Normally, the concept of growth is associated with economic growth. Globally, this is how the development and welfare of countries have long been measured and estimated. But when economic growth is only viewed through the lens of a country’s gross domestic product, much is still left unsaid about the state of a nation – both in terms of welfare and development. As such, the gross domestic product can oftentimes be misleading.
Tora aims to reclaim this concept of growth and redefine it within a human, nature-based and care-based framework. The concept of growth helps identify as well as evaluate those elements of growth that can help feminist societies prosper. One of the most interesting current feminist challenges relates to the notion that it should be decided what kinds of growth should be encouraged and what kinds of growth should be impeded. In a feminist context, Tora believes that Equality, Inclusion and Sustainability can help create the right breeding ground for healthy and meaningful growth. We will operate from the basis of these three layers in order to work towards feminist growth. In this way, we are taking a holistic approach, in which humans, society, communities and structures are incorporated into our vision and the work we do every day.
Along with inclusion and sustainability, equality forms one of the three cornerstones of feminist growth. By equality we are referring to equal status among people in terms of guaranteed basic protection in front of the judicial system as well as equal rights to political participation, political decision-making, and the right to security in interpersonal relationships, absent of exposure to violence, harassment or bullying.
For us, equality as a theme contains the concept of ‘resultability’, referring to the fact that equal opportunities and rights require to shift the focus from potentially empty declarations of intent towards the real consequences we experience in society.
A focus on rights emphasises the need to thoroughly investigate and question the judicial system in order to avoid the formation of a system created by the interests of a small, privileged minority – but instead protects the rights of everyone. We vote for an ‘economic distribution’ that pays attention to the fact that in order to achieve growth in the public as well as private sphere, we need equality as a fundamental and underlying value. Finally, a ‘sustainable climate and environmental policy’ can only be achieved if fundamental equality can be achieved on the decision-making level as well as its consequences.
By Inclusion we refer to cases in a societal context in which certain communities are excluded and, as a consequence, deficient in their understanding and approaches. We therefore look at Inclusion in various domains of society. As such, inclusion in health care provides a more nuanced understanding of medicine and health-related issues, while inclusion in the context of the labour market encourages the rethinking of working culture and contribution to the community. Taking up a norm-critical, feminist perspective in pedagogy and education shifts the focus towards the framework and institutional system that children and young adults in our society grow up in. In climate and environmental policy, inclusion ensures that the voice of the most affected – yet often unheard – groups are considered in decision-making processes. In the domain of integration and foreign policy, inclusion is aimed at providing a broader, more comprehensive understanding and perspective among predominantly privileged decision groups. Finally, inclusion within political decision-making processes secures that the voices of marginalized groups are heard in public debates as well as political decision-making processes, essentially advocating for more inclusive political representation.
Feminist sustainability follows a holistic approach which focuses on care, reproduction and the right to life. The work of feminist sustainability encompasses the fields of environment, climate, economy and social. ‘Environmental sustainability’ refers to forming a sustainable relationship with nature and our surroundings, in which our use of resources does not impede or harm the environment to thrive.
‘Sustainable climate’ refers to combating climate change and providing for a climate that ensures sustainable life on earth. This can only be achieved if societies with sufficient economic resources support those societies that are hit hardest by climate change. ‘Social and economic sustainability’ is about creating a society in which humans can thrive. As such, a socially sustainable society is founded on inclusion and equality within society. Economic sustainability is based on an understanding of and appreciation for people, nature and the economic value thereof.