Chrysula Winegar from the UN Foundation introduces the film series, Young Voices for the Planet produced by Lynne Cherry. Cherry lives in Frederick County, Maryland, and is the director of the non-profit Young Voices for the Planet. Her organization’s mission is to empower youth and children to inspire each other to take climate action as change agents in their communities. The broad stories showcased in documentaries by Young Voices for the Planet include the story of three nine-year-old girls in Massachusetts who changed an outdated law in their town forbidding solar panels on public buildings and the story of a young girl from Siberia who collected water samples as part of a scientist’s research showing the impacts of climate change in the Arctic. The documentaries are part of a curriculum available to teachers who want to inspire young people to take their own creative climate actions. Photo Credit: Global Moms Challenge
With a surge in international migration in response to the climate crisis, it is imperative to recognize the intersection of Earth and migrant justice. Explore the links with young female activists Maya Menezes, Nayeli Jimenez, Niria Alicia, and Thanu Yakupitiyage. From COP25, to saving seeds, to taking on border imperialism, these activists are moving forward with solutions by acknowledging the relationship of climate and migration. Photo Credit: Getty Images
Making Women’s Voices Count – Addressing Gender Issues In Disaster Risk Management In East Asia And The Pacific
This guidance note, aimed at world bank staff, clients and development partners active in gender and disaster risk management, provides an overview of the links between gender and disaster risk management. Natural disasters in the East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) region reveal gender inequalities in higher mortality rates for women rather than men. Gender-blind policies and responses perpetuate and increase inequalities for the female population and other vulnerable groups. Therefore, the guidance offers gender-sensitive strategies, recommendations and resources for the design and implementation of gender perspectives across a spectrum of disaster risk management policies, including plans and decision-making processes, recovery strategies, education and training. The gender-sensitive strategy is three-fold: use appropriate gender terminology; ensure equal gender representation in planning and consultation processes; train gender champions and female leaders to mainstream gender-equal institutional initiatives.
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
Women For Water has compiled the audio- visuals of eight women who are conserving the water all over the world. These women Nomvula Mokonyane, Svitlana Slesarenok, Ursula Schaefer-Preuss, Rose Makunzo Mwangi, Ethne Davey, Dr. Deepthi Wickramasinghe, Patricia Wouters and Salamatu Garba. They have been bringing the best practices of women empowerment in water and sanitation projects and effective water governance at all levels.
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
During the World Skull Forum, an intergenerational and intercultural panel of women climate activists hosted a webinar on the lessons we can learn during the COVID-19 crisis in order to pave the way for a green recovery and a just transition. Notwithstanding its drastic negative impacts, the current pandemic has also proven the capability of the global community for changing behaviour quickly and profoundly in the face of a serious crisis. Therefore, the panelists urged for the climate crisis to be taken just as seriously, underlining the importance of science and traditional knowledge, human behaviour and collaboration. Photo Credit: Skoll Foundation & Rockefeller Foundation
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
Young women and girls from the frontlines of climate change are taking climate action into their own hands amidst a global pandemic. Eight-year-old Licypriya Devi Kangujam, from New Delhi, India, founded The Child Movement and stands for climate action and legislative environmental protection in India. Alexandria Villaseñor and Leah Namugerwa are leaders with Fridays for Future, where they participate in the global School Strike 4 Climate. While sheltering at home, Villaseñor encourages that we should be consuming less and promoting a sharing economy. These young women and girl activists suggest how we can all be part of the climate movement and understand its links to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo credit: Alexandria Villaseñor
Women in different Small Island Development States are taking action to prevent and tackle the impacts of climate change and the resultant vulnerability to natural disasters on their coast. Since most of them depend on the incomes from agriculture and fishery, they are leading community-based initiatives associated primarily with securing water supply and coastline protection, as well as environmental education and social support. Photo credit: Manuth Buth/UNDP Cambodia
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
Measures to contain Covid19, or the coronavirus, have ramped up globally. Travel restrictions and social distancing are forcing meetings to be postponed later into the year. This includes two critical UN summits seeking to limit climate change and to halt extinctions of plants and wildlife. These delays are increasing the pressure on this years Climate Negotiations, COP26 in Glasgow, UK. Photo Credit: Chad Davis/ Flickr
