The People's Summit Marquee Series Presents:
Vandana Shiva

Friday, June 16, 1995

8 p.m.
Saint Mary's University
McNally Auditorium (off Robie Street)

Topic: Free Trade vs. People's Economies

Opening Story and Welcome by Jean Knockwood Micmac Storyteller
Singing by Cheryl Gaudet
Introductions by Dr. Krishna Patel


Vandana Shiva is a physicist and philosopher of science deeply engaged in the ecological, social and economic struggles of subsistence workers in India. She has stood beside people in their struggles against destructive forestry practices, large-scale dams and multinational dominated agribusiness. Her recent work, as director of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy in Dehradun - India, has concentrated largely on the protection of farmers rights to their own seed stock, and to exposing the threats to the world's farmers by the potent combination of global liberalisation of trade and patent protection of agricultural processes and products. She has been a global advocate for the legal and commercial rights of traditional farmers ( a majority of them women) who have over the centuries developed plant and animal breeds for their resistance to pests and climatic extremes, their superior flavour and nutitional value, and their appropriatness to local farming and cultural requirements.
Dr. Shiva has been one of the most important figures in the development of eco-feminist thinking. She shows in often heart - rendering detail the ways in which this barrier has marginalised the vital continuation of women to production and economic wellbeing.
One of Dr. Shiva's central areas of research and action has been to expose the modern trend to control reproduction. She approaches the topics from two focal points. One being, the move to control the right to use seeds freely for the reproduction of crops. This is mirrored in the second focal point, human reproduction. Shiva presents a surprising consistent parallel between the conversion of reproduction to production in the agricultural sphere and the human family. Women's role in generating human life, and nurturing it through to a new generation of healthy reproduction is being shackled by modern bio-medical technologies. The women's body becomes the somewhat expendible means of production of life increasingly tailored to meet specific standards and to support a large and powerful economic sector.
The area that Dr. Shiva will be exploring during the P7 is the choice the world now faces between a community-based, life supporting, decentralized economy and a self-declared "global economy" which subjugates subsistence and environmental integrity to corporate interests. Her publications include: Staying Alive, Women, Ecology and Development, and Monocultures of the Mind.