In this episode of Mothers of Invention Podcast, Mary and Maeve turn up the volume on the women who are helping us consciously-uncouple from our toxic relationship with single-use plastic. The week’s Mothers of Invention are: 1) Judi Wakhungu and Alice Kaudia, Kenyan politicians who unleashed up to $38,000 USD fines for anyone found using, making or distributing plastic bags, 2) Chelsea Briganti, an American self-taught materials engineer and entrepreneur about to unleash 55bn edible straws onto the world. 3) Rachelle Strauss, British founder of #ZeroWasteWeek - a global online campaign against household waste born from one family kitchen, 4) Siân Sutherland, British co-founder of A Plastic Planet and creator of the world’s first fully-functioning plastic-free supermarket aisle in Amsterdam and 5) Katharine Wilkinson, lead writer of ‘the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming’, Project Drawdown. Photo credit: Unknown
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, women and girls are the ones suffering the most from the health crises’ socio-economic impacts, while their burden of unpaid care and domestic work has increased. In the manufacturing sector, one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 outbreak, women are overrepresented in the sector’s most vulnerable branches. As governments seek to re-open economic activities, policymakers have a unique opportunity to introduce bold measures for more resilient, inclusive and sustainable economies, harnessing women’s potential as agents of change. Photo credit: REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain
Similar to the COVID-19 outbreak, the climate change crisis could have also been avoided, but will now require urgent action. This provides leaders with the unique opportunity to acknowledge the importance of steep learning curves and swift action when combating climate change. According to climate experts, the coronavirus pandemic has provided a slight dip in greenhouse gas emissions, but aside from the decline of work commutes, business travel, and international trade, many of these effects are temporary. The pandemic and climate change must be solved together: stimulus measures for COVID-19 economic strains should invest in climate change solutions, and governments need to encourage societal behavior shifts through political measures that support their residents. Photo credit: Salvatore Laporta / Kontrolab / Lightrocket via Getty Images
Research suggests that humanity’s destruction of biodiversity creates the conditions for new viruses and diseases such as Covid-19, or the coronavirus, the viral disease that emerged in China in December 2019, to arise. According to disease ecologists viruses and other pathogens are also likely to be transmitted from animals to humans in the many informal meat markets that have sprung up in urban populations around the world. This article focuses on the increasingly visible connections between the wellbeing of humans, other living things and entire ecosystems. Additionally, it also argues that zoonotic diseases and viral infections are linked to environmental change caused by human behavior. Photo Credit: National Institutes of Health/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19, or the coronavirus, is known to affect the respiratory tract of those infected. But there is new evidence that indicates patients exposed to polluted air are at a higher risk of dying. Additionally, patients with chronic respiratory issues after being exposed to long-term air pollution are less able t fight off the disease. Science tells us that epidemics like this will occur with increasing frequency. So reducing air pollution is basic investment for a healthier future. Photo credit: Jack Taylor/Getty Images
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
A federal judge recently ruled that Formosa Plastics, a petrochemical company outside Port Lavaca, Texas, can be held liable for violating state and federal water pollution laws. The company could face a penalty of up to $162 million. Thanks to data collected by resident volunteers, the nonprofit San Antonio Bay Estuarine Waterkeeper brought a lawsuit against the company in 2017. According to the lawsuit, the company violated its environmental permits for years, dumping millions of small plastic pellets - called nurdles - into Lavaca Bay. Among the volunteers is Diane Wilson, a retired shrimper who has been trying to get Formosa to stop dumping in the bay since the early ’90s. Since the trial started, pollution levels haven’t changed, so she keeps gathering evidence with her kayak. Giving up is not an option for her. Photo credit: Wikimedia
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
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.
When Kristen Nicole, founder of Women in Solar Energy, penned an open letter calling out the hyper-masculine and ‘booth babe’ culture that portrayed women as sex objects, it sparked a revolution within the industry to start examining their women-specific policies and initiatives. The solar conference culture perpetuates objectification with abhorrent displays such as women in cages dressed in leather cat outfits. However, numerous programs aimed at addressing gender diversity and increasing women’s participation in the field have grown in response. SEIA’s Women Empowerment Initiative as well as Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy campaigns have contributed to the shift in the awareness around the need for diversity. Whilst more female workers make up the solar industry today, and there are more women speakers at conferences, there are still shortcomings in that women continue to earn less than men and face barriers in climbing up the career ladder. Women of colour are also disproportionately affected, and Erica Mackie, co-founder and CEO of GRID Alternatives, calls for the solar industry to not just be energy-centred but also justice-focussed, and to recognise the intersection between race and gender inequities. GRID’s Women in Solar Program aids women from diverse backgrounds and their She Shines retreat is aimed as a training and team-building exercise for women in the industry. Photo credit: Stefano Paltera, US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon
The author Laureli Ivanoff is an Inupiat, a northern indigenous population with communities from Alaska to Greenland. She reflects on the future of her people who now have to learn to live without the cold: last winter there was less ice in the Bering Sea that any winter since the 1850 when record-keeping started. The Inupiat need the northeastern Bering Sea to stay cold so that the creatures they traditionally rely on can thrive. She particularly thinks about her newly born son Inuqtaq, to whom hunting was going to be an act of intentional decolonization, a way of keeping alive a custom that’s become sacred and of staying connected to his heritage and identity. As she hurts for him and for her family, Laureli hopes the world quickly adapts and also respects the earth as they have for millennia. Photo credit: Ash Adams/The New York Times
