By 2050, there are expected to be 300 million climate refugees worldwide. When we look at who is disproportionately impacted by climate change, women are the biggest group effected. This is because they are usually at home when climate crises happen; looking after children and dependent relatives, which make it harder for them to escape. Women in third world countries typically have less access to critical emergency information. Therefore, empowering women is a key part of winning the fight against climate change.
The book ‘Why Women will Save the Planet’, gives advice about empowering societies through empowering the women, therefore, making it easier to tackle climate change. For example, in Bangladesh, women are working to strengthen the land to reduce the effects of flooding and cyclones.
The difficulty of discussing climate change, is that it can be an abstract subject to talk about. By finding out more about women; their names, faces and stories, it can humanise the stark reality. ‘Hands on: Women, Climate, Change’, shows the profiles of five women who are protesting and educating other women and societies about climate change, through education and innovation. Their website also shows a documentary, detailing their perspectives and experiences. It’s worth a watch.
What can we do?
The UK Government need to take ambitious steps in order to meet the 1.5°C goal that they agreed to in the Paris Agreement. However, they are currently endorsing the Heathrow expansion and fracking. Richer countries also need to pay their climate debts. They can do this by supporting other countries’ resilience and infrastructure, therefore stopping the people that climate change would affect the most. The Western world needs to stop supporting the big businesses that contribute the most pollution and waste.
As a woman living in a Western society, it is important to take individual steps against climate change, and also aim to help other women across the world. Make sure that whenever you’re campaigning, you have the voices of those who are affected the most. Work hard to be genuinely and meaningfully inclusive, because that’s the only way we can tackle global crises; if our own micro-movements are as diverse and as collaborative as they can be. Let’s amplify our sisters’ voices.