Tag Archives: Women

Schools for girls can help to answer climate crisis

Educating both halves of humankind seems a no-brainer. Schools for girls could transform climate protection and so much else.

LONDON, 28 February, 2020 − If you really want to tackle the climate emergency, there’s one simple but often forgotten essential: throw your weight behind schools for girls, and ensure adult women can rely on the chance of an education.

Obviously, in a world of differences, some people can do more to tackle the climate crisis than others. So it’s essential to recognise how much neglected potential exists among nearly half the human race.

But there’s a snag, and it’s a massive one: the women and girls who can do so much to avert global heating reaching disastrous levels need to be able to exercise their right to education.

Bold claims?  Project Drawdown is a group of researchers who believe that stopping global heating is possible, with solutions that exist today. To do this, they say, we must work together to achieve drawdown, the point when greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere start to decline.

Educating girls has multiple benefits that go far beyond the individual and any particular society. It can also result in rapid and transformative change that affects the planet itself”

The project’s conclusions are startling − and positive. One is that educating girls works better to protect the climate than many technological solutions, vital though they are, and including several variants of renewable energy.

Yet, the group finds, girls and women suffer disproportionately from climate breakdown, and failures in access to education worsen this problem. After the horrendous 2004 tsunami, for example, an Oxfam report found that male survivors outnumbered women by almost 3:1 in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and India. Men were more likely to be able to swim, and women lost precious evacuation time trying to look after children and other relatives.

But given more power and say in how we adapt to and try to prevent global heating, the female half of humankind could make disproportionally positive contributions, the project says.

Using UN data, it suggests that educating girls could result in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 51.48 gigatonnes by 2050. The UN Environment Programme says that total greenhouse gas emissions had reached a record high of 55.3 gigatonnes in 2018.

Multiple barriers

The Rapid Transition Alliance (RTA) is a UK-based organisation which argues that humankind must undertake “widespread behaviour change to sustainable lifestyles … to live within planetary ecological boundaries and to limit global warming to below 1.5°C”.

It says that although access to education is a basic human right, across the world. girls continue to face multiple barriers based on their gender and its links to other factors such as age, ethnicity, poverty and disability.

But the RTA adds: “Research shows that for each intake of students, educating girls has multiple benefits that go far beyond the individual and any particular society. It can also result in rapid and transformative change that affects the planet itself.”

One example it cites is from Mali, in West Africa, where women with secondary education or higher have an average of 3 children, while those with no education have an average of 7 children.

Environmentalists’ failure

It says that while the UN currently thinks the world’s population will grow from 7.3 billion today to 9.7 bn by 2050, with most of the growth happening in developing countries, recent research shows that if girls’ education continues to expand, that number would total 2 billion fewer people by 2045.

It argues that it is not just politicians and the media who fail to focus on this grossly slewed access to education. The RTA says the environmental movement itself rarely makes connections between the education of girls and success in tackling climate change.

One example of conservation work being tied successfully to educating and empowering women it cites is the Andavadoaka clinic in Madagascar, which is funded by a British charity, Blue Ventures Conservation (BVC).

The link between population growth, the lack of family planning facilities and the increasing pressure on fragile natural resources prompted BVC to establish the clinic, which has been running for over a decade and is part of a wider programme serving 45,000 people. As well as the original clinic other projects have grown up that concentrate on specific economic and participation opportunities for women and girls.

Making a difference

In the least developed countries women make up almost half of the agricultural labour force, giving them a huge role in feeding the future population. But there is a massive gap between men and women in their control over land, their ability to obtain inputs and the pay they can expect.

Individual girls and women continue to make a massive difference, whether Greta Thunberg spurring action on climate change or Malala Yousafzai, shot for trying to attend school in Afghanistan, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her campaign for girls’ education.

Women who have climbed high up the political ladder have sometimes used their success to ensure that girls are taken seriously. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first female president of an African country − Liberia − used her power to expand the quality of provision in pre-school and primary education by joining the Global Partnership for Education, and the former US First Lady, Michele Obama, spearheaded the Let Girls Learn organisation.

