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.
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.
WEDO 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!
Don’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.
Solar 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.
Education, 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.
All-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.
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.
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.