Paper 1 – Fundamentals of Sociology; Chapter 7 – Politics and Society
- Sociological theories of power.
- Power elite, bureaucracy, pressure groups, and political parties.
- Nation, state, citizenship, democracy, civil society, ideology.
- Protest, agitation, social movements, collective action, revolution.
Ecofeminism is a branch of feminist theory which considers the relationship between women and nature. Ecofeminist theorists posit that societal patriarchal dominance is associated with gender equality, social justice, and environmental issues.
Ecofeminism also calls attention to the fact that women are disproportionately affected by environmental issues. According to one report from the United Nations, because women worldwide typically hold less monetary wealth and rely on the natural environment more, they are more likely to be displaced by climate change and have to travel farther for resources, like water, as dry seasons extend.
ORIGIN OF THE CONCEPT
The term “ecofeminism” was coined by French feminist Françoise d’Eaubonne in 1974. According to her, the disenfranchisement and oppression of women, people of color, and the poor are intrinsically linked to the degradation of the natural world, as both arose as a result of patriarchal dominance. Ecofeminism grew out of various social movements in the 1970s and early 1980s, including feminist, ecological, and peace movements.
FOUR MAIN PRINCIPLES OF ECOFEMINISM
1. Both the oppression of marginalized groups and the oppression of nature are connected by cause (mainly patriarchy and capitalism).
2. We must replace our culture of domination with an ethic of care.
3. All forms of oppression are unacceptable—and interconnected. (Women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community all face particular issues—and when these issues overlap, their effects become compounded.)
4. Understanding these connections is necessary for equitable change.
BRANCHES OF ECOFEMINISM
Cultural ecofeminists encourage the connection between women and nature as being empowering and liberating and believe that women are closer to nature due to both the natural processes our bodies undergo as life-givers and our role as caretakers.
Social ecofeminism states that there is no universal women’s experience or inherent qualities that bring us closer to nature as “women’s identities are socially constructed, historically fashioned, and materially reinforced through the interplay of a diversity of race/ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, age, ability, marital status, and geographic factors.”
Materialist ecofeminism holds that the connection between women and nature is one that is influenced by both our biology and our socially constructed identities and that all systems of oppression and domination must be destroyed.
ECOFEMINISM IN INDIA
In India, ecofeminist Vandana Shiva is the pioneer who prepared the ground for ecofeminism with a strong belief that women have always been the key to solve various societal problems and environmental problems are one of them.
Literature in which the concept of ecofeminism has been taken into account ranges from early ecofeminism to the recent or the urbanized one such as ‘Nectar in a Sieve’ (1954) by Kamala Markandya, ‘Fire on the Mountain’ (1977) by Anita Desai, ‘A Riversutra’ (1993) by Gita Mehta, ‘The God of Small Things’ (1997) and ‘An Atlas of Impossible Longing’ (2008) by Arundhati Roy and ‘Monkey-Man’ (2010) by Usha K.R.
Various environmental movements like Bishnoi movement, Chipko Movement, Aapiko movement, Silent valley movement and Narmada Bachao Andolan are the significant environmental movement of India that reflect the integral leadership of women.
CRITICISM AGAINST ECOFEMINISM
Ecofeminism is criticized for being essentialist – believing that things have set characteristics. Some believe that emphasizing the connection between women and nature reinforces the differences in gender norms that feminism seeks to avoid.Moreover, over-emphasizing the significance of women’s biology in terms of sex and reproduction may reflect the patriarchy’s power over women’s experiences of their own bodies. It is a regressive view that perpetuates the notion that biology determines the social inequalities between men and women.