The Rapid Transition Alliance’s conclusion is short and simple: “Educating girls brings broad benefits to wider society as well improving efforts to tackle the climate emergency.” − Climate News Network

* * * * *

The Rapid Transition Alliance is coordinated by the New Weather Institute, the STEPS Centre at the Institute of  Development Studies, and the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex, UK. The Climate News Network is partnering with and supported by the Rapid Transition Alliance, and will be reporting regularly on its work. If you would like to see more stories of evidence-based hope for rapid transition, please sign up here.

Do you know a story of rapid transition? If so, we’d like to hear from you. Please send us a brief outline on info@climatenewsnetwork.net. Thank you.

Educating both halves of humankind seems a no-brainer. Schools for girls could transform climate protection and so much else.

LONDON, 28 February, 2020 − If you really want to tackle the climate emergency, there’s one simple but often forgotten essential: throw your weight behind schools for girls, and ensure adult women can rely on the chance of an education.

Obviously, in a world of differences, some people can do more to tackle the climate crisis than others. So it’s essential to recognise how much neglected potential exists among nearly half the human race.

But there’s a snag, and it’s a massive one: the women and girls who can do so much to avert global heating reaching disastrous levels need to be able to exercise their right to education.

Bold claims?  Project Drawdown is a group of researchers who believe that stopping global heating is possible, with solutions that exist today. To do this, they say, we must work together to achieve drawdown, the point when greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere start to decline.

Educating girls has multiple benefits that go far beyond the individual and any particular society. It can also result in rapid and transformative change that affects the planet itself”

The project’s conclusions are startling − and positive. One is that educating girls works better to protect the climate than many technological solutions, vital though they are, and including several variants of renewable energy.

Yet, the group finds, girls and women suffer disproportionately from climate breakdown, and failures in access to education worsen this problem. After the horrendous 2004 tsunami, for example, an Oxfam report found that male survivors outnumbered women by almost 3:1 in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and India. Men were more likely to be able to swim, and women lost precious evacuation time trying to look after children and other relatives.

But given more power and say in how we adapt to and try to prevent global heating, the female half of humankind could make disproportionally positive contributions, the project says.

Using UN data, it suggests that educating girls could result in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 51.48 gigatonnes by 2050. The UN Environment Programme says that total greenhouse gas emissions had reached a record high of 55.3 gigatonnes in 2018.

Multiple barriers

The Rapid Transition Alliance (RTA) is a UK-based organisation which argues that humankind must undertake “widespread behaviour change to sustainable lifestyles … to live within planetary ecological boundaries and to limit global warming to below 1.5°C”.

It says that although access to education is a basic human right, across the world. girls continue to face multiple barriers based on their gender and its links to other factors such as age, ethnicity, poverty and disability.

But the RTA adds: “Research shows that for each intake of students, educating girls has multiple benefits that go far beyond the individual and any particular society. It can also result in rapid and transformative change that affects the planet itself.”

One example it cites is from Mali, in West Africa, where women with secondary education or higher have an average of 3 children, while those with no education have an average of 7 children.

Environmentalists’ failure

It says that while the UN currently thinks the world’s population will grow from 7.3 billion today to 9.7 bn by 2050, with most of the growth happening in developing countries, recent research shows that if girls’ education continues to expand, that number would total 2 billion fewer people by 2045.

It argues that it is not just politicians and the media who fail to focus on this grossly slewed access to education. The RTA says the environmental movement itself rarely makes connections between the education of girls and success in tackling climate change.

One example of conservation work being tied successfully to educating and empowering women it cites is the Andavadoaka clinic in Madagascar, which is funded by a British charity, Blue Ventures Conservation (BVC).

The link between population growth, the lack of family planning facilities and the increasing pressure on fragile natural resources prompted BVC to establish the clinic, which has been running for over a decade and is part of a wider programme serving 45,000 people. As well as the original clinic other projects have grown up that concentrate on specific economic and participation opportunities for women and girls.

Making a difference

In the least developed countries women make up almost half of the agricultural labour force, giving them a huge role in feeding the future population. But there is a massive gap between men and women in their control over land, their ability to obtain inputs and the pay they can expect.

