- May 21, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject : Environment
Context: German scholar and feminist Maria Mies passed away recently. Vandana Shiva, who co-wrote the book Ecofeminism with her, speaks about Mies and their work together.
More on the News:
- Maria Mies, a Marxist Feminist scholar and academic, passed away on May 16 at the age of 92.
- For decades, Mies wrote extensively on how patriarchy, capitalism, and colonialism have exploited women as well as nature. The German activist had a long association with India, teaching at the Goethe-Institut in Pune from 1963 to 1967 and returning to the country several times. Her PhD thesis was published in 1980 under the title Indian Women and Patriarchy.
- In 1993, Mies co-wrote the important book Ecofeminism with Vandana Shiva, scientist and activist.
- Ecofeminism is a worldview that recognises that humans are part of Nature, not separate. In their interconnectedness through life, Nature and Women are Alive and Autonomous, not dead passive objects to be exploited and violated by masculine power.
- Ecofeminism is a philosophical and social movement that explores the connections between the oppression of women and the exploitation of nature. It highlights the intersections between gender inequality and environmental issues, arguing that both are rooted in similar systems of domination and hierarchical thinking.
How does capitalism take away women’s control over farming?
- Capitalist Patriarchy as a world view and a system of knowledge as well as organising the economy has been instituted over the last few centuries, through colonialism, fossil fuel industrialism, and the rule of violence, greed, and destruction of nature and cultures.
- Capitalist Patriarchy assumes nature is dead matter, and women are passive. The unit of capitalist patriarchy is the corporation, with the first corporation created as the East India Company in 1600. The British Empire was an empire of cotton, extracting $ 45 trillion from India, leaving a trail of famines.
- Corporations are a patriarchal construct, made in the image of a rich white man. Corporations work for only one objective, profits.
- They introduced war chemicals as agrochemicals in agriculture. They shaped the rules of WTO, which include the Intellectual Property Rights and ownership of seeds written by Monsanto [an agrochemical company], free trade in agriculture written by Cargill, and the Sanitary and PhytoSanitary agreement written by the junk food industry — Pepsi, Coke, Nestle.
- Women have been the Seed keepers and breeders, most farmers are women, all artisanal food processing was in women’s hands. The Corporations entering agriculture have displaced women from the seed sector, from agricultural production, from food processing.
How does climate change impact women disproportionately?
- Climate Change is a consequence of capitalist patriarchy, the arrogance of denying that nature is living, and that women have knowledge to work and produce without fossil fuels and chemicals driving climate change.
- The first impact is the denial of women’s knowledge and economies.
- The second impact is the consequences of climate change in terms of increased intensity and frequency of cyclones, flooding, droughts. Women are the most vulnerable in times of climate disasters.
- Women’s practices of resilience, such as conserving seeds of climate resilience, practising regenerative ecological organic agriculture, building local economies, show the path to mitigating climate impact, while building resilience to climate change.