In this article, Bonnie Holmes-Gen, chief of the health and exposure assessment branch in the research division of the California Air Resources Board shares the links between health problems and wildfire smoke. During the COVID-19 pandemic, unhealthy air quality is a serious public health emergency. This summer, as California’s coronavirus cases continue to surge and the state struggles to implement safety measures, wildfire season is worsening air quality, complicating evacuation plans, perpetuating unjust impacts on Black, Brown, and Native communities, and further endanger those already at greatest risk of COVID-19.
During a public health crisis centered around a respiratory disease, the last thing we need is more pollution that worsens respiratory problems and deepens already disproportionately higher risks of COVID-19 for Black, Brown, Indigenous, and low-income communities. While getting real about the root issues is urgently important, millions of Californians are being forced to deal with the immediate task of safety and survival. Greenpeace created a California Wildfire Crisis Emergency Response Guide to help communities stay safe and healthy during these uncertain times. Photo Credit: David McNew / Greenpeace
This Greenpeace article lists trends impacting the occurrence of both forest and wildland fires today and solutions to those trends. The climate crisis is fueling extreme weather events, including an exceptionally dry winter and record-breaking heat waves which leave more dried up wildland vegetation to kindle the fires. Despite this, the Trump Administration and the logging industry regularly use wildfires as opportunities to make the case for more logging under the guise of fuels reduction and fire prevention. Photo Credit: 2016 Erskine Fire in Central California, © US Forest Service
Women Are More At Risk Due To The Pandemic And Climate Crisis. These Feminists Are Working To Change That.
Women activists around the world are standing up. To challenge the ways in which the global pandemic and climate change exacerbate inequalities, five young women share their stories about the intersections of environmental and social justice. Journey with Betty Barkha (Fiji), Meera Ghani (Pakistan), Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim (Chad), Maggie H. Mapondera (Zimbabwe), and Majandra Rodriguez Acha (Peru) to learn about their work and the ways that they are engaging in their local communities.
Strengthening Indigenous Rights And Leadership In The Face Of Global Challenges – COVID-19, Climate Change And Environmental Degradation
A global representation of indigenous peoples organizations along with the International Union for Conservation of Nature are working to address climate change through increased partnership and shared leadership. Ahead of the World Conservation Congress in January of 2021 the IUCN is making the decision to increase indigenous leadership positions and define key proposals around indigenous roles, rights and relationship to the environment. The IUCN is also calling for support from member states in indigenous stewardship of their lands, territories and seas especially by indigenous women. A new document produced through this collaboration aims to draw attention to solutions and challenges faced by indigenous peoples around Covid-19. Through increased sharing of proposals and techniques there is growing hope for indigenous resilience and the protection of their way of life under increasing threat from the pandemic along with the long-term challenges of climate change and environmental degradation. Photo credit: Asociacion Ak’Tenamit
LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, an elder of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and founder of Sacred Stone Camp and Tara Houska, Ojibwe lawyer and founder of the Giniw Collective are interviewed by reporter Amy Goodman after the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is ordered to shut down by August 5, 2020. LaDonna Brave Bull Allard has opened her home in North Dakota to supporters from the beginning of the resistance in order to protect sacred sites, water sources, and the health of her community members. She has joined forces with Indigenous leaders and water protectors from around the world, many of whom have faced similar harms from extractive industry. Tara Houska asserts that the shutdown of this massive pipeline sends a critical message to the fossil fuel industry that these dangerous projects will not be tolerated and that a regenerative green economy is non-negotiable. Photo credit: Democracy Now! (video screenshot)
The pandemic, COVID-19, reveals a class system, where only the wealthy have the power to withdraw or shelter in place. Whereas, someone who lives paycheck to paycheck must continue to hustle every day to find work. This places poor people in a position between risking their health and economic survival. There is no choice but to make that choice. As long as this is true, the number of carriers will continue to grow. The only option is solidarity. Every country needs every other country to have an economy focused on health and social well-being. The coronavirus makes the slogan of solidarity literal: an injury to one is an injury to all. Photo Credit: Joseph Prezioso / AFP via Getty
Morgan Dixon is the co-founder of ‘GirlTrek’, a national help organization addressing the disproportionate effects of the current health crisis in African American women. Starting with 530 women in their first year, the organization has since grown to about 100,000 African American women who walk together every day. Together the women of ‘GirlTrek’ not only boost their own physical health, they also improve the health of their families and communities while reshaping the narrative around health for women of color. Video Credit: National Sierra Club
Africans and women will be some of the main groups hit the hardest by climate change, and it is becoming increasingly more important to protect women’s land in Nigeria to help mitigate these effects. Women are responsible for 70% to 80% of all agricultural labor in Nigeria, but only 10 percent of land owners in Nigeria are women. This is partly due to the customary laws and property ownership, which makes it extremely hard for women to inherit land. With decreasing amounts of arable land coupled with continued population growth in Nigeria, 70% of Africans who rely on the land are at risk as climate change worsens. Those affected the most in are the women who perform the majority of agricultural labor and have more intimate relationships with the land. Empowering women to own the land where they work will improve Nigerian communities’ climate resiliency, creating a more sustainable relationship between humans and the environment. Photo credit: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images
Victoria Law is a journalist who spent 6 years with the Zapatista movement in Southern Mexico and published Compañeras: Zapatista Women’s Stories. She gives an overview of the Zapatistas, the influence women have in the movement and the impact the movement has had on their lives. The Zapatistas began organizing in the 80s and declared war on the state of Mexico in 1994, on the exact day the NATO the free trade agreement began. Since then the movement is renowned for the peaceful protests, indigenous organization, and their autonomy. Women have played a key role in the Zapatista communities accomplishing a drastic reduction of violence against women, the prohibition of alcohol (connected to abuse), the freedom to participate and lead in politics, and autonomy over their lives. Victoria sheds light to many things that can be learned from the organization of the Zapatistas and the key role that women continue to play in their liberation and in the liberation of their people. Photo Credit: Mr. Thelkan
The Palestinian Heirloom Library, in its efforts supporting a Palestinian agricultural scene, stands not only as an act of resistance to Israeli occupation but as a source of cultural tradition and hope in amongst climate change impacts and agribusiness take-over’s. The brainchild of Vivien Sansour, the Heirloom Library was inspired into creation by stories of the succulent watermelon Jadu’I that used to flourish in Jenin. The melon, once a significant cornerstone in the daily lives of Palestinians, suffered (as did much of Palestinian agriculture) after the Israeli occupation. The goal of the Library aims to preserve ancient seed types as well as traditional agricultural practices and revive the heirloom varieties in the fields of the farmers. The Art and Seeds space showcases indigenous seeds and serves to teach the public about long-standing Palestinian farming practices. Photo credit: Vivien Sansour.
