Gender equality can help mitigate climate change effectively, say reports
Achieving gender equality is one of the most critical Sustainable Development Goals set up by the United Nations. According to several reports and studies, achieving gender parity is said to have catalytic effects in achieving other SDG like quality education, poverty alleviation, good health and wellbeing, decent work and economic growth and most importantly, climate action. A 2015 UN Women position paper states that women’s empowerment and gender equality can have positive effects on combating climate change.
The fight against climate change is intensifying every year as parts of the world experience adverse climatic conditions. Women are disproportionately affected by the climate crisis as 70 percent of women live below the poverty line globally.
Women remain an untapped resource in climate change mitigation. The inclusion of women in dealing with climate change is necessary as women contribute significantly as decision-makers, caretakers, stakeholders, experts and educators across all sectors.
A McKinsey Global Institute report found that $28 million will be added to the global annual GDP by 2025 if we achieve a “full potential” scenario where women play an identical role as men in labour markets. This added income can cover the finance required to battle climate change by the 2030 SDG deadline set by the UN.
The role of women in renewable energy projects like Solar Sister in Africa, green entrepreneurs in Rajasthan, India or Barefoot College, Rajasthan creating female solar engineers can be taken as examples of women successfully promoting sustainable future.
Sixteen-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg has become the face of the global agitation to pressurise governments to tackle climate change. Greta has incited thousands of school students across the globe to skip school to demand serious government actions. Along with several other women activists, she is also crafting long-term sustainable solutions. She undertook a Transatlantic carbon-free boat trip to speak at the UN Climate Summit in New York last month.
These women are proof that women’s inclusion can help to tackle climate change effectively.