{[ promptMessage ]}

Bookmark it

{[ promptMessage ]}

V.Shiva - xx Introduction resources are over-exploited or...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–7. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Background image of page 2
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Background image of page 4
Background image of page 5

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Background image of page 6
Background image of page 7
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: xx Introduction resources are over-exploited or diverted fromsurvival needs to the imperative of profit maximisation. The reductionist view of water and water management is contrasted with the holistic knowledge women have for-conservingand using it for survival. :The concluding chapter recapitulates the rationale behind the dominant science and technology and development paradigm that is responsible for the current economic and'ecological crises, and posits the reclaiming of the W, on- 'endered and human] inclusive alternative. ' _ Women of the Third World have conserved those categories of thought and action which make surviv'al poSsibIe, and which there fore make justice and peace possible. - Ecology movements, women’s movements and peace movements across the world can draw inspiration from these categories as forces of opposition and challenge to the dominant categories of western patriarchy which rule the world today in t 6 name of development an progress, even while t ey estroy nature an t r ‘ re culL tWH IS 0 ocus on an pay tri ute to the leadership 0 m a life that is simultaneously peaceful and just, that this bed; has ' been written.- - - ' ' - - 0 unknown women in India, struggling for . _ particular form of creation of wealth, but also of the associated ' creation of povety and dispossession. A replication of economic 1. Development, Ecology and-Women ' Development as a new project of western patriarchy ‘DevelOprnent‘ was to have been a post—colonial project, a choice it , for accepting a model of progress in which the entire world remade itself on the model of the colonising modern west, without havingto undergo the subjugation and exploitation :that colonial— ism entailed. The assumption was that westem style progress was possible for all. Development, as the improved well-being of all, a was thus equated with the westernisation of economic categories - — 'of needs, of prodtictivity, of growth. Concepts and categories . about economic development and natural resource utilisation that had emerged in the specific context of industrialisation and capi- talist growth in a centre of colonial power, were raised to the level of universal assumptions and applicability in the entirely different centext of basic needs satisfaction for the people of the newly independent Third World countries. Yet, as Rosa Luxemberg has .L pointed out, early industrial deveIOpment in Western Europe necessitated the permanent occupation of the colonies by the colonial powers and the destruction of the local ‘natural econ- . omy’.1 According to her, colonialism is a constant necessary condi- . ' tion for capitalist growth: without-colonies, capital accumulation .jwould grind to a halt. ‘Development’ as capital accumulation and _ the commercialisation of the‘economy for the generation of ‘sur- plus’, and profits thus involved the reproduction not merely of a 71 Rosa Luxemberg, The Accumulation of Capital London: Routledge and Kegan ' . Paul, 1951. , = “.MWWWWW.W,M M.mmmw..m_u. ‘l continuation of- the process of coloniSation; ' extension of the project of wealth creation in modern western '2 Staying Alive Idevelop‘ment'based on cemmercialisation of resource use for- commodity. production in the new1y independent countries created the internal colonies. 2 DeveIOpment was thus reduced to a it became an patriarChy’ 5 economic vision, which was based on the exploitation or exclusion of women (of the west and non— West), on the . exploitation and degradation of- nature, and On the exploitation and erOsion of other Cultures. ‘Development could not but entail destruction for women, nature and subjugated cultures, which' is Why,tl1r0ughout-the Third World, women, peasants arid tribals are f ' struggling” for liberation from ‘development just as they earlier struggled for liberation from colonialism The UN Decade for Women was based on the assumption that the improvement of women 5 economic position would automati- cally flow from an expansion anddiffusion. of the development process Yet by the end of the Decade, it was becoming clear that development itself was the problem. Insufficient and inadequate ‘participation in ‘development’ was not the cause for Women‘s increasing under-deveIOpment; it was rather, their enforced but - asymmetric participation in it, by which they bore the costs but , were excluded from the benefits that was responsible. Develop- ' ment exclusivity and dispossession aggravated and deepened the colonial processes of ecological degradation and the loss of politi- cal control over nature’ 5 sustenance base. Economic growth was a new colonialism, draining