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
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
New research is finding that gender discrimination across Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa, and Americas, is being felt by at least half of the women farmers in agriculture. The survey involved 4000 women working in seventeen high-, medium-, and low-income countries in a range of roles and types of farming businesses. It aimed to understand the experience of women farmers today, their lives and their concerns, in order to establish a foundation from which to evaluate future growth. In order to break down the discrimination obstacles for women in agriculture, the results of the survey pointed to training female farmers to use new technologies, dismantling financial obstacles, improving academic education (in contrary to narrowly focussed training), and raising public awareness of the key role women play in agriculture, specifically as key actors in their communities and families in providing food and nutrition. Photo credit: Corteva Agriscience
In this Mothers of Invention podcast, former Irish president Mary Robinson and New-York-based Irish-born comedian Maeve Higgins focus on money and climate change. This episode specifically addresses climate change as a human rights, justice and climate issue; and highlights the importance of divesting from the carbon economy to invest into renewable energy, the green economy and jobs of the future. Divestment, from fossil fuel, pipelines, oppressive systems etc. is powerful and effective as ‘it speaks to people’s pockets’. The podcast features female activists’ experiences and campaigns from South Africa and the US. Yvette Abrahams is a former apartheid activist and Commission for Gender Equality. May Boeve is an an American environmental activist, organiser and Executive Director of 350.org, a global grassroots climate movement. Tara Houska is a Couchiching First Nation citizen; a tribal rights US attorney, environmental and indigenous rights advocate, and the National Campaigns Director of Honor the Earth. Photo Credit: Unknown
Marina Zurkow, an environmental artist and professor at New York University designed emoji’s that reflect the current and upcoming state of climate change. These “climoji’s” are made to shift people’s consciousness and normalize talking about climate change. These sticker sets are available for apple and android users. Climoji demonstrates how popular culture can connect audiences to difficult issues wordlessly, emotionally and with humor. Photo Credit: Climoj
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
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
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
This Guardian article highlights former Irish president Mary Robinson’s effort to create a global movement called Mothers of Invention that promotes a ‘feminist solution for climate change, which is a manmade problem’. Former UN commissioner for human rights and member of the Elders group, Mary understands how global warming adversely affects women and has focused on climate justice for over 15 years with the Mary Robinson Foundation Climate Justice. The Mothers of Invention initiative presents positive stories of both local and global grassroots climate activists, through a podcast series featuring women scientists, politicians, farmers and indigenous community leaders from Europe, the Americas, Africa and beyond. Reaching women around the world, the podcast is co-presented by Irish-born and New-York based comedian Maeve Higgins. Together, they broach such topics as colonialism, racism, poverty, migration and social justice, all bound up to feminism, through a light-hearted and optimistic approach intended to be fun. Photo Credit: Ruth Medjber
In this interview, Maureen Penjueli of the Pacific Network on Globalization (PANG), shares the group’s efforts to protect the land and ocean sovereignty of Indigenous Peoples in the Pacific region. Free trade deals and foreign investments that open channels for seabed mining and extractive industries threaten customary land tenure systems and disregard Indigenous ways of knowing. PANG helps Pacific people achieve economic self-determination by educating them about policy levers such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples or Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) to fight exploitation and put pressure on government leaders. Photo credit: Rucha Chitnis
Danielle Nierenberg, President of Food Tank, and Emily Payne, a food and agriculture writer, call for critically examining the traditional power structures in the food system and advocate the key role women play in creating a more sustainable, equitable, and economically viable agricultural scene. Given that female farmers make up almost half of the agricultural labour force worldwide, and in some countries up to 80%, they are responsible for important tasks such as seed saving and crop tending. If they were ensured equal access to resources that men have, they could help increase yields by up to 30% and thus, they are a fundamental part of ensuring global food security. Success stories linked to women’s efforts in agriculture involve workshops on climate-adaptive irrigation strategies in Jamaica to Women in Agricultural program in Nigeria that connects female farmers to vital services. Photo credit: Naimul Haq and Inter Press Service.
