The Beam Podcast, Episode 3 : Women at the Forefront of Climate Action

Learn more about the gender dimensions to climate change and how women are agents of change.

Words

Anne-Sophie Garrigou

Tune in. Listen to The Beam Podcast, Episode 3: Women at the Forefront of Climate Action


 

Did you know that women are 14 times more likely to die during natural disasters than men globally? And 80% of people displaced by climate change are women and girls! Studies have also shown that women are at greater risk of sexual and gender-based violence (including rape, sexual exploitation, and assault) during and after disasters. Climate change exacerbates inequalities, especially existing gender inequalities, often resulting in more negative impacts for women. We call this the gender-climate links, or the gender dimensions to the climate crisis, a global issue that we absolutely wanted to explore in this third episode of The Beam Podcast.

Here we try to understand what barriers and challenges remain around this issue, and we explore the best solutions to overcome this critical issue. As you might have guessed, the solutions often come from women, especially local women, as we learned with our three guests:

=> Katherine Lucey, Founder and CEO of Solar Sister, 

=> Sheila Oparaocha, ENERGIA International Coordinator,  

=> and Katharine Wilkinson, Lead Writer for the book Drawdown – The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

With them, we discuss the importance of ensuring that a gender perspective is included when addressing environmental issues, what energy access mean for women who live in remote areas and the impact it has not only on them but on their family, their children and often the entire community. We also discuss how women are not only victims of the climate crisis, they are the one bringing solutions, mobilizing communities, advocating for innovative and affordable local strategies. They are agents of change.

“Women play a very critical role in responding to climate change because of their local knowledge and because of their engagement and their leadership in resource management and in leading sustainable practices. In cases where there is an engagement of women at the political level in responding to climate change, community needs tend to be prioritized, citizens’ needs tend to be prioritized.”—Sheila Oparaocha, ENERGIA International Coordinator.

“We’re working with women and in communities where the education level might be quite low but the real education of understanding how this world works is actually quite high because they live it. They are exposed to the world changing. I would say they have a much higher appreciation of the impacts of climate change than many of my peers who work in air-conditioned buildings in the cities”—Katherine Lucey, Founder and CEO of Solar Sister.

“It’s helpful to think about climate change as a threat multiplier or a force that magnifies existing inequalities and of course that includes gender inequality. We have to be thinking about both how to redress the inequalities that climate impacts deepen and how to ensure that solutions are helping everyone. I think it’s worth remembering that climate solutions are only solutions if they are also advancing justice and equity in the world.”—Katharine Wilkinson, Lead Writer for the book Drawdown – The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

Tune in. Listen to The Beam Podcast, Episode 3: Women at the Forefront of Climate Action