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Why Gender Equality is Key to Addressing Climate Change

Posted by Sharolyn Vettese on May 17, 2016 10:00:00 AM

“Acknowledging that climate change is a common concern of humankind, parties should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human right; the right to health; the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations; and the right to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women and intergenerational equity,”

The Paris Climate Agreement is groundbreaking because it specifically mentions gender equality.  So, why is this significant? How do gender and climate change relate to each other?

gender-equality-bill.png

Gender equality means that women have the same rights and privileges as men in all aspects of society. Men and women give each other the same respect and cooperation. What is achieved is a society that is less aggressive and more open for both men and women. It is inclusive and democratic.

Signed by almost 200 countries, the Paris Climate Agreement is a recognition of the urgency to address climate change quickly.  To achieve this, the agreement goes beyond the political leaders and reaches out to all who have been marginalized, including women, so that everybody can contribute. This makes sense since the problem of climate change is so big and so new to humankind. It does not affect mankind alone.

Gender equality ensures this inclusiveness starts with the family and extends out into the community. It is indeed the fastest way to achieve this goal and includes those who are not specifically mentioned in the agreement.

As someone who has been discriminated against because of my sex, color of skin, religion and being left-handed, I can say that gender equality addresses all these inequalities.

We are in the 21st century, and probably at the apex of our civilization. By now democracy and equal rights should be given to everybody, including women, but it still has not happened until now. In keeping with human nature, it takes a crisis to make this happen.

FirstCarbon Solutions (FCS) provides expert advice on sustainability to help companies and governments across the globe recognize challenges and turn them into opportunities. To stay informed on current environmental, social and governance issues, subscribe to our monthly newsletter, GreenWatch.

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