Women’s Earth Stewardship

At this time of global climate and ecological emergency, ICA believes that one significant key to building regenerative human cultures* is by accelerating women’s stewardship of Earth restoration projects.

Video: Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace & Security, Women on the frontlines of Climate Change.

Video: ActionAid Bangladesh, Women’s Leadership and Climate Change.

ICA 3 -year Strategy:

Research Platform: In order to achieve its goal of building regenerative human cultures by accelerating women’s stewardship of Earth restoration projects, ICA will begin work in the first year (2021) by undertaking a study of existing projects that are stewarded by women in India. This research will look at women’s leadership in existing restoration projects – qualities of leadership, challenges faced, internal and external resources, skills, talents, enablers of leadership, sustainability, gaps, vision for the future & impact of leadership on culture, & review of ripple effects on general community.

Women’s Earth Stewardship Network: Simultaneously (In the first year), ICA also intends to set up a Women’s Earth Stewardship Network to build solidarity, provide support, share resources and a platform to cross-pollinate ideas across projects.

Women’s Earth Stewardship Fellowship: As an outcome of the research study, and through consultation with the network, a fellowship will be collaboratively designed and offered for women interested in Earth restoration work. In the second year (2022), ICA intends to run its first Women’s Earth Stewardship Fellowship, collaboratively with the network.

Fundraising for women’s projects in Earth Restoration: In the third year (2023), ICA intends to support the first cohort of fellows for running their own Earth-restoration projects by fundraising and channeling resources to them. ICA intends to support the network and future fellows by serving as a fundraising platform as well as a center point for the network to converge, collaborate, brainstorm, find solutions and celebrate together.

Val Plumwood on Women and Nature
"Women have faced an unacceptable choice within patriarchy with
 respect to their ancient identity as nature. They either accept it
 (naturalism) or reject it (and endorse the dominant mastery model).

 Attention to the dualistic problematic shows a way of resolving this dilemma. Women must be treated as just as fully human and as fully part of human culture as men. But both men and women must
 challenge the dualised conception of human identity and develop an
 alternative culture which fully recognises human identity as continuous with, not alien from, nature. 
The dualised conception of nature as inert, passive and mechanistic would also be challenged as part of this development.

 Thus the anti-dualist approach reveals a third way which does not
force women into the choice of uncritical participation in a masculine biased and dualised construction of culture or into accepting an old and oppressive identity as ‘earth mothers’: outside of culture, opposed to culture, not fully human. In this alternative, women are not seen as purely part of nature any more than men are; both men and women are part of both nature and culture (Warren 1987; Ynestra King 1989)

Both men and women can stand with nature (Ynestra King 1989) and work for breaking down the dualistic construction of culture, but in doing so they will come from different historical places and have different things to contribute to this process. Because of their placement in the sphere of nature and exclusion from an oppositional culture, what women have to contribute to this process may be especially significant.

 Their life-choices and historical positioning often compel a deeper discomfort with dualistic structures and foster a deeper questioning of a dualised culture."

- Val Plumwood, Feminism and the Mastery of Nature, 1993.

*Regenerative cultures are unique expressions of the potential inherent in the people and places of a given bioregion. They add value and health to the nested wholeness from local, to regional, to global in the understanding that human thriving critically depends on healthy ecosystems and a life-supporting biosphere.
Daniel Christian Wahl

Inner Climate Academy (ICA)

ICA is a project of Social Entrepreneurship Association, a unit of the Auroville Foundation.

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