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Climate change defines women Rights


Climate change defines women Rights

In the first series of the I Lead Climate Action initiative 30 days of activism, our first guests are Prof. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat and Prof Michael E. Brown who has been involved in several policies, studies and co-authors of books and articles on gender related issues in this 21st century. It is of no doubt that climate change defines women rights in our world today. Thus, no one is immune to the climate crisis, but risk differs in terms of sensitivity and vulnerability for both sexes due to social, cultural, economic and environmental factors. This calls for the inclusion of gender perspectives. Some of the several agendas that were established include; feminist foreign policy, women peace and security, Beijing conference, gender action plan among others but how far have we achieved it? The pandemic led to a great setback towards gender equality. According to Chantal during the interview session, she made mention that the feminist foreign policy which was initiated by Sweden was based on 3Rs – human “rights”, representation and resource for everyone, everywhere. But if we don’t stop the climate crisis, it might be the greatest single threat toward achieving our various gender action plans.

As climate change is an alarming issue can create an enabling environment that affects foreign policies such as travel ban, border closure and other related issues, such as gender related crisis but yet for countries who are still struggling to pass the gender equality bill into law; how do we want to carry out the national gender action plan effectively? Gender equality should not be a threat to anyone’s culture or religion since it is what will help the female folks to be empowered and not dependent. According to Michael during our conversation, he made mention that there is a need to close the gap between words and action needed - “It is important we engage everyone at the local level.” He further buttressed that, “policy everywhere is still a male dominated world.” One of the aims of these 30 days of activism ahead of international women’s day is for women to be part of the decision making of our time.

During the discussion, Chantal takes us back to the Women Peace and Security (WPS) agenda that was adopted in 2000 by the United Nations Security Council known as resolution 3025 on international security issues. Calls for the inclusion of gender perspectives about half of the UN members have accepted to implement this national action plan but there are different barriers. There is a huge gap between the talk and the action needed. Both couples (Chantal and Michael) are working on traditional issues such as armed conflict, terrorism. And non-traditional issues such as; climate change, development, and humanitarian emergencies such as pandemic. This is because climate change is a great threat to security. Climate is a threat to international relations. One single thing that pushes the government to make a move is through activism. There is a need for a continued action of such to keep pushing for more but not less progress.  

Micheal calls on the global north to take responsibility in working the talk while we grow our population sustainably. When girls and women are educated that will aid sexual reproductive health enhancement. By early next year (2023) the book they both co-authored on the “role of male and muscularity in international security”; will be available. It is also well noted that the book will explain how the male dominated structure (patriarchy) affects the way we analyse, and make. The climate crisis affects women and men differently but females are the burden bearers of it all.


Guests:

Prof. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat: member and former president of the board of Women in International Security (WIIS) from 2013 – 2021, fellow at Wilson Center. 
Check more details here: https://www.wilsoncenter.org/person/chantal-de-jonge-oudraat

Prof Michael E. Brown: Former Dean of the Elliott school from 2005 to 2015. 
Check further details: 

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