In this article, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) executive director Osprey Orielle Lake reflects on the broad and interwoven relationship between women and climate change. Citing activists such as Phyllis Young and Dr. Vandana Shiva, Lake connects the experience of each activist to global climate justice trends and movements. Lake also discusses the climate crisis as it is linked to systems of oppression and patterns of abuse against women and nature. While they are among the most vulnerable populations affected by climate chaos, women also offer the most hope for the future. Photo Credit: Emily Arasim/WECAN
Women in Afro-Ecuadorian communities are uniquely and historically responsible for traditional medical practices. Like Indigenous Ecuadorians, Afro-Ecuadorians have made the rich botanical resources of Equator the foundation of their medicinal treatments. Traditional medicines are often coupled with healing practices such as singing songs and saying prayers for spiritual ailments as well. However, women practicing Afro-Ecuadorian medicine are now facing threats to their traditional practices due to restrictive policies that label ancestral medicine as “alternative” and from increased pesticide use, and cheaper western healthcare services. Photo Credit: Raul Ceballos
Monifa Dayo, Carrie Y.T. Kholi, and Binta Ayofemi are three women using food as a vehicle for social change. They are amongst a host of Black women exiting from the restaurant industry after experiencing racism and sexism in the workplace. Monifa Dayo runs her own supper club while consciously incorporating social justice into her business model. Similarly, Carrie Y.T. Kohli’s ‘Hella Black Brunch’ brings people together around food and the African diaspora experience. Binta Ayofemi’s ‘Soul Oakland’ focuses on Black urban sustenance and restoration. Each woman views herown work as a form of resistance to the current political climate, and seeks to inspire communities of color in doing so. Photo credit: Richard Lomibao
In Louisiana, the indigenous-led resistance camp “L’Eau est la Vie” fights to put a stop to the construction of the Bayou Bridge pipeline, which is planned to connect the Dakota Access pipeline to a refinery in St. James. The region is known for its swamplands that offer a vast biodiversity, but also has a long history of forced evictions and environmental injustice ever since oil was discovered below a lake. To this day, the water protectors face intimidation tactics and in some cases acts of physical violence in response to their activism. Photo credit: Joe Whittle/The Guardian
Despite once providing bustling profits for fishing families, Lake Malawi — one of Africa’s largest lakes — suffers from overfishing and women in Malawi are feeling the brunt of this. The fishing industry employs close to 300,000 Malawi workers and fishers, but fish are no longer being found in abundance. Stiff competition from fishermen is drastically depleting fish levels. The fish that are now being found are smaller and priced higher, reducing the profitability of a market that used to flourish in the past. Women who used to buy fish cheaply and trade it for more, are then forced to buy from fishermen, who have also been pushed out of business, at increased prices. Moreover, they are no longer able to provide local fish as a cheap protein to their families because overfishing has left women under tight restraint. Thankfully successful community efforts have been rallied around creating bylaws that would close down the lake for a temporary amount of time to promote lake health. And it appears these laws put in place were working — a man was hit with a hefty fine for fishing on the lake when it was close. Photo credit: Mabvuto Banda
At the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco California, Niria Alicia stood up and sang out in protest to Governor Jerry Brown’s refusal to take action against oil and gas companies. In this piece, Niria describes why she joined eight other young people in singing the Women’s Warrior Song as an act of resistance at the summit. Niria sites her own identity as an Indigenous woman, and daughter of a farmworker to poignantly explain the consequences of fossil fuel divestment. Photo credit: Niria Alicia
Aminata Bamba and Traore Awa are two women leading the charge on gender equality in the cocoa industry in Western Africa. Both with senior positions in their cocoa cooperatives, Ecookim and CAYAT cocoa cooperative respectively, and having returned from a Fairtrade Conference, they defy the traditional gender roles prevalent in their country and help lift the taboo on women leadership. In a community where unpaid labour often mean that women working throughout the production chain are often not recognised and gender expectations result in a male-dominated industry, the Fairtrade Women’s School of Leadership is working to empower women to take the lead and has trained 413 women in Awa’s community. Their program provides guidance and business support and last year’s conference tackled the future of trade and systemic issues in supply chains. Photo credit: Tony Myers.
A new assessment report released last week (8 October) by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted the importance of raising the capacity of least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS) in climate management and the special role of women as a group vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. According to a February 2018 study published in the PNAS, the proportion of female IPCC authors increased from less than five per cent in 1990, when the first report was published, to slightly more than 20 per cent in the more recent assessment reports. For instance, 75% perceived weak command of the English language as a barrier to participation, while 30% saw race as an obstacle. Chandni Singh, a climate change researcher from India and a lead author for the IPCC’s, has seen women face barriers to their participation, including overt discrimination and insufficient childcare facilities at meetings. Acknowledging the barriers women face, the scientific body decided in March to establish a gender task group, now being co-chaired by Patricia Nying'uro from Kenya and Markku Rummukainen from Sweden. Joy Pereira, a professor at the Southeast Asia Disaster Prevention Research Initiative of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (SEADPRI-UKM) and a vice-chair of the IPCC’s Working Group 2, tells SciDev.Net that the scientific body should ask their hosts to ensure greater participation of women. Photo Credit: Chris Stowers/Panos
From female farmers to female restaurant workers, women are consistently subject to sexual harassment at every level of the US Food System. Mostly depending on immigrant labor, the US Food System workforce is the lowest-paid and most exploited workforce in the country. The workers have little legal protections that are rarely enforced. For women, especially immigrant women, this means that sexual harrasment and unequal treatment on the basis of sex prevail. In recent years, initiatives such as the #MeToo movement, the Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, and the Fair Food Movement, support and encourage women to fight against the patriarchal oppression they face. Photo Credit: Donald Lee Pardue
Olympia Auset is the founder of SÜPERMARKT, a low cost, organic pop-up grocery store which is addressing food inequality in southern Los Angeles. Auset sees food as a tool for liberation and seeks to free her own community from identifying as a food desert where people statistically live 10 years less than wealthier white communities. This reality steams from a history of white flight after slavery became illegal. Auset’s SUPERMARKT is changing the local narrative and has plans to expand given her success and demand. Her model is also being replicated in food deserts across the country. Photo Credit: Sara Harrison
Women in Spain are striking and petitioning for a new energy model that contrasts the current patriarchal, capitalist model. In recognizing that women are most adversely affected by the current climate model, they are calling for a just transition which overhauls the systematic sexism, racism, and classism to achieve a truly fair energy policy. Part of the solution they say, is changing the male dominated environments where energy policies are written and discussed. Across the country women are tightening the conversation and successfully making gains such as Law 24/2-15 which indicate a future for more progressive ecofeminists policies in the future. Photo Credit: Adolfo Lujan
