G20 Gender Equality News

The Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) was at the G20 meeting this month and sends us a lot of good news from around the world.

G20 g20-gender-equality news from WEDO women environment and development organization

Women cover themselves as they make their way through the banks of the river Ganges during a dust storm in Allahabad, India, June 13, 2017. REUTERS/Jitendra Prakash

“All G20 countries have committed to promote gender equality through adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Meaningful climate action needs to tackle gender inequality and contribute to promoting, respecting and fulfilling all human rights. Women must play a critical role in addressing climate change, and barriers to unequal engagement and opportunities be overcome, through collaborative efforts of men and women.” CARE International on G20 and Climate Resilience

In many countries, there tends to be a disparity between sexes: women’s roles are often carers and providers of food and water, and they have a lack of access to resources and decision-making power, making them particularly at risk. In both the U.N. Development Program Gender Equality Index and the World Economic Forum Gender Gap Index, there are no G20 countries among the top five most gender equal.

With regard to the countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions – which outline each country’s contribution to the Paris Agreement – only Mexico devotes a specific section on gender and climate change, with Brazil, India and Indonesia at least mentioning gender. The other G20 countries fail to address gender in their National Data Collections. Thus, there is definitely more work ahead.

G20 gender equality news from WEDOWEDO is a global advocacy organization established in 1991 by former U.S. Congresswoman Bella Abzug (1920-1998) and feminist activist and journalist Mim Kelber (1922-2004). It grew out of an extraordinary group of women, including Bella and Gloria Steinem, who started Women USA in 1979, and became the organization it is today through the vision of WEDO pioneers, Wangari Maathai, Vandana Shiva, Thais Corral, and many others. In 2011, WEDO celebrated its official 20th anniversary!

G20 gender equality news from WEDODon’t Believe in Climate Change? Take a Trip to Vanuatu – This series of photos shows you how climate change is impacting many in the South Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu, and why women, who are closer to the affects of climate change should participate in developing solutions for their community to cope with climate change.

With a Touch of Paint, Women Slum Dwellers Battle Extreme Heat – India’s women slum dwellers  used  to suffer from summer heat. Now with a program that paints slum dwellers’ roofs with reflective white paint and trains women with other techniques that reduce reliance on firewood, women slum dwellers are equipped with the knowledge to cope with climate change and its impacts.

G20 gender equality news from WEDOSolar Energy Powers Clean Water, Business Opportunities for Refugees – Practical and affordablez solar energy is being deployed on a growing scale to provide essential services for refugee camps in Africa and the Middle East.

Namibia: Rural Women Want Better Govt Service – Lack of access to potable water and proper healthcare are just two of the major issues rural women face in Namibia. At this year’s session of the fifth rural women’s parliament with men held under the theme ‘Parliament gives a voice to rural women and men on the Sustainable Development Goals’, the report demands more government support for rural women is sent to the National Council.

G20 gender equality news from WEDOEducation, a Building Block for Sustainable Peace  – Two-thirds of all illiterate adults in the world are women, and more than 260 million children and young people are out of school. Access to education often has a trickle-down effect, helping boost food, health, economic  security, and gender equality, all of which are also essential Sustainable Development Goals.

Indigenous Knowledge Crucial to Tackling Climate Change – Traditional skills and knowledge should be seen as a complement, not a barrier, to scientific knowledge and climate adaptation efforts.

G20 gender equality news from WEDOAll-Girls Teen Engineering Team Creates a Solar-powered Tent for Homeless People – Wonderful news! An all-girls science club from San Fernando Senior High School near Los Angeles has designed a solar-powered tent meant to help homeless and displaced people to have temporary proper shelters.

How Solar Energy Has Empowered Communities in Rural Assam – The advent of solar energy in three villages has had a transformative impact on primary healthcare and other daily activities of rural Assamese communities.

G20 gender equality news from WEDO

Shahida Khatun at the solar-powered primary health centre in Birsing char in Assam. Credit: PARI/Ratna Bharali Talukdar

Women and girls from every region of the world
are creating a mass movement for climate justice.

