Empowered Women Will End the Climate Crisis
Happy Earth Day (Thursday, April 22, 2021)!
Why does the climate crisis matter to ending hunger?
Climate-related events can disrupt entire food systems and severely limit access to food. Building resilience to climate change is crucial and at the heart of our work across Africa, South Asia and Latin America.
Hunger is not just about food. Hunger happens in the context of so many overlapping and intersecting issues, including: the climate crisis, health, education, gender inequality, and political relationships. Only by addressing all of these issues together can we solve any of them in a sustainable way.
Our work starts with a mindset shift that allows womens and girls to claim their voices in the decisions that affect their lives, as well as time, income, and leadership skills.
How do empowered women and the climate intersect?
Project Drawdown revealed that together educating girls and supporting family planning form the most promising solution to drawing down carbon from the atmosphere and reversing global warming.
When women and girls gain agency, when they know they matter, that they have rights, that they have decision-making power for their lives - the planet benefits.
Empowered women and girls also drive local climate justice by:
- Planting trees
- Building water catchment systems
- Developing agroforestry from native plants
- Keeping their schoolmates enrolled in school thus ensuring future generations of leaders
- Advocating for indigenous values (which always include care for the land and future generations) being reflected in local development plans
The Hunger Project in Mexico
In Mexico, climate justice is in the the hands of empowered indigenous women leaders. Their solutions to the climate crisis reflect indigenous values for repricopcity, the Earth, and all living things.
Our partners, empowered women leaders living in Chiapas and Oaxaca, have brought their agency and their values to solving the problem of inefficient, dangerous cookstoves.
They have learned to install and maintain clean eco-stoves and then are actively passing that knowledge on to families throughout their communities -- keeping expertise and knowledge in the region. Partnering with Water for Humans, these women leaders continue to install and fix the stoves for each other. Home by home.
The ecostove technology has meant reduced pressure on the surrounding forest for wood fuel and additional time for women who no longer need to spend hours gathering wood. There is also reduced woodsmoke -- so that their communities can breathe easy and stay well.
Women and girls with agency, income, time, skills and leadership are the central key agents in achieving climate justice. We must work hand-in-hand with women to unleash the next generation of empowered women leaders and find innovative solutions to our challenges.