Greenpeace USA Executive Director, Annie Leonard traces the intersections between the environmental movement and the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements, calling for more diversity. As more women name their harassers and seek justice, the environmental movement needs to reckon with the growing spotlight on power imbalances across gender, race, and class lines. Leonard, a white woman, writes how these movements have made her reexamine her own privileges and responsibilities within a movement that has been historically dominated by White men. Knowing that the best solutions come from those most affected, she calls for greater representation and meaningful spaces for often marginalized voices to be heard—not to achieve a diversity quota but to ensure deep, lasting change. Photo credit: Tim Aubry/Greenpeace
Female climate scientists face a disproportionate amount of gender-based abuse in comparison to their male counterparts. Through social media, email, and direct telephone calls, women climate scientists report numerous violent threats including rape and death threats from disproportionately male attackers. Although the threats remain written or verbal, many women fear for their physical safety and have taken precautions to reduce their exposure in the media. This form of gender discrimination is one of many on the rise since the 2016 election of Donald Trump, which effectively institutionalized climate denial as well as misogyny. The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund was founded in 2011 to combat harassment against climate researchers, seeing a need to update current laws to protect women in science and academia in particular. Photo Credit: Mandel Ngan
Katsi Cook, founder of the first school of Indigenous midwifery, traces the trajectory of her life and explains how the traditional knowledge of Indigenous communities is helping to conserve moral values and the environment. Her interest in environmental health was inspired by her experience delivering babies as a midwife, when a mother asked a simple question: “Is it safe to breastfeed?” Her research led to the first human health study at a superfund site, which revealed that Mohawk indigenous women are disproportionately affected by the nearby industrialization of the Great Lakes basin. Their breastmilk has been contaminated with harmful chemicals that in turn impacts their offspring. Cook shares the stories of her ancestors which are helpful for her to empower her fellow women. Photo Credit: Yes Magazine
Isela Gonzalez, director of Alianza Sierra Madre, uses civic activism to fight for political change as a way to confront the vested economic interests of not only big corporations, but also narco-gangs and corrupt politicians, that violate indigenous land rights. In a country that is painted in violence, with assassinations as an answer to those who have a different vision than governmental or corporate agendas, standing up for environmental and social causes come with serious risks. Often facing threats to her life, which has resulted in armed guards, panic buttons and crisis training, Gonzalez is staunch in her battle to defend the Tarahumara’s rights. The three tribes who live among the pine-oak forests of the Sierra Madre have a worldview that sees themselves as part of the land and it was this, as well as their way of life, that inspired her to refocus the direction of Alianza Sierra Madre on indigenous rights as the frontline for environmental protection. Photo credit: Thom Pierce for The Guardian.
Neris Uriana, the first female chieftain of Wayuu tribe in La Guajira, was elected in 2015. She had tremendous support from her husband Jorge Uriana who thinks the future is female. Jorge was the previous community leader and decided women should participate in decision making and worked to dismantle machismo culture. After becoming chieftain, Neris has introduced sustainable agriculture methods to her tribe and collaborated with other communities to improve irrigation, crop cycles, and land use. Neris has successfully created many women leaders in her tribe, such as Pushaina, who is growing the crops with minimum water supply. Photo Credit: Lucy Sherriff/PRI
The feminine hygiene industry markets products that are manufactured with dangerous chemicals and which perpetuate harmful myths around period bleeding. Much of the marketing languages capitalizes on the notion that bleeding is shameful and should be hidden or kept from public discourse. Further, women and girls are often encouraged to use mainstream products such as bleached tampons and pads that threaten their health. This article encourages women to explore reusable, and non manufactured alternatives to managing their periods. Photo Credit: Orlando Begaye AKA Treeman
In Madera, California, Sylvia Rojas and Rosa Hernandez own Colectivo Sabor a Mi Tierra, a restaurant that offers traditional Oaxacan dishes such as tamales, picaditas, pozole, and mole. Many of these dishes have indigenous roots and reflect the migration from indigenous Mexican communities to the United States. Formerly farmworkers, Hernandez and Rojas opened up the restaurant with support from organizations such as the Pan Valley Institute, a group that focuses on uplifting women and building inter-ethnic relationships amongst rural Californian farming communities in the Central Valley. Photo Credit: Lisa Morehouse
A group of US and Cambodian Scholars from Pennsylvania State University have created the multidisciplinary project, “Women in Agriculture Network (WAgN): Cambodia” to teach Cambodian women farmers how to change their farming techniques for more beneficial outcomes. The project places particular value on native Cambodian plants that thrive throughout the year, even during wet- and dry-season food gaps. WAgN also analyses Cambodian women’s roles in agriculture, and the notion that the “feminization” of agriculture does not coincide with an improved quality of life for Cambodian women. Researchers at WAgN believe that their project has the potential to augment the societal status of Combodian women and improve their quality of life. Photo Credit: Penn State
Leah Penniman and her organization Soul Fire Farm have developed a new mapping and reparations resource for black and brown farmers. Launched via Google Maps, the reparations map identifies over 52 organizations, their needs, and how to contact each farming operation. The project is an extension of a global movement for food justice, and the return of stolen lands and resources to Indigenous and black farmers. Consequently, the project directly addresses the significant wealth gap between farmers of color and white farmers. The site has had over 53,000 visitors to date. Photo Credit: Jonah Vitale-Wolff
Low to moderate income families and families of color often take on a disproportionate energy burden, sacrificing funds that would otherwise be used on food or medical expenses, to pay for utility bills. Energy companies do little to nothing to help ease this burden. And more time than not, these communities are in areas that are poorly maintained and plagued by pollution. In fact, studies have shown that 71% of African Americans live in counties with federal air violations, compared to 56% of the overall population. 70% of African Americans live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant, which generated 30% of the U.S. electricity in 2016 and discharged millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions into the environment. African Americans face the brunt of the health impacts associated with long-time exposure to toxins emitted at plants; children and the elderly are especially sensitive to such risks. These long lasting impacts take many forms, resulting in emotional, psychological and economic costs for these communities. Photo Credit: NAACP