Individual girls and women continue to make a massive difference, whether Greta Thunberg spurring action on climate change or Malala Yousafzai, shot for trying to attend school in Afghanistan, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her campaign for girls’ education.

Women who have climbed high up the political ladder have sometimes used their success to ensure that girls are taken seriously. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first female president of an African country − Liberia − used her power to expand the quality of provision in pre-school and primary education by joining the Global Partnership for Education, and the former US First Lady, Michele Obama, spearheaded the Let Girls Learn organisation.

The Rapid Transition Alliance’s conclusion is short and simple: “Educating girls brings broad benefits to wider society as well improving efforts to tackle the climate emergency.” − Climate News Network

* * * * *

The Rapid Transition Alliance is coordinated by the New Weather Institute, the STEPS Centre at the Institute of  Development Studies, and the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex, UK. The Climate News Network is partnering with and supported by the Rapid Transition Alliance, and will be reporting regularly on its work. If you would like to see more stories of evidence-based hope for rapid transition, please sign up here.

Do you know a story of rapid transition? If so, we’d like to hear from you. Please send us a brief outline on info@climatenewsnetwork.net. Thank you.

Assam's Women feel Climate Impacts

EMBARGOED until 0001 GMT on Saturday 12 January
Climate change bears down in different ways on distinct groups in society, and some have more to cope with than others – like women in the Indian state of Assam.

LONDON, 12 January – People in Assam, northeast India, are used to coping with extremes in the weather. When the monsoon sweeps in there are floods. When temperatures soar in late summer, there is drought. The trouble is that in recent years, the timetable of such events has gone haywire.

Assam is home to more than 31 million people, 14% of them under six years old. Described by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as part of the highly eco-sensitive and fragile eastern Himalayan region, the territory has been witnessing marked climatic changes over the past 60 years. According to official figures collated by local meteorologists, there has been a steady decline in annual rainfall in the state over the 1950-2010 period, with the trend particularly evident over the past decade. Meanwhile the mean annual temperature has risen by more than 1°C since 1950.

A new study by three organisations working in the northeast, including the Indian Network on Ethics and Climate Change,  investigates how these changes in climate are affecting the more marginalized groups in society, in particular women in rural areas.

The study, involving 900 households in six different locations around the state, found that climate change is having a serious impact on poor women in various ways: increased flooding in some areas has led to soil erosion which in turn has meant farmers have struggled to earn a living. As a result, women are forced to leave the home in search of work, often as cleaners or weavers. With no one in the home, girls have to leave school to look after younger children and do the chores.

Child marriages on the rise

Increased periods of drought in another area mean there is no fodder for cattle, and milk production, a vital income source, has declined. Farmers find it impossible to work in the intense heat that now often bakes the land. Again, women are forced to leave their homes and find wage-paying work. Such families struggle to get by; the study found the number of child marriages has increased in recent years as  “parents of impoverished families find it an easy way to provide a better future for their girl children.”

Assam is famous for its tea gardens. “The unusual rain pattern is playing havoc with the tea plantations”, says the study. Declines in tea production mean there are fewer jobs available and more people move to the towns and cities. As has happened in other parts of the world, once such a trend of urbanisation is under way, it’s hard to reverse. Some young girls from the tea gardens, says the study, are forced into the flesh trade.

Increased flooding and rising temperatures have led to a rise in disease, particularly malaria. In the tea-growing regions, more pesticides are being used to counteract crop diseases. The result is that garden workers – older ones are paid US$1.50 per day while girls earn half that amount – are noticing more skin infections.

While local authorities and the state government have taken action to limit soil erosion and tackle floods in some areas, there is an urgent need for more to be done, says the study. And with only 40% of the state’s irrigation systems functioning properly, that includes harvesting and sustaining precious water resources. A massive tree planing programme is also required. Far more attention has to be paid to poverty alleviation.

The study shows a people bewildered by what’s happening. “It rains excessively when unexpected and does not rain when it is expected”, one farmer says. – Climate News Network

EMBARGOED until 0001 GMT on Saturday 12 January
Climate change bears down in different ways on distinct groups in society, and some have more to cope with than others – like women in the Indian state of Assam.