Bangladesh is very susceptible to climate change due to the country’s low elevation, high population density and inadequate infrastructure. As extreme weather conditions are being exacerbated by climate change, the people of Bangladesh are being displaced out of their homes. Most climate migration occurs to the capital, Dhaka, where they find themselves living in peripheral urban slums characterized by inadequate housing conditions, overcrowding and poor sanitation. The women of Bangladesh are among the first to face the impacts of climate change, and they are disproportionately affected. Women account for the vast majority of mortality as a result of natural disasters, for example, 90% of those who died as a result of the 1991 Bangladesh Cyclone were women. The inordinate impact is driven by women’s impaired access to land and resources, lower employment opportunities and decision-making compared to men. Moreover, women who migrate are often pushed to join the sex industry as it is one of the few ways they are able to support their families. Photo Credit: Reuters
Santona Rani, President of the Rajpur Women’s Federation, is working to increase climate and community resilience in her flood-prone area of Tajpur, Lalmonirhat in northern Bangladesh. Climate change is increasing the detrimental effects on crops and productivity. Her organisation is made up of twenty groups that work to assist 500 vulnerable and marginalized women. It works alongside ActionAid’s Promoting Opportunities for Women Empowerment and Rights (POWER) to boost independence through sustainable agriculture that fosters climate resilience. They also work to address the unjust gender roles that exist within the society; aiming to increase income and recognise the amount of work women do, provide training around leadership, women’s rights, financial aspects, sustainable farming and communication skills, as well as endeavour to prevent violence against women. Their work is community based, and involves interactive theatre shows, informative leaflets, and a seed bank and grain store that protects against the damages of flooding or natural disasters. Photo credit: ActionAid.
During the month of July, women and men, engaging in a “water walk,” walked two miles through the streets of New York City carrying empty buckets. Two miles is about the length women and girls walk in developing countries each day to obtain water, so this walk was carried out in order to symbolize their hard work. Moreover, the walk ended at the United Nations Building, so it was intended to remind policy makers about the importance of clean water as well as urge them to consider water a human right. The walk also called attention to the fact that access to water is important but if distance, cost, or other factors make that access prohibitive, then simple “access” is not enough. Photo credit: Water Aid
Women across Mozambique and Tanzania are organizing their communities to improve local livelihood through sustainability and the protection of natural resources. This inspirational blog by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) explores the stories of various community leaders building long lasting projects. Like the story of Alima Chereira, who formed an agricultural association that teaches women climate-resilient farming practices. Or entrepreneur Fatima Apacur, who helped her community form a savings association that uses the ancient practice of group savings and pooling wealth to help community members invest in the future. Photo Credit: WWF/ James Morgan
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
Researcher Sarah-Jeanne Royer was supposed to measure methane gas coming from biological activity in sea water, but she found by accident that the plastic bottles holding the samples were a bigger source of the warming molecule. The gases produced and accelerated by solar radiation are methane and ethylene, which both contribute to the greenhouse effect. These findings are important because until the discovery, the link between plastics and climate change was mainly focused on the use of fossil fuels in the manufacture of plastic items, while this is the first time that anyone has tried to quantify other warming gases emerging from plastic waste. The discovery hasn’t been received well by the plastic industry, while other scientists agree that further research is urgently needed. Photo credit: IPRC
A group of elderly Kenyan women in Mathiga village, northeast of Nairobi, have become entrepreneurs by taking advantage of their basketry skills, in an area where they could barely manage to farm. By selling their baskets to tourists, as the demand increased, their livelihoods got better. Despite the challenges to the tourism sector brought about by attacks by Somali-linked Islamists, their goods still got attention, even beyond Kenya’s borders. Basketry has not only offered them a source of livelihood, but it has also opened doors for them in the world. Photo credit: Thomson Reuters Foundation/Caroline Wambui
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
“Recycling alone will never stem the flow of plastics into our ocean. We must address the problem at the source” says Annie Leonard, creator of the Story of Stuff, which sheds a light on the ways we produce, use and dispose of the stuff in our lives. We’ve been told that the problem of plastic packaging can be solved through better individual action, but recycling alone is not enough. We need corporations to show accountability for what they have created, because they are well positioned with their profits and innovation labs to help move us beyond single-use plastics - says the author. Photo credit: Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Image
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
In this article, booker-prize winning author Margaret Atwood warns that climate change is ‘everything change’, and will bring a dystopian future, much like in her ‘speculative fictions’. Margaret associates climate change with social unrest, civil wars, brutal repression and totalitarianism – a worsening in women’s hardship and struggles. Under Her Eye was a two-day festival, titled after a chapter from Margaret’s The Handmaid's Tale. Alice Sharp, director of arts and science organisation Invisible Dust, was the festival’s curator that brought together prominent figures from the arts, politics and science to focus on women, their futures under climate change and environmental damage, and proposals to avoid the worst effects of global warming. Christiana Figures, former UN climate chief coordinating the Paris climate agreement 2015 is hopeful that women environmental activism and leadership is increasing. Caroline Lucas, UK Green Party, adds that the arts have an important role to play in the future. Photo Credit: Liam Sharp
