OUR WATER, OUR LANDS, OUR BODIES — THESE ARE OUR RIGHTS.
From World Water Day to Earth Day (March 22nd to April 22nd), Women’s March Global has been highlighting stories of water rights and earth/land rights. For the #22To22 campaign — our third of 5 Actions to EndGBV (Gender Based Violence) — we shared some of the countless female activists who have dedicated their lives to fighting climate change and are working tirelessly to create a space for women to make an impact in their communities. Our goal is to raise awareness of the day-to-day struggles caused by corporate water and land theft and celebrate those who have fought so that all people may enjoy the right to sovereignty over their own water and land.
We know that climate change disproportionately affects women and girls. Globally, natural disasters such as droughts, floods and storms kill more women than men, and tend to kill women at a younger age.
“In the 1991 cyclone disasters that killed 140000 people in Bangladesh, 90% of victims were women” (Aguilar, 2004).
Did you know that by 2030, over 27% (more than a quarter) of the Amazon Rainforest is projected to be lost due to deforestation? The deforestation of the Amazon will have irreversible effects:
- Increase in CO2 emission: According to the 2010 Global Forest Resources Assessment, deforestation releases nearly a billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere per year which leads to global warming.
- Loss of Species: 80% of Earth’s land animals and plants live in forests. Deforestation will cause a loss of habitat which can lead to species extinction.
- Destruction of Indigenous lives: Many Indigenous people live in the rainforests of the world, and the destruction of the rainforest is the destruction of their homes and way of life.
The effects of deforestation disproportionately affect women and girls since they are the most vulnerable to the violence of climate change.
Moreover, the violence that climate change can bring about affects women and girls disproportionately. Therefore, it is not only significant that we focus on climate change but also, the countless women who are working day and night to address systematic issues and barriers in order to keep our planet alive.
Around the world, countries such as Sweden continue to do their part to protect the planet. However, countries such as Brunei who still depend on Shell Oil for their source of wealth have deprived their citizen's rights by implementing laws that punish people for adultery, gay sex, blasphemy, etc.
By putting the people, especially women, who are working for climate change in the frontline through our #22to22 campaign, Women’s March Global is highlighting the countless female activists who are working against all odds to save our planet. These brave women are working to save the planet for ALL of us. Their work speaks volumes about their effort to fight climate change and address systematic barriers for women.
Maya Hendler is an Intern at Women’s March Global.