Impacts of Shrimp Culture on Women in Bangladesh: A Feminist Environmentalism Perspective

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The purpose of this article is to focus a feminist environmentalist lens to observe women’s grassroots movements in protest of environmental degradation. To achieve the goal this study identifies the critical gender and social class relations in the unequal distribution of property rights that upsets sound management of natural resources. Secondly using a feminist environmentalist viewpoint it investigates women’s grass root campaigns as a consequence of the commodification and privatization of resources from the traditional informal economic system to industrial economic system which ultimately restricts women’s access to natural resources. In the more informal economy of some South Asian villages, traditional agriculture was male dominated where women also performed a very significant role in production such as harvesting and crop processing activities. While contributing to agricultural production they were also receiving some informal rights on crops which enabled women’s purchasing power in that informal economy. But after the introduction of cash economy in some areas, women lost their economic ability along with a crisis to
earn their livelihood. The case study of this essay focuses on women’s protest against shrimp cultivation in the southern part of Bangladesh as a specific context for this analysis. Since 1980s, as invested by the World Bank and also later by other donor agencies the government of Bangladesh has been offering incentives to businessmen to join in the shrimp cultivation in coastal areas. Consequently a number of protests in this region (also in India) have been noticed against environmental degradations and therefore, it is argued that critical gender-class interaction and women’s experiences with nature shape women’s protest against
such environmental degradations in this region.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2008
EventNinth International Women in Asia Conference (2008): Women in Asia: Transition and Interchange - University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 29 Sept 20081 Oct 2008
Conference number: 9th


ConferenceNinth International Women in Asia Conference (2008)


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