Christa Wichterich (University of Kassel): In Defense of Life and Livelihoods. Ecofeminist perspectives of analysis of and resistance against violence against bodies, territories and nature
October 19, 2022 12:15 pm UK time


SARS Covid-19 has broken up the prevailing western narrative of the rule of reason in societies, and its domination over bodies and nature. It has exposed the crisis of society-nature relations which is apparent in the destructive paradigm of the growth-obsessed, resource-intensive and extractivist development model, its depletion of the care labour force, resources and ecosystems, and the vulnerability of bodies and societies. This contribution starts with a brief review of different types of ecofeminisms, of feminist political economy and feminist environmentalism; the main point of critique is the former essentialist feature of some ecofeminists. The input then embarks on a time- and space-diagnostic analysis of the current modernization of the neoliberal capitalist mode of production and social reproduction, and of the appropriation of land, livelihoods and diversity. Finally it explores strategies of resistance. Recent changes of ecofeminism build on a more intersectional analysis which links feminist ecology and feminist political economics, and gears towards an emancipatory socio-ecological transformation. Care work and care ethics are pivotal in theoretical and practical concepts towards breaking up the productivity- and profit-oriented rationale of resource use instead of conviviality of humans and nature. The care approach in the framework of ecofeminism has to be critical of power structures, dualisms and hierarchies in the society-nature relations and needs commoning and resistance for (re)claiming of spaces and territories. Analyse, politicise, resist, transform and beware of romanticism.


Christa Wichterich is a scholar-activist, a Professor at the University of Kassel. She is a sociologist specialised in gender politics, women’s movements and feminist ecology. She is the author of the influential books The Globalized Woman: Reports from a Future of Inequality and The Future We Want: A Feminist Perspective. She also works as a freelance publicist, author, and as a consultant in development cooperation. She spent several years in India and Iran working as a university lecturer and in Kenya as an Africa correspondent. She is actively involved in the Scientific Advisory Board of attac Germany and in the Europe-based network Women in Development Europe (WIDE+).

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