Updated: Nov 23, 2022
Climate change deepens the gender gap. The climate crisis is a cross-cutting problem. It affects all spheres of society, but it is the most vulnerable societies that bear the brunt. It is women who suffer the greatest impact on their health and living conditions.
Pregnant women, children and the chronically ill are more vulnerable to poor air quality, environmental illnesses, and extreme heat and cold conditions resulting from climate change. They face increased health and safety risks when water and sanitation systems are compromised. Women and girls are often the last to eat or be rescued; and they take on a greater burden of domestic and care work when resources are no longer available.
The socioeconomic impacts of climate change affect women. A group with greater job insecurity due to feminized jobs and the associated wage gap.
Can we talk about the degradation of the planet and gender inequality as two issues that are driven by a common axis?
Ecofeminism has been claiming the link between the oppression of women and destructive practices to the planet, an extractivist, patriarchal and androcentric society, with the aim of achieving justice for women and transforming the human relationship with other living beings and ecosystems.
The term Ecofeminism was born in the 1970s by activist and feminist Françoise d'Eaubonne. However, many women from all continents have been fighting for decades for the protection of the planet, its lands and ecosystems. Wangarii Mathai and her Green Belt movement, Berta Cáceres and her struggle against the privatization of rivers. Vandana Shiva, the Chipko movement and its protection of the land and seeds, and so on and so forth.
Although the actions for the conservation of the planet have been and are taken to a greater extent by women, their voices are the least represented in governmental decision-making bodies and processes.
We are eco-dependent beings, we need Nature to be alive. Air, food, water, minerals... However, human beings, especially Westerners, have created a great divide between human life and the planet. We are interdependent beings, since we depend on other living beings to survive, from the moment we are born, during our lifetime, and when we grow old. These care jobs are mostly performed by women, which is called the sexual division of labor. These activities are totally hidden and devalued from the economic plane.
The reduction of value to the exclusively monetary configures that which forms part of the field of economic study. This reduction expels from the field of study of the economy the complexity of natural regeneration and all the human works that are not part of the mercantile sphere. Without being accounted for by the yardstick of money, they become invisible. An economy that grows with its back to eco-dependence and interdependence.
- Introductory notes on Ecofeminism, '' Yayo Herrero''.
We must quickly change our relationship with the planet.
To change an extractivist consumption model in which natural resources are no longer seen as an unlimited resource. In which economic activities are not the center of our society. In which the tasks of care have the importance and value they represent. Where animal life, where women's bodies are no longer a commodity.
We must put life at the center. To create a world worth living in.
In the 6th IPCC report, the climate crisis was addressed as an emergency that must be alleviated with concrete actions by governments and society. Human activities have created irreparable damage to the planet. In the last 5 decades alone, more damage has been caused than in the last 100 years, two out of three species are in danger of extinction, one million marine species die each year due to plastics in the sea, only 10% of fishing is carried out at sustainable levels, the textile industry is the second most polluting and agricultural activities represent the largest proportion of land use by man. A change in governments is vitally important. But as citizens, we can start now and TAKE ACTION?
With actions that put life at the center. By valuing human and natural resources. How?
Value lives, without exception. Our consumption cannot involve animal suffering, in addition to the environmental impact of fishing and livestock farming. Reduce the consumption of food of animal origin.
Commit to food sovereignty. Value the land and what it produces. Consume local and seasonal, respecting its natural cycles, avoiding the expropriation of the land and paying directly to the worker. Join a food cooperative, cultivate or demand clarity in the origin and form of cultivation of your food.
Consume consciously. Reduce your consumption by listening to yourself and reduce it to real needs. Prioritize local companies with social and environmental responsibility. Knowing the human and resource footprint in the production of your purchase will help us to avoid human exploitation and excessive extraction of natural resources.
Stewardship. Exercise responsibility in matters of care. In your home, work, and leisure situations. The tasks of care must be a responsibility for the whole of society, not just one part. Putting it at the center of priorities. A good way to do this is to keep it in mind when we are on vacation. Respecting, valuing and prioritizing in places where labor rights are respected. Hotels, restaurants and leisure places free of labor exploitation.
These are small, big actions to put life at the center of our priorities. Demanding a change in society, and policies that protect human and animal lives around the world.
Shall we join ?
Article written by A Lo Basati
From A Lo Basati I am committed to offer you alternatives for a model of consumption that respects people and Nature. More at https://www.alobasati.com/