By Dr. Vandana Shiva on World Environment Day
Now is the time to reject the industrial agriculture model, a model that came from and behaves like war. Industrial agriculture is destroying life on Earth, destroying the role of women in food and farming, destroying our health and the health of the planet.
Instead, we can regenerate through our diversity. Now is the time to let nature and women lead the way to an agriculture that is ecological, that makes peace with the Earth, and that produces more food for all beings on the Earth. Our beautiful Mother Earth is so diverse in climates, in geographies, in plants, in animals, and in cultures that working in harmony with her creates cultural diversity. The diversity of the mountains in the Himalaya is very different from that of the desert of the Sahara. But still, all are organised around the diversity of the Earth. Cultural diversity and biological diversity go hand in hand.
Diverse Women for Diversity is a movement for diversity, for our cultural diversity, for our biological diversity. Diversity is the expression of nature and freedom. Diversity is the expression of society and cultures in their freedom. Monocultures are an expression of domination and a silencing of diversity. Diverse Women for Diversity stands for the diversity and freedom of every living being on this planet; it stands for the diversity of women as a power against the monoculture of the mind. We resist monocultures of the mind through our creativity. We stand for freedom. Now is the time to see the amazing creative work being done by women across the world. It is time to listen to them, and let women lead the way.
The dominant system based on mechanistic philosophy, the illusion of capital being creative, and the dominating power of patriarchy have assumed that both women and nature are inert, passive objects to be owned, violated, and consumed.
Instead, Ecofeminism opens the eyes of all humanity to the fact that women are creative, and powerful in a non-violent form. Nature is the creative force that gives us life and everything we need. The convergence of the creative power of nature and women is ecofeminism. Ecofeminism is the simple recognition that women are alive, creative, productive and nature is alive, creative, and productive. Both women and nature have been denied their agency and subjected to the transforming power of the capitalist patriarchy’s false assumptions. Women are not a passive second sex and nature is not dead, inert matter. Women and indigenous people have evolved agriculture throughout millennia. They are the scientists of farming with nature, protecting biodiversity, and growing food, all while working in partnership with life on the planet.
Diverse Women for Diversity recognizes that the smallest organism, that tiny blade of grass, just like every woman, and every culture is self-organised and autonomous, but also related to others. Self-organised synergy and symbiosis is the basis of sustainability and freedom.
We have for too long been made to look as if we are passive. Our actions are calling for a change in paradigm and a change in policies. Instead of top-down policies wiping out diversity, we are calling for living, bottom-up policies that grow from the ground up in a beautiful celebration of freedom as diversity. For 50 years, the colonising instinct has dominated and turned us women into objects to be owned. It is time to wake up and listen to the voices of women, living diversity, living non-violently, living with each other in creative form. We call on decision makers and policymakers to remove the blinders of the monoculture of the mind. To remove arrogance; remove gendered, racial, and anthropocentric superiority, and instead see how life and diversity are co-organising. To see how freedom creates a more productive economy, a more caring economy, an economy that ensures that no one is left out of the celebration of life.
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