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Profile: FMF’s Women and Climate Change Campaign April 3, 2010

Posted by Jarrah H in feminism, Politics.
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Welcome to a new section where we profile organizations, individuals, and campaigns that are taking action on feminist issues in North America and around the world.

At the Young Feminist Leadership Conference in Washington, DC last month I picked up information from a variety of US feminist groups. One campaign that particularly grabbed my attention because it’s relevant to Canada too was the Women and Climate Change campaign.

The campaign is a partnership between the Feminist Majority Foundation, The Sierra Club, and the Women’s Environment & Development Foundation and it draws attention to the gendered impacts of climate change.

WEDO’s website has some awesome fact sheets and resources that explain the connections between gender equality and climate change, and why facilitating women’s empowerment globally is crucial to our planet’s survival. In terms of impact, they point out that “those with the fewest resources will be most suceptible to its negative effects.” For example, women and children are 14 times more likely to die than men in natural disasters.

The FMF has also put out a pamphlet called Breaking the Cycle: Women, Water and the Search for Equity. The introduction states:

Throughout the world, women are intrinsically linked to water resources because of their roles and responsibilities in using and managing water. Since women and girls often cook, clean, farm,and provide health care and hygiene for their households, they are on the front lines of their communities’ and countries’ water issues.

What I really like about this campaign is that it’s a partnership between women’s and environmental groups, that it takes a broad view of what a “women’s issue” is, and that the organizations involved suggest a range of actions that average people can take to raise awareness of these issues, such as:

  • Encouraging political leaders to support sustainable development and gender equality initiatives, particularly timely heading into Canada’s hosting of the G8 leaders at the Hunstville Summit this June
  • On-campus actions such as poster campaigns, campaigns to reduce the use of bottled water and disposeable containers, and
  • Symbolic actions like physically marking the distance women walk for water (or a representation of that distance) on campus with chalk or tape, with facts or questions around the route to get people thinking about how water crises disproportionately impact women.

If you have a group you’d like us to profile, comment below!

-Jarrah

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