Can Global Women Leaders And Activists Tackle Climate Crisis?

Although climate change threatens us all, studies have shown that women are more at risk than men. Studies have shown that 80% of people displaced by climate change are women.

Climate change is a global phenomenon, which has long-term effects on the global climate. This change negatively affects both socio-economic systems and ecosystems. As a result of climate change, the existence of many animals is threatened. Besides, this change is having a negative impact for mankind.

Although climate change threatens us all, studies have shown that women are more at risk than men. Studies have shown that 80% of people displaced by climate change are women. The economic and health impacts of chronic drought, low food production, and adverse weather conditions fall more heavily on women. The world’s poorest countries are most at risk.

Women are more vulnerable to climate change

More than 1.5 billion women there earn less than $1 a day. Globally, women aged 25-34 are 25% more likely than men to live in extreme poverty.

This makes most of the world’s women more sensitive to the negative effects of climate change . Women are the primary collectors of water, food, and fuel. Some of them also make a living by farming. In addition, in the patriarchal world, they are also responsible for the care of children and cleanliness at home.

These responsibilities are more likely to feel the effects of environmental degradation and rising global temperatures. Because they depend heavily on natural resources. Besides, women face various health problems after natural calamities. In the future, this may have a negative impact on increasing poverty.

Role of global women activists and leaders

However, while women and girls are victims of climate change, they are also leading climate change solutions and implementation processes . In addition, they are playing an important role in the plans that are being taken on global climate. Empowering women in these roles can transform poverty and provide effective solutions to climate change, research shows.Can Global Women Leaders And Activists Tackle the Climate Crisis?

Women are carrying out various programs to combat climate change Photo Credit: Pexels.com

As the impact of climate change grows around the world, we see examples of women taking action.

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  • Women in coastal areas of Bangladesh have built storm and flood resistant housing for their families.
  • After Hurricane Maria hits Puerto Rico, architect Carla Gautier is joined by her friend Maria Gabriela Velasco. They assembled shipping containers and rebuilt over three million homes that were severely damaged across the island.
  • Indigenous women from around the Pacific Islands have established media networks and monitoring groups in Fiji to inform the world about the effects of climate change.
  • A group of women in rural Sudan have formed the first women’s farmers’ union to improve food security for people facing drought and famine there.
  • In Nicaragua , indigenous women come forward as the hurricane grows stronger and stronger. Seed banks are encouraged to protect biodiversity.

This implies that when women are given the opportunity or ability to actively participate in disaster planning and emergency situations, they can demonstrate extraordinary knowledge and skills. Women have stepped up as key leaders of social and environmental movements.

LaDonna Brave Bull Allard

When the ‘Dakota Access Pipeline’ company went to lay an oil pipeline on the lands of the native peoples of the US state of Dakota, LaDonna Brave Bull Allard opposed its construction.

He started a global movement against it. In July 2020, a federal judge in the state ruled in favor of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and ordered an environmental impact analysis of the pipeline. As a result, the pipeline was officially canceled in 2021.

LaDonna Brave Bull Allard Image source: bismarcktribune.com

Wangari Maathai has created a nursery of 6,000 trees to save Kenya from desertification and empower women in her community . His work spurred the African-led ‘Great Green Wall’ movement, which aims to build 8,000 km across the Sahel. Making a tree fence. Hopefully, it will capture and purify massive amounts of carbon and change people’s lives.

Nemonte Nenquimo

When the Ecuadorian government was about to sell seven million acres of Amazon indigenous land to oil companies, indigenous woman Nemonte Nenquimo led a community lawsuit. The court ruled in favor of the Waorani people. As a result, it protected the land from oil extraction and made it mandatory to obtain consent from them before the next auction.

Nemonte Nenquimo Image source: bbc.com

Berta Caceres

In Honduras, Aga Zarca, the world’s largest dam builder, undertook the construction of a dam on the Gualcarque River. The river was sacred to the Lenka people, and the construction of the dam would cut off their supply of water, food and medicine, and could also negatively affect the environment.

Berta Cáceres led a grassroots campaign with the people there, which successfully brought the project to a close. It was also found to be a violation of international treaties governing the rights of indigenous peoples.

Berta Caceres Image source: goldmanprize.org

Countries with female leadership in power have shown more success in dealing with Covid-19 than others. A study of 194 countries found that measures against the epidemic were systematically better in countries led by women. It also showed that countries with female-led governments also had lower Covid-19 mortality rates. The study also found that women were more innovative and proactive than men.

A review of 17 studies from around the world found that women’s presence led to stronger and more sustainable policy-making, transparency, accountability, cooperation and conflict resolution in natural resource management and conservation. This study also showed that women think collectively rather than individually. Women are seen to make decisions that promote public welfare, provide fair pay and benefits, and encourage honest and ethical behavior.

