What is ecofeminism?

Pollution Jan 07, 2021

What is ecofeminism?

  • Coined by a French feminist, Francois d’Eaubonne,  the word ‘ecofeminism’ flourished seeking attention towards the concept of gender to draw a direct link between nature and humans in 1974.
  • In the same year, cultural anthropologist Sherry Ortner published “Is Female to Male as Nature is to Culture?” which argues that women’s subordination to men is rooted in their symbolic connection to nature.
  • This arises the possibility of the interconnection of women and nature. Gender plays a pivotal role in climate change discussions and its direct impact on its ever-changing natural domains.
  • Ecofeminism does not mean that women are better advocates or defendants of nature. Men too are advent social workers of climate change and in no way does ecofeminism trivialize their efforts.
  • Nurturing and protecting human life in harmony with nature is what women have been performing since the starting which is often valued as a trifle, unacknowledged, and invisible task.

What does it aim for?

  • In a nutshell, the primary claim of ecofeminism is that women’s liberation is intertwined with the liberation of the environment from human destruction.
  • For example, the female tendency to be a giver is echoed in nature’s ability to provide everything necessary even after its constant depletion.
  • The effects of climate change affect the poor, marginalized, and often a weaker section of society.
  • According to the UN report, women are not only one of the first victims but also are the prime advocates for the defense of the deteriorating environment.
  • Apart from the ‘natural’ disasters, people tend to downplay the consequences women all over the world have to suffer.
  • Traveling long distances to fetch food and water, thus reduces their time to perform various tasks.
  • Water scarcity further degrades the hygienic conditions for women. To cognize the people about the term and its significance, the effects of climate change on women, from some of the most accessible parts of the world to extreme places, must be discussed.

What is the argument of the critics?

  • Some critics have cited that while ecofeminism is successful in associating itself with women, focusing on one gender, it forgets to address the intertwined social problems like discrimination, color, racism, classism, and much more.
  • While some suggest empowering the target groups that are closely associated with nature, others disagree with its selective methodology
  • . Critics also argue that women tend to advocate for the movement, focusing only on associating the two terms rather than exponentiating a common link between the ambush both nature and women have to suffer.
  • With rising climate change, people require a movement to become and make others aware with one available option as ecofeminism; but it is important to understand its motive, target group, and impact before it can be widely used.

This article has been written by Jahnavi Rathore for The Paradigm

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