“Women belong in all places where decisions are made,” especially when it relates directly to their lives and livelihoods. Despite being at the forefront of the climate justice movement, women and young girls are often left out of decision-making. Statistically 80% of people affected by the climate crisis are women. Women and girls are impacted by climate disasters based on their differential social roles, responsibilities, decision making power, and access to resources. Historically, women face greater barriers than men in advancing to positions of power. This results in under-representation of women in decision-making and undermines gender equality.
Despite their vulnerability, women and girls should not only be seen as victims of climate change, but as active and effective agents and promoters of solutions. The inclusion of women in leadership will lead to more diverse problem-solving and would lead to more effective resilience strategies that support inclusion and justice for all people.
Women in leadership is necessary but one woman in a high position does not mean that equity has been achieved. It also does not mean that they would lead with a feminist and intersectional framework that is needed in addressing the intersecting issues of climate change. In addressing the climate crisis, we need women to reach senior management and leadership positions in various spheres: government, business, industry and communities who are willing to lead boldly, inclusively and with a feminist lens. We need to go beyond the preconceptions about the effectiveness of women as leaders. When women attain leadership roles, it is imperative for them to feel supported and equipped to advocate for themselves and others. An important aspect of feminist leadership is mentorship to empower women as we climb the ladder of success.
Moderator: Ayesha Constable
The Climate Conscious Podcast and The Breadfruit Collective hosted the second annual Caribbean Women for Climate Justice Conference from April 19- 23, 2022. The conference was hosted with the support of Open Society Foundations and Caribbean Natural Resources Institute to facilitate dialogue on advancing gender and climate justice in the Caribbean and the establishment of a Collective Advocacy Agenda for the region.
To view Conference recordings visit our YouTube page. https://www.youtube.com/@theclimateconsciouspodcast7236