Daughters of field workers are participating in a five day “Freedom Fast”, and joining the Time’s Up Wendy’s March in Manhattan. Their demonstration calls upon Wendy’s to sign onto the Fair Food Program which addresses many of the structural issues enabling sexual harassment in the workplace. The demonstration is taking place alongside the Time’s Up and #MeToo movement which has drawn global attention to the treatment of all women in the workforce. Women working in agriculture are strong voice in this movement as they report especially high rates of sexual assault in the workplace. So far the women’s efforts to suede Wendy’s have been unsuccessful. Photo Credit: Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)
Francesca Chaney is working to alleviate food insecurity and make the wellness movement accessible in her neighbourhood of Bushwick, New York. A dream since she was 19 years old, the café, Sol Sips, started as a pop-up shop and evolved into a permanent fixture in the community. With a popular brunch menu and sliding scale prices, a diverse range of community members visit the spot ranging from indigenous, Latinx, and people of colour to old-timers and families. She serves a community that has largely been left aside by the mainstream health and wellness movement and Sol Sips remains a contrast to the majority of vegan and plant-based restaurants. Chaney wants to counter the trend that to eat healthy is a privilege only for those who can afford it. This socially conscious space that pays mind to the demographic of the neighbourhood is one of a range of businesses fighting to make vegan and healthy food accessible. Photo credit: Sol Sips
Nearly 6,000 Methodist women from around the world came together in Columbus, Ohio for a social justice summit celebrating 150 years of their organization, United Methodist Women. The organization is the service-oriented arm of the broader United Methodist Church, focusing on maternal and child health, mass incarceration, economic inequality and climate justice. Attendees heard Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and volunteered with local community justice initiatives, including the Poor People’s Campaign. Every four years, the group hosts gatherings where women activists can revitalize local communities and grow interfaith movements for equality. Photo Credit: Danae King The Columbus Dispatch @DanaeKing
Before 1989, Cuba depended on the Soviet Union for agricultural supplies to help maintain Cuban agriculture industries such as coffee, bananas, and sugar. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989, Cuba found itself cut off from these agricultural supplies and in an economic crisis. Over the course of the next six years, the Cuban government encouraged alternative agricultural practices and ran workshops to teach residents various forms of food production methods. Former biology teacher Edith participated in one of these workshops. Afterwards, she founded the urban farm Linda Flor ten minutes away from Sancti Spíritus’ main square. Thanks to Edith’s scientific knowledge, perseverance, and passion for agriculture, Linda Flor flourished despite the small urban space. Now, students from around the world flock to Sancti Spíritus to tour Edith’s farm. Photo by Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Lim Li Ching’s new report on agroecology highlights the crucial role small women farmers play in preserving indigenous varieties or landraces of main food crops. However, their role expands beyond the preservation of indigenous seeds, and women also process, distribute, and market food, as well as act as key holders of knowledge around seeds, agricultural biodiversity, and agroecology technologies. Parul Begum knew that indigenous strains of rice would result in higher yields in West Bengal and Manisha in Haryana’s Nidana village in Jind used carnivorous pests, as opposed to a chemical alternative, to handle the crop destruction caused by harmful pests. These women play a significant role in smallholder systems which also provide over half of the planet’s food calories. Despite their valuable role, women face issues in legal ownership of land and access to resources such as land, seeds, or technologies, due to the gender bias that exists in agriculture. Lim Li Ching argues that empowering women, especially with regards to land ownership which consequently opens access to government schemes and resources, can lead to improved food security and health. Photo credit: Vikas Choudhary
Ashley Hernandez grew up in Wilmington in South Los Angeles, a primarily latino community and home to one of the largest oil fields in the United States. Hernandez tackles environmental justice issues by educating her community about pollution. Her first campaign, “Clean Up Green Up,” led the Los Angeles City Council to support a pollution prevention and reduction strategy. Her new campaign is calling on Governor Jerry Brown to make California the first oil-producing state to phase out existing oil and gas production and to transition to sustainable fuels that can provide new jobs for workers while also protecting public health of vulnerable communities. Photo Credit: Melissa Lyttle for HuffPost
The community of Lenca women, Indigenous to Honduras, has been practicing agroforestry for millennia as a sustainable farming method in their dry region. They are keeping this traditional knowledge alive by growing organic, fair trade crops like coffee in worker-owned cooperatives. Farmers like Eva Alvarado helped to create an all-female growers’ cooperative in 2014, as part of the Cosagual coffee growers’ organization. Their coffee is now sold around the world, and the women bring home a larger share of the profits than before. The Lenca group is known for radical work: Berta Cáceres, the famous Indigenous activist murdered in 2016, also belonged to the community. The idea of this cooperative was seeded at a gender equality workshop with the Association of NGOs. Agroforestry, which involves planting fruit and timber trees in the shade, is an effective way to combat food insecurity, erosion and acts as a carbon sink. Women in Honduras are coping with climate change using agroforestry, a method that can provide a sustainable livelihood to many communities. Photo Credit: Monica Pelliccia
At the Alternate World Water Forum (FAMA), women led the charge in speaking out against the governments, NGOs and multinational corporations that privatize and exploit everyone’s water. Alessandra Munduruku, an Indigenous warrior of the Amazonian Munduruku tribe, uplifted her community’s fight against dangerous extraction and contamination on the Tapajós River. Andreia Neiva, a Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens (MAB) militant, urged others to follow her community’s lead in battling large farming companies who are stealing and polluting water sources. In her city, Correntina, in the Brazilian state of Bahia, people are rising up against repression to occupy the industrial farms, and she hopes to see others join. Grassroots leaders from around the world shared their stories, emphasizing that just as all water is connected, these struggles are interdependent. Photo Credit: Idle No More SFBay Blog
Migration is one way women may be forced to adapt to climate change, but this displacement also puts women at greater risk for violence, a group of women leaders explained at a Wilson Center event. Eleanor Bornstorm, Program Director for the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), noted that because women are often in caretaking roles, they are also expected to volunteer and shield their communities from harm. Yet structural inequalities put women disproportionately at risk to violence during climate displacement. Carrying forward the former statement, Justine Calma, Grist environmental justice reporting fellow, vocalized the violence faced by women and young girls during climate displacement. For example, during the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, young girls were sexually exploited, sold and trafficked for food and other resources. Poor or uneducated women, women of color and migrant women are vulnerable to intersectional forms of discrimination, and their needs are often more urgent. Because of these structural inequalities, empowering women and enhancing their leadership may be the best strategy to address climate change, rather than mitigating its effects. WEDO is assessing factors impacting women during climate displacement, filling in the gaps unaddressed at the national and international level. Photo Credit: Agata Grzybowska.
