The 6th of January: Women’s Christmas

The 6th of January: Women’s Christmas

You might know the 6th of January as the Feast of the Epiphany or the day of arrival of the Magi – the Three Wise Men – at the crib in Bethlehem. It is also called Little Christmas as it falls twelve days after Christmas Day, and in parts of Ireland, it is celebrated as Nollaig na mBan or Women’s Christmas.

The tradition of celebrating Nollaig na mBan is particularly associated with the West of Ireland and it seems to have originated as a reward for all of the hard work by women of doing the cooking, cleaning and organising of Christmas festivities. 

On that day men took over the housework and allowed women time off to put their feet up and rest, or to visit other women and share in a small celebration of wine and treats – although the main ingredient was always talk! Throughout the year women sold eggs and used some of the egg money to buy turkeys which they reared and sold at Christmas, as this poem by Moya Roddy describes. Whatever was left over from this money after the expense of Christmas could be spent as the women saw fit, including using it to buy things for their own celebration on January 6th. The tradition of Nollaig na mBan allowed women some economic independence in a time when women did not have a lot of agency. 

Even today, women can be said to draw the short straw at Christmas, often having the responsibility for shopping, cooking, buying presents and looking after the family during the festive season, so any time out is precious.

Nollaig na mBan has been revived over the last number of years with more and more women celebrating it. It has also moved from being a rural event to an urban one too. As housework is more evenly divided these days, the tradition is now seen more as a celebration of friendship and sisterhood, a time of solidarity and warmth. 

So why not take the time this year on January 6th to visit with your female friends, relatives or neighbours or plan a get-together and celebrate the power and potential of female kinship? 

A very happy Women’s Christmas or Nollaig na mBan to you!

 

Photo by Piqsels

 

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The 6th of January: Women’s Christmas

The tradition of celebrating Nollaig na mBan is particularly associated with the West of Ireland and it seems to have originated as a reward for all of the hard work by women of doing the cooking, cleaning and organising of Christmas festivities.

STAND Women: 2019 in Review

Women make up roughly 50% of our global population but still face significant human rights challenges, including some which are less visible but equally damaging such as gender bias in institutions like the media. Cassie, our Women’s Section Editor, reminds us of the women’s rights issues that were important to us in 2019.

The Prevalence of “Lad Culture” and Toxic Attitudes in Ireland

Despite progressive changes occurring throughout Ireland in this decade, findings exploring attitudes towards gender equality and domestic abuse in Ireland has proven the prevalence of toxic attitudes in young men. Ireland’s young women are still facing catcalling, sexist remarks and attitudes from peers, among other serious and intimidating behaviours.

FemFest 2019: Women’s inequality should come with a mental health warning

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) hosted their fifth annual FemFest on Saturday, November 30th in Dublin’s City Centre. Women between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five were invited to freely participate and unite in various workshops, panel discussions and listen to guest speakers. The event succeeded in empowering the future voices of our society, to continue pushing to implement change across all fields of adversity.

Book Review: “Yes, We Still Drink Coffee!”

“Yes, We Still Drink Coffee!” is a collection of powerful essays, interspersed with beautiful illustrations, that tell the stories of female human rights defenders from Egypt, Kuwait, Palestine, Tunisia, Turkey, Somalia and Sudan. Behind each story is a meeting of two women. Here is our review.

What is Ecofeminism?

Ecofeminism is a movement that unites two issues close to our hearts at STAND: women’s rights and the environment. It is perhaps one of the most useful ways we can look at a wide range of social issues we face today. However, the term may be unfamiliar to many.

