Women, the Environment and Sustainable Development: Towards a Theoretical Synthesis

There is a widespread perception that the development process is in a state of multiple crisis. While the notion of sustainable development is supposed to address adequately its environmental dimensions, there is still no agreed framework relating women to this new perspective. This book is an attempy to present and disentangle the various positions put forward by major actors and to clarify the political and theoretical issues that are at stake in the debates on women, the environment and sustainable development. Among the current critiques of the Western model of development which the authors review are the feminist analysis of Science itself and the power relations inherent in the production of knowledge; Women, Environment and Development (WED); Alternative Development; Environmental Reformism; and Deep Ecology, Social Ecology and Ecofeminism. In traversing this important landscape of ideas, they show how they criticise the dominant development model at the various levels of epistemology, theory and policy. The authors also go further and put forward their own ideas as to the basic elements they consider necessary in constructing a paradigmatic shift - emphasising such values as holism, mutuality, justice, autonomy, self-reliance, sustainability and peace. This unique work is a signally useful contribution to clarifying thinking on a topic with immense implications for all women.