LONDON, 12 January – People in Assam, northeast India, are used to coping with extremes in the weather. When the monsoon sweeps in there are floods. When temperatures soar in late summer, there is drought. The trouble is that in recent years, the timetable of such events has gone haywire.

Assam is home to more than 31 million people, 14% of them under six years old. Described by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as part of the highly eco-sensitive and fragile eastern Himalayan region, the territory has been witnessing marked climatic changes over the past 60 years. According to official figures collated by local meteorologists, there has been a steady decline in annual rainfall in the state over the 1950-2010 period, with the trend particularly evident over the past decade. Meanwhile the mean annual temperature has risen by more than 1°C since 1950.

A new study by three organisations working in the northeast, including the Indian Network on Ethics and Climate Change,  investigates how these changes in climate are affecting the more marginalized groups in society, in particular women in rural areas.

The study, involving 900 households in six different locations around the state, found that climate change is having a serious impact on poor women in various ways: increased flooding in some areas has led to soil erosion which in turn has meant farmers have struggled to earn a living. As a result, women are forced to leave the home in search of work, often as cleaners or weavers. With no one in the home, girls have to leave school to look after younger children and do the chores.

Child marriages on the rise

Increased periods of drought in another area mean there is no fodder for cattle, and milk production, a vital income source, has declined. Farmers find it impossible to work in the intense heat that now often bakes the land. Again, women are forced to leave their homes and find wage-paying work. Such families struggle to get by; the study found the number of child marriages has increased in recent years as  “parents of impoverished families find it an easy way to provide a better future for their girl children.”

Assam is famous for its tea gardens. “The unusual rain pattern is playing havoc with the tea plantations”, says the study. Declines in tea production mean there are fewer jobs available and more people move to the towns and cities. As has happened in other parts of the world, once such a trend of urbanisation is under way, it’s hard to reverse. Some young girls from the tea gardens, says the study, are forced into the flesh trade.

Increased flooding and rising temperatures have led to a rise in disease, particularly malaria. In the tea-growing regions, more pesticides are being used to counteract crop diseases. The result is that garden workers – older ones are paid US$1.50 per day while girls earn half that amount – are noticing more skin infections.

While local authorities and the state government have taken action to limit soil erosion and tackle floods in some areas, there is an urgent need for more to be done, says the study. And with only 40% of the state’s irrigation systems functioning properly, that includes harvesting and sustaining precious water resources. A massive tree planing programme is also required. Far more attention has to be paid to poverty alleviation.

The study shows a people bewildered by what’s happening. “It rains excessively when unexpected and does not rain when it is expected”, one farmer says. – Climate News Network

Assam’s Women feel Climate Impacts

EMBARGOED until 0001 GMT on Saturday 12 January Climate change bears down in different ways on distinct groups in society, and some have more to cope with than others – like women in the Indian state of Assam. LONDON, 12 January – People in Assam, northeast India, are used to coping with extremes in the weather. When the monsoon sweeps in there are floods. When temperatures soar in late summer, there is drought. The trouble is that in recent years, the timetable of such events has gone haywire. Assam is home to more than 31 million people, 14% of them under six years old. Described by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as part of the highly eco-sensitive and fragile eastern Himalayan region, the territory has been witnessing marked climatic changes over the past 60 years. According to official figures collated by local meteorologists, there has been a steady decline in annual rainfall in the state over the 1950-2010 period, with the trend particularly evident over the past decade. Meanwhile the mean annual temperature has risen by more than 1°C since 1950. A new study by three organisations working in the northeast, including the Indian Network on Ethics and Climate Change,  investigates how these changes in climate are affecting the more marginalized groups in society, in particular women in rural areas. The study, involving 900 households in six different locations around the state, found that climate change is having a serious impact on poor women in various ways: increased flooding in some areas has led to soil erosion which in turn has meant farmers have struggled to earn a living. As a result, women are forced to leave the home in search of work, often as cleaners or weavers. With no one in the home, girls have to leave school to look after younger children and do the chores.