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
“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
In this 20-minute Guardian podcast, journalist Lucy Lamble talks to Fund for Global Human Rights program officer Ana Paula Hernández about her work supporting campaigners fighting to protect native lands. The conversation covers the brutal murder of Honduran activist Berta Cáceres, an ‘incredible leader in the social and human rights movement’. Fund for Global Human Rights supported Berta since 2013 when she had been criminalised and threatened to stop her organising work for the defence of nature. Despite her international recognition and the protection afforded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Berta was shot for opposing the dam construction on the Gualcarque River. Since, her daughter Berta Isabel Bertha Isabel Zúniga Cáceres and co-founder of COPINH have claimed small victories with the withdrawal of European funders suspending development on the dam project. Ana Paula also mentions digital security and technology as allies in the protection of human rights defenders. Photo Credit: The Fund for Global Human Rights
Francia Márquez is among the female earth defenders recognized by the Goldman Environmental Prize for their longstanding role in standing up to social and environmental injustices despite constant threats to their lives from powerful vested interests. A lifetime Afro-Colombian activist, law student, and single mother of two, Márquez led 80 women on a long, 10-day march that pressured the Colombian government to remove illegal miners polluting local rivers. In addition to Márquez, the female recipients were Makoma Lekalakala and Liz McDaid from South Africa, Nguy Thi Khanh from Vietnam, LeeAnne Walters from the United States, and Claire Nouvian from France who have fought to protect vulnerable communities from polluting resources. Photo credit: Goldman Environmental Prize
Saiyara Khan writes about the fundamental role that women and girls play in ensuring food security during times of conflict. Often, gender inequalities and societal norms restrict their participation in the management and decision-making processes over key resources such as land or livestock. However, given that they are involved in key processes such as food production and water collection for the household, women’s empowerment is a fundamental determinant in whether communities have access to food. Photo credit: UN Women
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.
Dineen O’Rourke was moved to step into leadership in the climate justice movement after experiencing the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy in her community in Long Island, New York City in 2012. She has since become a powerful voice in the movement through her ongoing initiatives promoting community building, policy advocacy, direct actions, and storytelling. In 2017, O’Rourke and fellow climate justice advocate, Karina Gonzalez, co-led a delegation of 15 youth from different parts of the United States to attend the 23rd annual United Nations ‘Conference of the Parties’ climate negotiations. Despite the lack of political will exhibited by the United States during COP23, O’Rourke, Gonzalez, and a crowd of supporters protested false solutions presented by the fossil fuel industry to hold elected officials accountable. Photo credit: Dineen O'Rourke
In this article, Zenobia Jeffries interviewed activist, facilitator and author Adrienne Maree Brown for the 1st anniversary of her book, Emergent Strategy, a concept she describes as “the way complex plans for action and complex systems for being together arise out of simple interactions”. In short, this means transforming oneself to transform the world. Adrienne addresses movements building and how to include racial justice in broader conversations beyond Black Lives Matter such as #neveragain and #metoo. In relation to movements building and organising, she touches on themes such as connectivity, trauma, resilience and the capacity to heal, the difference between punitive, restorative and transformative justice, and pleasure activism. She suggests that pillars issues like climate change, racism and materialism are not going to be resolved overnight, but are transformative conditions that can be addressed through small compelling experiments and narratives becoming large enough to change the shape of society. Photo Credit: Bree Gant
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
Climate change impacts more severely on women and is a significant impetus for female empowerment in the climate justice movement. This piece portrays women whose courage, inspiration and shared vulnerabilities in forms of resistance underscore their activism. By changing the narrative and creating herstory, these stories offer a symbol of strength, such as Joanna Sustento, the warrior of the storm, who is the sole survivor of the storm Haiyan that killed her family. With local female leaders, she heads community mobilisation for climate justice. Desiree Llanos Dee, campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, uses the power of storytelling to humanise climate justice issues and build more conscious communities with more people who care. Hettie Geenen, captain of the Rainbow Warrior Greenpeace ship, gives an international platform to the people and the planet through her tours. These are the women on the frontlines of the local, national and global climate justice movement. Photo Credit: Greenpeace
This article demonstrates the overarching ways women are more affected by climate change than men. For example, after Hurricane Katrina black women were the most affected by flooding in Louisiana. Women are reliant on interdependent community networks for their everyday survival and resources. Displacement erodes these networks and increases the changes of violence and sexual assault against women. According to UN Data, 80 percent of people displaced due to climate change are women. Despite this women are seldom at the decision making table, says Diana Liverman, an environmental scientist at the University of Arizona. As an author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) she is internally paving the way for women to participate in major decisions. Photo Credit: Getty Images
Women are disproportionately more susceptible to the impacts of climate change due to the hindrances caused by gender inequality that they must also face. The report written by UN Women on “Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, draws attention to the need to place gender equality front and centre throughout the implementation of the SDGs Agenda. The report highlights that, globally, more than one quarter of women work in agriculture. As the impacts of climate change on agriculture are already being severely felt, this is one of the areas that needs urgent action. Women face many restraints in accessing land, agricultural inputs and credit which increase their vulnerability reducing their resilience against climate change. However, women are an important representation of strength for combating climate change, they are not just victims. The report emphasizes that diverse women must be present in decision-making environments to ensure inclusive mitigation and adaptation to climate change at local, national and international levels. The UNFCCC has been increasingly recognizing the importance of equal gender representation in the development of gender responsive climate policies. In fact, the Gender Action Plan (GAP) was adopted at the COP23 to guide this goal.