STAND Women: 2019 in Review

STAND Women: 2019 in Review

Women make up roughly 50% of our global population but still face significant human rights challenges, including some which are less visible but equally damaging such as gender bias in institutions like the media. I began my role as STAND’s Women’s Section Editor in June 2019 and six months in I’m continuing to learn so much about the issues women face, both internationally but also at home in Ireland – and the myriad connections and intersections that exist between issues! Here is a brief recap of the women’s rights issues STAND covered this year: 

 

In January, we discussed Gender Equality and the SDGs, asking how SDG 5 links to the other goals, and if countries are doing enough to empower women and girls. Fast forward to March as we documented the Polish government’s threats towards women activists and joined in International Women’s Day celebrations on 8 March. In April, the month of April Fools, we highlighted the unmet need for funny female-led superhero films. In May, we revisited the #BringBackOurGirls campaign five years on and documented the protests of women in Sudan as they took part in the uprising, as well as the practice of breast ironing which affects 3.8 million girls globally. In June, we explored the issue of conflict-related sexual violence; featured a positive news story about the Afghan girls robotic team; and celebrated women engineers like Hedy Lamarr (the 1940s starlet who helped to invent torpedo, Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS technologies) on International Women Engineers Day. In July, football frenzy in the form of the Women’s World Cup was upon us and we took the opportunity to highlight the inequalities women face in the sport. We also discussed self care’s radical origins (did you know it emerged from the feminist and black panther movements?) and the importance of family planning in women’s lives. In August, we marked a year of Greta Thunberg (TIME’s person of the year 2019), celebrated the incredible bravery of migrant rescuer Carola Rakete and the late Somali journalist Hodan Nalayeh (sadly killed in a terrorist attack earlier this year), and discussed the issue of coercive control. Intersections of climate change and gender are extremely important and so in September we focused on the indigenous women who are fighting against climate change, and highlighted the importance of including women in the just energy transition. We also profiled new research showing how countries experience better overall development when women’s rights are prioritised. October was a very busy month for us as we explored sexism in the media, period taboos, the current state of abortion services in Ireland, the sex for rent scandal, and got spooky with a Halloween-themed article about witches and misogyny. November brought a review of Louise O’Neill’s book and play: Asking For It. We also spread awareness about Endometriosis (a disease affecting 1 in 10 Irish women), and marked the new focus on gender in Ireland’s Citizen’s Assembly. In December we discussed Ecofeminism (do you consider yourself to be a radical or a cultural ecofeminist?), brought you the highlights from FemFest 2019 and reviewed the book “We Still drink Coffee” which features short stories about women human rights defenders (we hope it ended up in a few Christmas stockings!). Now in 2020, we look forward to a Christmas-themed article about Women’s Christmas (celebrated on the 6th of January) – so stay tuned! 

 

Happy New Year! Thank you to all of our readers and contributors and we look forward to your continued support and engagement in 2020.  

 

 

Photo by Marc Nozell

 

 

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The 6th of January: Women’s Christmas

The tradition of celebrating Nollaig na mBan is particularly associated with the West of Ireland and it seems to have originated as a reward for all of the hard work by women of doing the cooking, cleaning and organising of Christmas festivities.

STAND Women: 2019 in Review

Women make up roughly 50% of our global population but still face significant human rights challenges, including some which are less visible but equally damaging such as gender bias in institutions like the media. Cassie, our Women’s Section Editor, reminds us of the women’s rights issues that were important to us in 2019.

The Prevalence of “Lad Culture” and Toxic Attitudes in Ireland

Despite progressive changes occurring throughout Ireland in this decade, findings exploring attitudes towards gender equality and domestic abuse in Ireland has proven the prevalence of toxic attitudes in young men. Ireland’s young women are still facing catcalling, sexist remarks and attitudes from peers, among other serious and intimidating behaviours.

FemFest 2019: Women’s inequality should come with a mental health warning

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) hosted their fifth annual FemFest on Saturday, November 30th in Dublin’s City Centre. Women between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five were invited to freely participate and unite in various workshops, panel discussions and listen to guest speakers. The event succeeded in empowering the future voices of our society, to continue pushing to implement change across all fields of adversity.

Book Review: “Yes, We Still Drink Coffee!”

“Yes, We Still Drink Coffee!” is a collection of powerful essays, interspersed with beautiful illustrations, that tell the stories of female human rights defenders from Egypt, Kuwait, Palestine, Tunisia, Turkey, Somalia and Sudan. Behind each story is a meeting of two women. Here is our review.

