GC: n

S: VSMM – (last access: 11 November 2020); ArielS – (last access: 11 November 2020).

N: 1. Term composed of word-forming element “eco-” [referring to the environment and man’s relation to it, abstracted from ecologyecological; attested from 1969] and word “feminism” [1851, “qualities of females;” 1895, “advocacy of women’s rights;” from French féminisme (1837); see feminine + -ism. Also, in biology, “development of female secondary sexual characteristics in a male” (1875)].
2. Branch of feminism that examines the connections between women and nature and uses the basic feminist tenets of equality between genders, a revaluing of non-patriarchal or nonlinear structures, and a view of the world that respects organic processes, holistic connections, and the merits of intuition and collaboration. To these notions ecofeminism adds both a commitment to the environment and an awareness of the associations made between women and nature.
3. Eco-feminism is a movement that emerged in the mid-1970s alongside the second wave of feminism and the green movement. Eco-feminism brings together elements of feminism and environmentalism, but it also offers a challenge to both. From the green movement it takes its concern for the impact of human activities on the inanimate world and from feminism it takes the gendered view of humanity, in the sense that it subordinates, exploits and oppresses women.
4. By the late 1980s ecofeminism had begun to branch out into two distinct schools of thought: radical ecofeminism and cultural ecofeminism. Radical ecofeminists contend that the dominant patriarchal society equates nature and women in order to degrade both as they have been associated with negative or commodifiable attributes while men have been seen as capable of establishing order. That division of characteristics encourages the exploitation of women and nature for cheap labour and resources. Cultural ecofeminists, on the other hand, encourage an association between women and the environment. They contend that women have a more intimate relationship with nature because of their gender roles (e.g., family nurturer and provider of food) and their biology (e.g., menstruation, pregnancy, and lactation). As a result, cultural ecofeminists believe that such associations allow women to be more sensitive to the sanctity and degradation of the environment. They suggest that this sensitivity ought to be prized by society insofar as it establishes a more direct connection to the natural world with which humans must coexist. Not all feminists favoured the bifurcation of ecofeminism. Some women, for instance, worried that cultural ecofeminism merely enforces gender stereotypes and could lead to further exploitation.
5. Women from developing countries point out the effects of commercial food production, sweatshop labour, and poverty on their families and their landscapes. They hold the promotion of exploitation by purchasing goods created as a result of inequity responsible. Thus,  ecofeminism is necessary to acknowledge the very real effects of race, class, ethnicity, and sexuality on a woman’s social position. Women involved in environmental justice issues and women representing minority cultures have worked to establish their own sense of ecofeminism to include local cultures and spirituality.
6. If feminism is to maintain its internationalist vocation, it must also think in environmental terms, since poor women in the Third World are the first victims of the destruction of the natural environment carried out to produce luxury goods to be sold in the First World. The standard of living in the rich countries cannot be exported to the whole world. Natural resources are consumed without regard to the possibility or impossibility of their renewal. There are no limits to plundering in those countries where the population lacks the political and economic power to cope with the destruction of their natural environment. Indian or African rural women living in a subsistence economy have seen their quality of life decline tragically with the advent of rational exploitation aimed at the international market. Eco-feminism addresses this and other issues such as the treatment of animals, renewable energies, etc.
7. The importance of ecofeminism is shown by the way a change within the ecosystem can directly affect women and their communities. The elegant teak furniture now proliferating in decoration shops within the northern countries is often what remains of the systematically razed Indonesian forests. If they used to have firewood next to the village, they now have to walk for miles to find it.

S: 1. OED –; (last access: 13 November 2020). 2. KM – (last access: 11 November 2020). 3. IEMed – (last access: 11 November 2020). 4. KM – (last access: 11 November 2020). 5 to 7. IEMed – (last access: 11 November 2020).

SYN: ecological feminism

S: KM – (last access: 11 November 2020)

CR: environment, equal opportunities, human development, human rights, patriarchy, social education, social justice, sustainable development.