The seminar on ‘Women, Ecology and Health: Rebuilding Connections’, which has provided the basis for the material presented in this issue of Development Dialogue, was held in Bangalore in southern India from July 17 to 22, 1991. It was jointly organised by the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy, Dehra Dun, India, and moderated by the Director of the latter foundation, Vandana Shiva. It brought together 25 participants from seven South Asian and Southeast Asian countries and one participant from the United States. Both foundations are grateful to the participants for their valuable contributions to the seminar discussions and to the authors for the pains they have taken in thoroughly revising and updating their papers.
The basic idea behind the organisation of the Bangalore seminar was the conviction that, twenty years after ‘the Environment’ was placed on the international agenda, the time was ripe to take stock, from a women’s perspective, of two decades of development in the environmental field. Furthermore, an important factor was the growing recognition that across the world women are rebuilding connections with nature and renewing the insight that what people do to nature directly affects them, too; that there is, in fact, no insular divide between the environment and their own bodies and health.