What’s Going On Here?

As International Women’s Day is marked this month, women are being celebrated for the incredible impact they have had in the fight against climate chaos. But attention has also been drawn to the fact that women are disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change.

What Does This Mean?

International Women’s Day (March 8th) is a time to take stock of our achievements, with many inspirational women leading the way in the fight against climate breakdown;

???? Christiana Figueres played a key role in negotiating the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 as chief of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ????

???? Rachel Kyte has become a go-to expert for heads of state and multinational CEOs trying transition away from fossil fuels ????

????While environmental policy researcher Sunita Narain has won awards for work on issues ranging from rainwater harvesting to tiger conservation.. ????

???????? And of course the most high profile climate activist right now is a 17-year-old girl from Sweden…Greta Thunberg (in case you didn’t already know…).????????

It’s clear that women are playing a vital role in combating the climate crisis. But the reality is that globally, only 8% of cabinet members are women and their unequal participation in decision-making and labour markets prevents them from fully contributing to climate-related planning, policy-making and implementation.

Why Should We Care?

Because women’s political participation has been shown to result in greater responsiveness to citizen’s needs and because women are disproportionately affected by climate change. Here are some examples of how:

  • In the aftermath of disasters, women are more likely than men to be displaced, to be sexually assaulted, to be victims of violence and to face other human rights violations.
  • In many regions, women are more likely than men to finish formal education early, making them less informed about climate change and less likely to be involved in decision making 
  • Women are also more affected by drought and water shortages, often bearing the burden of having to spend significant time travelling to distant water resources and returning home to provide water for their families.
  • Girls are also more likely than boys to be provided with less food during times of food scarcity.

Be Curious!

UN Women has compiled 12 small actions with big impact in line with this IWD theme, “Generation Equality. Read the full list here.

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