The University of Arizona

Gendered geographies of violence: a multiple case study analysis of murdered women environmental defenders

Dalena Le Tran, Joan Martinez-Alier, Grettel Navas, Sara Mingorria


This study illustrates how, despite the diversity of women environmental defenders and their movements around the world, there are near-universal patterns of violence threatening their survival. Violence against women environmental defenders, often perpetrated by government-backed corporations, remains overlooked. Research on this issue importantly contributes to discussions about environmental justice because women defenders make up a large proportion of those at the frontlines of ecological distribution conflicts. Through comparative political ecology, this research analyzes cases from the Environmental Justice Atlas, an online open-access inventory of environmental distribution conflicts, in which one or more women were assassinated while fighting a diverse array of extractive and polluting projects. Although the stories showcase a breadth of places, conflicts, social-class backgrounds, and other circumstances between women defenders, most cases featured multinational large-scale extractive companies supported by governments violently targeting women defenders with impunity.

Keywords: Violence, murder, women environmental defenders, EJAtlas, comparative political ecology


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