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples discusses the multifaceted human rights abuses experienced by indigenous women. The murder and sexual violence rates committed against indigenous women worldwide are exceedingly higher than those of non-indigenous women; though current statistics are considered to be underestimated. The author also speaks about the work indigenous women are doing to train and organize themselves to be aware of their rights and to empower each other. Photo Credit: Midia Ninja.
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
In this thoughtful piece, journalist Jeremy Deaton highlights the link between sexism, climate denial and social hierarchy. He exposes the harassment endured by women involved in the field of climate change, particularly female reporters, policy-makers and researchers who are often targeted by right-wing political blogs. These women, such as former Canadian environment and climate change minister Catherine McKenna; atmospheric scientist Kait Parker; environmental reporter Emily Atkin; and climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe, face sexist attacks in response to their climate change public engagement and expertise. Deaton relates that, following social scientist views and empirical findings, it may be argued that men who value a hierarchical social system, from which they largely benefit, tend to downplay the risk of climate change and hold sexist views. The author further states that the climate crisis, rife with pervasive sexism, is therefore bound with other urgent societal issues such as racism, xenophobia and economic inequality. Photo Credit: Katharine Hayhoe
Women who work on climate science, policy, journalism, or advocacy continue to face harassment from climate change deniers, often in the form of sexist and dismissive labels. Although patriarchy and gender inequality pervade many social spaces, research shows that men who value hierarchy are more inclined to hold sexist views and deny the climate crisis. While the research draws no firm conclusions, it illustrates the power imbalances that enable both sexism and climate denial and the need for intersectional climate narratives that demand justice across movements. Photo Credit: Katharine Hayhoe
In a powerfully raw and attention-demanding short film, Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner and Aka Niviâna use poetry and imagery to showcase their inextricably linked climate realities of melting glaciers and rising sea levels. Jetñil-Kijiner and Niviâna highlight the interconnections between their ice and sea worlds and make it known that the rest of the world is as connected to our global climate change reality. The two women affirm that colonizers largely responsible for climate impacts can only hide behind screens and watch island and glacial ancestral homelands disappear for so long before they too are affected. Jetñil-Kijiner and Niviâna demand colonizer participation in climate action, and avow that they will not disappear while the world remains silent. Their poetic language showcases the strength and resilience of their communities and places the responsibility for climate change impacts squarely on colonizers’ shoulders. Jetñil-Kijiner and Niviâna declare that colonizers will no longer decide who will live and who will die--that, together, each and every one of us must decide if we will rise. Video credit: Dan Lin, Director
Writer, activist, social justice facilitator (and more) Adrienne Maree Brown shares how the ‘wow’ or wonder of observing nature’s patterns of emergence can inspire social justice activism. Through extracts from conversations, she relates how people have gained and been transformed by exposure to nature, and how these exchanges have influenced her learning process in emergent strategy. Adrienne explains that paying attention to the beauty, magic, miracles and patterns of the natural world teaches about emergence. She refers to liberation educator and organiser Adaku Utah and her lessons from Mycelium Mushrooms in cultivating trust as an organising strategy (the mycelium organism uses trust as a mechanism to build and sustain an interconnected and mutually sustainable underground network with tree and plant roots). Adrienne also quotes independent strategist Ashingi Maxton on the pace of water, and to community organizer Hannah Sassaman on the learning from the seasons as teachers of evolution. Photo Credit: Ashim D’Silva/Unsplash
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
A new era of intensified government controls and restricted freedoms is hindering Human Rights Defenders from voicing their opinions. Constraints have been placed on feminist human rights and gender justice activists through government laws and restrictions. Berkeley Law and the Urgent Action Sister Fund adopt a human rights framework and gender approach to analyze the phenomenon of “closing space” and the challenges it poses for women human rights defenders and their innovative resistance strategies.
