In this blog, Masuma Moriom writes thoroughly about how we can use inclusive communication to bring together and disseminate the work of two major fields, Ecofeminism and Resilience.
Amidst the intricate tapestry of global challenges that confront us today, two significant movements have come to the fore - ecofeminism and the pursuit of resilience. While both these concepts grapple with urgent issues, they often operate in separate realms. This blog delves into the crucial harmony between ecofeminism and resilience, underscoring the pivotal role of inclusive communication in uniting them for a more sustainable and just future.
Defining Ecofeminism and Resilience
Before we embark on the fusion of ecofeminism and resilience, let's provide definitions for these two ideals:
Ecofeminism: Ecofeminism is a socio-environmental movement that "intersects feminist and ecological concerns" (Merchant, 1995, as cited in Smith, 2020). It recognizes the historical and ongoing connections between the subjugation of women and the degradation of nature (Mies & Shiva, 1993). Ecofeminism emphasizes the intertwined oppressions of gender and the environment, advocating for a holistic and harmonious relationship between humanity and the planet (Adams, 2015).
Resilience: Resilience, within the context of climate change and sustainability, refers to the capacity of individuals, communities, and ecosystems to "absorb shocks, adapt, and thrive in the face of adversity" (Folke, 2016). Resilience thinking encourages flexibility, learning, and adaptive strategies in the face of global challenges, such as climate change and social disruptions (Walker & Salt, 2006).
Uniting Ecofeminism and Resilience
Both ecofeminism and resilience underscore the notion of interconnectedness. Ecofeminism identifies the ties between the exploitation of women and nature, while resilience acknowledges the interdependence of natural systems and human societies. Recognising these connections stands as a critical initial stride.
Valuing Diversity: Ecofeminism underscores the significance of valuing a variety of perspectives and experiences. Similarly, inclusivity is a cornerstone of resilience. Inclusive communication concerning climate change and sustainability guarantees that the voices of marginalized individuals, including women and indigenous communities, are not only heard but also considered.
Empowering Marginalized Groups: Ecofeminism calls for the empowerment of marginalized groups, particularly women. Resilience is fortified when every member of a community, irrespective of their gender, race, or economic standing, actively participates in decision-making processes. Inclusive communication platforms can amplify these voices.
Local and Indigenous Knowledge: Both ecofeminism and resilience recognize the worth of local and indigenous knowledge. Women, often the primary custodians of their communities, possess invaluable traditional wisdom regarding sustainable practices and environmental protection. Resilience strategies should encompass this wisdom through inclusive communication.
Promoting Sustainable Lifestyles: Ecofeminism encourages reevaluating consumerist and patriarchal ideologies that harm the environment and marginalize women. Resilience strategies frequently involve transitioning toward sustainable lifestyles and economies. Inclusive communication can bridge the divide by raising awareness of these transitions.
Photo 1: Conducting Campaigns for the college going female students on effective communication for building resilient future for women; Photo credit: Author
Inclusive Communication: A Pathway to Harmony
The fusion of ecofeminism and resilience hinges upon the art of inclusive communication. Inclusive communication serves as the conduit through which every voice, with a special emphasis on the often marginalized, finds a platform to be heard, respected, and woven into the fabric of decision-making. It transcends the confines of traditional power structures, nurturing a landscape of collaboration and cooperation. Within the context of ecofeminism and resilience, inclusive communication unfurls its components in the following manner:
Amplifying the Voices of the Marginalized: Inclusive communication platforms actively seek and resonate with the voices of women, indigenous communities, and other marginalized groups. These perspectives shine a brilliant light on the path to sustainable practices and the strategies of resilience.
Sharing the Wealth of Local and Indigenous Wisdom: Inclusive communication creates a sanctum for the sharing of local and indigenous knowledge, a wellspring of wisdom that is indispensable for comprehending and addressing environmental shifts and forging resilient communities.
Photo 2: Discussion with orphaned female children, with disabilities ; Photo credit: Author
Challenging the Shackles of Gender Stereotypes: Inclusive communication fearlessly challenges and dismantles the gender stereotypes that have for so long constricted our horizons. It recognizes that both women and men play indelible roles in the tapestry of resilience efforts, with their perspectives and contributions equally vital.
Empowering Women: Inclusive communication becomes the crucible where women are forged into powerful advocates armed with the tools and platforms to champion sustainable practices and resilience strategies. It acknowledges the pivotal role women often occupy on the frontlines of environmental challenges, demanding their active participation in shaping solutions.
