Tagged with "women"
Women Ecowarriors
Tags: Economy Women labor


by Vendana Shiva


Over the last four decades, I have served the Earth and grassroots ecological movements, beginning with the historic Chipko Movement (Hug the Tree Movement), in the Central Himalaya.


Every movement in which I participated, I noticed that women were the decision-makers — they decided the course of action and even were unrelenting in protecting the land and the sources of their sustenance and livelihoods.

Women who were a part of the Chipko movement were protecting forests because deforestation and logging in Uttarakhand led to floods, draughts, landslides and other such natural disasters. It led to scarcity of fuel and fodder. It led to the disappearance of springs and streams, forcing women to walk longer and further for water.

The dominant paradigm of forestry is based on monocultures of commercial species where forests are seen as timber mines that produce timber and generate revenue and leads to profits. The women of the Chipko Movement taught the world and me that timber, revenue and profits were not the real products of the forest; the real products were soil, water and pure air.

Today, science refers to these as ecological functions of ecosystems. Illiterate women of the Garhwal Himalaya were four decades ahead of the scientists of the world. By 1981, the government was compelled to stop logging in the Central Himalaya.

On April 22, 2002, which is recognised as Earth Day, I was invited by women from a small hamlet named Plachimada in Palghat, Kerala, to join their struggle against Coca Cola which was mining 1.5 million litres of water a day and polluting the water that remained in their wells.

Women were forced to walk 10 kilometres every day in search for clean drinking water. Mylamma, a tribal woman leading the movement, said they would not walk further for water. Coca Cola must stop stealing their water. These women decided to set up a satyagraha (struggle for truth) camp opposite the Coca Cola factory. I too joined them in solidarity and over the years supported them. In 2004, Coca Cola was forced to shut down.

In 1984, a terrible disaster caused by a leak from Union Carbide’s pesticide plant in Bhopal killed 3,000 people immediately. Still thousands of children are born with disabilities. Union Carbide is now owned by Dow, which refuses to take ownership of responsibility for justice. In 1984, as a response to the Bhopal disaster, I started a campaign, “No more Bhopals, plant a Neem”.

The women of Bhopal were also victims of the disaster. But they did not let their hopes and fight for justice wane. For example, Rashidabi and Champadevi Shukla continued their struggle for justice. They also provide rehabilitation to the children born with disabilities. They have set up a Chingari Trust to honour women fighting corporate injustice. In 2012, they invited me to give the Chingari award to the women fighting against the nuclear power plant at Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu.

In 1994, I came to know that the use of neem to control pests and diseases in agriculture has been patented by US department of agriculture and multinational WR Grace. We launched a neem campaign to challenge the biopiracy. More than 100,000 Indians signed to initiate a case in the European Patent Office. I joined hands with Magda Alvoet, the president of the European Greens and Linda Bullard, president of International Foundation for Organic Agriculture to fight the case for 11 years. On March 8, 2005, on International Women’s Day, the European patent office struck down the biopiracy patent.

Why there’s a trend of women leading ecology movements against deforestation and pollution of water, against toxic and nuclear hazards? I partly believe that in the division of labour, it is women who have been left to look after sustenance — providing food, water, health and care.

When it comes to the sustenance of the economy, women act as both experts and providers. Even though women’s work in providing sustenance is the most vital human activity, a patriarchal economy which defines the economy only as the economy of the marketplace, treats it as non work.

The patriarchal model of the economy is dominated by one figure, the gross domestic product, which is measured on the basis of an artificially created production boundary (if you produce what you consume, you do not produce).

When the ecological crisis created by an ecologically blind economic paradigm leads to the disappearance of forests and water, spread of diseases because of toxics and poisons, and the consequent threat to life and survival, it is women who rise to wake up the society to the crisis, and to defend the Earth and lives. Women are leading the paradigm shift to align the economy with ecology. After all, both are rooted in the word “oikos” — our home.

Not only are women experts in the sustenance economy. They are experts in ecological science through their daily participation in processes that provide sustenance. Their expertise is rooted in lived experience and not in abstract and fragmented knowledge, which cannot see through the connectedness of the web of life.

The rise of masculinist science with Rene Descartes, Isaac Newton, Bacon led to the domination of reductionist mechanistic science and a subjugation of knowledge systems based on interconnections and relationships. This includes all indigenous knowledge systems and women’s knowledge.

The most violent display of mechanistic science is in the promotion of industrial agriculture, including genetically modified organisms as a solution to hunger and malnutrition.

Industrial agriculture uses chemicals developed for warfare as inputs. Genetic engineering is based on the idea of genes as “master molecules” giving unidirectional commands to the rest of the organism. The reality is that living systems are self-organised, interactive and dynamic. The genome is fluid.

As these issues move centrestage in every society, it is women who bring the alternatives through biodiversity and agroecology that offer real solutions to the food and nutrition crisis.


5 Minutes Of What The Media Actually Does To Women Tags: Consciousness Mind Media Women Fashon Advertisement Entertainment & Culture Health

5 Minutes Of What The Media Actually Does To Women

Fact, almost 100% of the images you see of models and celebrities are altered.


