Dr. Asoka Bandarage spoke recently as part of our Lean Into Green Online Education Series. She also writes for the Huffington Post, and has authored a new book, “Sustainability and Well-Being: The Middle Path to Environment, Society and the Economy” is available on her website here. In a recent Huffington Post article, Asoka Bandarage writes that Climate Change is a woman’s issue, and reports on an important event that just took place: The First International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit.
What I enjoy most about Asoka’s work is that she brings the environmental, cultural, social and spiritual aspects of our life together into one whole reality. This makes it much more possible for women, in our relational thinking, in this relational era, to wrap our head around the problems and come up with relational solutions. I am sharing here some of Asoka’s recent Huffington Post article on the First International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit held in Suffern, N.Y., on Sept. 20-23, 2013. This Summit drew women leaders from 35 countries to bring attention to the climate emergency. An excerpt from their Declaration states (read the entire document here):
“We are the mothers and the grandmothers, sisters and daughters, nieces and aunts, who stand together to care for all generations across our professions, affiliations and national identities. . .We are gathering to raise our voices to advocate for an Earth-respecting cultural narrative, one of “restore, respect, replenish” and to replace the narrative of “domination, depletion and destruction” of nature. We are committed to a transition from a future of peril to a future of promise, to rally the women around the world to join together in action at all levels until the climate crisis is solved.
The science is clear. There is no more debate. The time for action is NOW. We will answer humanity’s increased vulnerability with our increased commitment. We know that while women are among the most negatively impacted by climate disruption, we are also key to creating climate solutions…“
“Women have often spearheaded environmental movements in their countries and regions. The Chipko Movement against deforestation in India, the Green Belt movement for tree planting in Kenya, and the movement against nuclear testing and toxic dumping in Micronesia are just a few examples.”
“Climate-related disasters have different impacts on different social groups; poor communities in the Global South and women face the most severe deprivation. Worldwide an estimated 80 percent of climate refugees, people displaced by environmental disasters, are women. .In the Bangladesh cyclone of 1991, almost five times more women died than men because women could not swim, wore restricting clothing, or were forced to place themselves in extreme danger because they had to wait for a male to accompany them. Men who had access to public spaces were able to warn each of the danger but did not always inform their families left at home.”
“The feminization of poverty has led to a sharp gender disparity in poverty levels. Thus, women on average have a smaller carbon footprint than men. Yet poor women around the world are more vulnerable to climate change, destruction of biodiversity, and loss of livelihood than groups with higher levels of consumption and pollution…Unpredictable temperatures, drought, and flooding pose enormous challenges for women who, as the primary and often sole caregivers for their families. They are responsible for providing food and water, and oftentimes firewood for their families. With reduced access to water and crops, the time spent on obtaining necessities increases, and women’s lives get harder.”
“Climate change may negatively impact female farmers more than male farmers by increasing burdens placed on women…” Read Dr. Asoka Bandarage’s entire article here. Asoka’s new book, “Sustainability and Well-Being: The Middle Path to Environment, Society and the Economy” is available on her website here.
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Owner, GreenWomanStore.com where you shop fair trade, green, and woman made!