Differences in Violence Based on Gender in Assassination of Eco-Martyrs

Primary Author

Shannon Roberson

Faculty Mentor

Richard Bargdill


Climate change has resulted in a wide variety of humanitarian crises all across the globe. Within the last two decades, a new crisis has emerged: a rise in killings of environmental defenders, or eco-martyrs, trying to prevent climate destruction. There has been extensive research on how extractive industries, transnational corporations, and governments have been responsible for these deaths. There has also been literature on how eco-martyrs, mostly indigenous men and women, are needed in preservation efforts because of their historical ancestral knowledge. However, there has been very little research on the differences in violence based on gender in the assassinations of the eco-martyrs. This project aims to fill that gap through a mixed-methods analysis of the eco-martyrs’ assassinations stories. It is suggested that women eco-martyrs suffer more brutal, personal violence (e.g. more accounts of strangulation, mutilation, sexual assault) in their assassinations compared to their men counterparts. With this project I hope to bring to light the emerging dangers that threaten not only the environment, but those who are protecting it as well.



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