This article explores the gendered roles and work-based experiences of Australian women advocates participating in environmentalist organisations, communities and movements. The reviewed theoretical interpretations and contemporary empirical data draw upon the collective and individual action of women environmentalists within paid and unpaid capacities, with a specific focus on the third sector, such as NGOs. Qualitative data illuminates the way in which women advocates/activists perform gender and negotiate aspects of hegemonic masculinity/femininity in the workplace and society. The notion of being an advocate or an activist relates to senses of belonging in the local community and identification with world-wide environmental movements. It is argued, in this feminist paper, that environmental advocacy encompasses a complex gendered culture of work, influenced by hegemonic notions of masculinity/femininity, whereby women and men experience commonalities and differences in the workplace/movement. Climate change campaigning, for example, is competently and diligently performed by both genders, although women politicians and grassroots activists have often struggled to negotiate ambitions of social change, sustainability and alternative technologies within global platforms dominated by powerful men, somewhat guided by economic opportunism. However, women advocates and activists continue to play an integral role in the development and strength of the global environmental movement, as they actively voice, protest and engage their concerns against environmental degradation and social exploitation. The paper concludes that the performativity of gender and the negotiation of hegemonic masculinity and femininity along with the intersection of pluralism undoubtedly transforms the agenda and direction of Australian women working within NGOs.
|Keywords:||Gender, Hegemonic Masculinity/Femininity, Environmental Advocacy, NGOs, Inclusion/Exclusion, Australia|
PhD Candidate, Social Justice Social Change Research, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
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