Abstract: This article explores gender and activism in relation to barriers, enablers and labelling dynamics, with a focus on Australian women activists in grassroots environmental organisations. Previous studies have found that women experience labels of feminism, activism and age. Drawing upon interviews with seven grassroots women, I argue that women both resist and accommodate such labels as they negotiate their roles within a complex gendered culture of work in their organisations. My data reveals new insights and contradictions. While some women rejected the feminist label, they did not dispute the 'environmentalist' label, which stresses their dedication to the cause. Strategies such as 'a more conciliatory and less critical approach than men' can empower women to achieve results despite obstacles. Young women and mothers dominate the grassroots, yet retired men also play an active role, which challenges gender stereotypes. Furthermore, organisational structures that are non-hierarchical, egalitarian and apolitical enable women, while transforming barriers and labels within environmental activism.
To cite this article: Maleta, Yulia. Activism as a barrier and gender dynamics within Australian third-sector environmentalism [online]. Third Sector Review, Vol. 18, No. 1, 2012: 77-98.
[cited 23 Jun 17].