Child marriages on the rise

Increased periods of drought in another area mean there is no fodder for cattle, and milk production, a vital income source, has declined. Farmers find it impossible to work in the intense heat that now often bakes the land. Again, women are forced to leave their homes and find wage-paying work. Such families struggle to get by; the study found the number of child marriages has increased in recent years as  “parents of impoverished families find it an easy way to provide a better future for their girl children.” Assam is famous for its tea gardens. “The unusual rain pattern is playing havoc with the tea plantations”, says the study. Declines in tea production mean there are fewer jobs available and more people move to the towns and cities. As has happened in other parts of the world, once such a trend of urbanisation is under way, it’s hard to reverse. Some young girls from the tea gardens, says the study, are forced into the flesh trade. Increased flooding and rising temperatures have led to a rise in disease, particularly malaria. In the tea-growing regions, more pesticides are being used to counteract crop diseases. The result is that garden workers – older ones are paid US$1.50 per day while girls earn half that amount – are noticing more skin infections. While local authorities and the state government have taken action to limit soil erosion and tackle floods in some areas, there is an urgent need for more to be done, says the study. And with only 40% of the state’s irrigation systems functioning properly, that includes harvesting and sustaining precious water resources. A massive tree planing programme is also required. Far more attention has to be paid to poverty alleviation. The study shows a people bewildered by what’s happening. “It rains excessively when unexpected and does not rain when it is expected”, one farmer says. – Climate News Network

EMBARGOED until 0001 GMT on Saturday 12 January Climate change bears down in different ways on distinct groups in society, and some have more to cope with than others – like women in the Indian state of Assam. LONDON, 12 January – People in Assam, northeast India, are used to coping with extremes in the weather. When the monsoon sweeps in there are floods. When temperatures soar in late summer, there is drought. The trouble is that in recent years, the timetable of such events has gone haywire. Assam is home to more than 31 million people, 14% of them under six years old. Described by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as part of the highly eco-sensitive and fragile eastern Himalayan region, the territory has been witnessing marked climatic changes over the past 60 years. According to official figures collated by local meteorologists, there has been a steady decline in annual rainfall in the state over the 1950-2010 period, with the trend particularly evident over the past decade. Meanwhile the mean annual temperature has risen by more than 1°C since 1950. A new study by three organisations working in the northeast, including the Indian Network on Ethics and Climate Change,  investigates how these changes in climate are affecting the more marginalized groups in society, in particular women in rural areas. The study, involving 900 households in six different locations around the state, found that climate change is having a serious impact on poor women in various ways: increased flooding in some areas has led to soil erosion which in turn has meant farmers have struggled to earn a living. As a result, women are forced to leave the home in search of work, often as cleaners or weavers. With no one in the home, girls have to leave school to look after younger children and do the chores.

Child marriages on the rise

Increased periods of drought in another area mean there is no fodder for cattle, and milk production, a vital income source, has declined. Farmers find it impossible to work in the intense heat that now often bakes the land. Again, women are forced to leave their homes and find wage-paying work. Such families struggle to get by; the study found the number of child marriages has increased in recent years as  “parents of impoverished families find it an easy way to provide a better future for their girl children.” Assam is famous for its tea gardens. “The unusual rain pattern is playing havoc with the tea plantations”, says the study. Declines in tea production mean there are fewer jobs available and more people move to the towns and cities. As has happened in other parts of the world, once such a trend of urbanisation is under way, it’s hard to reverse. Some young girls from the tea gardens, says the study, are forced into the flesh trade. Increased flooding and rising temperatures have led to a rise in disease, particularly malaria. In the tea-growing regions, more pesticides are being used to counteract crop diseases. The result is that garden workers – older ones are paid US$1.50 per day while girls earn half that amount – are noticing more skin infections. While local authorities and the state government have taken action to limit soil erosion and tackle floods in some areas, there is an urgent need for more to be done, says the study. And with only 40% of the state’s irrigation systems functioning properly, that includes harvesting and sustaining precious water resources. A massive tree planing programme is also required. Far more attention has to be paid to poverty alleviation. The study shows a people bewildered by what’s happening. “It rains excessively when unexpected and does not rain when it is expected”, one farmer says. – Climate News Network