The Women’s Global Call for Climate Justice is a global campaign organized collectively by a group of regionally diverse women’s rights and feminist organizations brought together by the urgent need for just action on climate change.

G20 gender equality news from WEDO

Launched on July 14th 2015, the campaign aims to encourage actions from women’s groups, feminist initiatives and allied organizations in all regions, countries, cities and communities around the world as well as coordinated actions. WEDO has played a central role in organizing and facilitating the campaign as both a partner organization and member of the coordinating committee.

DONATE TO WEDO HERE

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Feminist Scholars on the U.S. Presidency

feminist-stmt-on-trump-headline

Just so we all know we are not acting alone in our coming efforts to maintain a peaceful world and functioning democracy, you will be strengthened by reading this all-encompassing public statement by scholarly women of grit:

Summary of Statement:

  • We must protect the right to protest and dissent.
  • We must insist that the media be allowed to do its job.
  • We must reject compromise.
  • Our number 1 priority is to Resist.
  • We must denounce militarization at home & abroad.
  • We must resist climate change denial.
  • We must resist autocracy.
  • We must push ourselves into more precise, radical analytical frameworks.
  • We must find creative solutions to address the immediate needs of those who will be acutely affected within the first 100 days.

On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, a sizeable minority of the U.S. electorate chose to send billionaire Donald Trump, an avowed sexist and an unrepentant racist, who has spent nearly forty years antagonizing vulnerable people, to the White House. Spewing hatred at women, people of color, immigrants, Muslims, and those with disabilities is Trump’s most consistent, and well-documented form of public engagement. Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women because, as he quipped, his celebrity made it easy for him to do so. We can only assume that the hostile climate and anxiety about what is to come were contributing factors. The political shift we are witnessing, including the appointment of open bigots to the president-elect’s cabinet, reaffirms the structural disposability and systemic disregard for every person who is not white, male, straight, cisgender, able-bodied, and middle or upper class.As a community of feminist scholars, activists and artists, we affirm that the time to act is now. We cannot endure four years of a Trump presidency without a plan. We must protect reproductive justice, fight for Black lives, defend the rights of LGBTQIA people, disrupt the displacement of indigenous people and the stealing of their resources, advocate and provide safe havens for the undocumented, stridently reject Islamophobia, and oppose the acceleration of neoliberal policies that divert resources to the top 1% and abandon those at the bottom of the economic hierarchy. We must also denounce militarization at home and abroad, and climate change denial that threatens to destroy the entire planet.

We must also reject calls to compromise, to understand, or to collaborate. We cannot and will not comply. Our number one priority is to resist. We must resist the instantiation of autocracy. We must resist this perversion of democracy. We must refuse spin and challenge any narratives that seek to call this moment “democracy at work.” This is not democracy; this is the rise of a 21st century U.S. version of fascism. We must name it, so we can both confront and defeat it. The most vulnerable, both here and abroad, cannot afford for us to equivocate or remain silent. The threats posed by settler colonialism and empire around the globe have never been more real, nor has our resolve to oppose these injustices ever been stronger. Concretely, within the U.S., we oppose the building of a wall along the U.S. – Mexico border, and the establishment of a registry for Muslim residents.

We owe this moment and the communities we fight for our very best thinking, teaching, and organizing. We must find creative solutions to address the immediate needs of those who will be acutely affected within the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency. We must push ourselves into new, and more precise and radical analytical frameworks that can help us to articulate the stakes of this moment.

The most important thing we can do in this moment is to make an unqualified commitment to those on the margins through our actions, insist that the media be allowed to do its job; and protect the right to protest and dissent. We recognize clearly that our silence will not protect us. Silence, in the aftermath of 11/8 is not merely a lack of words; it is a profound inertia of liberatory thought and praxis. So – what are we waiting for? We are who we are waiting for. We pledge to stand and fight, with fierce resolve, for the values and principles we believe in and the people we love.

See all the signatories here.