What is Ecofeminism?

Ecofeminism is a movement that unites two issues close to our hearts at STAND: women’s rights and the environment. It is perhaps one of the most useful ways we can look at a wide range of social issues we face today. However, the term may be unfamiliar to many.

The Prevalence of “Lad Culture” and Toxic Attitudes in Ireland

The Prevalence of “Lad Culture” and Toxic Attitudes in Ireland

Despite progressive changes occurring throughout Ireland in this decade, findings have proven the prevalence of toxic attitudes in young men. Safe Ireland’s newest research explores attitudes towards gender equality and domestic abuse in Ireland’s younger generations.

Ireland’s young women are still facing catcalling, sexist remarks and attitudes from peers, among other serious and intimidating behaviours from men. “Lad culture” has been brought to the attention of society and the media, yet there is not enough emphasis placed on education and reprimanding for negative behaviour and language. 

27% of men aged sixteen to twenty-five believe that men should act as head of the household, while 20% of the men surveyed believed they should earn the most money in the family. Traditional and often oppressive gender roles and stereotypes are found to be acceptable.

Young women surveyed acknowledged that not all young men embody lad culture. Potentially, their need to express peacekeeping views of “not all men” could indicate the ingrained fear of backlash for speaking out against unacceptable behaviours. This is plausible especially at a young and influential age, where people wish to build interpersonal skills and explore relationships. The women surveyed expressed worry for their future in relation to partners, as there may be potential for macho self-image to manifest into a deeper issue of abusive and violent behaviour.

2019 has been an unfortunate year for violence against women, as have years previous. The Central Statistics Office reports that for the fifth year in a row, recorded sexual offenses have increased. Conor McGregor faced investigastion for a second sexual assault charge, yet maintains huge support and is soon returning to the UFC. High-profile celebrities continue to share their MeToo stories, facing backlash and accusations of lying for attention. Women still need to fight to be believed. Prolific cases such as the 2018 Belfast rape trial shone a gloomy light on the reality of misogyny and sexism even within the law. Text messages between the accused struck a chord with women and men across the country, most of the public appalled yet not shocked by the derogatory commentary allowed and enabled within these groups of men. 

Within a human rights, feminist, environmentalist or activist bubble, it’s easy to assume real progression is happening. Safe Ireland’s study has shaken the notion that negative lad culture is an issue of the past, highlighting the need for education at a younger age, positive role modelling and absolute intolerance for misogynistic or violent behaviours. Older fathers in the survey regard the bravado and misogyny found in younger boys as “natural jostling and bravado.” 

Minimisation of toxic behaviours justifies and enforces inequality in practice. Language is action, and setting an example with words precedes and possibly prevents future violence. Victim blaming has proven to exist in wider society rather than in niche phenomenons like the incel (involuntarily celibate) communities and violent men. 16% of adults and 20% of men believe women might provoke abuse against themselves. Older mothers stated that young men could be vulnerable to how women dress or act, perpetrating sexism against women from women who have been socialised to believe these things.

Despite the belief in universities and media that stigma surrounding mental health issues or personal problems is decreasing, 25% of people believe that domestic violence is a private matter. This outlook has the potential to create dire consequences, from avoiding seeking help to isolation and further distress. 

This research is a wake-up call as well as a motivation to continue utilising resources, striving for gender equality and implementing change at a policy and community level through education, mentorship, role modelling and public campaigns. Older family members are a clear target group for updated education, as unknowingly they could be reinforcing oppressive views on the home and our gendered positions in the world.

 

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre runs a national 24-Hour Helpline which can be contacted on 1800 77 8888. Telephone counsellors are available to listen 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year and offer a free, confidential listening and support service.

 

Photo by Jan Koler

 

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The 6th of January: Women’s Christmas

The tradition of celebrating Nollaig na mBan is particularly associated with the West of Ireland and it seems to have originated as a reward for all of the hard work by women of doing the cooking, cleaning and organising of Christmas festivities.