Even after 20 years of “UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders”, women human rights defenders (HRD) face systematic structural violence for raising awareness of political and environmental issues affecting their daily lives. To highlight the stories of these women, the Canadian Embassy in Bangkok launched a project “Her Life, Her Diary: Side by Side WHRDs 2018 - Diary of Hope and Dreams" featuring 20 women defenders and their everyday struggle against social injustice. Photo Credit: Luke Duggleby
Jing Jing He is a community organizer with the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), helping to uplift the voices of Asian immigrant communities in Oakland and Richmond, California. Due to her work as a fierce female leader championing renewable energy and jobs in her community, she was recognized by the national 100% Campaign and received a billboard in her honor. Photo credit: 100isNow
Indigenous women are decolonizing land in the Bay Area through the Sogorea Te Land Trust, a grassroots, women-led organization that aims to reclaim Ohlone land. Refusing to have their culture and land erased by development, Corrina Gould, activist and leader of Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone, and Johnella LaRose of Shoshone-Bannock and Carrizo, founded the organization in 2012. After a food justice organization donated a quarter-acre of land to the trust, other local NGOs, LGBTQ, faith groups and affluent residents are showing support. Leaders want to see the repatriated land return to Indigenous stewardship, through community gardens and ceremony, which will also generate more sustainable spaces. The Sogorea Te Land Trust has the potential to decolonize not only the land, but the minds of who is on that land. Photo Credit: SOGOREA TE LAND TRUST AND PLANTING JUSTICE/HuffPost
Women in India hold significant but overlooked roles in agriculture. The Census of India (2011) reveals nearly 98 million women have agricultural jobs. Due to decreasing economic opportunities in rural areas, young people and men are moving to urban areas, leaving women behind to farm. To recognize the importance of female farmers, the government of India declared October 15th as Rashtriya Mahila Kisan Diwas (National Female Farmer Day). This is a great step forward given women have been historical left out of agricultural narratives. The way forward is to give land rights to women while strengthening the existing government policies for female farmers in India. Photo Credit: Vikas Choudhary
Unpaid domestic work is a burden on Indian women who are leaving formal work spaces to fulfill household duties. This unpaid labor, and women’s interests in general, are often left out of policy discussions, notes Ritu Dewan, Indian feminist economist. Jayati Ghosh, another economist, notes that women perform much more domestic work than men, leading to what is called time poverty. Action Aid, an international non-profit organization in Ghana, models and quantifies unpaid work, defining four main areas: unpaid care work, climate resistant sustainable agriculture, access to markets and violence against women. Time use surveys have led to legislation changes that can better distribute household duties. In Uruguay, for example, the state is responsible for providing care, freeing up more paid and leisure time for women. Photo Credit: Vikas Choudhary
GirlTrek, a national nonprofit organization, empowers Black women in the US by following in the footsteps of Black women leaders who have come before. Under the leadership of co-founders Vanessa Garrison and Morgan Dixon, the organization has motivated more than 100,000 Black women to prioritize self-care and social justice through public health campaigns. One group of women walked the entire length of Harriet Tubman’s Great Escape path on the Underground Railroad, paying tribute to the prominent Black feminist. Tubman’s legacy of liberation and emancipation carries the promise of freedom and justice for Black women all over the United States. By celebrating this radical history, GirlTrek gives Black women unapologetic courage to take control of their mental and physical health and wellbeing. Photo Credit: Yes Magazine
Indigenous land and rights defenders, Gloria Ushigua of Ecuador and Aura Tegria of Colombia, share the heart moving victories and struggles of their people against mega extraction projects on their land, weaving in significant moments from their personal stories. Gloria Ushigua is President of Sapara Women’s Association in Ecuador. She was publicly mocked on television by Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa after protests in 2001 and violently persecuted after organizing significant mobilizations against oil drilling in 2015. Aura Tegria is an indigenous U’wa lawyer on the Legal Counsel to the U’wa people of Colombia. The childhood memories of her people organizing to protect their land inspired to become the U’Wa defender she is today. After intense protests, campaigns and legal action in 2014 and 2015, they successfully kicked out Occidental Petroleum followed by the successful dismantling of the large Magallanes gas well from their land. Part of the U’Wa resistance has also been against the Catholic and Evangelical church that historically promoted cultural extermination through their boarding schools for indigenous children and other oppressive practices. Both women share the history of their people’s resistance since colonization, their personal stories linked to that resistance, the recent struggles of their people and the inspiring victories.Photo Credit: Amazon Watch
Rodrigo Rody Roa Duterte , the 16th president of Philippines was warned by two alliances recently to stop attack on human and Earth rights defenders. Women human right defenders had been facing constant attack under the Presidency, and for fighting against injustice and terror are often referred as “enemies of the state”. For fighting for their rights in the Cordillera, five women human right defenders, Rachel, Sarah, Sherry Mae, Joan, and Asia, faced false accusation and were threatened and harassed. Similarly, Sarah Abellon-Alikes, Rachel Mariano, Joanne Villanueva, and Sherry Mae Soledad were also falsely accused for homicide. Just like Donald Trump in the U.S., Duterte is known for his sexist behavior and rape jokes. Photo Credit: Cultural Survival
Anti-pollution activist Phyllis Omido is finally receiving her day in court, after years at the forefront of a landmark class action suit demanding compensation and clean-up from a lead-smelting factory accused of poisoning residents of Owino Uhuru. The founder of the Centre for Justice, Governance, and Environmental Action, Omido has already successfully forced the closure of the factory and is now seeking reparations for community members. A co-winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2015, Omido is paving the way for other environmental litigations – even in the face of constant intimidation and threats. However, for Omido, this is just the start, as there are 17 other communities fighting for compensation for lead poisoning with whom she plans to organize. Picture Credit: Jonathan Watts
Camila Donatti, Director with Conservation International (CI) while acknowledging the division of labor among men and women, does feel that women and men need an equal amount of training to share knowledge about climate change. It is the best solution to engage them in good work while respecting their time limits. Shyla Raghav, an Indian American Climate expert with CI believes to find the best solutions for climate change we need to connect the women’s issues with climate change issues. Similarly Kame Westerman, a gender adviser with CI shared her personal experience of being discriminated against because of her gender. Margot Wood, associate scientist with CI shares the same experience while working on the field. Photo Credit: Benjamin Drummand
