The bio-fuel frenzy: what options for rural women? A case of rural development schizophrenia
Schizophrenia, from the Greek roots schizein (‘to split’) and phren (‘mind’), is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a mental illness characterised by impairments in the perception or expression of reality. The key message of this article is that mainstream agricultural policy is at odds with what needs to happen on the ground, and is being further entrenched by the bio-fuel industry. It presents a strong case for locally owned food and fuel sources. The movement demanding these is a critical movement that women need to lead, in the face of mega-trends that continue to remain outside their remit and influence. It may be that the only way for women to effect real changes to policy is to lead change in the fields, and at grassroots and communal levels. In other words, self-sufficient communities should promote their ways of life in all their diversity, to present a viable counter-movement to today’s global and monolithic agricultural structures, standards, and markets. It is local people who feel most strongly about local livelihoods, and they can take responsibility for action around local issues.
This article is hosted by our co-publisher Taylor & Francis. For the full table of contents for this and previous issues of this journal, please visit the Gender and Development website.
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