Climate Change as a feminist issue:
I was fortunate enough to attend the People’s Climate March that took place in DC this past Saturday, where thousands of protestors spoke out against the current state of the U.S. government, global environment, jobs, fossil fuels, renewable resources, and so on. I have always viewed climate change as an issue that leaned more towards scientific research, ecological preservation, and the overall well-being of Earth; but I had never really thought of it as an intersectional feminist issue until now.
Though everyone on Earth is experiencing the effects of climate change, women in developing nations are heavily impacted. For example, within these developing and growing countries women are traditionally expected to cook and clean, but with freshwater becoming increasingly scarce and contaminated, women must travel further for potentially “cleaner” water that still has no guarantee that it won’t cause health problems. Also, young school girls face the dilemma of leaving school to lend a helping hand in the family’s farm that is suffering due to the land changing as a result of irregular weather and climate. Another example is the maquiladora labor system in Mexico that hire and exploit their workers that are mostly women and single mothers. Not only do these large trans-national corporations underpay their workers, the factories release harmful chemicals and fumes into the adjacent neighborhoods that the workers call home.
Although we haven’t talked about the topic of climate change in our class, I thought it would be important to talk about due to Trump’s first 100 days which included appointing Scott Pruitt as the head of the EPA, proposing to slash EPA funds, and approving the permit for the Dakota Access pipeline. With the United States being such an influential player in the health of the world, do you think that the new administration’s attitudes towards the environment and climate change will detrimentally effect women of developing nations even more than now? Is there a way for the feminist movement to help women of the global south?
Just some food for thought.
Here are some cool things I saw at the march
Here are some interesting links if you want to read more about some of the things I mentioned above: