Q. Discuss the significance of role of women in combating climate change. (150 words)22 May, 2023 GS Paper 1 Indian Society
- Start your answer with how women are impacted by the climate change and provide few examples of women environmentalists.
- In the body section, mention how they could play a vital role in environmental protection.
- Conclude with a positive note.
Climate change impacts everyone, but its harshest consequences are felt by the most vulnerable. In times of crisis, women are often left behind and face increased health and safety risks due to inadequate infrastructure and the unequal burden of domestic care.
Women have played a major role in the conservation of agrobiodiversity. In fact, in 2021, Tulsi Gowda- an environmentalist who has planted more than 30,000 saplings and has been involved in environmental conservation activities for the past six decades – was awarded Padma Shri award. Sunita Narain, Riddhima Pandey and Vandana Shiva are the few names of women who have been fighting for climate change.
How could women play a crucial role in combating climate change?
- Knowledge and skills: Women possess valuable traditional knowledge and skills related to natural resource management, agriculture, and conservation. They often have a deep understanding of local ecosystems and sustainable practices, which can contribute to effective climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies.
- Advocacy and leadership: Women-led organizations and movements have been instrumental in raising awareness, pushing for policy changes, and promoting sustainable practices. By including more women in decision-making roles, we can ensure that climate policies and initiatives are more inclusive, equitable, and effective.
- Countries with higher female representation in parliament are more likely to endorse international environmental agreements and have more stringent climate policies. At workplaces too, women’s leadership has shown a positive correlation with greater transparency regarding environmental footprints and disclosure of emissions.
- Sustainable energy: Access to clean and affordable energy is crucial for both mitigating climate change and improving livelihoods. Women, particularly in developing countries, are disproportionately affected by energy poverty. Engaging women in the transition to renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind power, can lead to more inclusive and sustainable solutions.
- Sustainable consumption and lifestyle choices: Women often play a significant role in household consumption decisions, making them key drivers of sustainable choices. By promoting eco-friendly practices within their families and communities, women can contribute to reducing carbon footprints and fostering a culture of sustainability.
- Resilience and adaptation: Women are often the most affected by the adverse impacts of climate change, such as water scarcity, food insecurity, and natural disasters. Despite facing significant challenges, women have demonstrated remarkable resilience and adaptive capacity in dealing with climate-related risks. Their perspectives and experiences can contribute to developing effective adaptation strategies that address the needs of vulnerable communities.
A gender-intentional response to the climate crisis will result in sustainable economic growth, taking care of climate spill overs. However, elevating women leaders is not just about gender equality, it’s about deploying our full resources to an urgent crisis.
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