STAND Women: 2019 in Review

Women make up roughly 50% of our global population but still face significant human rights challenges, including some which are less visible but equally damaging such as gender bias in institutions like the media. Cassie, our Women’s Section Editor, reminds us of the women’s rights issues that were important to us in 2019.

The Prevalence of “Lad Culture” and Toxic Attitudes in Ireland

Despite progressive changes occurring throughout Ireland in this decade, findings exploring attitudes towards gender equality and domestic abuse in Ireland has proven the prevalence of toxic attitudes in young men. Ireland’s young women are still facing catcalling, sexist remarks and attitudes from peers, among other serious and intimidating behaviours.

FemFest 2019: Women’s inequality should come with a mental health warning

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) hosted their fifth annual FemFest on Saturday, November 30th in Dublin’s City Centre. Women between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five were invited to freely participate and unite in various workshops, panel discussions and listen to guest speakers. The event succeeded in empowering the future voices of our society, to continue pushing to implement change across all fields of adversity.

Book Review: “Yes, We Still Drink Coffee!”

“Yes, We Still Drink Coffee!” is a collection of powerful essays, interspersed with beautiful illustrations, that tell the stories of female human rights defenders from Egypt, Kuwait, Palestine, Tunisia, Turkey, Somalia and Sudan. Behind each story is a meeting of two women. Here is our review.

What is Ecofeminism?

Ecofeminism is a movement that unites two issues close to our hearts at STAND: women’s rights and the environment. It is perhaps one of the most useful ways we can look at a wide range of social issues we face today. However, the term may be unfamiliar to many.

FemFest 2019: Women’s inequality should come with a mental health warning

FemFest 2019: Women’s inequality should come with a mental health warning

“Any one of you can become leaders, and can lead the change needed to bring about a feminist Ireland”

– Siobhan McSweeney

 

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) hosted their fifth annual FemFest Saturday, November 30th in Dublin’s City Centre. Women between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five were invited to freely participate and unite in various workshops, panel discussions and listen to guest speakers. The event succeeded in empowering the future voices of our society, to continue pushing to implement change across all fields of adversity.

Following Director of NWCI Orla O’Connor, the day kicked off with a terrific key-note address from Derry Girls’ very own Siobhan McSweeney. Her opening address acknowledged the different types of women in attendance or simply existing, highlighting the theme of leadership, solidarity and inclusivity. 

The panels were diverse and the topics ranged from ableism in activism, to experiences of direct provision, back to the fundamental meaning of what feminism means to you. Owodunni Ola Mustapha (Ballyhaunis Inclusion Project) spoke of her current experience in direct provision with her children and the lack of independence, privacy and personal development that comes with it. Ola delivered her speech proudly and emotionally, thankful for the support she has received in Ireland but also determined to continue speaking out and unite other suffering asylum seekers. Renowned Irish author Louise O’Neill (Asking for It, Only Ever Yours) discussed her personal struggle with body image and eating disorders, amplified by social roles placed upon her in the media. Journalist Roe McDermott added to the mental health discussion, expressing distaste for the problematic efforts to have vulnerable people reach out to a society that has not been equipped with the tools to adequately reach back. Similar to workshops later in the day, the panel also explored the lack of sufficient sex education in Irish schools, a problem all too real even in 2019. Their varied and multi-cultural perspectives delved headfirst into current issues women face today, prompting discussion among attendees throughout the day.

I attended the workshops on Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships and Breaking Period Stigma.  During the first session, Facilitator Dr Hayley Mulligan explored our ideas of healthy practice in romantic relationships, how they first tend to manifest in friendships, and how to acknowledge that red flags aren’t warning signs, but the problem themselves. During the second workshop, Charlotte Amrouche, the founder of the Míosta project, explored period stigma within ourselves and others. We looked at reusable eco-friendly period products and came up with proactive solutions to menstrual challenges. Both workshops were under time constraints, which left them cut slightly short, but were invaluable all the same. Facilitators also acknowledged the importance of reaching beyond our feminist circles for education and engagement with these issues within the wider community.  