resources away from those who needed them most. The discontinuity lay in the fact that it was now new national elites, not colonial powers, that masterminded the exploi- tation on grounds of national interest‘ and growing GNPs, and it Was accomplished with more powerful technologies of appropria- tion and destruction. Ester Boserup3 has dOCumented how women 's impoverish— ment increased duringcolonial rule; those rulers who had spent a 3 An elaboration of how ‘develoPment' transfers resources frbm the poor to the I _ well-endowed is contained inJ Bandyopadhyay andV. Shiva, ‘Il’olitical Economy of Technological Polarisations‘ in Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XVIII, 1982, pp 1827—52; and J. Bandyopadhyay and. V. .Shiva, ‘Politicai Economy of Ecoldgy Movements', in Economic and Political Wesley, forthcoming. 3 Ester Boserup, Women‘s Role in Economic Development; London: Allen and Unwin, 1970. . '1 Development, Ecology and Women" 3" ' few Centuries in subjugating'and crippling their own women into - de- skilled, de-inteliectualised appendages, disfavoured'— the I women of the colonies on matters of access to land, technology - ' and employment. The economic and political processes of colon- ial under-development bore the "clear mark of modern western patriarchy, and while large numbers Of women and men were impoverished by these processes, women t-ended to lose more. . , . The privatisation of land for revenue generation displaced women ,1: ' I more critically, eroding their traditional- land u5e rights. The . errpansion of cash creps undermined. food production, and women _ - were often left with meagre resources to feed andcare for children, _ . the aged and the infirm, when 'men' migrated or were conscripted _ _ into forced. labour by the colonisers. As a' collective document by ' women activists, organisers and researChers stated at the end of the UN Decade for Women, -“The almost uniform conclusion of the Decade' 5 research is that with a few exceptions, women 5 relative access to economic resources, incomes and employment has wor- sened their burden of Work has increased, and their relative and ' even absolute health, nutritional and educational status has " declined. ’4 - / The displacement of women from productive activity by the ‘xtI expansion of deveIOpment was rooted largely in the manner in ' which development projects apprOpriated or destroyed the natural resource base for the production-"cf sustenance and survival. It destroyed women's productivityboth by 1emoving land, water and forests from their management'and control, as well as'through the ecological destruction of soil, water and vegetation systems so that nature’s productivity and renewability were impaired; Wh1le K gender subordination and patriarchy are the oldest of oppressions, ' they have taken on new and more violent forms through the pro- ject of development. Patriarchal categories which understand des- tructio'n. as ‘production and regeneration of Me as ‘passivity’ have generated a, crisis of survival Passivity, as an assumed category of. ' the‘ nature‘ of nature and of women, denies the activity of nature- and life. Fragmentation and uniformin as assumed categories Of progress and development destroy the living forces which arise from relationships within the ‘web of life’ and the diversity in the elements and patterns of these relationships. ,1 mm, Development Crisis and Alternative Vlsions: Third World Women’s-Pew .-' - peerlvec, Bergen: Christian Michelsen Institute, 1985, p. 21. 4 Staying Alive The economic biases and values againstnature, women and indigenous pe0ples are captured in this typical analysis of the ‘unproductiveness‘ of traditional natural societies: Production'is achieved through human and animal, rather than 'mechaniCal, power. Most agriculture is unproductive; human or animal manure may-be used but chemical fertilis- ers and pesticides are unknown . . . . For the masses, these. conditions mean poverty.5 ‘ --’17he--assumptions‘ areevident: nature is unproductive; organic agriculture based on‘nature’s cycles of renewability spells poverty; women and tribal and peasant societies embedded in nature are similarly unproductive, not because it has been demonstrated that in cooperation they produce less ‘goods and services for needs, but- because it is assumed that ‘production’ takes place only when- mediated by technologies for commodity production, even when such technologies destroy life. Astable and clean river is not a productive resource in this view: it needs to be ‘deveIOped’ with dams, in order to become so. Women, Sharing the river- as a com- mons to satisfy the water-needs of their families and society are not involved in productive labour: when substituted by the engineer- ing man, water management and water use become productive activities. Natural forests remain unproductive till they are deve— loped into monoculture plantations of commercial species. Devel- opment thus, is equivalent to maldevelopment, a develoPme-nt bereft Of the feminine, the conservation, the ecological prinCiplefi The neglect of nature’s work in renewing herself, and women’s work in. produCing sustenance in the form of basic,'vital needs is an essential part of the paradigm of maldevelopment, which sees all work that does not produce profits and capital as non or unproduc- tive work. As Maria Mies‘i-has pointed out, this concept of surplus has a patriarchal bias because, from the point of view of nature and _ women, it is not based on material surplus produced over and above the requirements of the community: it is stolen and approp- riated through violent modes from nature (who needs a share of. I her produce to-reproduce herself)_and from Women (who need a 5 M. George Foster, TraditionalSocien’es and Technological Change, Delhi: Allied- Publishers, 1973. I ' ' . I ' I- . . ' . 