In this new, highly anticipated update of her pioneering Killing Us Softly series, the first in more than a decade, Jean Kilbourne takes a fresh look at how advertising traffics in distorted and destructive ideals of femininity. The film marshals a range of new print and television advertisements to lay bare a stunning pattern of damaging gender stereotypes -- images and messages that too often reinforce unrealistic, and unhealthy, perceptions of beauty, perfection, and sexuality. By bringing Kilbourne's groundbreaking analysis up to date, Killing Us Softly 4 stands to challenge a new generation of students to take advertising seriously, and to think critically about popular culture and its relationship to sexism, eating disorders, and gender violence.

Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D. is internationally recognized for her groundbreaking work on the image of women in advertising and for her critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising. In the late 1960s she began her exploration of the connection between advertising and several public health issues, including violence against women, eating disorders, and addiction, and launched a movement to promote media literacy as a way to prevent these problems. A radical and original idea at the time, this approach is now mainstream and an integral part of most prevention programs. Her films, lectures and television appearances have been seen by millions of people throughout the world. Kilbourne was named by The New York Times Magazine as one of the three most popular speakers on college campuses. She is the creator of the renowned Killing Us Softly: Advertising's Image of Women film series and the author of the award-winning book Can't Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel and co-author of So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids.

Gates Foundation Accused of Pushing Dangerous Contraceptives on Black Populations Tags: Depo Provera aimed at black women

depo proveraBy William F. Jasper, The New American – November 9, 2013


The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is taking fire from leaders of Black organizations and human rights advocates for funding and promoting a new form of the controversial contraceptive Depo Provera, particularly aimed at women in Africa and developing countries.

Melinda Gates, wife of Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates, recently told the New York Times that she is championing wide distribution of the drug as a result of talking to poor women around the world. But Kwame Fosu, policy director for the Rebecca Project for Human Rights, says Mrs. Gates’ claims are “disingenuous” because the women she claims to be helping are not being informed about the dangers involved.

“No African woman would agree to being injected if she had full knowledge of the contraceptives’ dangerous side effects,” Kwame Fosu told C-FAM, the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute. “In fact,” claimed Fosu, “in countries where women are educated on the harmful complications, Depo Provera use is negligible.”

“Depo Provera (made by the Pfizer Corporation), the most deadly contraceptive (according to the FDA), is being marketed with malice and forethought at our precious women and girls of African descent world wide,” said Dr. Randy Short, a spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based Rebecca Project for Human Rights, in a scathing statement earlier this year exposing the Gates-Depo Provera scheme.

“Many nations have outlawed it, but it continues to be used in the USA, the Caribbean, Oceania, Latin America, and Africa,” Dr. Short noted. “The use of Depo Provera,” according to Short, “contributes to and in several cases causes life threatening diseases and medical problems: cervical cancer, breast cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, stroke, heart attack, sterility, miscarriages, HIV/AIDS, Chlamydia, and other STIs/STDs.”

Dr. Short said further:

In the USA, 84% of the Depo Provera is used by Black women. Wherever there are high rates of HIV/AIDS in Africa, the use of Depo Provera is universal. As recently as 2010, human experimentation on African women was done illegally with Depo Provera in Ghana. The USAID sends more Depo Provera to Africa than any other drug, and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation recently raised $2.6 billion dollars to buy Depo Provera to be able to “give” it to 100 million African women.

Dr. Short notes that “the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation got into trouble in Niger with some vaccination project being done on 180,000 African women.” “The Gates know that the drug is deadly,” says Short. “Mr. Gates’ father was an ardent eugenicist.”

An extensive new report by the Rebecca Project entitled “Depo-Provera: Deadly Reproductive Violence Against Women” provides a devastating critique of the unethical and criminal activities of organizations promoting the Depo Provera assault on the world’s poor. Among the many important revelations in the report is the dirty secret of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer’s ties to powerful “intermediaries.”

“Since it is illegal for Pfizer to promote off-label claims,” notes the report, “it utilizes intermediaries to evade US law who consequently become liable for the fraudulent promotion, marketing and administering of Depo Provera to women.”

According to the Rebecca Project report, the U.S. Department of Justice should charge Pfizer and its principal institutional intermediaries with fraud for the following and other reasons:

Pfizer with … Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, Population Council, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Planned Parenthood, Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, are engaged in a pattern of fraudulent and illegal promotion schemes with other agents and contractors, to deceive and defraud patients, US taxpayers, ethical physicians, ethical birth control providers, regulators/FDA, insurance companies, federal and state health programs, to cause prescribing and payments for Depo Provera.

The report also states:

The United States has created a normative population control worldview directed through a surreptitious patchwork of policies promulgated by organizations whose ideological formation and funding eugenicists have provided. At the top tier of population control policy are organizations created by pioneers and patrons of the eugenics movement: Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Population Council, UNFPA (The United Nations Fund for Population Activities), and their patrons: the Ford Foundation, (Margaret Hempel), the Rockefeller Foundation, (Judith Rodin) and USAID. The newcomers to this elite group of eugenicist policymakers are Bill and Melinda Gates, welcomed with their foray into promoting the injectable contraceptive Depo Provera while concealing life-threatening harm.

The “Good Club” Billionaires

As we have reported previously in The New American, Bill and Melinda Gates are members of a secretive, elite clique calling itself “The Good Club,” composed of billionaire eugenicists who champion population control.

The members of this group include David Rockefeller, George Soros, Warren Buffett, Michael Bloomberg, Ted Turner, and Oprah Winfrey. The Good Club is a major backer of the Obama administration’s Global Health Initiative, which is working, among other things, to further empower the World Health Organization, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and other United Nations agencies and programs.


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