What is Ecofeminism? (cont’d)

Women in the Global South are impacted by environmental degradation byways of employment, harvesting food, providing steady income, clean water, and women themselves are put at an even greater risk. “90% of Asia’s rice is cultivated by women and 70% of subsistence crops in Ghana are produced by women”(Klusener 2019). Because of severe droughts, habitat destruction, monocropping, women are put at more risk of loss of employment in agriculture. These impacts not only prevent them from being able to provide for their families, but these environmental impacts can have drastic measures on the food supply for regions as well. This applies to the pollution of water as well, in many Global Southern countries it is the woman’s job to provide the household with clean usable water, to perform everyday activities, like bathing, cooking, hygiene, and drinking. Not only does environmental impact put a strain on the abundance of water, but sources are often controlled by private owners and companies. These owners are in control of many of the water supplies in these Southern countries, raising the price far to the height at which families can pay. This driving up of the water prices can be some of the highest percentages of people’s cost of living. The wells that supply the water are often spread far apart, away from villages, sometimes several miles, putting even more strain on women. Mothers, daughters, even pregnant women walking miles to a well for a resource that some consider a natural right. As water becomes more scarce girls often have to drop out of school just to help provide their families with the resources they need, hurting not only the women but the culture as a whole by taking away education. 


I think both authors draw on the aspects that one, women play a major, often underappreciated role in every society. Despite being the main caregiver, manager of the household, birther, often raiser as well, women are often looked down upon or overlooked in many societies. Though in Warren and Hobgood-Oster’s reading you get a sense of the connection between humans (men) and degradation of nature, and man’s degradation and oppression of women as well. Western ecofeminism seems to see women and nature as being more connected to men and nature, focusing primarily on destructive ways in which society is built and operates. While Western feminism and ecofeminism may be more centric in the ideal held in western countries and beliefs, the western movement holds the idea of free speech and action very high. They use this to group many different categories of women together. The movement forgoes political and social issues for the opportunity to overcome patriarchal society converting it into a more diverse equal society. The other perspective difference may be from where the movement generates much of their power and ideas. In non-western ecofeminism, it if often poorer, rural women, who are drastically impacted by drastic changes in the environment. These women attempt to make the change not only their community but their country as well. But their perspective is different from the western view, which is often shaped by more highly educated, less at-risk individuals, some of which focus primarily on women’s rights and activation as a career.

Of these two perspectives, I personally see value in both. The task of equality, whether it is on the environmental front, or women’s suffrage front is a global issue that cannot be solved and implemented by one solely one group. It is up to academics to help keep the wheels of legislation, learning, and growth turning, helping forge the idea of a more balanced society. But it is also up to those living at the forefront of the at-risk third world, the changes and stands that these women make are on the world stage, their resilience inspires courage and shows that changes can and will be made. Each perspective aid the other in forming a better tomorrow and becoming remodels for those to become the driving force of the future.

Klusener, Edgar, et al. “Are Women in the Global South ‘Victims’ or ‘Saviours’ in the Face of Environmental Challenges?” Global Social Challenges, 2 Oct. 2019, sites.manchester.ac.uk/global-social-challenges/2018/04/19/923/.

What is Ecofeminism

The term mother Earth is accentuating the image above. She grows from the Earth, forming the landscape from her body and soul. The image shows  her surface and the water that flows from her is home to many trees, plants, and animals forming a beautiful landscape. This image shows the true relation between women and nature, how women are traditional care givers, nurtures, and support the young and growing. Woman are built up strong and supportive, in a traditional roles when humans were still hunter-gathers, women were the care givers. They cared for the tribe while the men were on the hunt, raised the young and while performing everyday duties. Women were healers, supporters, and nurturers which is exemplified in the photo. Without the woman mountain to allow her water to flow, grass to grow, and provide a shelter the environment would surely die, it is her love, support, strength, and resilience that allows the whole environment to flourish. She gives birth to new life, supports the growing and grown, and houses the dead and dying. She is the start of life, she is the final resting place, the circle of life, the connection is beyond that of figurative language. Life does start with the women, who caries her child into the world, a connection that has been said to be difficult to explain to one who has not done it, so I won’t try. This connection is a bond difficult to break, and a connection a women feels for the child is ongoing throughout life. The life of an infant is based off entirely off of its mother to support it, the woman feeds her child, and continue to feed the child even if they themselves are malnourished. This is like nature, who even if it is hurting will continue to provide the best it can for its inhabitants. The symbolic connection between women and nature can be seen in many context throughout human history, and the connection between woman and her kin can be considered one of the most animistic connections we still experience today. Like a baby penguin in the wild, the connection is innate, the bond they share allows the mother and her child to reconnect and fin each other without the two meeting before the chick hatches.

“Ecofeminism asserts that all forms of oppression are connected and that structures of oppression must be addressed in their totality. Oppression of the natural world and of women by patriarchal power structures must be examined together or neither can be confronted fully” (Hobgood-Oster).  Ecofeminism is the is encapsulation of a series of “isms”, for example, racism, that focuses on the oppression of various group in patriarchal society. According Hobgood-Oster, the goals of ecofeminism is to challenge current structures that not only put people in different tiers of society  but actively hold select groups from advancing based on characteristics out of their control. This idea not only expresses the need to level the playing field between various groups, but the obvious exploitation of not only people but nature as well. Ecofeminism connects the idea that current society creates dualism ways of thinking, male/female, white/non-white, heaven/earth, human/animal, etc. as a way to create a structures that benefit a singular party and narrows peoples point of view. You are either for a side or against it, this methodology of thought creates not only tension between people and groups; “Ecofeminism posits that as long as any of the dualisms exist as an integral  component of societal structuring and justification, they will all continue to serve as starting points to justify patriarchy. “. This oppressive nature extends beyond the scope of human to human and into human to nature, current societies take advantage of not only of other human beings but nature and Earth as well. Ecofeminism articulates the need to not only protect one another, but the Earth  that supports us as well.


Hello, my name is Terence Flood I am a senior at Umass Dartmouth studying economics and minoring in sustainability. I am excited to join the class hopefully not only learning and growing with the provided subject material but also be able to help add an economistic viewpoint to the discussion.