Senegalese women are bearing the consequences of climate change as the fish stocks of Saint-Louis, a central fishing hub, are vanishing due to climbing ocean temperatures and rising sea levels. In 2017 alone, fish stocks fell by 82%. Today, the price of fish has become five times more expensive than in previous years. Such impacts are devastating, not only for the women who heavily depend on selling fresh and processed fish in markets as a main source of income, but also to the rest of the Senegalese population as up to 17% are experiencing issues of food insecurity according to the World Food Program. As a result, women’s practice of processing fish has become increasingly important as an additional resource of subsistence - especially the landlocked populations. In response, women’s associations are collectively gathering funds to accommodate the skyrocketing price of fish. Projects such as the Collaborative Management for a Sustainable Fisheries Future (COMFISH), offers workshops to women fish processors throughout Senegal providing them with resources to increase their profits, literacy courses, and alternative modes of creating revenue. Nevertheless, Senegalese women continue to challenge the status quo by urging for government subsidization of fish prices and more support from non-government organizations. Photo credit: Georges Gobet/Getty Images
Lorraine Herder belongs to a shepherd family: she grew up raising sheep and using its wool in a remote area on the Navajo reservation. But now, shrinking water reservoirs due to climate change are making it difficult to keep this tradition alive. Dr. Margaret Redsteer, a scientist at the US Geological Survey in Flagstaff, notes that the amount of groundwater has decreased drastically over the past century, putting a strain on the animals’ health and the Navajo way of life. The water crisis is also caused by other factors like coal mining, according to Nicole Horseherder, founder of non- profit organization “Scared Water Speaks”. Photo Credit: Sonia Narang/PRI
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
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
A group of women bakers in Los Angeles, California were selected to speak at the panel, “Bread Winners: A Conversation with Women in Bread,” organized by the California Grain Campaign in honor of Women’s History Month. The group of women assembled included baker Kate Pepper, California Grain Campaign Organizer Mai Nguyen, miller Nan Kohler, and baker Roxana Jullapat. The panel focused on the women’s involvement in the California Grain Campaign’s goal to push bakers to use 20 percent whole-grain, California grown-and-milled flours. During the panel Nguyen brought up the historical importance of women in agriculture, specifically in terms of seed conservation. Nguyen also expressed gratitude to cotton breeder Sally Fox, and chemist Monica Spiller, whose seed projects made Sonora Wheat a more familiar food amongst consumers. Photo Credit: Civil Eats
Impunity For Violence Against Women Defenders Of Territory, Common Goods, And Nature In Latin America
This report by Urgent Action Fund of Latin America and the Caribbean (UAF-LAC) analyzes the condition of women who defend environmental rights in Latin American countries. By analyzing the case studies of thirteen women defenders, a clear continuum of structural violence against the women emerges. On the one end, women defenders are subject to the criminalization of their activities and to harassment from various actors such as companies, the police, and the media. At the most extreme end of this violence continuum, women defenders are assassinated or “disappeared.” In cases such as these, the state, if it is not actively colluding with the perpetrators, often remains silent. UAF-LAC, then, calls for the state to protect women defenders by eliminating the impunity perpetrators currently enjoy, by eliminating the criminalization of defenders’ work and by creating a safe environment for them to work in. Specifically, the state must financially, politically, legally and psycho-socially support women defenders. Photo credit: UAF-LAC
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
At the Bond conference in London on international development, Vandana Shiva is a voice out of the chorus. Anti-“empowerment,” anti-“jobs,” and anti-“formal economy,” she rejects many of the mainstream women advancement narratives. According to her, the biggest challenge is getting to the point where women’s power, knowledge and production are being recognized. This is not possible within the framework of the formal economy because it is defined on the terms of the patriarchy by those in control of nature and society. Women living under principles of autonomy and dignity are called an informal economy, but they are simply living in a different system where the power of men over women is not the organizing principle. Photo credit: Stefano Guidi/Corbis via Getty Image
In this interview, Marie Hoff shares her efforts to embed environmental stewardship in local agricultural practices. An industrious entrepreneur committed to sustainability, she operates the Capella Grazing Project and launched Full Circle Wool last year, marrying the principles of carbon farming with wool production. Hoff produces wool and wool products that reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate change by leveraging sustainable production processes and by displacing petroleum-based products. She hopes to improve people’s perception of wool as a resource through Full Circle Wool and by promoting the growth and expansion of industrial mills in the United States. US-based processing and manufacturing. Photo credit: Food and Fibers Project
In response to events at the 2017 World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting, Indian seed-saving organization, Navdanya, released this article, which honors and calls to attention the Diverse Women For Diversity Declaration, which was issued during the 1999 Seattle WTO meeting. The full declaration shares women’s analysis and responses to how genetically modified seeds, intellectual property rights, and patents are impacting food, medicine and agriculture systems; Indigenous peoples rights and lands; and the health of the Earth. The declaration calls out the WTO and its unchecked support of free markets and unjust economies, presenting a collective voice of women standing for life and diversity - and against the interconnected dangers of the global war system, corporate free market economy, and agribusiness industry.
Kimber Lanning is a distinguished advocate for local economic development in Arizona. Starting in 2003, she has built, Local First Arizona, into the largest alliance of local businesses in the United States. She actively eschews the tools and frameworks of traditional community developers who create jobs through large subsidies to big corporate chains. Lanning recognizes the benefits of a robust local economy, including economic competitiveness, greater diversity, commitment to sustainability, and intrinsic community-building and place-making value. She helps to level the playing field for Arizona’s homegrown businesses through myth-busting campaigns, an annual festival, a public directory, a Spanish micro-entrepreneurship program, and adaptive reuse programs to leverage old buildings for local entrepreneurs. Photo credit: YES! Magazine
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.
