Have you ever heard the phrase "everyone is in the same boat"? It was used a lot during the pandemic and it means that we are all going through the same thing.
Well, I preferred the other analogy: everyone is in the same storm but we are definitely not all in the same boat. Some people feel the effects of things like pandemics or even climate change differently because of who they are, where they come from, their ethnicity or their gender (to name a few).
This International Women's Day got me thinking about how climate change affects different genders, so I did a little bit of reading and here is what I found...
Gender inequality and climate change...what's the big deal?
Women, non-binary people and trans people around the world are among the most vulnerable people when it comes to climate change. However, researchers have found that when women are involved in decision-making about climate change more sustainable and equitable actions take place. Yep, you read that right. When women are involved in climate change talks and decision making, it is better for the planet and people (read the research here).
So give me some facts...how is climate change affecting marginalised genders?
Women and girls are more likely to be responsible for collecting food, water and fuel which is becoming increasingly challenging because of climate change (4).
Climate change is affecting those without a home more (5) - This is worrying for women and girls who are more likely to live in unstable housing (6) and trans and non-binary people are disproportionately represented within the homeless community (7).
Okay...so what can we do?
Remember that point from earlier about women being involved in decision making? Well, I think we need more of that. We need more women, girls, trans and non-binary people represented in climate change movements and in making those big decisions. We need to learn together about climate change and share what we know with others in our communities. We need to understand and be aware of each other's challenges and barriers and how to break them down. We need to really listen to each other and work together to campaign for equality. We need to get creative and find ways of tackling and adapting to climate change that works for everyone. So let's patch up each other's sails, share out our oars, and weather this climate change storm together.
Thanks for reading!
AFC South West Programme Coordinator