The Women’s Environmental Network is a UK organisation working to make links between women health, wellbeing and environmental issues; and by broadening the latter’s scope to include menstrual health, real nappies and breast cancer. The aims are to raise awareness of the gender implication of climate change; promote environmental justice through feminist principles and gender equality; and involve and empower women in climate change decisions and solutions on the ground. Hence, WEN thinks globally and acts locally by sharing knowledge, resources and seeds through community organisation, events, training and grassroots projects in East London. Featured in this video are WEN co-director Kate Metcalf and former co-director Connie Hunter; as well as project participants such as Mina (“we help each other”); Silam (“this had helped me be more conscious about our environment”); Laura (“it has helped me be a happier person”); and Gubsie “it changes people, it makes such a difference”). Video Credit: WEN
In this BBC News report, we are introduced to the Under the Eye conference, held in London in March 2018. Guest speakers addressed environmental issues from a female perspective and included policy makers, scientists and artists, such as author Margaret Atwood, former Morocco's minister Hakima El Haité, and Green MP Caroline Lucas. They highlighted the close link between ocean pollution, climate change, poverty and women, and confirmed the disproportionate impact and adverse effects of natural disasters on women globally. Notwithstanding, they deplored the lack of female voices in high level decision making discussions on environmental and climate policy, despite women organising and resisting in the front line of natural disasters. Former UN diplomat Christiana Figures described the Paris agreement 2015 as a women-led collaborative venture and advocated that more women should be included in climate policy making negotiations, for they are the drivers and part of the solution. Photo Credit: Invisible Dust
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
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
Women who have studied and experienced a lack of female representation in the energy industry describe how the gender imbalance is inhibiting a robust, low-carbon energy transition. In fact, 67 percent of UK energy companies have men-only boards, industry events and critical discussions often exclude female voices, and women who claim executive positions may face sexual harassment. In light of these issues, Professor Catherine Mitchell of the University of Exeter organized an event with women-only panels to highlight the poor gender diversity and need for female leaders in energy. Photo credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Female directors Anne Sommerfield, Hannah Ward, and Clare Dornan are behind a landmark moment in broadcasting history: Their natural history series Animals with Cameras will be the first from BBC One to be entirely led by women. On their programme, threatened animal communities—ranging from meerkats and chimps to cheetahs and penguins—will be equipped with small, lightweight body cameras to help scientists better understand and protect vulnerable species. Their work comes at a time when there is a growing spotlight on women’s underrepresentation in film and television, especially on the awards stage. As the “best candidates for the job,” Sommerfield, Ward, and Dornan are bringing a female lens to stories of wildlife conservation. Photo credit: Anne Sommerfield/BBC
London-based activist Victoria Henry scaled a massive cargo ship in the Thames Estuary to prevent a ship carrying Volkswagen diesel cars from offloading its cargo in the United Kingdom. Diesel is often advertised as a clean fuel, but this is a common misconception that the activists were trying to debunk with their direct action. Henry had previously climbed Europe's tallest building to protest Shell’s plans to drill in the Arctic. Photo credit: Phil Ball/Greenpeace
Climate justice activist Suzanne Dhaliwal is co-founder of the UK Tar Sands Network. However, since 2015 she’s been a woman in the media writing on the problems with Britain’s predominantly white environmental movement. Dhaliwal reminds us that Indigenous people and people of color around the world are the first affected by climate change and the first to act. In this article, Dhaliwal emphasizes the importance of keeping frontline communities at the forefront of the movement. She’s putting her words into action by boycotting all white-only panels on climate change for the time being. Photo credit: Fiona Hanson/AP Images for Avaaz
Angela Burnett is the author of the book, “The Irma Diaries: Compelling Survivor Stories from the Virgin Islands”. The work highlights 25 Hurricane Irma survivors through firsthand interviews conducted by Burnett herself. Many of the interviewees spoke to the urgency of climate change without prompting from Burnett, and stressed the heightened effects of environmental disasters on island communities. The writing also calls for bolder climate policy as the Caribbean Islands are facing some of the most extreme weather ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. Burnett’s climate activism is not limited to books, as she also writes climate policies for the British Virgin Islands, and helped found a Climate Change Trust for the Islands. Photo Credit: Lornet Turnbull
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
30 actor-activists from the theatrical protest group "BP or not BP?" occupied the British Museum in protest of its sponsorship from the British Petroleum company and stolen Indigenous artifacts. They held the space for the whole afternoon with a series of performances involving a pop-up oil rig, a colonial explorer, a crowd of noisy dying animals, an angry climate scientist, a series of statements from Aboriginal communities and an oblivious "British Museum" being distracted from it all by BP. Photo credit: Kristian Buus, BP Or Not BP?
Deborah Orr, a columnist for the Guardian, writes about the results of research which point to the lack of connection between the British and nature. In this opinion article, Deborah discusses the issue that this distance with wildlife has for the environment, especially for climate change. She mentions heavy drinking and gambling as problems that provide an escape to bigger existential issues, and can heavily impact the future of our planet. Photo credit: UIG via Getty Images
This article on the Women's Environmental Network (WEN) website was written by Vicki Hird, Sustainable Farm Campaign Coordinator at Sustain (she is also the founder of Sustain) and award-winning author. Hird writes about food security and its relation to climate change (specifically in the UK), and she breaks the issue down into categories such as eating, farming and producing, and governance.
