Maternal Gift Economy: Breaking Through -
Every two weeks
Salon #50 - Making Peace with the Earth – Through Diversity, Mutuality, Non-Violence & Care - An Ecofeminist Manifesto
With Vandana Shiva and guests.
July 22, 2023
Diverse women from all walks of life are creating a new solidarity, showing that women-led cultures have long existed on this Earth in peace. At the 1996 World Food Summit the DWD declared in the face of industrial agribusiness that food sovereignty must be kept in women’s hands – that they were creating unnecessary disease, hunger and ecological destruction. Coming from all over the world, the Diverse Women For Diversity movement has continued to gather and share the belief that differences, contexts, the variety of voices, and the variety of ways that they express care, are key to resisting the imposition of industrial uniformity. It is diverse cultures that will lead the way to the future.
In March 2023, the DWD gathered at the Navdanya Biodiversity Conservation Farm in Dehradun, India to celebrate the unique and rich diversity of life, cultures, food and knowledge, to share the struggles, victories, and actions in defense of the Earth, biodiversity, and food. Over 150 women gathered, from more than 20 countries, from 21 states of India, Latin America, North America, Europe, Japan, Africa, and Australia, among many others. There were farmers, bakers, poets, archivists, indigenous leaders, travelers, fisherwomen, archaeologists, gift economists, geneticists, academics, doctors, mothers, and more. There were women in their twenties and women in their eighties. We celebrated our Sacred Mother Earth by planting a Garden of Hope with seeds from all over the world, cooking and sharing Breads of Freedom. Women shared seeds, prayers, music and dance. It was a celebration of Nature, the sacred laws of Ecology, and the regeneration of the Earth Family through women’s creativity and power. The celebration also became the space for everyone to reflect on the state of the world and the answers to all the overlapping crises in Mother Earth.
Today, women are again in the vanguard of defending biodiversity, seed freedom, and food sovereignty. Women activists, scientists and scholars are at the forefront of shaping new scientific and economic paradigms to reclaim seed sovereignty and food security across the world. As seed keepers and food producers, as mothers and consumers, women are engaged in renewing a food system that is better aligned with the ecological processes of the earth’s renewal, the laws of human rights and social justice, and the means through which bodies may stay well and healthy.
It is time that those in power start listening to the women and the small-scale farmers protecting their plants, seeds and cooperating with Mother Nature to live in harmony with the Earth. Food is life, and it will continue to be defended. Diverse women stand for the promotion, protection and practice of diversity: biological, cultural, economic, political, and knowledge.
Dr. Vandana Shiva is trained as a Physicist and did her Ph.D. on the subject “Hidden Variables and Non-locality in Quantum Theory” from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. She later shifted to inter-disciplinary research in science, technology and environmental policy, which she carried out at the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore. In 1982, she founded an independent institute, the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology in Dehra Dun dedicated to high quality and independent research to address the most significant ecological and social issues of our times, in close partnership with local communities and social movements. In 1991, she founded Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources, especially native seed, the promotion of organic farming and fair trade. In 2004 she started Bija Vidyapeeth, an international college for sustainable living in Doon Valley in collaboration with Schumacher College, U.K.Dr. Shiva combines the sharp intellectual enquiry with courageous activism..Time Magazine identified Dr. Shiva as an environmental “hero” in 2003 and Asia Week has called her one of the five most powerful communicators of Asia.Forbes magazine in November 2010 has identified Dr. Vandana Shiva as one of the top Seven most Powerful Women on the Globe. Dr. Shiva has received honorary Doctorates from University of Paris, University of Western Ontario, University of Oslo and Connecticut College, University of Guelph.Among her many awards are the Alternative Nobel Prize (Right Livelihood Award, 1993), Order of the Golden Ark, Global 500 Award of UN and Earth Day International Award. Lennon ONO grant for peace award by Yoko Ono in 2009, Sydney Peace Prize in 2010, Doshi Bridgebuilder Award, Calgary Peace Prize and Thomas Merton Award in the year 2011,the Fukuoka Award and The Prism of Reason Award in 2012, the Grifone d’Argento prize 2016 and The MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity 2016, Veerangana Award 2018, The Sanctuary Wildlife Award 2018 and International Environment Summit & Award 2018. More information @ navdanya.org.
Angela Dolmetsch was born in Cali Colombia, she has a Law degree from La Universidad San Buenaventura and a Ph.D. from London University. Her thesis was on Maternalism in Colombian Politics. She met Genevieve Vaughan in 2001 at the Wise Women’s Workshops in Loten Norway and since then she has tried to put into practice the Maternal Gift Economy. The Eco-village Nashira, is a practical example of the Gift Economy where 80 mothers victims of the Colombian conflict received land to build with government subsidies 80 houses at no cost becoming the seeds for a community of peace. She is the director of a weekly TV program el Agora, and writes a column in the Cali news paper “El Pais. She has published several books. “La otra Cara del Dólar” (1985), “Of Governments and Guerrillas” (1988) “El Hombrecillo que se tragó a Dios y otros relatos (1999). She also has articles in several publications. The following books are forthcoming: “las Madres en la Politica Colombiana" "Nashira un Canto de Amor".
Angela Miles is a founding member of Toronto Women for a Just and Healthy Planet, Antigonish Women's Association, Feminist Network for a Gift Economy and a member of the editorial board of Canadian Woman Studies. She is Professor Emerita at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto where she co-founded the International Women’s Human Rights Education Summer Institute. Her publications include, Integrative Feminisms: Building Global Visions and the edited collection Women in a Globalizing World: Transforming Equality, Development, Diversity and Peace.Kaarina Kailo has been a Professor of Women’s Studies at Oulu University, Finland. Senior Scholar at the Finnish Academy, she has also held positions at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, in Canada. She has published five books, several anthologies, and hundreds of articles on the gift economy, ecofeminism/mythology, bear lore, women’s folklore, and sauna healing as well as the gender impact of neoliberalism. She edited Wo/men and Bears. The Gifts of Nature, Culture and Gender Revisited in 2008.
Kaarina Kailo has been a Professor of Women’s Studies at Oulu University, Finland. Senior Scholar at the Finnish Academy, she has also held positions at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, in Canada. She has published five books, several anthologies, and hundreds of articles on the gift economy, ecofeminism/mythology, bear lore, women’s folklore, and sauna healing as well as the gender impact of neoliberalism. She edited Wo/men and Bears. The Gifts of Nature, Culture and Gender Revisited in 2008.
María Suárez Toro is a feminist journalist, an activist in defense of human rights, and an educator. She was born in Puerto Rico and has been a resident of San José, Costa Rica for close to 50 years. She was a co-director of the Feminist International Radio Endeavor (FIRE) from 1991 to 2011, of which she is a co-founder. She worked as an educator in literacy in many countries in Central America during the 1970s and 1980s. Since 1998 she has been an Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Denver. Since 2011 she has been a correspondent for Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica for the News Service for the Women of Latin America and the Caribbean (Servicio de Noticias de la Mujer de Latinoamérica y el Caribe), and since 2015 has been a coordinator of the Community Center Diving Ambassadors of the South Caribbean Sea (Centro comunitario de buceo Embajadores y Embajadoras del Mar del Caribe Sur), which is dedicated to archeological diving and recovery of the history of the afro-descendant population on the coast of Costa Rica.
More info @ navdanyainternational.org.