Following lunch at the Radisson Blu Hotel, drag artist Avoca Reaction performed female power anthems, evoking a positive reaction within us all. The second panel of the day included Keeva Lilith Carroll, who works as the national community development officer with the Transgender Equality Network of Ireland, and Eleanor Walsh, member of disabled women Ireland. Eleanor spoke about her experience as an autistic woman, who just by being a woman, doesn’t fit the perceived identity of a person with autism, labelled and categorised in society in more ways than one. Criticising the criticism of “armchair activism” (signing petitions online, sharing articles, donating to an NGO), she highlighted the ableist superiority complex of those who believe protest and arrests are the only adequate methods of resistance. To close she left the room with a thought-provoking statement regarding accessibility, inclusivity and equality that resonates with all hopeful change-makers: 

“Next time you’re at a meeting, or an event, look around the room to see who’s there, and see who isn’t.”

 

 Photo by Niamh Elliott-Sheridan

 

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Weinstein New York Trial Begins

The New York trial of former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein commenced in the past week and is estimated to last two months. Weinstein is charged with five sex crime charges. Weinstein has pleaded not guilty and denies all allegations of nonconsensual sexual encounters. If convicted of these acts, he will likely face the rest of his life behind bars.

FGM: A Multifarious Practice Deeply Ingrained in Somalia

While FGM is frequently justified as a religious practice preserving the purity of women, it is, in reality, an extremely resilient customary practice which predates the conception and arrival to the Horn of Africa of Islam.

The 6th of January: Women’s Christmas

The tradition of celebrating Nollaig na mBan is particularly associated with the West of Ireland and it seems to have originated as a reward for all of the hard work by women of doing the cooking, cleaning and organising of Christmas festivities.

STAND Women: 2019 in Review

Women make up roughly 50% of our global population but still face significant human rights challenges, including some which are less visible but equally damaging such as gender bias in institutions like the media. Cassie, our Women’s Section Editor, reminds us of the women’s rights issues that were important to us in 2019.

The Prevalence of “Lad Culture” and Toxic Attitudes in Ireland

Despite progressive changes occurring throughout Ireland in this decade, findings exploring attitudes towards gender equality and domestic abuse in Ireland has proven the prevalence of toxic attitudes in young men. Ireland’s young women are still facing catcalling, sexist remarks and attitudes from peers, among other serious and intimidating behaviours.

FemFest 2019: Women’s inequality should come with a mental health warning

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) hosted their fifth annual FemFest on Saturday, November 30th in Dublin’s City Centre. Women between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five were invited to freely participate and unite in various workshops, panel discussions and listen to guest speakers. The event succeeded in empowering the future voices of our society, to continue pushing to implement change across all fields of adversity.

Book Review: “Yes, We Still Drink Coffee!”

Book Review: “Yes, We Still Drink Coffee!”

“Yes, We Still Drink Coffee!” is a collection of powerful essays, interspersed with beautiful illustrations, that tell the stories of female human rights defenders from Egypt, Kuwait, Palestine, Tunisia, Turkey, Somalia and Sudan. 

The book has been jointly published by two charities: Fighting Words and Front Line Defenders. Fighting Words works to foster imagination and develop the creative writing skills of children and young people, and Front Line Defenders is dedicated to protecting human rights defenders who are at risk due to the nature of their work.

Behind each story is a meeting of two women. Every piece was created when an inspiring advocate for the rights of others shared her story with an acclaimed writer, who then put it to paper. As a collection, these stories have striking commonalities, yet they are all delightfully unique in their telling.

The core message of the book is not a commendation of the extraordinary work being done by these women (although this is much deserved!). Instead this collaboration celebrates their ordinariness. We are given an insight into some of the most difficult places to be human in the world, and are introduced to women doing just that. 

These women still go for coffee, they still scroll through Instagram, they make jokes, they are as human as you and I, even in the face of absolute inhumanity. One woman describes her life as a human rights defender as “annoying” and “tiring”, as one might describe a tedious office job. For them, rising up to combat injustice is simply an element of their everyday life.

