Governments across the world agree that gender equality and ensuring women’s human rights are necessary to effectively act on climate change mitigation and adaptation. This page offers resources for gender-related climate justice, including feminism and intersectionality. It also provides guides for working with women and LGBTQIA+ communities.
What is a Gender Just Climate Solution?
The Women and Gender Constituency (WGC) is one of the nine stakeholder groups of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Their book Gender Just Climate Solutions (PDF) provides details and case studies which illustrate how good solutions:
- Provide equal access to benefits for women, men and youth
- Aim to alleviate and/or does not add additional burden to women’s workload (such as via additional natural resource management or care responsibilities without compensation)
- Empower women through better mobility/accessibility, enhanced livelihood security, enhanced food security, improved health, access to safe water, etc. (as many benefits as possible)
- Promote women’s democratic rights and participation by ensuring decision-making by local women, men, women’s groups, cooperatives and communities
- Are locally led and/or locally driven (decentralised and appropriate)
- Ensure self-sufficiency & a low input of resources (safe, affordable and sustainable)
- Contribute to climate change mitigation, emissions reduction and/or climate adaptation (the project is sustainable)
- Have results that can be shared, spread & scaled up (replicable elsewhere, not just benefiting one individual)
- Show interlinkages to cross-cutting issues, such as (including, but not restricted to) peace-building, natural resources management, food security and/or health, water and sanitation
Working with Women & LGBTQIA+ Communities
In the discourse around gender and climate change, the word “gender” is used primarily to refer to women. Women are acutely vulnerable to the effects of climate change in ways that may be hidden and are different than men. However, this neglects other dimensions of gender, sexual orientation, and sexual identity. As a result, we are missing important ways gender impacts people’s experiences with climate change. LGBTQI individuals are uniquely vulnerable to exclusion, violence, and exploitation because of the intersecting impacts of social stigma, discrimination, and climate change.
- Left Out and Behind: Fully Incorporating Gender into the Climate Discourse
- Guide to terminology for trans and gender diverse people
- Guide to being a good ally – from One Future Collective, India
- Gender and Climate Change: A Closer Look at Existing Evidence (2016) – an excellent overview of the many and complex challenges faced by women
- Climate & Environmental Justice (video) by the Women’s Environment & Development Collective
- Gender CC | Women for Climate Justice provides a variety of resources
- Gender & Disaster Network provides a resource library
See also resources on ALLYSHIP
Feminism & Intersectionality
The fight for climate justice must be feminist, anti-racist and anti-capitalist.
Feminism is constituted by a wide range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements across the globe that share the common goal to define, establish, and achieve the political, economic, social and personal equality of the sexes. At the same time, feminist movements fight against gender stereotypes, deconstructing roles and images that are attributed to the biological sex of men and women that most often go along with giving less power to women and more access, privileges and possibilities to men. In sum, a feminist perspective tries to recognize, analyze, criticize and change the power relations that are established on the base of sex and gender.
Feminist movement nowadays include a widely intersectional perspective into their work, bringing perspectives on race, class, age, ableism, and more form of discrimination into their work. This makes feminist social analysis more fruitful and creates growing links with other social movements. Especially the ecological movements were and are open to feminist perspectives and by this enrich the struggle against the climate crisis and ecological destruction in a capitalist world.Rosa Luxembourg
- What is intersectionality? – Video resource (under 3 min)
- The urgency of intersectionality | Kimberlie Crenshaw (TED Talk) – Video resource (18 min)
- What’s Intersectionality? Explaining the theory and its history – Time article
- What is intersectionality and why is it important? – American Association of University Professors article