This article traces the history of women’s environmental activism in India after independence. The earliest organizing efforts came from women from indigenous communities who wanted to collectively push back against government and private encroachments into communal lands. From the 1970s to the late 1980s, ecofeminism became a dominant paradigm to analyze and respond to environmental issues globally. Indian feminists adapted the model to analyzing ecological issues locally while also pushing back against its essentialism and its blindness to social and economic inequities. Indian eco(feminist) socialists demanded a centering of the voices of the most vulnerable communities in environmental movements. In the 1990s, the economic liberalization of India slowed the energy of women organizing around ecological issues. Even as the country became increasingly polluted and prone to disasters related to climate change, there was very little public discussion on ecological justice, in fact, middle-class environmentalism began to dominate the public space. Today, there is an urgent need for an ecological paradigm that centers social justice, in other words, a revival of an environmentalism of the poor. The alternative is an unsustainable, unlivable world.
"A History of Ecofeminist-Socialist Resistance to Eco-crisis in India,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 24:
2, Article 4.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol24/iss2/4