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
Equitable food systems advocate Anna Lappe addresses the hypocrisy that exists in the presence of the biggest multinational food and beverage corporations within the United Nations public health decision making process. As these corporations are the direct perpetrators and beneficiaries of childhood obesity and other health epidemics worldwide, Lappe highlights the global call for the creation of policies to bar the influence of “vested interests” of big food and beverage companies, similar to Article 5.3, which halted the tobacco industry from similar influence. Photo Credit: Leonardo Sa
A recent article in Scientific American reveals that research involving over 2,000 participants in the United States and China has established a link between greenness and femininity. It also exposed that socialized gender roles mean men are less likely to embrace eco-friendly behavior. While some propose the promotion of more masculine marketing around environmental behavior change, instead, it is argued that toxic gender roles and patriarchy need to be examined as they often lie at the root of the exploitation of women’s bodies and the earth. Photo credit: Getty Images
In this article, writer Leila McNeill offers a portrait of scientist Kono Yasui, a Japanese woman who broke grounds in academia, research and teaching. Aged 47, she was the first Japanese woman to earn a PhD in science (Tokyo Imperial University, 1927). This was an achievement in a cultural context in which women’s roles were restricted to being ‘good wives’ and ‘wise mothers’, rather than leaders of scientific inquiry. She was the first Japanese woman to publish in an academic journal, ‘Weber’s Organ of Carp Fish’ in Zoological Science; and the first to publish in a foreign (British) journal, Annals of Botany, ‘On the Life History of Salvinia Natans’ from her study of plant cells. Dedicating her life to research and committing to never marry, Yasui received ministerial funding to research abroad, in the US. In 1949, she contributed to the establishment of TWHNS, a national research university for women. Photo Credit: Ochanomizu University archive
In this article, artist and activist Suzanne Dhaliwal of the UK Tar Sands Network marks a year of successful divestment efforts against the fossil fuel industry to mitigate climate impacts and defend Indigenous rights. Dhaliwal highlights the decision of Canadian-based Indigenous Climate Action and executive director Eriel Deranger, to reject a cash prize tied to tar sands projects and pipelines. This moral stand is among divestment commitments in 2017 from many financial institutions including AXA, BNP Paribas, KLP, and the World Bank. Going into 2018, Dhaliwal writes that continued action must focus on an intersectional just transition that puts everyone at the table, reinvests in the communities most impacted by climate change, and does not leave behind those previously dependent on the fossil fuel industry. Photo credit: Flickr/BeforeItStarts
The global photovoltaic industry required hard work and dedication, especially during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s when the solar struggle in surviving as an industry needed the conviction of those working within it that it would one day lead the future of energy generation. The photovoltaic industry would not have come as far without the perseverance of eight key women who were fundamental in pioneering the solar scene of today. Izumi Kaizuka from Japan is an awardee of one of the most prestigious scientific awards in the global photovoltaic industry, the PVSEC Special Award, for her contributions in the study of solar technologies, business models and deployment. Renate Egan from Australia is crucial to the solar industry for her ability to match creative with the technical and leads the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics. Darlene McCalmont from the United States is founder of Regrid Power and currently runs a McCalmont Engineering. Nicola Pearsall from the UK is the director of the Northumbria Photovoltaics Applications Centre and leads its Energy Systems research group. These women, amongst the others highlighted in the article, have extensive resumes, but their accomplishments are not the most defining feature of these influential figures. Rather it is their deep passion and commitment that they have dedicated to the global photovoltaic industry that sees their contribution as long-lasting and meaningful. Photo credit: Pixabay
In a short video interview with Verona Collantes of UN Women during the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, in May 2017, Collantes discusses her work in gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment. In her work, she aims for equal opportunities, responsibilities, and consideration of perceptions, needs, and contributions of both men and women when addressing climate change. Collantes uses gender mainstreaming as a strategy to create greater equality. UN women do gender mainstreaming at both a national and global level in their climate education, training, and awareness building. In advocating for gender equality in intergovernmental decision-making processes, UN Women mainstream gender by looking at roles, responsibilities, needs, and unique impacts of climate change on women through themes, such as adaptation. In this way, an analysis of the situation is gained through a gender perspective, which allows for greater recognition of gender imbalances. Photo Credit: Screenshot
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.
This interview highlights the incredible work of Dian Fossey, a female pioneer in the fields of primatology and conservation. Fossey’s studies introduced the world to the kind nature of gorillas, and changed the public perception of them from aggressive creatures to the gentle giants they’re known as today. Fossey gave her life to save the gorillas, which remain among the world’s most endangered animals. To carry on her legacy, Tara Stoinski setup, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, an non-profit dedicated to the conservation, protection and study of gorillas. Today, Tara primarily works in Rwanda and Congo leading Karisoke, the world’s longest-running gorilla research center. Her holistic conservation efforts directly help people and communities, improving the health and livelihoods of people who live near the gorillas and helping to build the next generation of conservationists in Africa. Photo Credit: Robert I.M. Campbell
Rights groups from across Asia and the international community are calling on authorities to do more to protect women land rights defenders. In many cases, defenders reported threats prior to their deaths, but the reports were either ignored or downplayed. In the Philippines, for example, Elisa Badayos and her male colleague were murdered in 2017 after investigating land rights violations. In Thailand and Cambodia, women are facing increased violence, while the matrilineal tradition in Papua New Guinea has been fractured following a decades-long conflict over an open pit mine. In India, defenders also face pressure from their family members and community. Rights groups, therefore, are demanding that these defenders be heard and recognized by the state. Photo credit: Reuters/Samrang Pring
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.
