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Why the resistance of women to extractivism and climate change?

Why the resistance of women to extractivism and climate change?

In practice, just as women have been subdued by capital, it is now also the servitude of nature that would allow infinite accumulation.

Just as women are supposed to know and must 'love' and therefore take care of the home, the elderly, children or the sick in a mandatory way - free of charge because it is not a job but it is intrinsic in them-, Mother Nature provides us with environmental 'services', because 'she has always done it' and it is her own.

Neither of these two things is true. On the one hand, love for a person cannot be used as a justification for becoming a domestic slave or reproducer of human beings.

In the same way, the gifts of nature should not be used as a source of ‘services’, previously more referred to as ‘natural capital’.

This change of name is not insignificant since it represents the assumption that nature has goods and offers services, with extreme abstraction, since it is no longer An Environmental Capital, but infinite commodities capable of increasing monetary and financial capital.

Capitalism not only depends on housework –free-, but it also depends on the millions of poorly paid women joining the labor market, it is Human Capital almost infinitely. Thus, governments often promote programs for women entrepreneurs who work at home so that, in practice, they do not have to neglect their obligations at home, or have to access social security.

For example, in the Amazon, oil companies require women to take care of the homes while men are workers in hydrocarbon activities; or they require women to cook or wash clothes in the camps; or they need sex workers around the operations. In Ecuador, authorities rejoice in promoting women-supported projects such as those created to feed the hordes of oil workers who invade territories for land clearing and seismic exploration.

However, these jobs have turned the women of the area into servants of the oil capital.

The same is true of nature. The ‘environmental services’ market appropriates the work of nature, turning it into a kind of work. This is the case with REDD + and REDD ++ mechanisms (1), and projects of this type, which have a double chance of profit because, on the one hand, states, companies and banks buy or sell environmental services (such as the carbon cycle) appropriating the work of nature and, on the other hand, they have communities that work like any other stock of cheap labor that takes care of their merchandise and that becomes part of the global market.

In the latter case, it is also women who play an important role by being deprived of autonomy and creativity.

For example, in the case of Ecuador, women and nature suffer equally and are subject to this double submission.

The overexploitation of women's work adds to the criminalization of women who undergo abortions; and the polluted and deteriorated nature is fenced off, its rivers seized and turned into a servant of ecosystem goods and services. Both put at the command of the new productive matrix and knowledge.

This plan of capitalist modernity is creating new types of women, less emancipated and new, less free natures. With discipline, as with women who want to be masters of their future, they want to "control nature, dominate it, live in harmony with it but know how to control its extremes and if not continue to be its victims" (2).

Nothing has changed in modernizing thinking for more than 300 years. But despite this, both women and nature resist. In fact, it is women who are resisting most strongly in the territories against the entry of oil companies, mining companies or environmental services.

They fight at home when the husband wants a job with the oil company, they fight in the community because they oppose REDD projects, they fight in the cities for democracy. Women are key in the resistance to the extractive model, as a key piece in the anti-capitalist transformative process. Likewise, nature is resisting strongly manifesting itself with climatic chaos, floods, droughts, etc. We must dialogue with her and listen to her message. An example of organization and resistance is that of women in Ecuador, where in October 2014 there was a meeting of women who fought against mining and oil activities. From that meeting came the Declaration of the Meeting of Women against Extractivism and Climate Change where you can read: “We do not want development alternatives that have meant the extinction of cultures and peoples; This is a development of death, of destruction, focused on the exploitation, mainly of oil and minerals. This development has no future, we know it because we have already lived it for more than 500 years. We have the alternative to development.

That is why we PROVIDE:

• recover food sovereignty

• recover water sovereignty

• recover energy sovereignty, that is to say

• recover mother earth as a nutrient for our bodies, for our people

• produce to generate healthy food for Good Living That is why we are fighting so that minerals are

remain in the subsoil, and that the oil of the Amazon remains unexploited.

These are the true solutions to climate change and a way to conserve our biodiversity, which is our true wealth ”(3).

Examples like these there are many.

Women walking together, building solidarity and creating forms of struggle and creative and courageous resistance.

It is time for the upcoming UN climate negotiations to be feminized! Ivonne Yanez, Ecological Action, Ecuador Email: iv[email protected]

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Video: Women, Gender, and Climate Change (July 2021).