Women scientists are finding that climate change will likely pose significant threats to pregnant women and their embyros, a group often left out of public health concerns. Rupa Basu, chief of air and climate epidemiology at the California Environmental Protection Agency, had been researching the connection between health risks and air pollution for the past decade, and looked more into the effects of temperature. Her research found that increasing heat and humidity raise the likelihood of premature and stillbirths every year. Similar conclusions were found by Nathalie Auger at Quebec’s institute for public health, as well as by Pauline Mendola and Sandie Ha at Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Mendola and Ha’s study found that a temperature increase in the top 10 percent range of a woman’s region could mean 1,000 more stillbirths every year, much higher than the researchers expected. Pregnant women are not often considered a group vulnerable to heat, according to Sabrina McCormick, a sociologist at George Washington University, which makes these findings an urgent call to reframe public health. While these and other researchers are eager to collect more data, it’s clear that pregnancy calls for more precautions and awareness amid climate change. Photo Credit: BLEND IMAGES / PEATHEGEE INC / GETTY
Byron Ballard is a self-proclaimed village witch who specializes in Southern Appalachian folk magic. Like many local healers, she relies on the traditions passed down from generations before her – traditions with roots in Paganism, Protestantism, and pragmatism. According to Ballard, it’s a mixture of “medicine and midwifery, omen-reading and weather-working”. The Cherokee and Choctaw were the first to really understand the natural healing properties of the Appalachian resources. This knowledge fused with understandings of medicine and religion that came with the arrival of Europeans. Appalachian folk medicine recognizes an interconnectedness of the mind, body, and spirit; it is, at its core, a presumption of the highest goodness of nature. Since families in Appalachia often live far from urban centers and hospitals, these healers continue to be an important part of communities from West Virginia to Mississippi. Photo credit: Anjo Kan/Alamy
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
Michelle Cook, a Diné human rights lawyer, founding member of the of the Water Protector Legal Collective at Standing Rock, and delegate to the Autumn 2017 Indigenous Women's Divestment Delegation to Europe, speaks on Rising Up With Sonali TV, providing hard hitting analysis of why financial and political institutions are morally and legally obligated to change their practices to respect Indigenous rights, human rights and the Earth - and how Indigenous women are taking action to push for this accountability and action in some of the European nations home to major investors and institutions funding fossil fuel extraction projects such as the Dakota Access Pipeline. Photo credit: Teena Pugliese
A delegation of Indigenous women leaders from the United States traveled to Europe in October 2017, where they met with leaders of government and financial institutions in Norway, Switzerland, and Germany to share their experiences, and calls to action for immediate action to divest funding from the Dakota Access Pipeline and Energy Transfer Partners, as well as other dangerous fossil fuel extraction projects across Indigenous lands. In this Yes! Magazine interview, delegate Jackie Fielder (Mnicoujou Lakota and Mandan-Hidatsa), campaign coordinator of Lakota People’s Law Project and organizer with Mazaska Talks, discusses the events of the Delegation, as well as ongoing global, Indigenous-led movements for fossil fuel divestment such as the Divest The Globe and Equator Banks Act campaigns. Photo credit: Teena Pugliese
This is an analysis by Alejandra Santillana Ortiz, from Ecuador, who's an alumnae of DAWN's GEEJ training institute. Ortiz correlates the role of the Global South in extracting to export for the Global North, including the agricultural industry, mining, and oil companies, with the role of women in extractivism. Women are more vulnerable to the dangers in this practice (such as the effects of water pollution and seed contamination), but they are also leaders in feminist movements for equality in the workforce and gender equity in general. Alejandra questions the practice of extractivism in Latin America as part of the patriarchy and capitalism, and how it affects women from this region. Photo credit: DAWN
Feminist Economics is a peer-reviewed journal that collects, publishes and advances research on women’s work and feminist economics to challenge the current global model of capitalism. Rooted in international research and case studies, Feminist Economics displays wide-ranging examples of women centered economies, women’s reproductive labor, and global trends regarding women’s land-based work historically and today. The journal brings forward issues surrounding all forms of women’s work, but also often demonstrates the multidimensional potential of an economy founded in feminist principles including the links between women’s work, land, environment and climate change. Photo Credit: http://www.feministeconomics.org/
Indigenous rights activist, and advocate for women and the Earth, Winona LaDuke, addressed a crowd at Johns Hopkins University as part of the JHU Forums on Race in America, “Time to move on”. LaDuke is part of the Ojibwe or Chippewa Tribe in Minnesota, the founder of the Indigenous Women’s Network, White Earth Land Recovery Project, and Executive Director of Honor the Earth. Sharing stories from her life, LaDuke emphasizes the importance of Indigenous knowledge and the need for society to move from an economy based on exploitation and the rights of corporations, to one based on life and the rights of nature. Photo credit: Will Kirk/ Homewood Photography
