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Ecofeminism in the twenty-first century

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This paper considers the influence of ecofeminism on policy concerning gender (in)equality and the environment during the past 20 years. It reviews the broad contours of the ecofeminist debate before focusing on the social construction interpretation of women's relationship with the environment. It will argue that there have been substantial policy shifts in Europe and the UK in both the environmental and equalities fields, and that this is in part a result of lobbying at a range of scales by groups informed by ecofeminist debates. Nevertheless, the paper cautions that these shifts are largely incremental and operate within existing structures, which inevitably limit their capacity to create change. As policy addresses some of the concerns highlighted by ecofeminism, academic discourse and grass roots activity have been moving on to address other issues, and the paper concludes with a brief consideration of contemporary trajectories of ecofeminism and campaigning on issues that link women's, feminist and environment concerns.
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Keywords: ecofeminism; environmental discourse; environmental justice; gender mainstreaming

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Brunel University, Uxbridge

Publication date: June 1, 2004

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