- Gender — International environmental law
This chapter provides a brief overview of ecofeminist theory. It charts its rise due to the perception of women having a closer relationship with nature, the retreat of ecofeminism when essentialist notions of women's connections to nature were challenged, followed by the subsequent re-framing of ecofeminism, in light of material and power relationships. More recently, scholars have defended ecofeminism, arguing that it provides a lens to examine the exploitation of nature and women, through analyses of power, social constructs, and inter-species relationships. The chapter then examines the contribution of women in shaping international environmental law (IEL) in pre- and post-UNCED (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development) periods. It also explores recent efforts to embed gender within IEL processes, through the adoption of Gender Action Plans in the 1994 UNCCD (UN Convention to Combat Desertification), the 1992 UNCBD (Convention on Biological Diversity), and UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change). While IEL is generally gender-blind, it is transitioning through a period of gender mainstreaming and the future of IEL is likely to be increasingly gender-literate.
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