meanings and Celebrating Life
5. Jesus From an Ecofeminist Perspective
The Road I Have Walked with Jesus
Ecofeminist Challenges to Our Relationship with Jesus of Nazareth
6. That All May have Life: The Way to A new Understanding of Religion
The Issue That Concerns Us
The Destruction of Green Things, of Diversity, and of Our Symbols
Religion and Community Life
A Religion That Isn't in Crisis
Religious Biodiversity: A Path in Need of Rediscovery
Epilogue: As the Deer Longs for Running Waters

Topics: Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Religion Regions: Americas

Year: 1999

Ecowomanism: Buddhist-Christian Dialogue from a Womanist and Ecological Perspective


Harris, Melanie L. 2020. "Ecowomanism: Buddhist-Christian Dialogue from a Womanist and Ecological Perspective." Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 36 (1): 123-9.

Author: Melanie L. Harris


Ecowomanism is an approach in religion and ecology that embraces the environmental justice paradigm: a theoretical lens through which one can examine the intersections among racial, economic, gender, and sexual injustice and how these forms of oppression converge with climate injustice. Here, Harris introduces ecowomanism as a multilayered approach to climate justice that can inform and be informed by Christian-Buddhist dialogue. In previous work, she has discussed the significance of an interfaith lens in the work of ecowomanism. Due to the drastic impact of climate change across religious groups, it is crucial to find shared language and bridge understanding about how people of various faiths and nonfaith can raise awareness and confront climate change together in the earth community. She argues that by moving through an eco-womanist method, activists and practitioners can engage comparative religious discourse about the shared and sometimes differing moral and ethical guidelines regarding care for the earth. 

Keywords: ecowomanism, eco-memory, justice

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Intersectionality, Justice, Race, Religion

Year: 2020

New Woman, New Earth: Sexist Ideologies and Human Liberation


Ruether, Rosemary Radford. 1995. New Woman, New Earth: Sexist Ideologies and Human Liberation. Boston: Beacon Press.

Author: Rosemary Radford Ruether


First published in 1975, New Woman, New Earth explores the connections between sexism, racism, anti-Semitism, environmental destruction, and other forms of domination. Long ahead of its time, it remains an unparalleled introduction to women's studies and the feminist critique of religion. (Summary from Google Books)

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Race, Religion

Year: 1995

Healing the Wounds: The Promise of Ecofeminism


Plant, Judith. 1989. Healing the Wounds: The Promise of Ecofeminism. Philadelphia, PA: New Society Publishers.

Author: Judith Plant



Twenty-five activist authors--including Ursula LeGuin, Vandana Shiva, Margot Adler and Joanna Macy—strive to unite the visions and energies of the feminist and ecological perspectives. Healing the Wounds draws together the personal, political and spiritual into one enlivening whole. This is the book, and these are the practitioners, that started the movement (Summary from Google Books).

Table of Contents:

Toward a New World: An Introduction
Judith Plant

1. Remembering Who We Are: The Meaning of Ecofeminism. Split Culture
Susan Griffin

2. The Ecology of Feminism and the Feminism of Ecology
Ynestra King

3. A New Movement, a New Hope: East Wind, West Wind, and the Wind from the South
Corinne Kumar D'Souza

4. Mama Coyote Talks to the Boys
Sharon Doubiago

5. Women/Wilderness
Ursula K. Le Guin

6. Healing All Our Relations: Ecofeminist Politics. Poem: Tampons
Ellen Bass

7. First Mother and the Rainbow Children
Anne Cameron

8. Women Act: Women and Environmental Protection in India
Pamela Philipose

9. Speaking for the Earth: The Haida Way

10. Development, Ecology, and Women
Vandana Shiva

11. A Power of Numbers
Rachel Bagby

12. From Healing Herbs to Deadly Drugs: Western Medicine's War Against the Natural World
Marti Kheel

13. She Is Alive in You: Ecofeminist Spirituality. Poem: A Story of Beginnings

14. Invoking the Grove
Deena Metzger

15. Toward an Ecofeminist Spirituality
Charlene Spretnak

16. The Give and the Take
Dale Colleen Hamilton

17. Toward an Ecological-Feminist Theology of Nature
Rosemary Radford Ruether

18. The Juice of the Mystery
Margot Adler

19. Sacred Land, Sacred Sex
Dolores LaChapelle

20. Lakshmi Ashram: A Gandhian Perspective in the Himalayan Foothills
Radha Bhatt

21. Feminist Earth-Based Spirituality and Ecofeminism

22. The Circle Is Gathering: Ecofeminist Community. Poem: Lost Arrows and the Feather People
Ursula K. Le Guin

23. Survival on Earth: The Meaning of Feminism
Dorothy Dinnerstein

24. Awakening to the Ecological Self
Joanna Macy

25. Wings of the Eagle: A Conversation with Marie Wilson

26. The Subjective Side of Power
Margo Adair and Sharon Howell

27. Community: Meeting Our Deepest Needs
Helen Forsey

28. Consensus and Community: A Conversation with Caroline Estes

29. The Circle is Gathering
Judith Plant

Topics: Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Religion Regions: Americas, Asia, South Asia Countries: India, United States of America

Year: 1989

Reshaping the Ear: Honorable Listening and Study of Ecowomanist and Ecofeminist Scholarship for Feminist Discourse


Harris, Melanie L. 2017. “Reshaping the Ear: Honorable Listening and Study of Ecowomanist and Ecofeminist Scholarship for Feminist Discourse.” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 33 (2): 158–62.

Author: Melanie L. Harris


Harris utlilizes an ecowomanist approach to tackle the issue of climate change and its impact on women. Ecowomanism is an approach that centers the voices, theoretical, religious, and ecospiritual activism of women of African descent and other women of color. It uses race-class-gender intersectional analysis to highlight the impact environmental health disparities have on communities of color in the age of climate change. Rather than ignore the plight of thousands upon thousands of African American and Latino/a families living in food deserts and the historical connections this social injustice has to white supremacy and access to land rights and clean water, ecowomanist approaches raise awareness about environmental racism. It links a social justice agenda with earth justice recognizing the similar logic of domination at work in parallel oppressions suffered by women of color and the earth. 

Keywords: Alice Walker, Delores S. Williams, ecowomanism, sin of defilement, social justice, women of color

Topics: Class, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Health, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Race, Religion, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Americas

Year: 2017

Ecowomanism: Black Women, Religion, and the Environment


Harris, Melanie L. 2016. “Ecowomanism: Black Women, Religion, and the Environment.” The Black Scholar 46 (3): 27–39

Author: Melanie L. Harris


“This essay is an introduction to ecowomanism, an interdisciplinary discourse in womanist thought that reflects upon black women’s religious orientations and connections with the earth. It serves as an overview and provides a survey of ecowomanist discourse. Ecowomanism centers the religious, theological, and spiritual perspectives of black women and women of color as they confront multilayered oppressions such as racism, classism, sexism, and environmental injustice. In the essay I explicate the theoretical foundations for ecowomanism, namely the womanist writings of Alice Walker, the environmental justice movement, and its relation to eco-feminism. I also describe the important roots of African American religious thought for an ecowomanist approach. In addition, I provide a brief survey of four important sources for ecowomanist research from the theological perspectives of Karen Baker Fletcher, Delores S. Williams, the ecological perspective of Shamara Shantu Riley, and the scholarly insights and personal reflection of African theologian, Mercy Amba Oduyoye" (Harris 2016, 27).

Topics: Class, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Race, Religion Regions: Africa, Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2016


© 2021 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at

Subscribe to RSS - Religion