When women advance, society advances

Various studies have shown that when women advance globally, there are many benefits for the people and society of that country as a whole. Sustainable and local economies grow, populations stabilize, and children’s health and education levels improve—these are all the foundations of a sustainable future economy. Research shows that countries where women have higher social and political status have 12% lower carbon emissions.

In many countries, women led efforts to get the vote, and when elected to public office, they also led environmental and social legislation. After winning the election, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her 40% female cabinet declared a ‘climate emergency’ and developed a plan to make the country’s public sector carbon neutral by 2025.

Women are ahead of men in many ways Image source: Harvard Business Review

The environmental movement was started by women. Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring inspired a generation to think anew about the world. This eventually paved the way for the establishment of Earth Day and the creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency. Sylvia Earle is a marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer.

She was the first female chief scientist of the US National Environmental and Marine Administration. His actions to end overfishing and pollution of the oceans were effective and inspiring. Each of these women continues to act as influential organizers to save our planet, and hundreds more are joining their ranks.

Greta Thunberg

We all know more or less about Greta Thunberg. He is a Swedish environmentalist. This 19-year-old girl has been doing various programs and movements to deal with climate change since 2018. His protest was initially against the Swedish government’s failure to meet its climate targets. But later he called on students around the world to make similar demands and start protests in their own countries.

According to Greta, governments and businesses in the world’s most powerful countries are not acting fast enough to limit carbon emissions. For such bold actions of the Greater, he gained fame and awards all over the world. Greta also criticized the leaders of big countries like America and China for putting the future at risk.

Greta Thunberg Image source: thermtide.com

It is known from history that the beginning of agriculture in the world is held by the hands of women. Women were the first to understand that when a seed is planted in the soil, a new crop grows from it.

Long before the advent of industrialized agriculture, women farmers used agricultural methods to nourish the soil, without chemical fertilizers, and to build fertility over time. Women manage 70% of smallholder farms in Africa.

They provide more than half of all the nutrients to the people living on that continent. Their farming system is rooted in ancient history, passed down from mother to daughter for centuries. And it has and is instinctively adapted to changes in land and climate. According to the United Nations, when women use the same resources as men, agricultural production increases by 20-30% and hunger decreases by 12-17%.

Women are mostly involved in water harvesting and management

In nearly two-thirds of households in developing countries, women and girls are engaged in water harvesting and management. The United Nations has recognized that the success of sustainable water resources management depends largely on involving women at all levels of decision-making and implementation.

Women in developed countries are more likely to buy recycled, organic food, and eco-labeled products and to support stronger actions to combat climate change. European studies show that women are more concerned about climate change and are willing to make more sacrifices to reduce carbon emissions than men. Women in the US are 5% more likely than men to believe in climate science.

70% of North American women are starting new businesses and now control half of the wealth there. It is also estimated that women account for 70-80% of all consumer product purchases. This potential can be harnessed to transform a country into a sustainable, clean, and strong economy.

At the Paris Climate Conference in 2015, nearly 200 countries agreed to work to ensure that global temperatures do not rise by more than 1.5 degrees or 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Many women are engaged in crop production in Bangladesh Photo: bangladesh.un.org

The COP26 conference held in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021 also called on countries to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It also calls on women to create opportunities and lead the fight against climate change. But women cannot be informed about the adverse effects of climate change unless they are educated.

Besides, they are still not getting equal opportunities as men. If equality between men and women can be maintained at all levels including political, economic, social, then women will play a greater role in combating climate change.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina speaking at COP26 Image source: unb.com.bd

A McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report found that if all countries in a region matched the rate of the fastest-growing countries in gender equality, it could add $12 trillion, or 11%, to the global economy’s GDP by 2025.

In countries where women play a single role in the labor market, the scenario shows that they could add $28 trillion, or 26%, to the global economy’s GDP by 2025, compared to men.

A study of 130 countries found that countries with higher representation of women in their administrations were more likely to ratify international environmental agreements.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) works on empowering women to combat climate change. It also conducts research on the impact of climate change on women and publishes research findings. It works for sustainable development of women through various projects.

Management and technical know-how in agriculture, fisheries, disaster management, energy, and water sectors, reducing the use of products that are harmful to the environment (such as plastic) and financing investments in business of environmentally friendly products are supported in many other areas.

Womenin agriculture Image source: Unsplash / Nandhu-Kumar, Getty images/ Andrekrobostov

It is time for politicians, policy makers, investors and philanthropists to understand that women can act as a powerful force in moving their communities and the world towards a more sustainable and beautiful future and to combat climate change.

Numerous studies show that if we are to reach the goals of the Paris climate agreement, we must eliminate disparities against women in finance, wealth, health care and education.

This is why we need more women’s representation in climate talks. Women are already facing the effects of global warming and are disproportionately addressing the issue. Thus we must increase efforts to empower women and finance accordingly. And only then, the position of women as the right leaders of the movement to solve the climate crisis will be stronger.

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Photo credit: iwda.org.au, Getty images, Unsplash, Pexels, edited on CanvaPro

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