Women's Earth & Climate Action Network, International
The Women's Earth & Climate Action Network is a solutions-based, multi-faceted effort established to engage women worldwide to take action as powerful stakeholders in climate change and sustainability solutions. For Our Earth and Future Generations A project of Women's Earth and Climate Caucus and its partner eraGlobal Alliance

Why Women

Women must stand at the forefront of all action to address the global climate crisis because they are simultaneously the most adversely impacted by climate change and environmental degradation, and indispensable actors and leaders of just and effective solutions.

When we analyze root causes, it is clear that women experience climate change with disproportionate severity precisely because their basic rights continue to be denied in varying forms and intensities across the world. Enforced gender inequality reduces women’s physical and economic mobility, voice, and opportunity in many places, making them more vulnerable to mounting environmental stresses.

Studies show that women’s bodies are more susceptible to the dangerous effects of toxic pollution, and increasing evidence is demonstrating the many ways in which women, as carriers of life, are being impacted by, and passing along, severe environmental health issues to the next generations.

Indigenous women, women from low-income communities, and women from the Global South bear an even heavier burden from the impacts of climate change because of the historic and continuing impacts of colonialism, racism and inequality; and in many cases, because they are more reliant upon natural resources for their survival and/or live in areas that have poor infrastructure. Drought, flooding, and unpredictable and extreme weather patterns  present life or death challenges for many women, who are most often the ones responsible for providing food, water and energy for their families. In many frontline communities, gendered and sexual violence against women is added on top of other dire impacts perpetuated by the extractive industries that bear down on their homelands.

However against all odds and against great challenges, women are demonstrating every day that they have unique and essential ideas and skills to offer at this turning point in history, as humanity faces a crisis of survival and must make crucial changes and decisions about how we are living with the Earth and each other.

Studies show us that worldwide, when women are empowered, there are immense benefits to entire communities and societies overall. Sustainable and local economies grow, populations stabilize, and children’s health and education improve- all of which are foundations for a sustainable path forward. Inmany countries, women get out the vote and vote more often, and lead on environmental and social legislation when elected to public office. It has additionally been shown that women are one of the most vital actors in peace-making.

Women farmers feed the world - and Indigenous women and women of the Global South hold vast knowledge and skill gleaned through their traditional role as healers, culture shapers, and caretakers of water and land. Women all across the world act as an immense force of social change in directing family’s values, lifestyle and consumption habits.  

Women as a constituency are a strategic, powerful, and beautiful force that is often not recognized, supported or mobilized into action - despite clear evidence that women are key to making the societal, economical, political and ecological changes we so desperately need. These points of leverage need to be recognized and acted upon.

For long-lasting change, it is also essential that we recognize, understand, and transform the dominant social constructs that lie at the root of such gender inequality, as well as the destruction of the Earth. We need to look at systemic change and challenge old paradigms of patriarchy, colonization, imperialism and capitalism. Women see the connection, and are willing and able to unite across borders to challenge systems of oppression and build a healthy and livable future.

To learn more, DOWNLOAD the Women’s Climate Action Agenda here - and explore statistics below.


Unleashing the Power of Women in Climate Solutions

 

The Disproportionate Impact of Climate Change on Global Women 

Inequities