8th Mar, 2017
Women’s Day » Women and the Environment

Women and the Environment

“To be liberated, woman must feel free to be herself, not in rivalry to man but in the context of her own capacity and her personality” – Indira Gandhi

A woman has an immense part to play in the environment,no less than her male counterpart. The notion that a man’s contribution to the society is more important and fruitful than a woman, does not hold good in today’s world. If given equal opportunities and support, a woman has reportedly been more successful and thriving than a man. After all, held-back people learn the most, and do the most, for motivation drives them to achieve the unachievable.

Struggles and outcries of oppressed women in the past have prompted the society to notice them and realize how quietly and patiently they borne all responsibilities and tortures until they could take no more. And as time passed by, the world realized how wrong they were to ever suppress the ingenious ideas and the latent flair that eventually shone bright and took development to the next level.

At the First World Conference on Women held in Mexico-City in the year 1975, Vandana Shiva commenced the discussion of women and the environment.During the conference women's role in agriculture and their extent of contribution began to come to light.

In most countries in the world, women are to be accredited for agriculture and related domestic food production. In developing nations, it is a common misconception among people, that since women are mainly responsible for gathering food, fuel and fodder, they are obviously the primary users of natural resources. Ironically, in these countries women cannot own lands and firms completely. On top of it, they understand the values of natural resources more than men. Hours of working in farms, close to nature renders them protective of the nature. They feel the need to preserve and respect the nature so that their future generations can meet their needs. Reportedly women give greater priority to conserving and caring for the nature so as to not deplete Earth of its resources. This is where the concept of Ecofeminist movementsurfaced: protection of women and nature from exploitation and abuse.

Chipko Movement is an example of an environmentalist movement that explains a woman’s love for nature and her desperation to protect her from harm and misuse. The movement was an act of defiance against the state Government’s permission for commercial logging. Local women hugged to the trees in their village in order to prevent it from felling so as to protect their lifestyle that was hugely dependent on the forest.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day by commemorating our history and the many achievements of women, somewhere in some corner of the world there are plenty of girls and women for whom a healthy, happy life free from oppression and tortures are still a dream. Educated and aware women of today’s world stand for the exploited lot to help them overcome all barriers and reach for their rights. It is a woman who understands a woman’s woe and hence they have a crucial role in changing lives of subjugated and deprived women for better.