Puerto Rico is in need of disaster relief that adequately addresses the disproportional impacts Hurricane Irma and Maria have had on Puerto Rican women. Women across the world are already more likely to experience higher rates of sexual violence, familial responsibilities, and restricted access to reproductive healthcare in the aftermath of climate disasters. Puerto Rican women in particular are at very high risk for intimate partner violence in the world without stressors such as natural emergencies. Given these statistics and the causal relationship between poverty and violence toward women, upcoming policies such as the new year budget must support women appropriately. Photo Credit: Mario Tama
This article as part of “Visions of 2018” explores the theme of transformation in activist movements. Written by Ejeris Dixon, a female grassroots organiser, we gain insight into how relationships can be improved within our groups, drawing on Dixon’s 15 years of experience. Call-out culture, neglect, secret maneuvers and a misalignment of values and actions can splinter and break groups. However, honesty, loyalty, integrity, accountability and commitment to personal transformation can repair relationships and rebuild trust. Essential transformations if social justice movements are to thrive in these oppressive times. Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout
The term “feminism” continues to be debated in tribal communities. Laura Tohe, Indigenous scholar states, “There is no word for feminism in my language,” affirming, “there was no need for feminism because of our matrilineal culture”. Indigenous women, like Tohe seek to reconnect to the matriarchy and egalitarian roots of the land. The lived experiences of Indigenous women have been and continue to be different from those of white women. White women are oppressed by the patriarchy, but Indigenous women know that patriarchy alone is not the only source of their oppression. Colonialism, capitalism, racism, and rugged individualism work with patriarchy. Indigenous women have been organizing events and attending Women’s Marches across the United States to rematriate the space and spotlight the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW). Photo Credit: Ted S. Warren / AP
Instead of wearing pink “pussy hats” at the Women’s March in the United States, Indigenous women and their allies wore red to highlight the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and transgender people. From Phoenix, Arizona, to San Francisco and Seattle, Indigenous people led demonstrations, addressed the crowds and remembered their “stolen sisters”. 4 out of 5 Native women will encounter violence in their lifetime, more than half will experience domestic violence or sexual assault and in some areas the murder rate of Native American women is 10 times the national average. This violence which has been occurring for decades often goes unresolved, leaving loved ones feeling let down by, and sceptical of the justice system. Photo credit: Jenni Monet
Women across the world experience violence, exploitation, and objectification. The trauma our culture has inflicted upon women extends beyond us. Mother Earth is also facing similar abuse. This piece is an open letter to middle class women to stand for the rights of Mother Earth, just like as they do for themselves via online campaigns like #MeToo. The author argues that the same mentality that seeks to dominate women also seeks to dominate the Earth; thus, we should use the power and momentum of the #metoo movement to consciously link women’s sovereignty issues to ecological issues. Photo Credit: Big Stock Photo
Jacqui Patterson has been fighting for social justice for years, bringing this expertise to her work as the Environmental and Climate Justice program director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Her international work started with HIV/AIDS advocacy, and she has uplifted stories of resilience from women across the U.S. and around the world. Patterson has spoken with South African women facing increased sexual violence because of climate-induced drought and food insecurity, interviewed women across the U.S. impacted by climate change and fighting for justice, and volunteered with Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. Seeing a need for more gender and race analysis in climate change conversations, Patterson helped co-found Women of Color United, a global solidarity network. As an African-American woman, she brings a rigorous intersectional analysis of race, gender, class and other social identities into all climate justice work, fighting for a just transition rooted in deep democracy.
Lucia Graves explores the difficulty of communicating and engaging the public in climate change debates. Graves argues that the two dominant narratives, one of doom and gloom with apocalyptic visions of the future and the other of hope, with optimistic images of families on bikes, are over simplistic as in reality people’s emotions are complicated and multi-faceted. Research has shown that the binary of hope or fear is not enough to inspire action. Instead effort should be made to make issues relevant to your audience’s life as climate change may be global but it has a profoundly personal impact. Overall, Graves highlights the need for the conversation to take place as a 2016 report from Yale’s programme on climate communication found one in four Americans say they’ve “never” heard someone discussing it. Photo credit: Ariel Molina/EPA
Sally Nyakanyanga, an independent journalist based in Zimbabwe, profiles the positive impact of rural electrification on women’s healthcare in the town of Masvingo, Zimbabwe. Oxfam Zimbabwe helped install a water pump and solar system at the Mazuru clinic, which has enabled better vaccine storage, uninterrupted medical technology use, and basic lighting. Juliet Chasamuka is among thousands of Mupandawana women who can now depend on reliable prenatal and postnatal care through energy access. Photo credit: Sally Nyakanyanga
Lumago Designs is a social enterprise in Dumaguete City, Philippines that is run by and for women. Established in 2011, the organization allows women living near the city dump in the Candau-ay community to cultivate the skill of upcycling and reusing. Many of the women were once scavengers – sorting through the 80 tons of garbage sent to the dump a day in search of recyclable materials that they could sell. Now, they work to turn trash into beauty. Their jewelry, bags, and household items are sold across the Philippines and in parts of the US and Europe. Women are paid above minimum wage for the pieces they produce while they work from home. For many, being a part of this group and cultivating financial autonomy has been life changing. Photo Credit: Lumago Designs
Queering Herbalism present a diverse list of 30 books by people of color on herbalism and holistic healing. Although many black, brown and Indigenous communities rely heavily on oral traditions, many barriers exist when they seek to become published, meaning most books on this topic are written by white people. Books on this list cover topics from Indigenous rites of birthing, to African American Slave Medicine, and feature prominent herbalists and healers, such as Ayo Ngozi, who teaches herbal history and medicine making.
