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Addressing Climate Justice through Gender Justice

Written by:

Durra Azlyana


27 Sep 2021

This resource material is from a webinar organised during Global South Women's Forum on Sustainable Development #GSWF2021 on 16 September 2021.


Grassroot Level Gender Injustices


Women are already initially at a disadvantage, from financial to social constraints. In fact, given women’s various limitations (lack of access to land, credit, technologies as well as their unpaid work responsibilities --household duty and childcare), they are more vulnerable in the face of the climate crisis. This holds them down in constant poverty and further narrows their safety net.
“The social pressure that restricts women to leave their household without their male relatives made them lose precious evacuation time waiting for their male relative to come and bring them to a safer place in Bangladesh” -Caroline Perez, Invisible Women book
“Women have limited access to technology --hence they can’t access timely weather forecasts or information, and they lack independence in sources of income.” -Kripa Basnyat, Senior Atlantic Fellow for Social and Economic Equity
“Women are already confined and concentrated in informal work, and are now slowly being pushed out without having proper social protection mechanisms, supporting them, or any form of safety nets for them.” -Kripa Basnyat

Women are the most burdened by the impacts of climate change, from psychological distress of post-disaster impacts, to the escalation of domestic abuse in the shared disaster shelters. Women are continued to be excluded in rebuilding efforts, and climate disaster response planning, which exacerbates the existing gender inequalities.
“In 2001, after an earthquake hit Gujarat, India, the rebuilding planning didn't include women in the discussion, hence they built houses without any kitchens.” -Caroline Perez, Invisible Women book
Climate crisis aid kits don't include sanitary pads, feminine hygiene products and medications as a result of failing to include women in climate crisis emergency response. -Nadiah, KAMY
“After Hurricane Katrina, it wasn’t long until lurid stories of violence, rapes and beatings, started circulating.” -Caroline Perez, Invisible Women book


Gender Bias in Climate Leadership


Women are easily targeted and intimidated in climate strikes and advocacies, especially Indigenous women.
“Various constituencies are having a joint action one Wednesday afternoon during COP25 A Madrid, we were warned that it’s not an approved action and we are at risk of losing our badges, but we (WGC) participated anyway to show our solidarity. I saw T crying and people comforting her, seeing her cry breaks my heart, she must have been hurt from the Action, others were fine, but she was targeted by the security because she’s an indigenous woman.” -Amy, Women and Gender Constituency (WGC)
“It is terrible to have violence and assaults against women at an international UN conference.” -Amy
Amy was also a part of the Green Climate Fund - CSO Network, that advocates for grassroots CSO to have access to the funds, and do interventions to make sure that the projects being funded by the GCF aren’t affecting women, but most of the concerns being raised by the CSO are ignored.
Escalating threats to women activists that need to be stopped.
Sexual harassment threats being made to Shakila Zen, an environmental activist in Malaysia.
Greta Thunberg receives misogynistic comments from men all over the world.

Putting Women and Youth at the forefront of the narrative and closing the gender data gap.
Gender focus needs to be an integral part of climate change policies and programmes so as to move towards the goal of achieving more equitable and sustainable development in the face of climate crisis.” -Kripa Basnyat
“We must develop a framework on how to use and be open to disaggregated data as part of policymaking, introduce gender-responsive financial interventions and build networking documentation” -Nadiah
“We need to raise our voice for the many women and girls that might be affected by the projects funded by the Green Climate Fund and we need grassroots level CSOs to have access to the funds.” -Amy
“We need each other, as we complement one another with our different abilities and talents.” -Amy
“Gender is a huge part of whose voices are there, ensuring that those marginalized are a part of these key conversations, whether it’s black women, indigenous women etc.” -Marisa Hutchinson
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