Vandana Shiva – Portrait


Vandana Shiva, is born in Dehradun, India in 1952 she’s well-known as a physicist and a strong advocate for the environment. She is the founder and director of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy. She is also one of the leaders and board members of the International Forum on Globalization. Portrait of a woman committed to the service of women, nature and equity between citizens.

Poster from the book 1% by Vandana Shiva.

She was raised by her father and mother. The mother was a forester and her mother liked to cultivate the land. At 18 she studied physics at the university of Panjab at Puniab.  At 25, before living for her PhD in Canada a walk in the forest where she used to walk as a child change her life. She discovers that the forest was not there anymore “it has been chopped down to start apple plantations” that’s the very day she realized that she will dedicate her life to the forest protection.

She has been the spearhead of Chipko, a non-violent movement of villagers embracing the trees whose main participant were women. This is the very first fight of the young woman. The somewhat peculiar practice of this movement has succeeded in attracting the attention of the world’s media, making it a real international social issue. Today, this movement is considered an important victory in the fight for women’s rights and environmental protection.

Vandana Shiva is leading a two week campaign to muster citizens’ response to seed slavery. Photograph: Gustau Nacarino / Reuters/REUTERS

At the age of 33 years old she wrote a report who led to a ban on limestone mining in the Doon Valley. At 35 she creates a seism when she wrote in a book that the green revolution in India did not help the farmers but was responsible for their death.

At 39, she founded an NGO called “Navdanya” in 1991-  a movement for biodiversity conservation and farmer’s right – to stop the use of genetically modified seeds in India. Thanks to her, multinationals have not been able to the patent: Neem, basmati rice, wheat. It’s also thanks to her that in India is almost impossible to adopt any genetically modified crop.

“An organic farmer is the best peacemaker today, because there is more violence, more death, more destruction, more wars, through a violent industrial agricultural system. And to shift away from that into an agriculture of peace is what organic farming is doing.”

Vandana Shiva

During her whole life, she received awards for her commitment to the environment such as the “Alternative Nobel Prize” or the Sydney Peace Prize 2010.

Vandana Shiva is also one of the most prominent representatives of the ecofeminism movement – “ecofeminism, also called ecological feminism, branch of feminism that examines the connections between women and nature. Its name was coined by French feminist Françoise d’Eaubonne in 1974” –  that has made the status of women in society a central issue throughout her career. Recently, in 2010, the activist was named as one of the most powerful feminists in the world by an article in Forbes magazine.

Today Vandana Siva is a global icon in the struggle for ecofeminism, she seeks above all, as a feminization of society for a better world.

References used for the article:

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