“Yes, We Still Drink Coffee!” is an intimate account of news stories to which we have become immune – too often unable to pierce through the overwhelming din of the media, and too far away to seem real. This book allows us to understand a world we have never been to, through the lens of human commonalities.

You will find yourself confronted with questions. Where was I, while these stories unfolded? Would I have the same courage, if my normal life was upturned by conflict? And what is “normal” life anyway? 

“Yes, We Still Drink Coffee!” is an arresting series of portraits, which gives an insight into the lives of extraordinarily ordinary women. It captures the immutability of our human nature, in even the most hostile of environments. One story offers this wisdom: When you love life, fear of death cannot stop you from taking action to protect it. Living life to the fullest is the greatest retaliation against oppression. 

This book exalts just that. 

You can purchase a copy of “Yes, We Still Drink Coffee!” at https://www.fightingwords.ie/yes-we-still-drink-coffee.

 

Photo by Fighting Words on Twitter

 

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Book Review: Klein Gifts Us With Tools to Unite Climate Action in ‘On Fire’

Naomi Klein is as accessible as ever as she dissects the scientific and economic jargon of climate change, while simultaneously injecting empathy and passion in her fight to hold corporations and fossil fuel companies accountable. On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal, has the possibility to unite the movement once again and inspire action on a scale that humanity has never accomplished before.

Book Review: New York Times Journalists Take On Weinstein in ‘She Said’

New York Times journalists, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey broke the story about Harvey Weinstein in October 2017. The publication of the first piece on Weinstein led to an influx of messages into Kantor and Twohey’s inboxes from women who had also experienced sexual harassment or assault. In She Said, they explain the process behind their investigative journalism.

Review: Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’ is a Mob Drama of Epic Proportions

Scorsese’s latest $150 million passion project details the life of the mob hitman Frank Sheeran, and his involvement with the Bufalino crime family as well as the disappearance of the union leader Jimmy Hoffa.

The 6th of January: Women’s Christmas

The tradition of celebrating Nollaig na mBan is particularly associated with the West of Ireland and it seems to have originated as a reward for all of the hard work by women of doing the cooking, cleaning and organising of Christmas festivities.

STAND Women: 2019 in Review

Women make up roughly 50% of our global population but still face significant human rights challenges, including some which are less visible but equally damaging such as gender bias in institutions like the media. Cassie, our Women’s Section Editor, reminds us of the women’s rights issues that were important to us in 2019.

The Prevalence of “Lad Culture” and Toxic Attitudes in Ireland

Despite progressive changes occurring throughout Ireland in this decade, findings exploring attitudes towards gender equality and domestic abuse in Ireland has proven the prevalence of toxic attitudes in young men. Ireland’s young women are still facing catcalling, sexist remarks and attitudes from peers, among other serious and intimidating behaviours.

What is Ecofeminism?

What is Ecofeminism?

Ecofeminism is a movement that unites two issues close to our hearts at STAND: women’s rights and the environment. It is perhaps one of the most useful ways we can look at a wide range of social issues we face today. 

However, the term may be unfamiliar to many. In essence, ecofeminism is the idea that the oppression of women and the exploitation of our planet’s natural resources are inextricably linked. The movement originated in the 1970s alongside the rise of second-wave feminism and environmental activism. Today, people are increasingly waking up to the fact that different forms of oppression are all linked to one another and ecofeminism is a great example of this intersectional way of thinking. 

There are many fascinating women who have pioneered this movement and continue to do so. The mother of the movement is French feminist Francoise d’Eaubonne who coined the term ‘ecofeminism’ in her 1974 book Le féminisme ou la mort (Feminism or Death) in which she encourages women to take climate action. 

Another vocal ecofeminist is Anika Rahman, a lawyer and human rights activist who views her fight for reproductive rights and her environmental advocacy as being part of the same thread. She is currently Chief Board Relations Officer at the Natural Resources Defense Council, co-founded the Center for Reproductive Rights and was President as CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women. 