Jeanette Sequeira, gender programme coordinator at the Global Forest Coalition, shares thoughts on the situation of global women who stand up for human rights and the environment, while facing violence and even murder. She shares the stories of frontline women leaders such as Lottie Cunningham, a lawyer from Nicaragua who defends Indigenous communities against illegal corporate and state led land-grabbing despite threats; and the Mapuche women in Chile who are engaged in a struggle to defend their land while facing criminalisation, militarization, and the risk of murder. Sequeira calls out state, non-state, paramilitary, private security and corporate actors who continue to silence activists and act within a culture of impunity.
Patricia Gualinga of the Kichwa Pueblo of Sarayaku, Ecuador delivers a powerful high-level intervention on one of the closing evenings of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP23 climate talks in Bonn, Germany. In this video of her speech (Spanish and English language), Patricia explains how grassroots movements are continuing to implement innovative and effective solutions, while governments and corporations continue to make policies and deals meant to enhance material wealth at the expense of the climate and global communities and land-based and Indigenous peoples. She calls for a just transition to renewable energy, and respect for Mother Earth, women and youth. Photo credit: UNFCCC livestream
During the United Nations COP23 climate talks in Bonn, Germany, women leaders from around the world worked to make their voices heard by negotiators, as they demanded climate policies that are in line with dire climate realities, and built upon respect for women’s rights and the rights and needs of most-impacted communities. Women at the conference, iincluding Verona Collante, Patricia Espinosa, Gotelind Alber, Lim Hwei Mian, Osprey Orielle Lake, Tali Layango Arista, and others, discuss the Gender Action Plan adopted at COP23, as well as the broad importance of ensuring equitable and meaningful participation of women at the forefront of all decision-making. Photo credit: DW
Gal-Dem, a magazine and creative collective comprised of over 70 women and non-binary people of color - interviews Jade Begay, a powerful Dine and Tewa multimedia artist, digital storyteller, media strategist, and filmmaker and producer with Indigenous Rising Media. Jade Begay attended the United Nations COP23 climate talks in Bonn, Germany in 2017 as a member of the #ItTakesRoots and Indigenous Environmental Network Delegations, to document and share their work, directly through the eyes of an Indigenous media-maker. Jade speaks on the importance of POC-centered media, and of Indigenous and frontline communities voices being present to stand for their rights and the climate at government negotiations. Photo credit: Indigenous Environmental Network
As climate change exasperates natural disasters such as droughts and floods, African farmers are finding difficulty maintaining economic stability, leading to an increase in the prevalence of child marriages in Malawi and Mozambique. While marriage under the age of 18 has been outlawed in both countries, the prevalence of child marriages has continued to persist in the face of increased poverty due to climate change. With shifting climate patterns affecting fishing and crop seasonality, many families are finding it difficult to feed each mouth, leading millions of young girls to be married off in response. And while the data detailing this intersection remains largely understudied, the occurrence of lost childhoods and educational opportunities continue to increase. Photo Credit: The Guardian
On the International Day of Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRD), over 1,000 diverse members of Mesoamerican Initiative of Women Human Rights Defenders (IM -Defensoras) raised a collective voice to protect WHRDs and secure a dignified life for all. Between 2012 to 2016, at least 53 women defenders have been documented as killed, mostly by state actors, for their activism and voice. Violence and discrimination is used as a mechanism for social control, and women are standing to challenge the patriarchal mandate and demand from the state the protection they deserve. Photo credit: IM-Defensoras
