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          By Oladosu Adenike (Email)

Image result for women and the environment
Since the creation of making or its evolution, nature and its environment have been principally controlled by men. This brings to the fore need for women to lead issues relating to their environmental degradation through climate actions. Like the former first lady of United States (1963-1969), Lady Birth Johnson once opined; “the environment, after all; is where we all meet, where we all have a natural interest. It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but a focusing lens on what we can become”. This indicates that all environment rights are human rights.
Women bears the most burden of environment crises:
         It is no longer a news that environmental crises ranging from extreme weather conditions like reduced rainfall and extreme temperature leads to crop failure; thereby leading to poverty. As the causes of poverty include climate change drives crises and bad government policies. Hence poverty now have a women face; according to the UN chief at the high level meeting on gender equality at AU summit (2020); “The reality in Africa and the rest of the world is that poverty still has a woman face”. It is known that for every 100 men aged 25 to 34 lives in extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, there is 127 women. This is because women are close to the environment than their male folks. Invariably, women are always the first victim to every environment issue, as such susceptible to climate change.
         Women are victims of sexual violence:
The environment where women live matters, as such leading to susceptibility to sexual violence such as rape. As such there is a direct proportionality between climate crises and sexual violence. Climate change is direct violence against the environment and as such as “rape” against “virgin” environment. “Mankind” weaponizes the environment through carbonization as it does “Women kind” through sexual violence. As such; man’s relationship with its women’s folk is psychological and phenomenal reaction to its environment. Hence, a need to fight climate change crises as a violence against environment. The Boko Haram crises in the lake chad region highlights the negative impacts of environmental crises on women’s rights like health and education. Environmental crises such as Boko Haram, farmers-herdsmen conflicts and the Niger-delta conflicts have seen escalating of kidnapping, rape and assault on women and girls; impeding them of access to education, health and wealth.
In furtherance of celebration of 2020 women’s day, there is no each for equal without equality to the environment. Women rights must be achieved firstly by achieving environmental rights.   

Oladosu Adenike is an ecofeminist from Nigeria, Africa

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