Ingrid Caldironi opened a market in London in mid-2017, focused on zero-waste consumption. The market is located on Dalston's Kingsland Road, and targets people looking to have a more sustainable lifestyle. Caldironi decided to open Bulk Market after reading an inspiring story of a New York woman living a zero-waste life, and realized that very few people were taking actual steps to solve the issue of waste on the planet. The owner mentions how such lifestyle has proved to be financially smart for her, and shows that buying in big glass jars and deleting plastic out of your life is a great way to save money. Photo credit: Sara Lee/The Guardian
In this episode of The Laura Flanders Show, Kate Raworth, an advisory member of Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, breaks down the process of thinking like a reality-based economist in the 21st century. Raworth discusses how economic growth came to supersede human and environmental welfare in Western society and argues we must revise our system of economic thinking to meet current environmental and social challenges. Additionally, Donna Andrews and Kashmira Banee chat about extractive systems, eco-feminism, and life on the planet. Photo credit: The Laura Flanders Show
Treesisters is inspiring earth-loving women to take action to protect the planet through more eco-conscious fashion choices. This blog details the ways in which individuals can avoid trends that are detrimental to the environment like “fast fashion” and make more earth-friendly decisions such as opting for recycled clothing, shopping locally, or purchasing sustainable fabrics to create a healthier planet for the future. Photo credit: TreeSisters
Sunita Narain, an environmental activist and Director of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), India shares powerful analysis on the responsibility that wealthy countries have to take action to address their liability for global climate impacts, which is unjustly impacting citizens of ‘developing’ and low-income nations. She calls for climate justice, and for the Indian government to grow the country in a manner that relies on sustainability and equity, instead of copying western development mechanisms that bring harm. Photo credit: Centre for Science and Environment
This article at the 1 Million Women website, written by Alice Payne, presents the issue of fast fashion, with the cycle of new products being faster every season, which leads to the unsustainable issue of overconsumption in Australia (including popular stores such as Zara and Topshop). Payne analyses the results of this practice, such as rising fiber prices and the increase of purchases of clothes overseas, then introduces possible adaptation measures, including recycling materials for a more sustainable clothing industry. Photo credit: 1millionwomen
After learning that a zero waste lifestyle really is possible, former French teacher Valerie Leloup started Ottawa’s first zero waste grocery store. Leloup is joining a wave of female leaders that are focused on eliminating harmful levels of waste by providing 250 food and non-food products in bulk, compostable, reusable or unpackaged form at Nu Grocery Inc. The proposition is a sustainable alternative to the 1984 pounds of waste each Canadian household produces every year. Photo credit: Alex Tétreault
This article from 1 Million Women presents results on research about low-energy houses as opposed to regular houses, which take up a lot of energy and are a great factor of global carbon emissions. Specifically, it analyses the Lochiel Park Green Village in the South of Australia, a neighborhood of 103 zero-energy houses. Among the results are the significant health improvements on the people living in these sustainable homes, including a decision to quit smoking cigarettes by a woman living in one of the environmentally-friendly places. The advantages are also economic, as not having to pay energy bills saves a great amount of money for the residents. Photo credit: 1 Million Women
Maria Nguyen created this informative piece for 1 Million Women to advocate that women shift toward environmentally sustainable feminine hygiene products like menstrual cups and reusable pads. It takes about 500-800 years for plastic wrappings and tampon applicators to degrade in a landfill and over the course of a lifetime, the average woman who uses single-use products will discard over 11,000 tampons or pads. Moving away from single-use products would have a profound impact on the amount of waste an individual generates in her lifetime. The blog serves as a resource for women who require information on the issue of feminine product waste and how individuals can make more sustainable choices. Photo credit: 1 Million Women
In partnership with the the Indigenous Information Network (IIN), the global feminist organization MADRE facilitated an exchange of farming knowledge between two indigeous Kenyan women, Hellen and Sylvia. Hellen is a mother of five living in Chepareria, Kenya. She is a member of the Pokot Indigenous People and sells crops from her one acre farm. Sylvia, a Maasai woman, lives 250 miles away in Ololulunga, Kenya. With her maize crops dying due to drought, Sylvia was struggling to support herself and her family. At a MADRE event, the two women met each other, and Helena showed Sylvia her small poultry farm. Inspired by Helena’s poultry farm, Sylvia started her own. She now sells chicken eggs at the local market and finds it easier to support her family. Photo Credit:madre.org
Women from all over India marched and protested together in Hyderabad, in opposition to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. This partnership is based on destructive model of development which violates the rights of farmers, dalits, land rights, Indigenous women, minorities, fisherwomen, labour rights and more. Burnad Fatima, member of Federation of Women Farmers Rights, Tamil Nadu describes how this mega free trade agreement will affect the women through impacts on land rights, migration and trafficking. Similarly, Albertina Almeida and Kate Lappin from Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development express deep concerns about the trade agreement.
