Written by: Regina
For many years now, the world has undergone different changes: physically, economically, and politically speaking. From Pangaea to the seven continents that we have right now, from having Pharaohs and Emperors, there are still worldwide problems that prevail right now wherein inequalities are present. Worldwide problems like climate change and gender inequality are some of the pressing issues in today’s society.
Gender inequality is deeply rooted in patriarchy and toxic masculinity. Since patriarchy is prevalent, they make policies fit for them but not for everyone else. One example is deciding what the role of women is in society that not only harms women and other marginalized sectors but also impacts the environment both in direct and indirect ways. Little did everyone know that climate change impacts women more than men in countless different ways that harm them and further strain the voice and knowledge of women.
In some cultures, women are forbidden to eat before men because of gender and societal norms that exist there. This burdens women who assume traditional roles e.g. collecting natural resources like water and firewood to cook for the family. Since climate change is becoming more and more prevalent, women who do this work are typically prone to diseases and muscle aches brought by the sudden change of temperature in seasons that are not usually the standard ones (hot temperature in the winter and cold temperature in the summer). When women get sick due to these sudden changes in the weather caused by climate change, healthcare is not usually available or applicable to them, especially those who are in the lower classes. This is the indirect way of climate change affecting women more than men secondary to the already prevalent gender inequality.
Another situation is policymaking wherein the majority of the current governments today are still led by men and a few women who are there to be able to make decisions for themselves and for others as well. Some environmental policies are only catered to men but not to women who are struggling to live every single day, especially in poverty-stricken countries. With women in offices, they would know the hardships and challenges of what being a woman is in the 21st century, so they would make more effective laws and policies that cater to all genders, not just men. Greta Thunberg is a pioneer in environmental activism and her movement inspired thousands of young girls and women to fight not only for basic human rights but to protect the environment as to not have a bad effect on everyone and for future generations.
There is a time and place for everything. There is a world where everyone lives in harmony and unity. In addressing climate change as a global issue, leaders should not forget to take in mind that there are people out there who are struggling every single day and these people are the ones who have taken care of Mother Nature since day one. All people, young and old, should know their role and responsibility as someone who lives here on Earth to take care of it and to not let it affect people, especially women, who have greatly contributed to nurturing the environment.