women and sustainable development March 13, 2005 10:35 PM
hey all, I came across an artcle in the cape times (8 march 2005) entitled "women and sustainable dvelopment". the deputy minister of environment and tourism was quoted as saying that south africa has not progressed much in terms of gender equality when it came to making decisions that effected everyone,especially women. she also went on to say that women occupied the same old stereotypical roles and this prevented women form entering the realm of decision making. she also made the point that women were more environmentally minded than their male counterparts, being more aware of things such as biodiversity,whether itr be flora or fauna. I felt from this article that this was a real step forward in addressing the imbalances in power and decision making,especially when the environment was concerned.it should go a long way in impacting positively in terms of animal rights protection and nature in general if all society can be recognised as influential in the way we make our legislation.
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It sounds like ecofeminism. You may like to read Vandana Shiva who has written about how women are affected by environmental destruction. She's an Indian physicist and environmental activist.
By protecting the environment, women and children will benefit from biodiversity and clean, unpolluted resources. It is mainly men who benefit from environmental destruction by way of stealing or poaching wildlife, destroying flora for agricultural land and development, etc.
thanks Monique..however i think that in order to make headway in environmental conservation, we need to make it everybodys problem..admittedly resource exploitation has benefitted mainly men, leaving nothing but poverty and resource underutilisation for the rest of the population. i think that the bigger issue is how do we NOW redistribute resources in a way that is beneficial to all and at the same time try to conserve what little we have left.theres been arguments that this approach is human-centred, whilst it should be eco-centric..what other approaches can we use, are we fighting a losing battle or are we just prolonging the inevitable??
Bongani, I think that our destructive policies have a lot to do with unsustainable western thinking. It is a very short-term way of behaving as it inevitably destroys the systems in place which keep us alive. A more civilised approach is the one that Africans and other tribal peoples have used for centuries: only take what you need and do not accumulate goods without helping your community first and sharing. People in the west are greedy, selfish, and disconnected from reality. Work with nature rather than to treat nature as the enemy or something to be subdued and exploited for profit. South Africa needs a massive change of mentality beginning with the children in the classrooms of the nation. Decades of deprivation of the African indigenous groups has done a great deal of damage and made people to think that luxury items are the way to freedom, equality and happiness. This will be a difficult mind-set to change and any attempts to change it would be treated with derision and suspicion. I personally support the green party and would like to see them gain more of a political voice. South Africans who truly care about the future must look after the country's womb of life- the environment. We have become so materialistic and arrogant. Social upliftment programmes and education will do a great deal to help those in need so that they will not be tempted to destroy nature to survive. Having compassion for others will teach them compassion towards others, and so the wave of kindness with reach out to everyone. It sounds difficult, but each individual can make a difference. If each of us educated ten people on this issue and got them to spread it to ten others, think of what change there would be in a year.
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Tax the wealthy more heavily and use taxes to preserve the environment and help the suffering rather than spend taxes on the military and politician's pay cheques. Teach people basic survival skills such as art and crafts, building and planting. Protect and educate single parents (who are mainly women) from poverty by setting up programmes such as the above to enrich their lives. There is still too much waste in the country and recycling programmes could be set up and run by women to help their communities. Have government charity shops where secondhand clothes, food and other items can get donated by the public for those who can prove that they are unemployed and needy of these essentials.