This article highlights the work of Heather McGhee, the president of the public policy organization Demos, which means "the people." Heather works towards more equatable economics, as well as for environmental justice. She was one of the speakers at the Bioneers conference in October 2017, titled "Uprising Bioneers," in San Rafael, California. Photo credit: Bioneers
Women in countries including Guatemala (Angelita Paz Cardona), East Timor (Abelina dos Santos), and Senegal (Khady Ciss) are taking the lead in their communities to work towards resiliency by starting and managing co-op businesses. These co-ops, including many farming and food services, help increase women’s economic participation and leadership, while also creating more sustainable models of local production and consumption. Photo credit: NCBA International
Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine and This Changes Everything and No Is Not Enough, speaks with the Laura Flanders Show about her latest book, which explores the depth of the capitalist crisis, what it means for the Earth and global communities, and how movements of resistance and change can continue to take hold and change the global story of wealth and exploitation. Photo credit: Laura Flanders Show
Denise Abdul-Rahman is a powerful woman leader who has spent her career working at the intersection of racial, climate and economic justice. For example, she has facilitated community trainings on “Bridging the Gap: Connecting Black Communities to the Green Economy,” and led the Just Energy Campaign to stop Indianapolis Power Light from burning coal. Abdul-Rahman holds a variety of titles: she serves the NAACP Indiana as an Environmental Climate Justice Chair, sits on the Climate Justice Alliance Steering Committee, was a Credentialed Delegate to Paris COP21 with the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, and was a USCAN 2016 Conference Steering Committee member. Photo credit: Kheprw Institute
Women staff members from 1 Million Women, a nonprofit based in Australia, took part in the 2017 Plastic Free July Challenge and shared their experiences in this blog. Founder and CEO Natalie Isaacs argued that it is critical to limit our individual impact on the environment in the age of climate change so in pledging to get as close to plastic-free as possible in their lives, staff members made meaningful strides toward reducing waste. Photo credit: 1 Million Women
Juliet B. Schor is a professor of sociology at Boston College who in this article weighs in on the most consequential changes in the future workplace. Whilst conversations about the future of work are mostly about machines, she claims that an analysis of the context must include consideration of climate change because it promises to be extremely disruptive. However, an apocalyptic future is not our only option. Her studies show that countries with higher average annual hours of work have higher carbon emissions, and the opposite is also true. “If we could open our imaginations to a society in which good jobs did not come with killer schedules, we’d reap many benefits” - she claims. In addition to reducing carbon pollution, both men and women could achieve “work/family balance”, have time for hobbies and participate in political life. Photo credit: Tatiana Grozetskaya/Shutterstock
The report "World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends for Women 2017" was published in 2017 by the International Labor Organization (ILO), specifically by the Labor Market Trends and Policy Evaluation Unit of the ILO Research Department in Geneva, Switzerland. The report analyzes the labor trends and gender gaps in the global market. The socioeconomic barriers that women face everywhere in the world and the gender norms established by society are aspects considered by the report in terms of female labor force participation. It takes into account the differences between women living in urban areas and in rural areas, and concludes that having equal rights in the workforce would improve individual welfare. Photo credit: AWID
“A Transformative Vision”: Naomi Klein on Platforms for Racial, Health & Climate Justice Under Trump
In this interview, Canadian journalist, columnist and best-selling author Naomi Klein talks about the broad lines of the Leap Manifesto – Caring for the Earth and One Another. The success of neoliberalism, she argues, is based on the fallacy it is the only viable economic system; that no matter how bad its policies, the alternative would be worse. However, the Leap Manifesto in Canada expresses the transformative vision stemming from the courage to step forward and envision a different kind of economy in which everyone is provided with quality healthcare and education. The manifesto, endorsed by 220 grassroots and NGO organisations, thrives on utopian imagination and advocates for a transition towards progressive trade policy, which includes broader issues on alternatives to fossil fuel, solidarity with refugees, racial justice and indigenous rights. Klein asserts that the bold people’s platforms emerging from grassroots social movements will lead politicians to follow suit.
Naomi Klein’s book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate has been called the bible of the climate justice movement. It cuts straight to the chase in identifying capitalism as the principal culprit of climate change, through stories from the global movement that widely uses the slogan “system change, not climate change.” Klein also notes that the ‘capitalist patriarchy’ is subordinating women’s bodies and the earth. In her new book No Is Not Enough, Klein takes on the catastrophic decisions President Trump is making on global climate progress by denying that climate change exists and by infamously pulling out of the acclaimed 2015 Paris climate accord. Yet, despite the setbacks caused by Trump, Klein explains that the climate movement is stepping up and fighting hard against the dangerous impacts that climate change policy will have on the interlinked issues of race, gender and economic inequality under Trump’s administration. Photo credit: Democracy Now!
Mrs. Hadizatou Ebiliki and women in her community are breaking down gender barriers and building climate-resilient income streams via sewing. Recurrent droughts, inconsistent rainfall and climate change are impacting the stability of Niger’s economy, forcing people to migrate and look for alternative sources of income. Sewing provides one such alternative livelihood. Women like 16-year-old Halima Ousseïni are able to acquire skills to hold a stable sewing job, unthreatened by the climate crisis. The collective of 40 women have influenced a growing trend of sewing collectives in the region. Photo credit: Julie Teng/UNDP Niger
In Greece 48 women’s cooperatives are challenging neoliberalism with an environmentally conscious degrowth economy. The popularity of women’s cooperatives rose when many women lost their jobs during the disastrous economic crisis. The success of these cooperatives comes from a wider support for traditional products that can be linked directly to local land and communities. Women produce and pack traditional Greek delicacies themselves, such as orange jam. Kolektivas is the name of a network of larger cooperatives at the city level where women are also taking leading roles. Photo credit: womensassociations.gr
Helena Norberg-Hodge, founder of organizations such as Local Futures and the Global Ecovillage Network, is a vocal global advocate for localization of economies to truly meet the needs of people and planet. She demands a world that values wellness and sustainability over profit, a term she has coined ‘the economics of happiness’. This Guardian article profiles her life and invaluable contributions to movements for new economy, sustainable living, wellbeing and a just transition to renewable systems.