A resource toolkit from FRIDA: The Young Feminists Fund presents insights, advice and support to young women and trans youth leaders looking to engage in grassroots movement building and activism in protection of their communities and the world. Photo credit: FRIDA Young Feminists Fund
The UNFCCC’s Women and Gender Constituency (WGC) was established in 2009 by 27 non-profit organizations at the Conference of the Parties (COP), also known as the Climate Negotiations. This year at COP23, the UNFCCC accepted the Gender Action Plan (GAP), a roadmap to integrate gender equality and women's empowerment in all its discussions and actions. For Kalyani Raj, the focal point of the WGC and other female leaders attending the COP, this is a clear indication of progress. Unfortunately, the adopted GAP omitted several of the original demands, including those related to indigenous women and women human rights defenders. Photo Credit: Stella Paul/IPS
Angelika Soriano is a 12-year-old climate warrior who is leading the fight against air pollution in East Oakland, an area of Alameda County, California where 93 percent of the residents are people of color. After suffering from an asthma attack in the fourth grade, Angelika became an advocate for herself and other children in East Oakland who are twice as likely to visit the emergency room or be hospitalized for asthma than those in other parts of Alameda County. As a member of her school’s club Warriors for Justice, Angelika helps stage protests against polluters in her area. On Halloween, 2017, Angelika led a “Zombie March on Coal” to the home of local developer Phil Tagami. At the event, she proclaimed that although she may be small, her impact is mighty. Photo credit: Antonia Juhasz
On the International Day of Struggle Against Violence Towards Women, La Via Campesina launched a campaign and called on its global allies organizations and members to join together to condemn structural violence against peasant women. As their statement explains, structural violence is rooted in capitalistic and fascist patriarchal societies which discriminate against women. Peasant women especially, are victims of forced displacement, prostitution, human trafficking and gender-based violence on a regular basis. The campaign purposefully focuses on both peasant men and women, recognizing that it will take the voices of many breaking their silence to end these violations. Photo credit: La Via Campesina
Women leaders of Uthema and Voice of Women speak out about plans to build an airport on Kulhudhuhfushi island in the northern region of the Maldives, which is made of over 1200 natural coral islands. The vital mangrove wetlands of Kulhudhuhfushi are some of the countries most important and biodiverse, and the airport development there threatens massive destruction of ecosystems which are the source of local economy, culture, traditions, food, environmental protection, and much more. The article and accompanying video note a particular impact on women who work work the wetlands for their livelihoods, and the inequities of an airport for just some people displacing a place of local support for countless. Photo credit: SixDegrees News
Ángel Figueroa Jaramillo, woman leader and head of UTIER, the electrical workers’ union in Puerto Rico, speaks with Democracy Now! following intense 2017 hurricanes, calling for a community owned, just renewable energy transition as the island looks to rebuild and find health and justice following intensive 2017 hurricanes. The community-centered plans she puts forth contrast with proposals by international entrepreneur Elon Musk, to provide centralized and privatized solar systems. Tisha Pastor, owner of a 100% renewable bed and breakfast hotel, also adds into the report, demonstrating the resiliency of her business in standing through recent climate disasters, to be a place of refuge for the surrounding area. Photo credit: Democracy Now!
Women in Detroit, Michigan constitute 53 percent of the population, and 91 percent of all women in the city are women of color. Despite the high numbers, women of color continue to be excluded from decision-making processes when it comes to Detroit’s economic and social development. This report emphasizes the significance of including women of color by profiling 20 women from diverse backgrounds who are committed to empowering a just and sustainable future for Detroit through their work. Among the women profiled is Rev. Roslyn Bouier, who after overcoming domestic violence and drug addiction, managed to establish the largest food pantry in the city. Photo-credit: idreamdetroit.org
The Basel and Rotterdam Conventions (BRS Conventions) have pointed out that hazardous materials cannot be managed without considering their human use. The effects of the use of these chemicals differ between women and men. In order to measure the impacts, the BRS Gender Action Plan (BRS-GAP) was introduced, which was updated in 2016. During the 2017 Conference of Parties to the BRS Conventions, an Environment and Gender Information (EGI) platform analysis was unveiled to measure the progress the Parties to the Conventions have taken towards a more sustainable future free of harmful chemicals. The report focuses on the development of indicators on gender-related issues and on how gender is mainstreamed in parties’ reporting and Convention documents. Photo credit: WECF
Sikhala Sonke is a grassroots group of women social justice advocates, who began organizing in response to the tragic events of police violence at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, South Africa. Five years after the tragedy, with no compensation and no end to abuses, the women campaign ongoingly for recognition, safety, and justice in the face of intense, ongoing economic and physical exploitation of mine workers. The mining fields of Marikana offers little to no security at the workplace, poor wages and constant threats of rape and assault for women, in a country where every third South African woman fighting violence against them. Despite the all the challenges, Sikhala women stands in solidarity and support each other to expose injustice and create solutions for healthy and safe livelihoods. Photo Credit: Sikhala Sonke
In the collective book Ecological and Social Healing: Multicultural Women’s Voices, several authors, including Jeanine M. Canty, call for a restoration of our collective relationship with place and the reintegration of feminine wisdom. Western culture, corporate globalization, and the idea that we are separate, distinct wholes have been devastating. As Canty explains, global healing will therefore only be possible once we embrace our collective wounding and honor diverse perspectives, including recognizing women, people of color, and Indigenous communities as the heart of movements leading the way toward a more resilient society. Photo credit: M. Jennifer Chandler
Nurses such as Kathy Kennedy expressed their frustration with the dire situation in a Puerto Rico left to recover without much support after Hurricane Maria hit the Island. National Nurses United, a union of nurse practitioners, advocated to Democratic members of Congress after a two-week humanitarian mission to Puerto Rico to urge the United States government to provide disaster relief funding. The nurses said the conditions they witnessed were worse than they had seen on other humanitarian missions, including after Hurricane Katrina and the recent earthquake in Haiti. Photo credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images
Around the world, the intensity of threats to women human rights defenders continues to escalate. This report from JASS Just Associates and JASS MesoAmerica offers new feminist and social movement perspectives to questions surrounding why, despite increased attention and legal protections, women human rights activists and the organizations and communities with which they work continue to face worsening persecution and dangers.
