UNITE: Activism to End Violence against Women & Girls!
Women and girls, in all their diversity, must be able to live their lives free of violence. Realising women’s and girls’ human rights is an important part of securing the future of our planet and a better future for us all. - DFAT, 27 June 2022
November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, also marks the launch of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence. Gender oppression is intricately linked to the climate crisis. Women are disproportionately at risk from climate-related disasters yet barred from spaces of power that seek a solution. In the context of environmental disasters and gender-blind climate policies, women are increasingly vulnerable to domestic violence and trafficking.
Grace Redpath, Sustainability Chair at Gonzaga University, acknowledges there is a connection between women and the environment as common victims of the capitalist-patriarchal system currently facing our world. Women, especially Indigenous women or those living in the Pacific, are some of the least responsible for climate change, yet are most vulnerable to the physical, economic, and socio-cultural consequences. Greater climate instability and conflict over resources exacerbate pre-existing patterns of unequal labor division and intersecting forms of discrimination, while further undermining women’s adaptive capacity. With a rise in forced migration and displacement, food insecurity, water pollution, natural disasters, and land degradation, we see increasing violations of the rights of women as well as of ‘Mother Earth’.
Mercy Sisters, Associates, and Partners stand with other #UNITE feminists in advocating for the protection of the rights of women and our planet and continuing to raise awareness of issues of violence, abuse, gender-based violence, and human trafficking. “We strive to eliminate these issues by addressing the lack of prevention, access to essential services, and other social protections. We seek to empower women and to strengthen their capacities to claim their rights. Through individual, local, national, and global mobilization, we can challenge harmful gender narratives that justify violence against women and stigmatize survivors. Like Catherine McAuley, we will continue to work with women and girls to form a just and inclusive world.” (Hope in a time of Pandemic, pg 21).
To learn more about the intersection between climate change and women’s rights, see the resources below:
‘The Crucial Intersection of Feminism and Climate Justice’ - Grace Redpath, 17 November 2020
‘Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls in the context of Climate Change' - UN Women & IUCN,2022
‘The Climate, Gender and Conflict Nexus’ - Kvinna till Kvinna, Position Paper, 2022
‘Climate change heightens threats of violence against women and girls’ - UN News, 5 October 2022