In “Women and the New Economy,” The Laura Flanders Show features interviews with Sarah Leonard, senior editor at The Nation; Shirley Sherrod, founder of Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education; Farah Tanis, co-founder and executive director of Black Women’s Blueprint; Ai-Jen Poo, director of National Domestic Workers Alliance and co-founder of Domestic Workers United; and Pavlina R. Tcherneva from the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. This video provides an overview of how women bear the burdens of a neoliberal economic system. Photo credit: The Laura Flanders Show
Retirees Bette Presley, Dani and Adele are making big commitments to a sustainable lifestyle by moving into customized tiny homes. Solar power, small-scale appliances, and space efficiency characterize these sustainable houses. Retiree Dani’s, a disabled widow, has constructed an accessible home with a custom wheelchair ramp and a wide-set front entrance. A custom made chair lift transports her to her sleeping loft. Photo credit: inhabitat
Researchers Jannis Eicker and Katharina Keil get serious about the inherent feminist aspects of degrowth economics. They question the overlying assumption that gender liberation can be achieved through women’s integration into capitalism and wage labor, and challenge the idea that suddenly paying for the unpaid labor women have done for ages will somehow remedy gender discrimination and provide solutions to linked environmental problems. Instead, Eicker and Keil jump on the degrowth bandwagon with the intention of infusing it with a feminist economics that envisions an environmentally sustainable economy.
The April 29, 2017, People’s Climate March was billed as a mobilization for ‘climate, justice and jobs.’ In the lead-up to the march, the Women’s Environment and Development Organization argues that in transitioning to a renewable energy economy, we should also transform the gendered nature of economic labor to promote equity in the workplace. With the use of charts, they showcase the opportunity we have to increase women’s leadership and participation in the new energy economy.
Why Cameron Russell and the Model Mafia Think the Fashion Industry Needs to Take a Stand on Sustainability
Cameron Russell, a fashion model, cares about climate change, and is working to get the fashion industry on board too. When the 2017 People’s Climate March called for supporters, she got a handful of models to bring art and their voices to the streets, forming the Model Mafia. These models are using their cultural capital and media spotlight to spread awareness: Hawa Hassan, a Somali-American woman, wants more people to know about climate refugees. Ebony Davis wants to highlight how people of color are disproportionately affected by climate change. While sustainable fashion is often a buzzword, these models want to push for lasting changes in production and consumption habits that lead to climate justice. Photo Credit: Gabriela Celeste
Standing Against The Banks: DAPL Divestment And Water Protectors’ Fight For Justice, Indigenous Rights, Water And Life
Michelle Cook, a Dine/Navajo human rights lawyer and founding member of the Water Protector Legal Collective at Standing Rock, and Osprey Orielle Lake, Founder and Executive Director of the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network, share an in-depth analysis on the need for Indigenous-women led movements to push policymakers and financial institutions to divest funding from fossil fuel extraction projects across Indigenous territories and around the world, drawing on their experiences in Europe during the Spring 2017 Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegation to Norway and Switzerland.
Michelle Kovacevic pledged to adjust her lifestyle to have less impact on the environment and hopes that by doing her part, she will inspire others to take action on climate change. As part of her pledge, she factors in her personal contribution to pollution whenever she decides how to travel for work, for example, choosing trains or automobiles instead of flying. She also bicycles more and invests in renewable energy research, among other eco-conscious choices. Her pledge is part of the Victoria Government’s TAKE2 collective climate initiative to support individuals, businesses, government entities, and community organizations in reaching net zero emissions by 2050. Photo credit: Shuttershock
Tilda Shalof is turning 28 years of collected medical waste into sentimental art murals that illustrate the medical care world and patient’s stories. As an Intensive Care Unit nurse at Toronto General Hospital, Shalof has always viewed the plastic caps and waste from syringe coverings and other medical implements as meaningful colorful bits connected to caring for the ill, and never as garbage. Each of the around 100 sterilized pieces she’s been collecting every day have been reused to create a stunning and powerful four-by-nine feet medical art piece made of 10,000 plastic pieces. Photo credit: Steve Russell/Toronto Star
A delegation of Indigenous women from Standing Rock and their allies who observed and experienced human and Indigenous rights violations in North Dakota due to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) traveled to Norway and Switzerland in the spring of 2017 to share their stories as women leaders living and working in communities directly impacted by fossil fuel development and infrastructure. Wasté Win Young, Standing Rock Sioux leader and former tribal historic preservation officer; Tara Houska, Anishinaabe tribal attorney, national campaigns director of Honor the Earth and former advisor on Native American affairs to Bernie Sanders; Dr. Sara Jumping Eagle, Oglala Lakota and Mdewakantonwan Dakota pediatrician living and working on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation; Autumn Chacon, Diné artist and water protector; and Michelle Cook, Diné human rights lawyer and founding member of the Water Protector Legal Collective all met with actors including Den Norske Bank (DNB), the Council on Ethics for the Government Pension Fund Global, and the Norwegian Parliament to advocate for divestment from fossil fuels and respect for Indigenous rights. During their time in Europe, the presence of delegation members helped tip the scale for announcements of a large divestment by DNB.
