Women and the Environment: A look at the relationship between women and the Environment

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Women have always played a significant role in relation to nature and the environment throughout history. Women were expected to tend to the crops, take care of natural resources, collect water and preserve food sources. Women, with their nurturing skills,  skill in the preservation of biodiversity and in environmental management.

Today, the relation between women and the environment is a problematic one. Although women are considered the stewards of the environment and are more likely than men to practice environmentally friendly behaviour due to climate change and environmental issues, studies have shown women are experiencing significant negative impact to their lives more so than men. Women, who make up the majority of the world’s population, are more subjected to the social, economic and political effects of climate change. Additionally, women around the world make upthe overwhelming majority of family leaders and providers, which makes them more vulnerable to climatic issues such as droughts, floods, natural resource depletion and biodiversity loss. Con sequently, 80% of people displaced because of climate change, are women.

The recognition of the impacts women face due to climate change has been highlighted by several institutions who have taken action to mitigate and manage these issues. The United NationsAgencies, the World Economic Forum, the inter-Parliamentary Union and civil society have urged gender responsive action to the climate change crisis. Most notably is the five-year Enhanced Lima Work Program on Gender and its gender action plan agreement by parties at COP25 in Chile in 2019. This program focuses on enhancing women’s leadership in climate negotiations and to prioritize gender equality in climate policies and actions.

It is understood that without women the climate crisis cannot be eliminated. They are the ones on the front line of environmental protest, through community groups and activism. It is no wonder the face of the current battle against climate change is Greta Thunberg, a 21-year-old female Swedish Activist. Studies have suggested that with women at the helm of climate change comes more attention to sustainability and climate issues. Simply put. To invest in women is to invest in sustainability, the environment and to accelerate the progress.

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