Gender and Environment in the Global South

From ‘women, environment, and development’ to feminist political ecology

Authored by: Bernadette P. Resurrección

Routledge Handbook of Gender and Environment

Print publication date:  June  2017
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415707749
eBook ISBN: 9781315886572
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315886572.ch4

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Abstract

Interconnections between economic development, environmental change, and gender politics are an important topic of analysis in feminist scholarship. Research into women’s roles in resource-based economic development and their work as environmental stewards began to emerge in the 1980s. Inspired by rural women actively resisting deforestation in the Global South, scholars theorized the relationship between people’s gender roles and identities and their attitudes toward nature. Case studies of activist struggles and iconic examples of individual ‘eco-warriors’ became valuable evidence to support new claims. Some scholars adopted an approach that celebrated women’s special connection to the earth, while others sought to analyze the material conditions and power relations that shape women’s and men’s involvement in resource use, their vulnerability to natural forces, and their eco-political agency. Nearly forty years on, debates over theoretical framing as well as over policy and practice continue to drive a vibrant research agenda that integrates several disciplines and employs diverse methodologies. The common ground is a desire to improve the living conditions of the people who are most affected by development-induced environmental change and to influence international policy-making to that end.

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