What is the link between climate change and gender inequality? Climate change is like being on a runaway train. Steam trains were developed during the industrial revolution – a time when greenhouse gas emissions from human activities started to rapidly accumulate in the atmosphere causing this ‘train of events’.
- Increasing greenhouse gas emissions accumulate in the atmosphere, forming a blanket around the Earth and causing global warming.
- Global warming is triggering more extreme and frequent weather events such as extreme heat, drought, fires, storms and floods.
- Extreme weather events are causing major social disruption as millions of people are displaced and many lose their lives and livelihoods. In 2022, over 100 million people were displaced by conflict and climate change.
- Social disruption magnifies existing inequalities – including gender inequality. The poor get poorer and violence increases as societies break down. The disruption caused by the pandemic put gender equality back by a generation – the disruption caused by climate change will be more devastating and has no end.
The gains in gender equality made over the last one hundred years by Zonta International are at risk. Zonta International is understandably concerned and released its Statement on Climate Change: a Gender Equality Issue.
In 2020, District 23 joined the dots and developed Zonta Says NOW to gender-equal climate action to work at both ends of the train by taking climate action and closing gender gaps.
Zonta Says NOW aims to create a gender-equal, sustainable world by:
- educating girls
- advocating for women’s rights and
- inspiring more female leaders.
Zonta Says NOW featured on Zonta International’s Women and Climate Change panel in September 2021. This ten minute video shows that there is something for everyone to do – but time is running out – which is why Zonta Says NOW!