Economist Kate Raworth is linking a faulty neoliberal economic model to outdated and destructive concepts of the Rational Economic Man. Instead, she is advocating for a doughnut economy that puts environmental and societal well-being first. The outer ring of the doughnut represents the ecological ceiling of an economy, while the inner ring shows the resources needed to sustain a good life for all humans. The hole in the middle indicates the billions of people around the world who live in deprivation. Living within the doughnut means investing in wealth equality, which is intrinsically linked to respecting environmental limits. Photo credit: Kate Raworth and Christian Guthier/The Lancet Planetary Health
Jill Mangaliman is the Executive Director of Seattle-based Got Green, a people of color-led organization that works on climate change, racial and immigrant justice, and economic empowerment. In this talk at the Next System Teach-In, they discuss Indigenous economic models of abundance that centered on health of people and the land as an alternative to capitalist and colonialist exploitation, and discussed the fight against the erasure of people of color in the environmental movement. Photo credit: TalkingstickTV
This blog, curated and published by 1 Million Women, showcases the work of five female Eco-YouTubers who are using social media to spread information and share the many ways that individuals can fight climate change through lifestyle choices. Bonny Rebecca discusses how a vegan diet aids in water conservation; Lauren Singer manages Trash is For Tossers, a video blog that offers zero-waste tips; Rachel Aust inspires her viewers to live minimalistically; Keiran from Thrifted Living focuses on DIY and sustainable fashion choices; and Natasha from ThatVeganCouple discusses vegan diets and advocates for minimalist lifestyles. Photo credit: 1 Million Women
In this report the International Funders for Indigenous Peoples (IFIP), International Indigenous Women's Forum (FIMI), and AWID discuss the need for increased attention to make funding resources available directly to frontline Indigenous women so that they may themselves shape agendas and decisions affecting their lives and territories. The report is presented with the understanding that Indigenous women’s solutions are imperative for any effective action to address climate change and other pressing global concerns. Photo credit: AWID
Zar Aslam serves as President of the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) in Lahore, and also founded of EPFs all-women Rink Rickshaw Initiative transportation service. Providing services to only female clients, the Rink Rickshaw Initiative has become a household name in providing safe, empowering transportation to local women who otherwise face street harassment in public in Lahore. This outcome is a women-led local economy that provides low-carbon transportation and financial independence for female drivers in addition to accessibility, safety, and confidence for commuting women. Photo credit: Pink Rickshaw Scheme
Soledad Miranda is among the emerging group of women construction workers of La Paz, Bolivia. She started working at age seven and received no schooling, like many other indigenous girls in her community. She survived an abusive marriage and she migrated with her 12 children to La Paz. First, she washed clothes and sold soda and beer in the streets. After four years in La Paz, she managed to find a job as a construction worker for the municipal government. Along with over 450 other women, she received training in painting, plumbing, coatings/insulations, tiling and remodeling. Construction work is no longer a man’s job in La Paz, it is increasingly done by women who are trained and economically empowered. Today, she dreams of building her own construction company. Photo credit: UN Women/David Villegas
Naila Kabber, professor of Gender and International Development at the London School of Economics Gender Institute, wants us to know why we need feminist economics. Like climate change, Kabber argues that mainstream economic policies disproportionately affect women. Feminist economics speaks out against neoliberal and macroeconomic policy, arguing that the logic of profit is built on the backs of women, minorities and the environment. Feminist economics demands an economy that recognizes the interdependence between the productive growth measures that exclusively define neoliberalism and the reproductive labor of women that goes heavily unaccounted for. Photo Credit: sinister pictures/Demotix/Demotix/Press Association Images
One woman spearheaded Denmark’s effort to cut food waste by 25% in five years. Selina Juul founded the organization Stop Spild Af Mad (Stop Wasting Food), which convinced larger supermarket chains to discount food that would usually go wasted, and to give away food items that otherwise get tossed in the dumpster. Juul’s influence has led to the opening of Wefood in Copenhagen, a surplus supermarket that is selling products at discounts of up to 50 percent. Photo credit: Daniela De Lorenzo/The Independent
Malnad Mela, an Indian biodiversity festival, started when Kamala, a farmer from the Malnad region, donated seeds to a seed exchange. The initiative started a community of women farmers called Vanastree, Kanada for “forest women.” A few years after that, their action grows into what became the biodiversity fair, where women exchange experiences and advice about seed conservation, biodiversity and sustainable farming. Photo credit: The Economic Times
Ten years ago, residents of the village of Olosho-Oibor decided to install solar panels to meet their most basic energy needs, as they had no connection to the national power grid. They never thought that the solar farm project would grow to become an energy provider for computers used by women entrepreneurs for their businesses, children who need to study long hours, and a centre that protects girls from early marriage and female genital mutilation. Photo credit: TRF/Benson Rioba
Writer and biologist Rachel Carson published the controversial book Silent Spring in September, 1962. Prior to writing Silent Spring, Carson was already one of the most celebrated writers in the United States, known for her work’s emphasis on the natural world. In Silent Spring, Carson unveils the damaging effects of the renowned synthetic pesticide DDT. She provides a counter-argument to the narrative of human domination of the natural world, and warns that humans need to take caution against the detrimental environmental effects their actions create. Silent Spring forced the United States to question its relationship with the environment, as well as its rapidly industrializing methods of agriculture. Photo Credit: Screenshot
Colombia’s highly polluting construction industry is being transformed by an all-women alliance ready to make industrialization sustainable in efforts to help tackle climate change. The Fostering Cleaner Production Initiative invites Colombian women to take on industrial pollution for a greener future. Women within the initiative are being trained to bring pollution prevention to their current positions that deal with water, sewage, and varying construction companies. These women are being credited for the industry transitioning into renewable energies, and lowering waste. Photo credit: UN Climate Change Climate Action