To mark the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender Based Violence and the International Day for Women Human Rights Defenders, Amnesty Canada draws attention to fierce women doing incredible work in unimaginably challenging circumstances. In this article, Amnesty explores the experiences of three powerful women living in prison or under threat of violence due to their activism. In Egypt, Hanan Badr el-Din, motivated by the disappearance of her husband in 2013, co-founded a group that investigates these injustices. However, she was arrested on false charges and sentenced to 5 years in prison. In Guatemala, Maya-K’iche human rights defender, Lolita Chavez, works to defend Indigenous rights against corporate abuses. After significant threats, she now lives under police protection. In Honduras, activists still live in fear, a year after Berta Cáceres was murdered. Attacks and threats of rape and harm continue to be directed towards their daughters. Amnesty Canada calls for action to protect the rights of these courageous women. Photo credit: CORINH
Climate change isn’t only increasing the greenhouse effect, it is also creating an increase in the inequity of global power dynamics. With women representing 70% of the global poor, women are impacted first and worse by these changes. This overview article shares more information on this statistic, and five other examples which highlight why women are disproportionately impacted by climate, and why climate action must be pursued as a central goal of feminist organizing. Photo credit: Novara Media
In this article, youth climate leader, Maia Wikler, shares why she is deeply invested in claiming the right to a healthy environment for herself and for the world. Born in the same year of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, she describes her struggles growing up with severe asthma and how her access to clean air has been negotiated on the international stage her entire life. To reclaim this space, she attended the 2017 climate talks as a youth delegate for SustainUS and protested with other frontline communities against the U.S. panel on ‘clean’ fossil fuels and nuclear power. Photo credit: Maia Wikler
Globally, women and girls are disproportionately impacted by poor access to safe clean water and adequate sanitary conditions. They are often responsible for collecting water for their household daily and at far distances, which significantly limits their productivity and time for schooling. Even when they do have time to attend school or work, a lack of private washrooms and clean water make it difficult to maintain hygiene during menstruation, meaning they instead stay home or drop out. Women and girls are also at increased risk of violence during their long travels for water and when using open toilets. Because they are likely tasked with cleaning children and household toilets, they are more exposed to wastewater and potential pathogens. Because of this intersection with gender, women and girls must lead and be engaged in strategies for improving water and sanitation. Photo credit: Asian Development Bank
Michaela Mujica-Steiner, a SustainUS delegate at the United Nations and a youth from Colorado helped organize a singing disruption at the Trump Administration's fossil fuel panel. At the 2017 UN Climate Talks, the Trump Administration held a panel to promote the use of fossil fuels. With the intention to set the terms of the debate on fossil fuels, disrupt the Trump administration's lies, inspire people back home, and most importantly, stand on the right side of history, Mujica-Steiner’s delegation disrupted the Trump Panel by silencing their lies with song. She is advocate and change maker working to educate people about environmental justice issues. Back home, she is ready to ensure that governor of Colorado, Hickenlooper, doesn’t harm the rights of environment by increasing the hydraulic fracking. Photo Credit: Unknown
Women are more vulnerable to climate change but are less represented at the U.N. Climate Negotiations. The establishment of the Women and Gender Constituency (WGC) at the Climate Negotiations has formalized the voice of women and gender equality. At COP23, in Bonn, Germany, the WGC pushed for a new gender action plan, to help increase female participation at the U.N, increase funding for women, and ensure climate solutions uphold the rights of women and indigenous peoples. Photo Credit: Patrik Stollarz / Getty Images
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
Reuters reports from the United Nations COP23 climate talks in Bonn, Germany on the important Gender Action Plan (GAP) adopted at the 2017 conference, which aims to boost the number of women decision-makers; train policymakers on how to bring gender equity into climate funding programs; create better mechanisms for collecting gender-climate data; and involve more women grassroots and Indigenous women in policy leadership. Women leaders including Mary Robinson (former President of Ireland), Thilmeeza Hussain (Voice of Women), Osprey Orielle Lake (Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network) speak on the progress and challenges in work to achieve a gender balance in climate leadership in the United Nations, where women delegates represent at maximum 31-38% of the global representatives.
