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Here’s Why You Should Be Thinking About Climate Change This International Women’s Day

Climate change probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about International Women’s Day. But maybe it should be. It might not be immediately obvious, but gender and climate justice are inextricably linked—so much so that UN Women (the United Nations organization that focuses on fighting for gender equality) announced that the theme for International Women’s Day 2022 is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.” Here’s what you need to know about the unique connection between women and climate change.

Climate Change Disproportionately Affects Women

You might already be aware that climate change has a greater negative impact on poorer populations. But did you know that 70% of people living in poverty are women? Without access to the same rights and opportunities as men, women throughout the world tend to have fewer available resources to help them adapt to and recover from climate change’s effects. And the unfortunate fact is that women constitute 80% of all people who are displaced from their homes by climate change.

Women Are Leading The Movement Toward Sustainability

But in spite of these challenges, women have been powerful advocates for climate change mitigation all over the globe. Like Greta Thunberg, who at only 19 years old is one of the most recognizable figures in the movement toward sustainability. Or the countless other incredible women who are making themselves heard as they try to save our planet. 

Women are also leaders in sustainability within individual households and local neighborhoods. They are often the ones to propose greener initiatives and offer holistic solutions that will benefit every member of the community.

Working Toward Gender Equality Improves Sustainability And Vice Versa

With these things in mind, it’s easy to see how working toward gender equality improves sustainability; empowering women in other areas of life will assist in their efforts to advocate for sustainable policies and practices. And every step taken toward sustainability is also a step taken toward gender equality: mitigating the effects of climate change will reduce the undue burden that they place on women.

So as you celebrate International Women’s Day this year, take a second to consider how you could promote sustainability in your own life. It could help change the lives of girls and women around the world.

Nicolette is a senior sociology major and professional writing minor at UCLA. In her free time, she loves reading fantasy novels and baking desserts for her friends and family.
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