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.
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
Dr. Bina Agarwal, Professor of Economics and Environment at the University of Manchester, brilliantly explores the biases in the definition of work, and specifically women’s work, and that lead to the erasure and invisibilization of women’s labor in farms, homes and the informal sector, and how this continues to work as a patriarchal tool to economically disenfranchise women. Agarwal does not call for token accounting of women’s labor but rather a radical transformation that adequately compensates and recognizes women’s domestic and often unpaid labor, as well as the dismantling of the economic, social-political and cultural systems and structures that work against women. Photo credit: Business Today
Women like Tina Rothery from Lancashire are at the forefront of the opposition to fracking as mothers across the United Kingdom unite to safeguard their children's future. They successfully opposed energy company Caudrilla’s application to frack in Lancashire, and are prepared to set up camp and recruit other mothers to stop future shale gas projects. Photo credit: Jonathan Nicholson/Nur Photo via Getty Images
Indigenous Rising Media profiles, Suzanne Dhaliwal an Indigenous rights and mining/extraction activist with the UK Tar Sands Network, who is leading campaigns against United Kingdom based corporations and financial institutions which invest in and support the Alberta Tar Sands, Canada - one of the largest and most destructive industrial projects on the planet. Photo credit: Indigenous Environmental Network
Alexandra Wanjiku Kelbert, a woman activist, analyses why the climate crisis is a racist crisis. Climate change may not only affect people of color but the communities in the global south are mostly affected of the impacts of climate change. Additionally, in order to fight the crisis, there is a need for white people to engage in a society that privileges them through racism and anti-black racism. Photo credit: The Guardian
As an international climate lawyer, Farhana Yamin has lead over 200 negotiations, fighting against the impacts of climate change. She now represents the Marshall Islands against the critical conditions facing the local communities. Farhana has a clear mission driving her work – zero emissions by 2050. Photo credit: Inez & Vinoodh
In England, women architects are leading innovative and creative design projects to get cities ready for a greener and more sustainable future. Lucy Bullivant, Irena Bauman, Alison Brooks, Alessandra Cianchetta, Liza Fior, Katherine Clarke, and Johanna Gibbons are using the ecological approach of soft planning—an innovative cyclical process that responds to climate change and urban ecological issues by focusing on reducing land waste in cities while preserving urban resources. These women architects pay particular attention to the incredible cultural diversity of London and pair it with the natural sciences to create more green space, sustain resilient urban environments, and construct greener infrastructure including silviculture trees and biophilic design. Photo credit: David Vintiner
The Women’s Environmental Network is organizing 15 new urban community gardens in Tower Hamlets, London, together with three local housing associations and support from the Public Health Departments from the City Council. Watch the video to see the testimonials and impressions from benefited residents and photos from the food and plants they grew in these gardens. Photo credit: Women’s Environmental Network
Multiple civil society organizations worldwide are campaigning for the UK Government and Research Councils to stop the SPICE Project (Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering), in which they inject aerosol in the stratosphere, in attempts to cool down the rising temperatures. Gigi Francisco, the Global Coordinator of DAWN (Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era), a global south feminist network, worries that the 10th Convention on Biodiversity meeting in Japan and the agreements on geo-engineering are not being honored and are a setback to finding sustainable development solutions. Diana Bronson from ETC Group, an international technology watchdog, alerts us to the consequences of trying to block sunlight to reach our earth, such as food insecurity and changing rains, among others. Photo credit: Hands Off Mother Earth
In this profile from Nobel Women's Initiative, Rebecca Johnson, alumna of the 1980’s-era Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp and the continuing Aldermaston Women’s Peace Campaign is profiled for her long history of peace advocacy and activism. She founded the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy in order to support the development of multilateral disarmament and security treaties. She serves as a strong feminist voice for nuclear non-proliferation and world peace. Photo credit: Nobel Women’s Initiative
Professor and researcher Patricia Perkins of York University has brought together ecofeminist methodologies with feminist ecological economics towards a proposal of degrowth that takes on climate change and gender injustice at the same time. She emphasizes redistribution, ecological services, unpaid work, and participatory processes as fundamental to the formation for an equitable economics of degrowth.
he average woman can absorb as much as 5 pounds of threatening chemicals each year through cosmetics alone. Research within the cosmetic industry still lacks sufficient data on the many ways human-made compounds may react to each other. As a consequence, studies are showing links between common cosmetic chemical ingredients and irritation, inhibited bacterial growth, premature aging, and, in some cases, cancer in female consumers. Scientists claim that absorbing harmful chemicals are in some cases more dangerous than consumption due to their immediate absorption into the bloodstream. Photo Credit: Fiona Macrae
Emma Must led a nationwide campaign against the building of roads throughout the country, which would have caused the displacement of hundreds of families and environmental destruction, and also advocated for alternatives means of transportation. She did so through many peaceful protests, chaining herself to bulldozers and joining the organization Alarm UK! and later with Transport 2000 and Global Justice, bringing attention to the issue. Due to her efforts, the British Department of Transport changed its road building policies and the government started proposals for sustainable transport. Photo credit: The Goldman Environmental Prize