Gender and the Environment A Feminists Political Ecology Perspective

Rocheleau, D., Thomas-Slayter, B., & Wangari, E. (1996). Gender and the Environment A Feminists Political Ecology Perspective. In Feminist Political Ecology: Global Issues & Local Experience. Routledge.

In “Gender and the Environment” Diane Rocheleau et. al introduces the theory of feminist political ecology. Feminist political ecology considers gender as an important variable in shaping the access and control to environmental resources. It looks at how gender interacts with other variables such as class, caste, race, culture and ethnicity to effect the ecological change. This is not a typical topic one thinks of relating to the environment but gender plays a major role in cultural norms and therefore can give insight into how members of different cultures interact with the environment based on variables such as gender, class, race ect. The authors of this article consider three themes: gendered knowledge; gendered environmental rights and responsibilities; and gendered environmental politics and grassroots activism. Feminist political ecology examines how gender, science and the environment come together both in academia and politics and everyday life and social movements. Rocheleau discusses how females have a more natural role in the environment based on historical patterns and the nurturing instincts they possess. There is other literature to support this claim, that females are closer to nature than males, such as work by anthropologist Sherry Ortner. This article provides some useful information as to why researchers should consider factors such as gender but it is lacking in examples or case studies which leaves the reader without a practical understanding of the theory. Factors such as gender, class and race are vital in managing the environment. We know that social organizations play a big role in how a community manages the environment and factors such as these are necessary to consider when implementing projects for conserving the environment.