Nevertheless, this eclectic collection of essays does, in a muddled yet largely effective way, outline the many ways in which women have repeatedly been excluded from and/or punished by the environmental crisis, praising the activists striving to turn this around.
It may not seem obvious, particularly to men, why issues of ecological sustainability should matter more to women, but at every stage of humanity’s relationship with the environment, whether it’s cultivating crops, collecting drinking water, or safely disposing of dirty nappies, it is women who do most of the work, even if society has enabled men to own the land and companies which collect the profit. Their heightened awareness of its plight should therefore come as no surprise. Empowering women to make the necessary changes is — as this book repeatedly makes clear — a highly effective way of solving many of the world’s biggest problems.
There is a mix of subjects throughout, with each chapter reflecting the personality and style of each contributor, drawn as they are from a broad range of backgrounds such as politics, economics, and NGOs. This effect is both positive and negative. It provides a raw, unrehearsed range of perspectives, ensuring that every relevant box is ticked. On the other hand, it does create a lot of repetition, while some contributors are significantly more engaging than others. Each chapter becomes newly unpredictable, with a ‘something for everyone’ feel about it.
Overall, this is a strong introduction to the essential need for further female involvement not just in environmental sustainability, but in creating a more progressive society.
This review was published in the April 2016 edition of Geographical magazine.