International Conference on Ecofeminism

(Commemorating World Environment Day)

A movement that sees a connection between the exploitation and degradation of the natural world and the subordination and oppression of women”

-Mary Mellor

Coined by the French Writer Françoise d’Eaubonne in 1974, ‘ecofeminism’ has emerged from the west as a product of peace, feminist and ecology movements. It refers to the adoption of a feminist perspective of ‘green politics’ and calls for the establishment of an egalitarian, collaborative society in which there is no one dominant group. The term draws on the concept of gender to analyse the relationships between women and nature/environment in culture, economy, religion, politics, literature etc and sees parallels running between exploitation of nature and exploitation of women. These parallels are understood in context of patriarchy. It is often seen that the marginalization of women and the destruction of biodiversity go hand in hand. Today, we see the strong presence of women in all sectors. Women perform multiple tasks and usually safeguard the resources needed to sustain our families. Hence, women are the ones who become the invisible interlink between environment and its stability. Their active and passive contribution leads to ecological restoration.

Manifestation of Ecofeminism has been seen across the globe right from Chipko Movement in India that occurred in 1970s to the Green Belt Movement in Kenya in 1977.

Ecofeminism has its own value. But the concept as also the thought is fraught with dangers too. It is viewed as being essentialist, biologist and lacks political efficacy. Some even consider it to be inconsistent and intellectually regressive.

The conference aims to impart an understanding of this movement, its trajectory and future. We wish to focus on the idea of ecofeminism that says, “life around us and inside us can be maintained through cooperation, mutual care and love.” And this surely cannot be said to be only within the purview, domain and scope of women alone. So, is it time to broaden our horizons and give up stereotyping and look at a different framework to address pressing global issues of environment and social injustice?