Dr. Vandana Shiva – WOMAN of ACTION™

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A Celebration of Women™

is elated to Celebrate the Life of this woman said to have the heart of a soldier.

This powerhouse holds her passion in the world of activism working for a global reality, working to rise above world hunger and helping to educate people about “sustainability and ecological principles.”



profile photo of vandan shiva smilling wearing burgundy sari

Dr. Vandana Shiva

van-valley-of-DehradunVandana Shiva (Hindi: वन्दना शिवा; b. 5 November 1952, Dehra Dun, Uttarakhand, India), is an Indian environmental activist and anti-globalization author. Shiva, currently based in Delhi, has authored more than 20 books.

Vandana Shiva was born in the valley of Dehradun, to a father who was the conservator of forests and a farmer mother with a love for nature. She was educated at St Mary’s School in Nainital, and at the Convent of Jesus and Mary, Dehradun.

guelph1After receiving her bachelors in Physics, she pursued a M.A. in the Philosophy of Science at the University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada), with a thesis entitled “Changes in the concept of periodicity of light”.

western_logoShe was trained as a physicist and received her Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, in 1978 with the doctoral dissertation “Hidden variables and locality in quantum theory.” She later went on to interdisciplinary research in science, technology and environmental policy, at the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore. GGBET Review.

She is one of the leaders and board members of the International Forum on Globalization, (along with Jerry Mander, Edward Goldsmith, Ralph Nader, Jeremy Rifkin, et al.), and a figure of the global solidarity movement known as the alter-globalization movement.

ideas2She has argued for the wisdom of many traditional practices, as is evident from her interview in the book Vedic Ecology (by Ranchor Prime) that draws upon India’s Vedic heritage. She is a member of the scientific committee of the Fundacion IDEAS, Spain’s Socialist Party’s think tank. She is also a member of the International Organization for a Participatory Society.

van Right_Livelihood_AwardShe was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 1993.

Doctor Vandana Shiva is a woman with a heart of a soldier. A physicist turned activist, she does not get easily intimidated by corporate giants with whom she launched a war against. As a scientist, she knows what good food is.

Good food is not genetically modified, good food nourishes, good food is real food.

vandana shiva quoting nature's economySince India’s independence from its British colonizers, farmers have rapidly incurred massive debts in an attempt to cope with globalization.

According to Doctor Shiva, globalization benefits only the few elites.

They control everything from policies down to the water that people consume – something they used to get free of charge before capitalists controlled watersheds.

They say that our real enemy is poverty.

But who creates poverty?

That is what Vandana Shiva would like to enlighten people about.

For three decades now, Doctor Shiva has been bringing the case of the marginalized farmers to authorities and lay people. There is more to poverty than poor administration. Vandana’s professional background makes her an authority in the field of quantum physics and genetic engineering. Her countless studies point towards capitalism as the culprit of abject poverty that the world is now experiencing.

GMO protest picture of picketers in black and whiteKnowing that she could only do so much in her attempt to go up against wealthy corporations who have seats on the board of the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund, Doctor Shiva took to the streets mobilizing farmers and women to liberate themselves from the oppressive system.

Her response to the growing industry of genetically modified organisms (GMO) is the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, which she herself founded in 1982. Less than a decade late, Navdanya – or Nine Seeds – was launched to address the seed monopoly.

van Two_Decades_of_Swaraj__Satyagraha_page1_image105Monsanto, a multinational biotechnology corporation, wanted to patent seeds to control the food chain.

Doctor Shiva was one of the first to condemn seed patents, saying that patenting seeds is tantamount to saying that they (Monsanto) create life. Navdanya sprung from the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology and became a full-blown project and campaign after the threat of seed monopoly became a serious problem to the Indian farmers.

On the grounds of Gandhi’s ‘Quit India Movement’, Navdanya launched the ‘Monsanto Quit India’ campaign in 1998 that today remains in effect and a major component of the Seed Freedom Campaign.

Suicides have risen to an alarming number since the cotton biotechnology.

Farmers felt helpless and are left at the mercy of giant companies that are only after one thing – profit.

Since Navdanya was launched in 1991, 70,000 Indian farmers have enlisted to become its member. Their efforts in maintaining seeds as a renewable resource resulted in the creation of 34 seed banks across the 13 states of India.

VANDANA soilnotoilThese seed banks helped in the conservation of around 2,000 rice varieties.

Published on May 15, 2012
Seed is the source of life and the first link in the food chain. Control over seed means a control over our lives, our food and our freedom.

Corporations like Monsanto have created a seed emergency — an emergency through patents on seeds, seed monopolies, biopiracy, genetic engineering and creation of non – renewable sterile seeds.

Seed monopolies have pushed 250,000 farmers to commit suicide in India.