Advocating for Sustainable Lifestyles: Inclusive communication takes center stage in the grand theater of public discourse, passionately conveying the significance of sustainable lifestyles. It beckons individuals and communities to embrace eco-friendly practices, guiding them toward informed choices.
Let's cast our gaze upon real-world vignettes that poignantly demonstrate the transformative magic of inclusive communication, bridging the chasm between ecofeminism and resilience:
The Chipko Movement: A paragon of ecofeminism, this movement in India witnessed women from rural communities embracing trees to protest deforestation, forming a living shield for their local environment. Inclusive communication played the role of the herald, raising global awareness of their struggle and rallying worldwide support.
Women in Climate Adaptation Planning: Across the globe, regions now realize the treasure trove of women's knowledge and their vulnerabilities in climate adaptation planning. Inclusive communication ensures that women's voices are not merely included but are given a prominent place in these crucial planning processes.
Women Farmers' Cooperatives: In the agrarian tapestry, women-led cooperatives are infusing rural communities with the strength to adapt to shifting climate patterns. Inclusive communication platforms become the storytellers, sharing their successes and best practices with a captivated audience.
Online Platforms for Indigenous Voices: The digital realm, including social media and websites, has provided a powerful canvas for indigenous communities to depict their traditional knowledge about climate resilience. Inclusive communication technology stands as the bridge that unites distant shores, connecting these communities with a global audience.
In our contemporary age, the likes of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have emerged as potent instruments for amplifying voices once relegated to the margins. Women, indigenous communities, and sustainability champions harness these platforms to share their life stories, insights, and calls to action. Hashtags like #Ecofeminism and #ResilienceForAll transform local concerns into global movements.
Real-life sagas affirm the immense potential of inclusive communication as the bridge uniting ecofeminism and resilience. From the iconic Chipko Movement, where inclusive communication ignited international solidarity, to the active involvement of women in climate adaptation planning, the transformative effects of this partnership are undeniable. As we stride forward, embracing the principles of inclusive communication, fortified by the dynamic force of social media, becomes imperative. It is through these principles that we honor the voices of the marginalized, treasure local and indigenous wisdom, break down the barriers of gender stereotypes, empower women, and usher in a harmonious bond between humanity and the planet.
Charting the Path Ahead
As we embark on our journey to uncover the harmony between ecofeminism and resilience, a radiant truth emerges: inclusive communication stands as the luminary bridge that unites these two noble endeavors. The pursuit of resilience flourishes under the nurturing principles of ecofeminism, which gracefully acknowledge the intricate dance between gender, environment, and society. Simultaneously, ecofeminism finds solace and strength in resilience strategies that bow before the altar of adaptability and sustainability.
In the tapestry of our onward march, it becomes imperative that inclusive communication takes center stage in our grand symphony to confront the monumental challenges of climate change, sustainability, and gender equality. This symphony reverberates with the harmonious notes of recognizing the voices of the silenced, the treasuring of indigenous wisdom, the audacious challenge to age-old gender preconceptions, the steadfast empowerment of women, and the fervent advocacy for eco-conscious ways of life.
To draw the curtains on this discourse, the merger of ecofeminism and resilience through the embrace of inclusive communication stands as the enchanted key to unlock a world that is not only more sustainable but profoundly equitable. By acknowledging their shared tenets of interconnectedness, the celebration of diversity, and the resolute empowerment of the marginalized, we artfully construct a bridge that spans the chasm between these two noble movements. Inclusive communication, as the hallowed link, assumes the role of an amplifier, a herald of critical knowledge, a fearless challenger of stereotypes, an empowering force for women, and a beacon guiding us toward lives that honor the environment. Real-life stories etch in vivid ink the transformative alchemy of this partnership. As we tread forth, the embrace of these guiding principles becomes the cornerstone in the construction of a symphony that orchestrates a more harmonious bond between humanity and the planet. It is a promise of a brighter, more equitable, and inherently just world.
MasumaMoriom is the Communication Officer of GRRIPP South Asia. She is also the Founder and President of Shwapno Youth Development Organization. She has over seven years experiences and expertise in communication, volunteering, social work and development sector. For her contributions, she has been awarded Gold Award of the Duke of Edinburgh Award 2022, Kalam Youth Leadership Award 2021, Inspiring Women Volunteer Award 2021, Outstanding Leadership Award as a Frontline Fighter during Covid-19, Global Change Makers Award 2020, National Youth Icon Award 2019 and many more.