Environmental Sustainability

African Womanist Response in Ojaide’s The Activist

in Matatu
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Western ecofeminists’ perspective on the connections between the domination, oppression, and abuse of women and the abuse of the natural environment would be an overgeneralization of the challenges facing women and the natural environment across cultures and spaces. The position in this essay is that the challenges faced by women derive mostly from cultural factors whereas the contemporary degradation of the environment stems mainly from economic considerations. This essay, rather than associating the domination of African women with the pillaging of the natural environment, contends that African women themselves are frontline environmental activists who see the linkage between sustaining the natural environment and the successful fulfilment of the biological and cultural role of nurturing. By stressing the importance of achieving environmental sustainability, the African perspective of a symbiotic relationship between man and the environment emerges. This essay thus concludes that as the contemporary world assumes concern for gender equality and responsibility for environmental sustainability, ingenious solutions to these challenges from Africa need to be recognized, adopted, and adapted to diversify global approaches to the challenges of gender equity and environmental balance.

Environmental Sustainability

African Womanist Response in Ojaide’s The Activist

in Matatu




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Warren“The Power and the Promise of Ecological Feminism” 128.


Vandana ShivaStaying Alive: Women Ecology and Development (London: Zed1989); Cathleen McGuire & Colleen McGuire “Ecofeminist Visions.”


Myra Marx Ferree“Family and Job for Working-Class Women: Gender and Class Systems Seen from Below,” in Families and Worked. Naomi Gerstel & Harriet Engel Gross (Philadelphia PA: Temple UP 1987): 289–301; Marjorie L. DeVault “Doing Housework: Feeding and Family Life” in Families and Work ed. Gerstel & Gross 178–191; Cathleen McGuire & Colleen McGuire “Ecofeminist Visions.”


Mies & ShivaEcofeminism14.


Vandana ShivaStaying Alive48.


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Michael FleshmanReport on the Crisis in Nigeria (New York: The Africa Fund1999) http://www.prairienet.org/acas/alerts/nigeria/nigeria1.html (20 August 2002).


Kaine AgaryYellow Yellow (Lagos: Dtalkshop2006): 2.


Ifeanyi IzukaTravails of the Black Gold (Lago: Golden Isbels2002): 228.


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Sokari EkineBlood and Oil: Testimonies of Violence from Women of the Niger Delta (London: Centre for Democracy and Development2000).


Tanure OjaideThe Activist (Lagos: Farafina2006): 101. Further page references are in the main text.


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