Today, Vandana Shiva is possibly the ecofeminist who has gained most notoriety. She was featured in 2015 documentary ‘The True Cost’ which delves into the devastating effects of fast fashion, both on women and the environment. She has also co-authored a book titled Ecofeminism with feminist scholar Maria Mies, which is a fascinating look into the relationships between capitalism, the oppression of women and the ecological degradation. 

There are two main schools of thought regarding ecofeminism: radical feminism and cultural or spiritual ecofeminism. Radical ecofeminism asserts that oppression is perpetuated by patriarchal structures which must be deconstructed if an egalitarian society is to be achieved. It believes that the patriarchy see both women and nature as “wild,” and therefore wishes to have control over them. This is a bit like the feminist idea of “gender as a construct”, which holds that connotations of gender are completely made up ideas used to subjugate women. 

Cultural or spiritual ecofeminism, on the other hand, embraces the idea that women are connected to nature. It asserts that power can be derived from aspects of womanhood such as child-bearing and menstruation which (according to them) make women closer to nature. This view is often criticised by radical ecofeminists who say that this is a trivial comparison and only serves to oppress women further.

However, more important than ecofeminist theory are the concrete issues it aims to tackle. In spite of conflicting views within the movement, there are core ideas that all ecofeminists share, the most important being the belief that women suffer most from the depletion of the planet’s natural resources. 

For example in many Third World countries, such as Ethiopia and Bangladesh, it is women who are in charge of managing natural resources in the home including collecting drinking water and firewood. When natural disasters such as drought (in the case of Ethiopia) or floods (in the case of Bangladesh) occur, women have to work harder to find these resources. This often means that girls will leave school to help their mothers. In some cases, they may completely take over responsibility for the home so their mothers can go out to work and compensate for the impacts of crop destruction on their income. This is just one of the many ways in which women suffer from environmental degradation.

Regardless of your school of feminism, the reality is that women are suffering as a result of the depletion of our planet’s natural resources. It is high time that the systems which harm both women and our planet be interrogated and – eventually – deconstructed entirely.

 

Photo by Cintia Barenho on Flickr

 

Browse more stories below or sign up to our newsletter to receive our top news straight to your inbox!

The 6th of January: Women’s Christmas

The tradition of celebrating Nollaig na mBan is particularly associated with the West of Ireland and it seems to have originated as a reward for all of the hard work by women of doing the cooking, cleaning and organising of Christmas festivities.

STAND Women: 2019 in Review

Women make up roughly 50% of our global population but still face significant human rights challenges, including some which are less visible but equally damaging such as gender bias in institutions like the media. Cassie, our Women’s Section Editor, reminds us of the women’s rights issues that were important to us in 2019.

The Prevalence of “Lad Culture” and Toxic Attitudes in Ireland

Despite progressive changes occurring throughout Ireland in this decade, findings exploring attitudes towards gender equality and domestic abuse in Ireland has proven the prevalence of toxic attitudes in young men. Ireland’s young women are still facing catcalling, sexist remarks and attitudes from peers, among other serious and intimidating behaviours.

FemFest 2019: Women’s inequality should come with a mental health warning

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) hosted their fifth annual FemFest on Saturday, November 30th in Dublin’s City Centre. Women between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five were invited to freely participate and unite in various workshops, panel discussions and listen to guest speakers. The event succeeded in empowering the future voices of our society, to continue pushing to implement change across all fields of adversity.

Book Review: “Yes, We Still Drink Coffee!”

“Yes, We Still Drink Coffee!” is a collection of powerful essays, interspersed with beautiful illustrations, that tell the stories of female human rights defenders from Egypt, Kuwait, Palestine, Tunisia, Turkey, Somalia and Sudan. Behind each story is a meeting of two women. Here is our review.

What is Ecofeminism?

Ecofeminism is a movement that unites two issues close to our hearts at STAND: women’s rights and the environment. It is perhaps one of the most useful ways we can look at a wide range of social issues we face today. However, the term may be unfamiliar to many.