women and life on earth bookshelf

Ecological feminism


Maria Mies & Vandana Shiva

Zed Books, London 1993
328p. ISBN 1 85649 156 0 Pb

'A scholarly but passionate study... Ecofeminism's analysis of global politics, ecology and the status of women has an unmistakable ring of truth.' - Women's Review of Books

This is the basic text for women's study of ecofeminism, by two leading activist-scholars, one from the 'north', German professor emeritus Maria Mies, the other from the 'south', Indian physicist Vandana Shiva. Together they present a fundamental feminist critique of modern industrial development, its effects on women and children, on nature and all aspects of the environment, with many examples from real life around the world.

"'Development' has meant the ecological and cultural rupture of bonds with nature, and within society, it has meant the transformation of organic communities into groups of uprooted and alienated individuals searching for abstract identities. What today are called ecology movements in the South are actually movements for rootedness, movements to resist uprooting before it begins." - Vandana Shiva

The authors explore the crisis in science ("a Western, male-oriented and patriarchal projection which necessarily entailed the subjugation of both nature and women"); the inequality in current development; environmental degradation and its effects; biotechnology and reproductive technologies; globalization and its effects on women's lives; and finally other models for a new vision of development, based on the Subsistence Perspective.

"A subsistence perspective demands a new paradigm of science, technology and knowledge. Instead of the prevailing instrumentalist, reductionist science and technology - based on dualistic dichotomies which have constituted and maintain man's domination over nature, women and other people - ecologically sound, feminist, subsistence science and technology will be developed in participatory action with people..." - Maria Mies

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