Women and Climate Justice
Across Asia Pacific women’s lives and livelihoods are threatened by climate change events, environmental degradation, militarisation, ethnic and religious discrimination and economic policies that make small scale subsistence farming unsustainable.
Women are affected more severely and are more at risk from natural disasters and extreme weather events, including during post-disaster response efforts. Women’s exclusion from decision-making and limited access to and control over resources impedes their rights, and in the case of climate change, means that women’s voices are absent from decisions about environmental management, climate change adaptation and mitigation, with long-term consequences for the wellbeing of women, their families and the sustainability of their communities. It is therefore important to articulate rural and indigenous women’s critical role and capacity in the nurturing of a sustainable ecological system.
In 2010 Women in Pakistan battled the worst disaster to hit the country with an estimated 20 million people driven from their homes, left without clean water, without food or without livelihoods. Floods and mudslides in Indonesia, typhoons in the Philippines and drought in Southeast Asia early in the year all had devastating effects on rural and indigenous women in Asia Pacific.
To equip our rural and indigenous members to have a voice in local and international policy making around global warming APWLD has a two prong approach through our climate justice project. First is to work with rural and indigenous women to document their own practices ensuring they become the voices of their community. Second is to find advocacy spaces at national, regional and international level to ensure rural and indigenous women get heard.
This same approach – of using feminist community-lead research methods and then developing national, regional and international advocacy strategies was used to develop our new human rights documentation workshop for rural, indigenous and migrant women.