Dr. Asoka Bandarage – Women, Sustainability & Climate Change
Listen to our Interview with Asoka Below:
Women are responding to climate change not only as mothers and nurturers, but also as economic producers. It is important to actively and consciously keep women’s relational perspectives alive, we bring a more qualitative, humanist, and ecological approach. Women are taking leadership roles in many grassroots, regional, national and international initiatives.
Indigenous Peoples have been at the forefront of bringing ecological consciousness and our connection to nature into the climate conversation, and they need to be supported. Bolivian and Peruvian Indigenous Women’s Groups say, “Change the System, Not the Climate.” You can’t talk about climate policies without looking at the economic system.
Many peoples of the world see terrorism and the “war on terror” as a global struggle between extremist forms of Islam and Christianity. Women are targeted, victimized, and used as fighters. Religious extremism should not take center stage.
Poor women are especially effected by natural disasters due to poverty and the lack of infrastructure and resources to respond to crises. Cultural norms, clothing restrictions, and traditions victimize women who are not able to relocate as easily as men.
– Most of the world’s farmers are women but we don’t necessarily own the land.
– Health issues in other countries are related to pesticides manufactured and banned in the U.S.
– Climate Change has different effects on different populations, especially women and coastal and island nations.
– Land based people have a greater eco-consciousness but are losing it to technology.
– Proselytizing among vulnerable communities is controversial and raises moral and ethical issues.
– There’s a lot of greenwashing by corporations. Women’s groups keep the real issues in the forefront.
– Communities and countries should become self sufficient and not have to depend on external aid.
– 1/3 of the world’s population do not have access to clean water.
– The Smithsonian’s Hall of Human Origins, funded by David Koch, downplays the dangers and global impact of human activity and fossil fuel extraction on climate change.
There are enough resources for everyone. We need a global ethic that connects us to each other. We have to pull together to address these issues for planetary survival.
Dr. Ashoka Bandarage has devoted her scholarly career to environmental sustainability, and studying and teaching how social science
can advance human well-being. Dr. Bandarage has taught at Yale, Brandeis, Georgetown, American, Mount Holyoke where she received tenure, and other universities and colleges in the U.S. and abroad.
Dr. Bandarage is an Author, Researcher, and Policy Analyst. She has most recently authored “Sustainability and Well-Being: The Middle Path to Environment, Society, and the Economy.” Asoka believes that social science and universal ethics – combined – give us perspective, deep and comprehensive enough, to bring about the partnership of humanity necessary to solve the climate crisis and broader challenges of human and planetary survival.
Her areas of interest include: women and gender studies, multiculturalism, peace and security, South Asia, Sri Lanka, population and ecology.