Climate Week 2020 September 21–27
Women, Girls, and Climate Justice
The climate emergency disproportionately impacts girls and women and the essential work that we do. Women have lower socioeconomic status and power than men, so disasters leave us worse off. Multiple oppressions multiply the impact.
The climate crisis creates societal instability, which increases rape and other violence against women. Women’s intelligence and understanding of the importance of relationships need to be at the center of climate solutions. Sexism, male domination, and artificial divisions between white women and women of color are huge obstacles to ending climate change.
★ Listen to women and girl's experiences in this time of climate crisis
★ Learn the approaches used by Sustaining All Life and United to End Racism to heal from the damage of oppression, increase our effectiveness in the climate justice movement, and prevent burnout
★ Allow women and men to heal from the damage done by sexism and male domination, transforming the power dynamics between women and men so that women are central in all decision-making and we can be true allies
The Work of SAL and UER
It is possible to limit the effects of human-caused climate change and restore the environment—and some big changes are needed if this is to happen. Sustaining All Life (SAL) and United to End Racism (UER) believe the environmental crisis cannot be resolved without ending racism, genocide of Indigenous peoples, classism, sexism, and other oppressions. The impact of environmental destruction and climate change falls most heavily on the groups targeted by these oppressions, and on other vulnerable populations (including populations of people who are elderly, disabled and very young).
To build a movement powerful enough to resolve the climate crisis, SAL and UER believe that the following barriers must be overcome: (1) longstanding divisions between nations and between groups of people caused by oppression (especially by racism, genocide of Indigenous people, and classism), (2) wide-spread feelings of discouragement and powerlessness, (3) a too-slow response to the escalating damage to the earth’s climate, (4) difficulties in effectively addressing the connections between the environmental crisis and the failures of our economic system.
We have found that these barriers are most quickly overcome as people heal from the mental and emotional harm caused by oppression. SAL and UER events provide opportunities for people to take turns listening to each other while encouraging emotional release. We become better able to think, speak out, organize, unite, and lead others in building a sustainable world.
SAL and UER are projects of and use the tools of Re-evaluation Counseling, which currently exists in 95 countries.