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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

EU and Sustainability: Ecofeminism


Why the EU Needs Gender Equality

Gender has been overlooked as a factor to consider when implementing new policies to combat climate change. The EU's climate policies lack a gendered perspective which in turn negatively impacts women. For example,

  • One of the goals of the EU's Green Deal focuses on the decarbonization of vehicles and buildings. Women are less likely to afford newer green vehicles which creates a transportation disadvantage [1].
  • The European Parliament released a study on Gender and Energy where it was found that women are at greater risk of energy poverty than men due to lower income. [2].

One of the earliest European ecofeminist groups was the Dutch Women's Environmental Network, which was founded in 1978 and focused on issues such as toxic waste and pollution. Another important early ecofeminist group in Europe was the British Women's Environmental Network, which was founded in 1988 and focused on issues such as sustainable agriculture and the conservation of biodiversity.

However, ecofeminist ideas and practices were also emerging in other parts of Europe at the same time, often through the work of individual artists, activists, and thinkers. For example, the French writer and philosopher Francoise d'Eaubonne is often credited with coining the term "ecofeminism" in her 1974 book "Le Féminisme ou la Mort" (Feminism or Death), which argued that the domination of women and nature were interconnected and required a unified political response.


How to Vote for an #ECOFeminist Europe | Young Feminist Europe




Ecofeminism: The intersections between feminism, climate change, and social justice. This concept highlights the disproportionate effects of climate change on women and other underrepresented groups.

Gender Mainstreaming: Integrating gender into the creation, planning, and implementation of policies to promote equality