In the midst of a wave of excellent climate-focused content, here at curious earth another month means another importantly curious film release to add to your watch list.

Previously, we’ve covered the impact of climate on water in Nepal. This week we’re turning our curious lens to an issue that is also of great importance and impacts all of us – gender inequalities and its connection with the climate crisis and climate action.

How are climate and gender related?

While women are disproportionately impacted by climate change, they are also an important part of the solution. We need everyone’s participation to bring about a just climate transition and concerted climate action! 

Women are disproportionately impacted by climate change 

Climate change is often referred to as a ‘threat multiplier: it increases the frequency and severity of existing threats and inequalities. Climate change in particular exacerbates issues surrounding gender inequality in many ways. Some examples include:

  1. Climate change increases conflict, and women and girls are more at risk of gender-based violence in these instances.
  2. In disasters, women suffer disproportionately due to long-standing inequalities in access to resources, education, and their ability to move or seek assistance. 
  3. Climate change impacts women’s health and maternal health, as well as impacting access to healthcare and information. 

Women are part of the solution to the climate crisis

As is the focus of the organisation She Changes Climate, who produced a film of the same name, women are pivotal to solving the climate crisis. Here are some cool facts about the power of women in initiating and scaling climate action that evidence the need for equality and diversity of representation in all elements of climate action: 

  1. A 2019 study found that increasing women’s representation in national parliaments leads to the adoption of more stringent climate change policies, resulting in lower emissions.
  2. There are better resource and conservation outcomes at a local level when women participate in natural resource management.
  3. More women on a company board have been found to correlate with an increased level of disclosure of climate emissions information.
  4. If women are provided with more productive resources, it can increase agricultural production by 20-30%, improving food security whilst also reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
  5. The transition to a low-carbon economy will require reskilling of all labour, including female workforces. Females work in all professions, and particularly in caring practices, meaning they must not be forgotten to ensure the transition is a just transition. 

Interesting, right? So what is She Changes Climate? What do they do?

She Changes Climate (SCC) is an organization working to empower women, in all of their diversity, to lead a just climate action across the world. It is a global non-profit organization that seeks to bring awareness to the crucial role of women in accelerating just climate action.

The organization works in four key capacities:

  1. Influencing – helping bring more women into leadership roles and positions of ’behind-the’-scenes’ influence. 
  2. Campaigning – building public awareness and support for action on this issue.
  3. Collaborating – encouraging collaboration between gender equality and environmental action groups.
  4. Amplifying – giving women a platform to raise issues amongst the public.

In practice, this involves working with global leaders of governments and businesses to effectively utilise their existing talent pool to build representative teams that are as diverse as their populations. In SCC’s own words:

“All countries around the world have powerful, experienced and capable women who deserve to use their voices to accelerate just climate action.”

And what is the film?

On International Women’s Day, SCC released a short film, now available to watch for free here or on WaterBear. This film highlight the gender imbalance and the need to address this in order to take meaningful, just and fair action on climate change. 

The need for change is clear. At the recent COP26 event, only 34% of COP26 committees, and 39% of those leading delegations, were women. And at the 2021 G7 Summit, there was only one woman amongst the decision-makers.

“With the latest IPCC report stating half of the world is highly vulnerable to the impacts of the climate crisis, we say enough is enough. The climate crisis cannot wait for men to act, we need women at the top table now.” – SCC on International Women’s Day 2022

The film was made in collaboration with Earth Minutes and Visionary Pictures and features eight influential climate leaders and activists including (to name but a few) Catherine Howarth, CEO of Shareaction, and Joycelyn Longdon, Founder of Climate in Colour. It is a call to action to all to ensure fairer representation if we are to take impactful climate action, and to amplify the leading voices that have so far been missing from climate negotiations.

True female power! 

Be Curious

  • The film is available to watch now, for free (yes free!) on WaterBear and Youtube. Give it a watch and share your thoughts with us! 
  • Check out this list of other curiously empowering films about climate change. 
  • And take a look at this list of films highlighting further issues of gender inequality.
  • Support SCC in other ways: you can donate, volunteer and collaborate in a number of cool and impactful ways!