Every other Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. sharp, a group of 26 Mexican women meet for an hour to discuss the progress of their work and immediate tasks. Anyone who arrives late must pay a fine of about 25 cents on the dollar.
During this year’s sixty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women
(CSW66), we are eager to see the global community pivot towards more inclusive approaches to advocacy. It's imperative to put the spotlight on women’s rights and youth-led organizations in communities that are often left out of key discussions. By handing the mic over to advocates across all backgrounds and ages, we can shift to a model that enables all advocates to take a lead role in policy-making and ultimately translate promises and rhetoric into real impact and accountability.
In an exclusive interview to IPS UN Bureau, journalist Sania Farooqui is in conversation with Bangladeshi lawyer, Rizwana Hasan who was recently awarded the 16th Annual International Women of Courage Awards by the U.S Department of State. Hasan works primarily to protect the environment and defend the dignity and rights of marginalized Bangladeshis. Through landmark legal cases over the past 20 years, Hasan has changed the dynamics of development in Bangladesh to include a people-centered focus on environmental justice.
Women are already leaders on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Sisters Nina and Helena Gualinga of the Kichwa Sarayaku community in Ecuador work tirelessly to protect Indigenous land. Archana Soreng from the indigenous Khadia tribe in Odisha, India is a talented climate researcher and advisor to the United Nations Secretary General. Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate is encouraging a whole generation of young people to fight for their right to a safe future. There are thousands of other women and girls working tirelessly to protect our planet whose names I do not know but who deserve to be acknowledged this International Women’s Day too.
"Pachamama (Mother Earth) is upset with all the damage we are doing to her," says Hilda Roca, an indigenous Peruvian farmer from Cusipata, in the Andes highlands of the department of Cuzco, referring to climate change and the havoc it is wreaking on her life and her environment.
One of our greatest challenges is advancing gender equality in the face of the climate crisis.
They constitute the majority of the world’s poor.
Judy Wangari is one of an estimated 800,000 smallholder potato farmers who, according to the National Potato Council of Kenya, contribute at least 83 percent of the total potato production.
"When I was a little girl we didn't suffer from water shortages like we do now. Today we are experiencing more droughts, our water sources are drying up and we cannot sit idly by," Kely Quispe, a small farmer from the community of Huasao, located half an hour from Cuzco, the capital of Peru's ancient Inca empire, told IPS.
As the leaders of Asia and the Pacific prepare to head to Glasgow for the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), they can be sure that our region will be in the spotlight: many of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change are located here; the seven G20 members from this region are responsible for over half of global GHG emissions; and five of the 10 top countries with the greatest historic responsibility for emissions since the beginning of the twentieth century are from Asia.
Women, key contributors to agriculture production, are missing at the decision table, with alarming consequences, says Food Tank President Danielle Nierenberg in an exclusive interview with IPS.
This November, five years after signing the Paris Agreement and pledging to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with a further target of below 1.5 degrees Celsius, world leaders will meet in Glasgow, UK amid COVID-19 pandemic shocks, rising hunger and an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that warns of more extreme temperature, droughts, forest fires and ice sheet loss due to human activity.
If we want to address the great challenges this world is facing, we have to factor in science into all our narratives, according to Dr. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, the first woman president of Mauritius and renowned biodiversity scientist.
As the global effort to address climate change has strengthened over the last few years, so has the realization that rising temperatures and climactic disruptions disproportionately impact women, particularly in developing countries, as they tend to be more dependent upon natural resources
and are thus overrepresented in resource-intensive economic sectors. Furthermore, inherent in gender inequality are disadvantages for and discrimination against women in all facets of society, including in the economy and politics. Thus, it is unfortunate, yet perhaps unsurprising, that these structural disparities are mirrored in the negative effects of climate change. Therefore, if gender differences are not incorporated into climate change plans, women will be unable to access the co-benefits that arise from concerted climate action.
Every year on March 8, the International Women’s Day is commemorated. What do women think about this famous anniversary, first honored 1911 in European countries? As I cannot speak for other women, I share with you my personal reflections on this special day, bringing in a developmental perspective.
International Women’s Day is always an occasion to celebrate strong women and an important day in the global calendar to highlight the gender injustices still lingering in every part of the world.
In 2020, progress on gender equality stalled or regressed
in many countries in large part because of the far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent analysis
, by 2021, around 435 million girls and women will be living on less than $1.90 a day, including 47 million pushed into poverty as a result of the pandemic. Global lockdowns contributed to a surge of gender-based violence worldwide
, and estimates show that sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), the bedrock of gender equality, have been severely disrupted, resulting in an additional 49 million women
at risk of experiencing an unmet need for modern contraception. Our most pressing global issues have seldom been so daunting, and fault lines in existing social, political, and economic systems have never been so deep.
An often quoted indigenous reference in the Samoan language is, O le ala i le pule o le tautua
, literally translated, “the pathway to leadership is through service” because to be able to lead is to be willing to serve.
Women need to be given roles as negotiators, not just offered representation through advisory groups, Agnieszka Fal-Dutra Santos from the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) told IPS.
Vanessa Nakate of Uganda may have been cropped out of a photograph taken at the World Economic Forum, but she along with Swedish activist Greta Thunberg have made the climate crisis centre stage.
In January of this year, Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, shocked much of the world when they announced they would be stepping down from their roles as senior royals.
This year, the Paris Agreement’s effectiveness as a global response to the climate crisis is being tested as governments are preparing to submit more ambitious national targets for mitigation and adaptation.