‘Why women will save the planet’ released today features 25 articles and interviews from leading lights in the environmental and feminist movements including Dr Sarah Richardson of the University of Warwick’s History department.
The book is a rallying call to environmental campaigning groups and other environmentalists who have, on the whole, neglected women's empowerment in their work. The book aims to encourage the environmental movement and women's movement to join in fighting the twin evils of women's oppression and environmental degradation, because social justice and environmental sustainability are two sides of the same coin.
The book features a chapter by Dr Sarah Richardson, historian at the University of Warwick, entitled, ‘Mistresses of their own Destiny: a history of women’s empowerment in 19th Century British politics’.
Sarah is an academic on political, constitutional and gender history at the University of Warwick in the UK. She is the author of ‘The Political Worlds of Women: Gender and Politics in Nineteenth Century Britain’, a book which identified the over-looked role of middle-class women in political affairs in the nineteenth century.
Her piece for this book draws on her research to highlight the important role played by women in achieving environmental and social reform. She shows how women often find alternative ways to contribute to and influence society in a male-dominated world.
Dr Sarah Richardson, historian at the University of Warwick said,
“This book is a fantastic way for me to highlight inequalities of the past between men and women that are still around today. Women are still disadvantaged in many societies both politically and civilly. Using examples past and present I demonstrate that there are many opportunities for women to take direct action and make a difference, especially in relation to issues that affect them personally. Using these techniques I hope more women take the opportunity to mobilise people using these alternate forms of political participation. It’s important for everyone to remember that you do not necessarily have to become an MP to make a difference.”
You can purchase the book online here:
Notes to editors:
Dr Sarah Richardson is available for further comment and interview
Dr Sarah Richardson
(1) About the book
Women's empowerment is critical to environmental sustainability, isn't it? When Friends of the Earth asked this question on Facebook half of respondents said yes and half said no, with women as likely to say no as men.
This collection of articles and interviews, from some of the leading lights of the environmental and feminist movements, demonstrates that achieving gender equality is vital if we are to protect the environment upon which we all depend. It is a rallying call to environmental campaigning groups and other environmentalists who have, on the whole, neglected women's empowerment in their work.
We hope that the book will encourage the environmental movement and women's movement to join in fighting the twin evils of women's oppression and environmental degradation, because social justice and environmental sustainability are two sides of the same coin.
Why Women Will Save the Planet is published by Zed Books on 24th November 2015; review copies can be obtained from Charlotte Hutchinson at Zed Books (firstname.lastname@example.org). The book can be purchased online for £9.99 from www.foe.co.uk/shop
(2) About Big Ideas
Why Women Will Save the Planet forms part of Friends of the Earth’s three-year research project Big Ideas Change the World, which aims to inspire a new campaigning journey for Friends of the Earth and others. It is collaboratively researching ten topics, including the future of cities, innovation, women’s empowerment and the history of change. It starts from the premise that humans are ingenious and have enormous capacity for collaboration and empathy, even though right now we are doing some pretty stupid things.
Big Ideas Change the World will identify what needs to change to focus some of humanity's amazing abilities on solving the challenges we face and building a brighter future for everyone.
Find out more and get involved at www.foe.co.uk/bigideas
(3) About the contributors
For this book, Friends of the Earth commissioned articles from and conducted interviews with more than 30 women from wide range of sectors:
• Diane Elson, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Essex , and chair of the UK Women’s Budget Group
• Wanjira Maathai, chair of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya and daughter of Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai
• Melissa Leach and Lyla Mehta, Institute for Development Studies
• Caroline Lucas, UK Green Party MP and activist
• Susan Buckingham, feminist geographer at Brunel University
• Yvonne Orengo, director of the Andrew Lees Trust working with NGO in Madagascar
• Julie Nelson, Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts Boston
• Anna Fitzpatrick, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts London
• Celia Alldridge, activist with the World March of Women
• Vandana Shiva, philosopher, activist and co-author of Ecofeminism
• Quinn Bernier, Chiara Kovik, Ruth Meinzen-Dick and Agnes Quisumbing, International Food Policy Research Institute
• Isabel Bottoms and Amena Sharaf, Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights
• Nathalie Holvoet and Liesbeth Inberg, development academics at the University of Antwerp
• Shukri Haji Ismail Bandare and Fatima Jibrell, Somali NGO leaders
• Esther Mwangi, forest research scientist at the Centre for International Forest Research
• Barbara Stocking, formerly CEO of Oxfam GB
• Nidhi Tandon, director of Networked Intelligence for Development
• Maria Mies, sociologist, activist and co-author of Ecofeminism
• Sarah Fisher, Advocacy and Policy Manager, Population and Sustainability Network
• Kate Metcalf and other activists at Women’s Environmental Network
• Marilyn Haines Evans, Vice Chair of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes
• Juliet Davenport, CEO of Good Energy
• Emma Howard Boyd, UK business leader and member of the 30% Club Steering Committee
• Fiona Reynolds, former Director General of the National Trust
• Cathy Newman, journalist for Channel 4 news
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