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
In this article, Nikoletta Pikramenou highlights the need for the European Union (EU) to recognize Nature’s rights. She explains that current EU legal frameworks treat Nature as an object and not as a subject of law. Consequently, environmental damage is only regulated instead of being eradicated and this leads to the acceleration of climate change in the EU and globally. She proposes the drafting of a new EU Directive which will grant rights to Mother Earth. Photo credit: Earth Law Center
In this exposé, writer Lauren Himiak presents artists whose imagination, art and advocacy create space for conversations and connection that influence personal, cultural and national debates transformation. Poppy Liu, playwright and storyteller, is the creator of Brooklyn-based grassroots movement Collective Sex around topics of sex, body, intimacy and identity. Sarah Edwards uses positive, nonviolent imagery and animal artwork to show humanity’s effects on the world and inspire reflection, conversation and action around climate change. Georgia Clark, Australian author and improv performer, organises New-York based female storytelling live event Generation Women; a unique, diverse and multigenerational literary salon with themed readings featuring a woman from each age group from 20s to 70s and up. Favianna Rodriguez creates visual art and prints that support social justice movements and conversation around immigration, climate change and racial justice. Tatiana Gill is a Seattle-based cartoonist taking on subjects like mental health, feminism, body positivity. Photo Credit: Kimberley Hatchett
The Women’s Environment & Development Organization and collaborators provide a ‘pocket guide’ overview of the history of the United Nations Framework COnvention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations on the topic of gender, as well as a reference guide to the key gender decisions adopted by the UNFCCC; and a brief analysis of current issues, demands and points of advocacy. Photo credit: WEDO
According to several case studies, more women die in environmental disasters than men, due to the fact that they often face gendered challenges during natural disasters and emergencies. For instance, women may face domestic violence due to lack of safe spaces in relief centers. In developing countries, women are often the ones responsible for providing water for their families, a task that becomes strained during disasters. This article also examines how women’s voices are absent in modern patriarchal disaster-response societies, and the need for gender-sensitive data collection and women’s inclusion in leadership and decision-making regarding disaster management.
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
Bridget Burns of the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) provides a one hour online training for global women seeking an overview of the history of gender at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); integrating gendered -language in the policy process; and what to expect from the upcoming discussions on the gender action plan. Photo credit: WEDO
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
In 2017, the Women’s Environment and Development Organization conducted trainings on climate change policy and decision making in 3 regions, reaching 83 women from 31 countries. WEDO works for the inclusion of women in the frontlines of all levels of decision-making on climate change. Photo credit: Women’s Environment and Development Organization
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
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reports on pushing for gendered considerations in hazardous chemicals and waste management, through the Gender Action Plan of the Stockholm Basel and Rotterdam International Conventions. The report includes thoughts from Stella Mojekwu, Chief Environmental Scientist at the Federal Ministry of Environment in Nigeria on the dangers posed to women exposed to oil-based, toxic PCB through cooking and handeling of cosmetics and chemical products. Resources are included to learn more about international and United Nations policy efforts and conventions to address this issue through improvement of gender mainstreaming mechanisms. Photo credit: WECF
Mercury, a neurotoxin which poses dire life-long risks to developing fetuses and children, has been detected at dangerous and abnormal levels in the blood of women in over 25 countries worldwide. Excessive mercury levels are tied in large part to emissions from coal plants and leaching from mining operations, such as gold-mining. Most dire levels are found in the bodies of women from island nations, including Indonesia, due in large part to direct and daily reliance on eating contaminated fish. Photo credit: Edgard Garrido/Reuters
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
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.
Michelle Bender, Ocean Rights Manager at the Earth Law Center writes on the importance of the oceans - which cover over seventy percent of our planet, regulates climate and provides food and jobs for hundreds of millions of people. Current changes to its systems have generated concerns for the future. Despite international laws and agreements designed for its protection, the health of our oceans is at risk. This is because current ocean law and policy largely focus on the impacts to humans, rather than the impacts on natural ecosystems. Implementing Rights of Nature legislation allows for such a basis, by recognizing that rights originate from existence and that humans are a part of the Earth, not above it. By adopting the Rights of Nature, and in this case the ocean, we ensure that our activities do not violate the oceans’ rights to life, to health, to be free of pollution and to continue its vital cycles. It is a vital step to not only ensure that we restore the health of the ocean, but protect our future. Photo credit: The Ecologist
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz (Igorot), UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, points out that despite the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, few governments have adopted national laws that reflect their commitments. Indigenous rights to land continue to be disrespected, and the right to self-determination is violated. She calls for a serious effort to address the reasons why the UN Declaration is not effectively implemented. According to Victoria the key obstacles are: the rights of Indigenous peoples are not prioritized, the historical injustices that have been happening to Indigenous Peoples have not been redressed and governments need to recognize the contributions of Indigenous Peoples in protecting the environment and making this world a more sustainable place. Photo credit: Broddi Sigurdarson
Eriel Tchekwie Deranger of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) and Executive Director of Indigenous Climate Action spoke at 2017 LUSH Summit about Indigenous rights and climate change. Deranger challenges extractive models of development and their impacts on people and the planet, and postulates that we must begin to draw inspiration from Indigenous beliefs of the Earth’s sacredness for collective life to persist. Her community resides downstream from large-scale Canadian tar sands surface mining fields and collectively, the ACFN have witnessed first-hand the complex impacts extractive industry can have on Indigenous peoples and the planet. Photo credit: LUSH Player