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WHY WE SHOULD ALL BE ECOFEMINIST

    

We should all be Eco-Feminists

By Oladosu Adenike

Oladosu Adenike T. at Graz, Austria during the elevate festival

In a world impacted by climate change, poverty seems to be inevitable. People are more vulnerable to the circumstances, and it is more difficult to achieve gender equality. Becoming a climate activist was not just choice but by necessity a necessity, and from that position I choose to speak the truth to power. Climate change is also driving clashes between the farmers and herders that where once in co-existence with each other for a long time – a clear struggle over resources that should draw your attention to fight for our planet. Perhaps it’s our planet not my planet alone. We are losing the parts of the natural landscape every minute to human activities. And the increasing conflicts in Yemen have led to food insecurity. The global population is increasing, but that doesn’t have to be our weakness or stop us creating a safer world for all. The insurgency of Boko Haram has been in the Lake Chad region for 10 years now, leading to loss of lives and livelihood. In 2014, this group of terrorist kidnapped 276 school girls in the town of Chibok in Borno state, Nigeria. The same incidence happened in Dapachi Yobe stste some years later. For some of these girls, it could be a point of no return. I see it as one of the climate crises point that Nigeria is faced with. Climate change creates an enabling environment for such horrible occurrences through the shrinking Lake Chad: of which Yobe, Adamawa and Borno states of Nigeria are linked. We can’t forget women in the Sahel that have to trek some kilometers to get water. All of these factors made me became an Eco-feminist, the first in Africa.

Why Ecofeminism approach is needed?

Eco-feminism is double edged: a fight for women and children’s rights as well as the fight for environment rights. And it is multi-dimensional in its approach and dealings. Today we see violence arising out of the environment triggered by climate change - that is why I decided to lead with climate as we fix it. Becoming an eco-feminist is not only about standing for women and the environment. It’s standing up for humanity because climate change will affect everyone – regardless of national boundaries and personal identities. This reminds me of an experience I had several years ago while an undergraduate student. There was a robbery attack in the school, but everyone has assumed that it was herdsmen because this particular state is known to have a farmer and herder clashes for quite some time. It left a psychological impact on us as students. It’s another example of a controversy that can lead to ethno-religious wars, which climate change can make worse. Again, climate change has no identity; it has inspired me to engage with all students and people through climate education because we can’t solve a problem when we don’t know that it exists. Things are already falling apart. We can’t let gender tear our actions apart. Climate change is no longer a future concern. It’s happening presently. There are no weapons that can be used to defeat climate related security issues rather than to mobilize for action needed in sustaining people’s landscape and the green spaces. We can’t build a peaceful world through arms and ammunition.

It’s our planet not my planet alone!

The vulnerability of climate change affects everyone but it is gender sensitive. Whenever I bring up the issue of women being at the center of climate change crisis I got abuse. But this will only make me an unapologetic ecofeminist. And as an eco-feminist, I refuse to be silent about those things that matters to the peace and security of our world. Gradually, people are realizing that our world needs to heal quickly and the solution lies in the female world: we need an eco-feminist approach since women have the “curatic” tendencies and actions for the environment. Thus the traditions and norms might want to serve as a hindrance towards realizing this vision. Sooner rather than later, we can modernise these traditions and use our values and ethics to keep and preserve the planet for the next generation to come. The world is changing and we need everything in it to change regardless of the traditions. It is ridiculous for a 13 years old girl to be given out to a forced marriage – denying her rights, her education, her physical and mentally. I believe everyone should have a voice – heard, amplified and empowered towards a change for her community. For every girl child that is being silenced and stripped of her rights, we are losing our world of sanity to insanity and shared divisions. It is time to stand up for her rights! The rights of women and their children should be everyone’s rights because this world will never improve if women are force to take backstage. Diversity in our actions, voices and sexes will create a better world for us all and serve as an intersection for solving wider societal issues. Remember that if one voice is heard, thousands of voices can be amplified and if thousands of voices are heard, millions of voices can be amplified. The movement for change becomes stronger if our voices are heard and empowered.

 

Oladosu Adenike ([email protected]) is an ecofeminist, freelance journalist and climate justice activist. A advocacy for the restoration of Lake Chad.  Pioneering the green democracy movement.

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