6Maria Mies, Patriarcby'and Accuinulation on a World Scale, London: Zed, . Books, 1986_.._.l _ ' ' - 1 Development, Ecoloy and Women 5 share of nature’s produce to produce sustenance and ensure . survival). . From the perspective of Third World women, productivity is a ll; measure of producing life and sustenance; that this kind of produc- tivity has been rendered invisible doesnot reduce its centrality to ' Survival — it merely reflects the domination of modern patriarchal economic categories which see only profits, not life. . Maldevelopment as the death of the feminine principle In this analysis, maldevelopment becomes a new source .of male- female inequality. ‘Modernisationl has been associated with the introduCtion of new forms of dominance. Alice SchlegeP has shown that under conditions of subsistence, the interdependence and complementarity of the separate male and female domains of work is the characteristic mode, based on diversity, not inequality. Maldevelopment militates against. this equality in diversity, and superimposes the ideologically constructed category of western technological man as a uniform measure of the worth of c1asSes, cultures and genders. Dominant modes of perception baSed on reductionism, duality and linearity are unable to cope with equality in' diversity, with forms and activities that are significant and valid, even though different The reductionist mind superimposes the n, roles and forms of power of western male-oriented concepts on- women, all non-western peOples and even on nature, rendering all three ‘deficient’, and in need of “deveIOpment’. Diversity, and unity and harmony in diversity, become epistemologlcal'ly unattainable . in the context of maldevelopment, which then becomes synonym- ous with women’s underdevelopment (increasing sexistdomina— -. tion), and nature‘s depletion (deepening ecological crises). Commodities have grown, but nature has shrunk: The p0verty cri- ' sis of the South arises from the growing scarcity of water, food, fodder and fuel, associated with increasing maldevelopment and ecological destruction. This poverty crisis touches women most severely, first because they are the-poorest among the poor, and then because, with nature, they are the primary sustainers of . .society. . . - . , _ ..;.Maldevelopment. is the violation of the integrity of organic; ‘ if , VLAlicezSchlegel (ed), SexualStrnn‘flcation: A Crass-Cultural Study, New York: . lgolumbia-UniversityPress,1977. . . - “6 Staying an _ interconnected and-interdependent systems, that sets in. motion a process of rexploitatiOn, inequality, injustice and violence. It is blind to the fact that a recognition of nature's-harmony and action to maintain it. are preconditions for distributive justice. This is why _ Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘There' is enough in the world for everyone’s need, but not for, some people’s 'greed.-_’ ' ' - , y Maidevelo ment is maldevelopmentin thought and action; In practice, this fragmented, reductionist,- dualist perspective violates ' _ the integrity and harmony of. man'in nature, and the harmony between men and women..It'r_up.tures the co—operative unity" of masculine and feminine, and places than, shorn of thenfeminine , principle, above nature and women, and separated from both. The violence to nature as sy'mptotnatis'ed by the ecological crisis, and. 7 the violence to women,.as symptomatised by their subjugation and 1 fl exploitation arise from this subjugation of the feminine pginCip‘ 1e. 1 ' ' want 'to argue that what. is currently called development is essen- tiaily maldevelopment, based on the introduction oraccentuation of the dominatiOn of man over natu’re and women. in it, both are viewed as the ‘other’, the passive non-self. Activity,” productivity, creativity which were associated with the feminine principle are : expropriated as qualities of nature and women, and transformed , into the exclusive qualities of man. Nature and women are turned E into passive objects,:to be 'used and exploited for the uncontrolled and uncontrollable desires of alienated man. From being the crea- tors and s'ustainers of life, nature and women are reduced to being ‘re’sOurces’ in the fragmented, anti-life model of maldevelopment. Two'kinds of growth, two kinds of productivity _ Maldevelopment is usually called ‘eco'nomic growth’, measured by the Gross National