A staggering 330 million Indians, making up a quarter of the country's population (or roughly the entire population of the United States), are currently reeling under the effects of a severe drought, resulting in an acute drinking water shortage and agricultural distress.
Prema Bai, 58, bends her head and pushes hard her wheelchair on the village road. In the early afternoon, the village of Mamna appears almost deserted although it is home to 742 families and is located in Uttar Pradesh - India’s largest and most populated state. Thanks to a severe drought, every man and woman under 50 has fled Mamna in recent weeks, leaving behind the elderly and women with very young children. “They thought we were like cattle, a burden in this hard time because we only eat but yield no returns,” says Bai whose two sons and their wives also migrated to Agra -- a city 255 km away -- to work in a brick kiln.
“Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality” – the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day serves as a timely reminder that, despite incremental progress of recent years and the ambition of the new global development agenda, we must redouble efforts to achieve a world underpinned by gender equality. All women must be empowered to realise their full and equal rights. But what does it actually mean to step it up for gender equality
When the habitants of Puerto Morelos saw their white beaches turn brown, they felt they needed to take urgent action for their community. Given the limited effectiveness of the response, they organized themselves to clean public beaches, but the situation got worse.
Jeeja Behera, 34, the wife of a fisherman in the village of Sannapatna in India’s cyclone prone Puri district, dreads the onset of the cyclone season between October and January every year due to the lack of water, sanitation and hygiene in cyclone shelters.
Five women from Candarave Province, located in Tacna (Peru), travelled to India to be trained and to learn how to install solar panels. The training has enabled 272 families to have electricity and improve their quality of life.
53-year old Aleta Baun of Indonesia’s West Timor province is a proud climate warrior. From 1995 to 2005 she successfully led a citizens’ movement to shut down 4 large marble mining companies that polluted and damaged the ecosystem of a mountain her community considered sacred. After their closure in 2006, she became a conservationist and restored 15 hectares of degraded mountain land, reviving dozens of dried springs and resettling 6,000 people who were displaced by the mining.
In the Caribbean, some women find themselves on the frontline with the battle to mitigate climate change. Meet Dr. Krystal Cox. She is one of three girls who all studied medicine and got medical degrees.
Beauty Manake moves around these days with a “million dollar” smile on her face. The 31-year old woman from Botswana now runs a thriving vegetable and livestock farm, as well as an agribusiness consultancy group.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet says the climate summit in Paris “is not the end of a process but a beginning,” and that it will produce “an agreement that, although insufficient with respect to the original goal, shows that people believe it is better to move ahead than to stand still.”
After surviving the storm surge wreaked by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in November 2013, women in evacuation centres found themselves again fighting for survival … at times from rape. Many became victims of human trafficking while many more did anything they could to feed their families before themselves.
With the effects of global warming becoming more and more visible and the complicated socio-economic decisions indispensable to address this planetary crisis, science needs a new breed of experts: social scientists who specialise in climate change.
The efforts of the United Nations and the global women’s movement to promote the women’s rights agenda and make it a top international priority saw its culmination in the creation of U.N. Women, by the General Assembly in 2010.
If there is any idea and cause for which the United Nations has been an indispensable engine of progress globally it is the cause of ending all forms of “discrimination and violence against women and girls, ensuring the realization of their equal rights and advancing their political, economic and social empowerment.
On the eve of negotiations on the political declaration for the United Nations Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the Women’s Major Group (WMG) calls on governments to define a transformative agenda to ensure just, sustainable and rights-based development.
Weekends and public holidays are deadly for one of Sri Lanka’s most delicate ecosystems – that is when the island’s 8,815 hectares of mangroves come under threat.
Seventy-seven-year-old Grace Ngwenya has an eye for detail. You will never catch her squinting as she effortlessly weaves ilala palm fronds into beautiful baskets.
The statistics tell the story: in some parts of the world, four times as many women as men die during floods; in some instances women are 14 times more likely to die during natural disasters than men.
Experts from around the world gathered in New York recently to launch work on the Global Gender Environment Outlook (GGEO), the first comprehensive, integrated and global assessment of gender issues in relation to the environment and sustainability.
We are lucky to live in a country that has long since abandoned the image of the damsel in distress. Even Disney princesses now save themselves and send unsuitable “saviours” packing. But despite the great strides being made in gender equality, we are still failing rural women, particularly women farmers.
The Commission on the Status of Women, one of the biggest events on the calendar for United Nations headquarters in New York City, is over for another year.