[Brussels, 29 November 2015] Yesterday, on 28 November, two days before the start of the Climate Summit COP21, women’s organisations and feminists met in Paris to discuss the links between climate justice and women’s human rights. Organised by the French Group Gender and Climate Justice, the day was a great opportunity to give visibility to women’s contribution to climate justice, learn from innovative actions in different parts of the world, make contacts and build strategies. The European Women’s Lobby and its French member CLEF were active participants.
In the morning, several interventions gave a concrete overview of the challenges and opportunities when it comes to women’s rights and climate justice, including the links with the new Sustainable Development Goals (presented by @WECF). Presentations from the Philippines and Bahrain were great examples of innovative youth mobilization (@AYCM) and creative women’s actions to bring change and hope after climate disaster (@APWLD). Pierrette Pape presented EWL’s demands for COP21 which are based on EWL report on Beijing+20 and the outcomes of EWL webinar on women and the environment, and include the challenges faced by women and girls in Europe specifically. EWL’s main statements are: when women’s human rights are not guaranteed, women don’t have the possibility to explore their potential and to act for climate justice; the current degradation of the environment is similar, in its values and spirit, to the global exploitation of women; we need a new economic, social, political and human paradigm, which puts people and care first.
Pierrette mentioned the new publication of Friends of the Earth, ‘Why women will save the planet’, to call for more collaboration between feminist and environmental groups and states: “achieving gender equality is vital if we are to protect the environment upon which we all depend; social justice and environment sustainability are two sides of the same coin”. She highlighted that all current global challenges are interlinked (climate change, migration, population, conflicts and wars, education, inequalities, consumption….), and that women, who are half the population, have a say to build at least half the future!
In the afternoon, several workshops brought concrete recommendations in terms of: production and consumption, austerity and alternative feminist ecology, women’s rights and climate justice, resources and peace, social inequalities and climate change. The EWL co-facilitated the session on women’s rights, together with CLEF, Planning Familial and Femm’Ecolos. After discussing the key women’s rights affected by climate change, and needed for climate justice, the group proposed creative citizens’ actions and developed recommendations around education, women’s sexual and reproductive rights, freedom, collective mobilisation, and tree planting action.
Several citoyens’ mobilisations will take place during COP21, including a Global Village on Climate and a special feminist moment on 6 December: find out more here http://www.coalitionclimat21.org/. There will also be a Women’s Assembly on 8 December in Paris, during 4 days of ‘Action Zone for Climate’.
Website of the French organisation Adequations, compiling all information about the French work on women and climate justice: http://www.adequations.org/.
Some international women’s organisations working on climate justice:
Women’s Major Group @Women_Rio20
Women Gender Constituency UNFCCC @WGC_Climate
Women’s Global Call for Climate Justice @WomenGlobalCall
World March of Women
WECF – Women in Europe for a Common Future @WECF_INT
WECAN – Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network @WECAN_INTL
WEDO – Women’s Empowerment & Development Organisation @WEDO_worldwide