Climate change does not discriminate in its detrimental impacts. The brunt of its impacts are placed on the poor, and women and girls consist of 3/5 of the world’s one billion poorest people.
Although climate change does affect women disproportionately, women can have the most impact on shifting the world's current consumption patterns. In developing countries, women generally dictate household consumption and play a powerful role in sustainable agriculture and food security. Gender-responsive policies are necessary to fully combat climate change.
There have already been successful campaigns that struck the root of both women’s empowerment and climate change. Peruvian women organized a national initiative called “Life Out of Plastic (L.O.O.P.)” that implements plastic pollution awareness activities and cleanups. Genstainable in Colombia networks women to promote women’s leadership in sustainability.
Although women empowerment has often led to action on climate change, climate change action has also led to women empowerment through giving them leadership opportunities. In El Salvador, women are utilizing geothermal technology to earn additional money and learn technical skills. Similar phenomena of renewable energy providing new opportunities for women can be seen in every country because they are harnessing the open employment opportunities.
Today, on International Women's Day, we are thankful for all of the women fighting for justice. At ISEC, we are honored to empower women to serve as activists.
Through women empowerment, we not only lessen gender inequality; we lessen climate change because they have immense power over the future of our planet. Climate change action and women’s empowerment are cyclical.