Pioduct. Porritt, a leading ecologist has this to ‘ ' I say; of GNP: _ . _ _ _ , Gross NationalProduct «— for Once a word is being used cor- rect'ly. Even conventional'econo’mists adrnit that the hey-day - of GNP is over, for the simple reason that as a measure of progress, it’s mdre or less inseless. GNPmeasures the lot,- all the goods and services produced in the money economy. Many of these goods and services are not beneficial to peo- pie, but rather a measure of justho'w much is going wrong; increased spending on crime, ‘on pollution, on the‘many -i=-.. n3 Development, Ecology and Women 7 human Casualties of- our society, increased spending because of waste .or planned obsolescence, mereased spending because of 7. grouting 'bureaucracresr its all .. icountedfi - '_' _' ' .' -.- ‘. , .d . . f The problem with GNP is that it measuressome costs as benefits ' (eg. pollution control) and fails to measure other costs completely. Among these hidden costs are the new burdens created'by ecolog-' ical devastation, cests that are i_ variably heavier for women,'b0th .in the North and Southglt is hardly surprising, therefore, that as GNP rises, it does not necessarily'mean‘that either‘wealth or welfare increase preportionately. .I would argue that one is becoming,- increasingly, a measure of how realwealth — the wealth. of nature and that produced by women for sustaining life —-‘is rapidly decreasing: _ When commodity production as the prime economic activrty, is- introduced as development, it destroys the potentialof nature and _ women to produce life andgoods‘ and services for basic needs. _ More Commodities and more cash mean less life 5- in nature (through- \ ecological destruction) and in society (through. denial of basic needs). Women are 'devaluedfirst, because their worklcoope'rates with nature’s processes, and second, because work which satisfies needs and ensures sustenance is devalued in general. Precrsely because more growth in maldevelopment has meant lesssuste nance of life and life-support systems, it is now imperative to rec- over the. feminine printiple as the basis for development which conserves and is ecological. Feminism as ecology, and ecology as the revival of Prakriti, the source of all life,_become the decentred poWers of political and economic transformation and ‘restructuring; This involves, first, a recognition that categories of prodnctrvrty- . and growth which have been taken to be positive, progressrve and universal are, .in reality, restricted patriarchal categories. When viewed from the point of view of nature's productivrty and growth, and women’s production of sustenance, they are found to be. eco- -, logically destructive and a source of gender inequality. It is no accident that'the modern, efficient and productive technologies , created within the context-of growth in market economic termsare; associated with heavy ecological costs, borne largely by women. The resource and energy intensive production processes they give I date to demand ever increasing resource withdrawals from the ”0.12m Porritt, Seeing Green, Oxford: Blackwell, 1984. 8 Slowing Alive ecosystem. These withdrawals disrupt essential ecological pro- cesses and convert renewable resources into non-renevvable ones. - A‘forest for example, provides inexhaustible supplies of diverse biomass over time if its capital stock is'maintained and it is har- vested on a sustained yield basis. The heavy and uncontrolled demand for industrial and commercial whod, however, requires the continuous overfelling of trees which exceeds the regenerative capacity of the forest ecosystem, and eventually converts the forests into non-renewable resources. Women's work in the collec- tion of water, fodder and fuel is thus rendered more energy and time-consuming. (in Garhwal, for example, I have seen women who originally colleCted fodder and fuel in a few hours, now-travel- ling long distances by truck to collect grass and leaves in a task that might take up to two days.) Sometimes the damage to nature’s intrinsic regenerative capacity is impaired not'by over-exploitation“ of a particular resource but, indirectly; by damage caUSed to other related natural resources through ecological processes. Thus the excessive overfelling of trees in the catchment arcas of streams and rivers destroys not only forest resources, but also renewable supp- lies of water, through hydrological deStabilisation. Resource inten- srve industries disrupt essential ecological processes not only by their excessive demands for raw material, but by their pollution of air and water and soil. Often such destruction is caused by the resource demands of non-vital industrial products. Inspite of severe ecological crises, this paradigm continues to operate because for the North and for the elites of the South, resources continue to be available, even now. The lack of recognition of nature 5 processes for survival as factors in the process of economic- developme‘nt shrouds the political issues arising from resource transfer and resource destruction, and creates an ideological wea- pon fo...
View Full Document

{[ snackBarMessage ]}