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THE GENDER AND ENVIRONMENT DEBATE: LESSONS FROM INDIA

Bina Agarwal

What is women's relationship with the environment? Is it distinct from that of men's? The growing literature on ecofeminism in the West, and especially in the United States, conceptualizes the link between gender and the environment primarily in ideological terms. An intensifying struggle for survival in the developing world, however, highlights the material basis for this link and sets the background for an alternative formulation to ecofeminism, which I term ‘feminist environmentalism’.

In this paper I will argue that women, especially those in poor rural households in India, on the one hand, are victims of environmental degradation in quite gender-specific ways. On the ...

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