After contaminating farmer’s seeds and crops, Monsanto sues farmers “for stealing their gene“, putting the polluter pays principle on its head, and making it the polluter gets paid principle. The multidimensional emergency created by patents on seeds and GMOs needs a global collective response.

Collectively, we must stop the patenting of seeds. Join the Global movement on Seed Freedom to stop the corporate hijack of seed and with it, the hijack of our freedom and our future.


Because of Doctor Shiva’s unrelenting efforts to fight against behemoth food foes, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award – referred to as the Alternative Nobel Prize. Her work in upholding the causes of women farmers and ecology earned the respect of many award-giving bodies. In 1993, the same year she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, Doctor Shiva also received four more distinctions: the Global 500 Award from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Order of the Golden Ark by his Royal Highness Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, the Earth Day International Award from the Earth Day International, and the VIDA SANA International Award.

The governments of Italy and Spain also work with her in tapping their grassroots community to help them cope with the changing system. In 2004, Doctor Shiva set up the Bija Vidyapeeth or School of the Seeds. In partnership with Schumacher College, the Bija Vidyapeeth helps educate people about “sustainability and ecological principles.”

Doctor Shiva’s activism led to the creation of policies that have no leanings on personal interests – particularly on biodiversity and the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). Her contributions to the conservation of the environment and the human rights movement are also acknowledged by renowned universities and colleges where she was given honorary degrees.

vadana women staying aliveHer books resonate with her strong conviction concerning human rights and ecological conservation. She compellingly tells of the plights of farmers and children in her books, such as in “Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Development” and “Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis.”

She is hoping to increase public awareness on the issue of globalization.

Asked what’s in it for her, she adamantly replies:

“… my entry point into life was as a physicist. If I am today engaged in ecological research and activism or fighting globalization or fighting for peace, it is because of the reality of today — a very contemporary reality — in which small peasants can’t make a living.”

Extraordinary does not even begin to describe Doctor Vandana Shiva’s fighting spirit against hunger and greed. At the very least, we can perhaps be mindful of what we eat and what we feed our family, and do our part in protecting our planet.

Diverse Women for Diversity is the gender program of Navdanya which works with local, national and global level. It was founded as a global campaign of women on biodiversity, cultural diversity and food security by Dr. Jean Grossholtz and Ms. Beth Burrows, USA, Dr. Christine von Weizsacker, Germany, and Dr. Vandana Shiva, India.

The Diverse Women’s Statement of Concern resists monoculture and monopolies and celebrates diversity.

VAN empowerment of women and childrenDiverse Women for Diversity echoes women’s voices from the local and grassroots level to global fora and international negotiations. Its focus is biodiversity, food and water. It seeks to strengthen women’s grassrots movements and provide women with a common international platform.

Over the years, Diverse Women for Diversity has evolved a non-violent resistance and opposition to globalization, emergency of genetic engineering and patents on life forms. Women of the world join hands under Diverse Women for Diversity.

At the national level, Diverse Women for Diversity works as The National Alliance of Women’s Food Rights.

At the local level, Diverse Women for Diversity works as Mahila Anna Swaraj (Women’s Food Sovereignty).
On Monday, October 15th, 2012, Dr. Vandana Shiva stopped by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Women’s Caucus held daily during the 11th Conference of Parties in Hyderabad, India. Dr. Shiva shared stories from her lifetime of activism and research on women, ecology and social justice and inspired the room of next generation activists to ‘do something’ to keep pushing for a new economic model which is earth centered and women centered.



On April 5, 2021, in an interview with Dr. Joseph Mercola, Vandana Shiva says, “… if In the next decade, if we don’t protect what has to be protected … and take away the sainthood from this criminal, they will leave nothing much to be saved.”

In this interview, Vandana Shiva, Ph.D. titled Vandana Shiva: Bill Gates Empires ‘Must Be Dismantled’, discusses the importance and benefits of regenerative agriculture and a future Regeneration International project that we’ll be collaborating on.

August 13, 2021: Vandana Shiva – Earth Democracy : Connecting the Rights of Mother Earth and the Well Being of All

Dr. Shiva says: “We are facing an existential crisis with multiple emergencies.

The multiple crises and pandemics we face today—the health pandemic; the hunger pandemic; the poverty pandemic; the climate emergency; the extinction emergency; the emergency of injustice, exclusion, and inequality; dispossession and the disposability of large numbers of humanity—are all rooted in a worldview based on the illusions of separation and superiority which deny interconnectedness and oneness.”

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Dr. Vandana Shive TWITTER @drvandanashiva

Featured HERE – The Xtraordinary

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A Celebration of Women™

welcomes this visionary into our Alumni with open arms, looking forward to collaborations for positive action inside India, to better the lives of all women.

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Brava Vandana!

* Original March 2013/Up-date December 2021

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