Climate justice activist Suzanne Dhaliwal is co-founder of the UK Tar Sands Network. However, since 2015 she’s been a woman in the media writing on the problems with Britain’s predominantly white environmental movement. Dhaliwal reminds us that Indigenous people and people of color around the world are the first affected by climate change and the first to act. In this article, Dhaliwal emphasizes the importance of keeping frontline communities at the forefront of the movement. She’s putting her words into action by boycotting all white-only panels on climate change for the time being. Photo credit: Fiona Hanson/AP Images for Avaaz
Women across the United States have presented an open letter to the women in Congress following the Trump Administration’s exit from the Paris Agreement and proposed 31 percent budget cut to the Environmental Protection Act (EPA). Hollywood elite, CEOs, advocates, and thousands of community activists have banded together to tell Congress, “Not on our watch!” In their letter, co-signers urge women of Congress to start getting serious about climate change. They point to the water crisis in Flint, fires in California, hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and air pollution in Utah as they plead for policy change that will protect the country’s children. As women, they say, the connection between climate change and gender is lived every day. They end their letter by urging Congress to provide full funding to the EPA in an effort to protect the constituents they are meant to serve. Photo credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Angela Burnett is the author of the book, “The Irma Diaries: Compelling Survivor Stories from the Virgin Islands”. The work highlights 25 Hurricane Irma survivors through firsthand interviews conducted by Burnett herself. Many of the interviewees spoke to the urgency of climate change without prompting from Burnett, and stressed the heightened effects of environmental disasters on island communities. The writing also calls for bolder climate policy as the Caribbean Islands are facing some of the most extreme weather ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. Burnett’s climate activism is not limited to books, as she also writes climate policies for the British Virgin Islands, and helped found a Climate Change Trust for the Islands. Photo Credit: Lornet Turnbull
The letter illustrated the between power structure and gender inequality. TheirThe pervasiveness of sexual harassment and asrelationsault has become the recent subject of public debate in the California legislature. With the help of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus and CEJA, an environmental justice organization, 200 women signed a statement against sexual harassment in Capitol. Many of these women spoke in front of the California Assembly Rules Subcommittee to bravely share their experiences of sexual harassment. This is a step in the right direction to ending sexual violence and a culture that permits and promotes the devaluation of women and gender non-conforming people. Photo Credit: CEJA
At a panel organized by SURJ Bay Area entitled "Indigenous Women Leaders Discuss Building Reciprocity With Local Indigenous Communities" in Huichin/Oakland, Corrina Gould (Confederated Villages of Lisjan/Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone), Ruth Orta (Him*re-n Ohlone, Bay Miwok, and Plains Miwok), Ann Marie Sayers (Mutsun Ohlone), Chief Caleen Sisk (Winnemem Wintu), and moderator Desirae Harp (Mishewal Wappo, Diné) discussed how people can practice solidarity and allyship with Indigenous peoples. Each of the women panelists are formidable women leaders: Corrina Gould is working to protect the Ohlone Shellmounds, the burial sites of her ancestors, and cofounded Indian People Organizing for Change (IPOC), while Ann Marie Sayers established Indian Canyon, California as a cultural haven for Indigenous peoples. At the panel, Caleen Sisk, the Spiritual Leader and Tribal Chief of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, discussed water protection and her work restoring salmon runs on the McCloud River. Singer-songwriter Desirae Harpcontributes to Indigenous justice through the arts, and is the founder the Mishewal Ona*staTis language revitalization program. Photo credit: Christopher McLeod
Global Forest Coalition profiles Chaus Uslaini, a rural activist and the director of the NGO Walhi, in West Sumatera, one of Indonesia’s main islands. Through her work, she helps improve rural communities’ lives around her, trying to empower and develop families, enabling children to attend school, instead of working in the fields as she once had to do. Her job also falls under the gender justice umbrella, and she helps women in four communities to set up a small fruit and cacao business production, for example. Chaus is leading initiatives regarding water rights, legal advice, youth empowerment, among many others. Photo credit: Chaus Uslaini
Color of Climate: Meet Valencia Gunder, A Power Player In Miami’s Fight Against Climate Gentrification
Valencia Gunder, resident of a working class, predominantly black neighbourhood in Miami, is one of the main activists against the gentrification of another similar neighbourhood: Little Haiti. She works at an organization called New Florida Majority, which aims to empower marginalized segments of society. In this piece, Valencia tells us about how in the past, poor and black communities were pushed far away from the sea, into higher and cheaper grounds. Nowadays, with the sea-level raising, we see the gentrification and forcing out of communities like Little Haiti for richer and higher-end developments. Valencia is an active voice fighting for racial and climate justice, on behalf of those who usually do not get to speak out. Photo credit: Ashley Velez/The Root
In this podcast, Vien Truong shares her story as an activist for social and environmental causes at the organization Green for All. Being a refugee in a large family herself, Vien has experienced first-hand how poor and marginalized people are often left out of decision-making processes. The organization Green for All tackles poverty at the national, regional and local levels through inclusive and green economy. Listen to her interview to know more about her solutions and achievements. Photo credit: Mrs. Green’s World
Growing up with recurrent natural disasters, sea level rise and flooding, Maria Nailevu experienced the impacts of climate change from a very early age. Today, she is working with Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality to promote social, economic and ecological justice woman to advocate for women human rights and climate action at the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties conferences. Nailevu is also working to free her home of plastics with the Pacific Urgent Action Hub for Climate Justice and creating safe spaces where women can come together to share knowledge, stories and strategies for a gender-just society. Photo credit: DIVA4Equality
Maria Nailevu recounts how her lived experience of climate change on the island of Taveuni has led to her current work on gender and climate change. She details her important work with feminist and community-led organization Diverse Voices & Action for Equality (DIVA). She recounts the work of the Women Defend the Commons campaign, which promotes social, economic and ecological justice in a women-led Suva-based organisation. Photo credit: Christine Irvine/Survival Media Agency
Women and people of color make-up a low percentage of workers in the renewable energy industry. Though minorities can be found, they are primarily concentrated in administration, engineering, and technical departments. To increase the amount of women in the industry, Kristen Graf, the Executive Director of Women of Wind Energy founded Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE). She is determined to increase the number of women in the renewable energy field by supporting educational and training opportunities for women. Poor workplace diversity is not unique to the clean energy field, but is also seen throughout the green movement. It’s clear more work needs must be done to increase accessibility, inclusion, and equity in environmental fields to develop a diversified labor pool. Photo Credit: Grid Alternatives
Though climate justice is not typically thought of as integral to civil rights or women’s rights, Jacqueline Patterson, director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program, asks us to see their overlapping nature. Marginalized communities are often marginalized in many ways simultaneously: black populations are concentrated in poor neighborhoods, as is food insecurity, as are toxic waste facilities. While combatting climate change then, the concerns of marginalized communities need to be centered. Thus, access, affordability and viable livelihoods should be of high priority—as is consistent with a just transition. Photo Credit: Unknown
In this interview we meet Eryn Wise, 26, a young two-spirit (LGBTQ) Native American leader who's been on the front lines of the Dakota Access pipeline protests since last year. She is Jicarilla Apache and Laguna Pueblo, an organizer for Honor the Earth, and the media coordinator for the International Indigenous Youth Council and Sacred Stone Camp. She grew up in Dulce, New Mexico. She explains the connection between environmental activism, being a feminist, and the Obama administration’s treatment of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Photo credit: Eryn Wise/Facebook
La Via Campesina Peasants Initiate Debate On Gender And Sexual Orientation Diversity In The Movement
La Via Campesina is opening dialogue within its network to discussing how people in rural areas are targeted due to different sexual orientation that the heteronormative one. This LGBTQ self-organized event took place during the VII International Conference in the Basque Country, Spain, and presented an important first step for the network to consider this intersectional issue in its official political agenda and actions. Some member-organizations from La Via Campesina already fight for LGBTQ rights internally as well, such as the Landless Movement of Brazil (MST), the Sindicato Labrego Galego (SLG), and the European Coordination Via Campesina. Photo credit: La Vía Campesina