Later City news
  • B. Adrian

What is climate feminism?

Climate change impacts the everyday lives of all citizens around the globe, but certain communities are disproportionately affected.

Photo by Pixabay

Author: Jim M., Lorton

Source: Augusta Free Press

Women, in particular, shoulder a disproportionate burden as they are most reliant on natural resources for their livelihoods but lack the needed resources to properly respond to climate disasters.

With women representing over 70 percent of the total global population living in poverty, the United Nations estimates that 80 percent of those displaced by climate change are women.

At the very core of female climate change vulnerability is the pervasiveness of patriarchy and gender hierarchies. Throughout history, women have been suppressed in politics, economics and labor, and many are forced to remain in the domestic sphere with the primary duties of raising children.

Flooding, drought and other effects of climate change, such as increased heat and air pollution, can disproportionately impact women, particularly pregnant women, causing premature births, stillbirths and other problems.

“[The climate crisis] grows out of a patriarchal system that is also entangled with racism, white supremacy and extractive capitalism,”

Says author and climate activist Katharine K. Wilkinson. And while women may be the most impacted by climate disasters, they have limited opportunities to participate in decision-making processes. Wilkinson, co-editor of a recent book of essays on climate feminism called All We Can Save, adds that the unequal impacts of climate change make it harder to achieve a “gender-equal world.”