International Women's day is still urgently needed
Today is International Women's Day. A day originating from women's strikes against poor working conditions in the textile industry, some 100 years ago. Since then, a lot has improved for women but, unfortunately, men and women obviously still don’t have equal rights. In 1949, Simone de Beauvoir already warned that ‘women’s rights will never be vested. You have to stay vigilant your whole life’. Recent developments such as the tightening of abortion laws in some countries confirm this view and show that even in the ‘free West’ women’s rights are still far from self-evident.
Keeping up the fight for equal rights for women is a task for all of us, primarily from a moral point of view. But if we want to tackle poverty, improve food security and protect the environment, it’s also essential that women have the same rights as men. Why? And how does this work exactly? We asked our colleagues, Sabina Voogd, Daan Robben and Annelieke Douma.
Women are leaders in sustainable development
"The statistics are still alarming", says Annelieke. "Two-thirds of the world's poor are women or girls, women earn 10% of the global income and occupy only 10% of parliamentary seats. One out of every three women are victims of physical or sexual violence. These are just a few facts in a long range, showing the huge inequality. But at the same time, in our work we see how important women are in achieving sustainable development, especially in poor countries. It is mainly women who stand up against polluting industries and who fight hardest to protect their environment. Often they have the best knowledge on biodiversity and traditional crops, on water and on the sustainable use of their land. Therefore, it’s important that women have a say in how water, forest and land is managed, that they occupy leadership positions and that they can use their knowledge and generate new sustainable solutions. This will not only help women, but the entire world. "
Give women land rights for food security
Sabina: "Globally, especially in poorer countries, women produce most of the food, both for domestic use and for local and regional markets. Men often work in large-scale agriculture for exports. We frequently talk about ‘local small-holder farmers’, but in general these are female farmers. Unfortunately, the land these women use to grow their crops on usually is not formally theirs. This means they can simply be evicted from this land, which obviously has a direct impact on women themselves, on their families and relatives and on local food production. Because women have a key role in their families and in the community, it's crucial they get official land titles to the land they work on. Women often know very well how to produce sustainably, so that not only they and their neighbors, but also generations long after them can still live off this land."
Women against climate change
Female farmers have to deal with the increasing consequences of climate change, such as droughts and floods. This reduces food production, and puts under pressure the water sources which they depend on for the maintenance of their families. "These women often have very practical, sustainable solutions", says Daan. "But they have difficulties bringing them into practice because they lack the resources and the influence. 'Climate money' from the international community is allocated to large projects via large institutions. The question here is if cutting corners will yield the best results. The people who really bear the brunt of climate change are often not reached and don’t benefit from large climate projects. In fact, these projects can even cause harm and damage, for example, if people are evicted from their land. So who profits from such a project? Certainly not the poorest. 'Climate money', in our view, should therefore be designated to those who need it most and who come up with viable and sustainable initiatives. And yes, in general these are women, who are still seriously underrepresented at all decision-making and implementation levels. High time to ensure that they get access to international climate money, and that they be given a say in how it’s spent! "
Both ENDS and women’s rights
As an environmental organisation we can only achieve our ambition of sustainable development if we take into account the challenges women face. The environmental movement has great opportunities to strengthen women who work the land, who provide solutions to food problems and who come up with realistic plans for adapting to climate change. Both ENDS ensures that women's groups have a voice at the negotiating table of, for example, the Green Climate Fund of the United Nations. We support and build innovative financing mechanisms, so-called "small grants funds" which can channel international climate money directly to women's groups. We also work with women's organisations who oppose destructive large-scale mining, infrastructure or agricultural projects. We support them in their campaigns and connect them with the actors that are involved or might have influence, such as Dutch and international policy makers and financial institutions.
We hope the fight that International Women’s day symbolically stands for, will be won some day. But as long as the position of women and men is still not equal everywhere in the world, we will continue to celebrate International Women's Day!
(Image: Cecil Cooper)
Read more about this subject
Local organisations and groups must be given access to climate finance from the Green Climate Fund. They know exactly what is happening in their local context and what is required for climate adaptation.
GAGGA rallies the collective power of the women's rights and environmental justice movements to realize a world where women can and do access their rights to water, food security, and a clean, healthy and safe environment.
Video / 28 August 2018
The fifth session of our five part series on women's rights and climate finance, Experiences and Perspectives of Women Engaging in Climate Finance, shared the insights of three activists who have been serving as GCF Monitors as part of the "Women Demand 'Gender-Just' Climate Finance" initiative. They spoke about their processes of learning about climate finance and connecting with others to monitor climate finance in their communities and regions, discussed the value they have found in this work, and answered questions from webinar participants.
Video / 14 June 2018
The fourth webinar of a five part series on women's rights and climate finance: Strategies for Organizing to Influence, Monitor, and Track Climate Finance (from Global to Local), focused on strategies to engage with various actors to both facilitate and advocate for the meaningful inclusion of the perspectives and experiences of women's groups, affected communities, and other civil society stakeholders in the design and implementation of projects and programs.
Video / 1 February 2018
The second session of our five part series on women's rights and climate finance, Gender Mainstreaming in Climate Finance Mechanisms, provided an overview of how gender equality has been mainstreamed into global climate finance mechanisms, including a deep dive on gender considerations under the Green Climate Fund by Liane Schalatek of the Heinrich Boell Foundation - North America.
Video / 14 December 2017
This Introduction to Climate Finance is the first of a five part series on women's rights and climate finance, aiming to build knowledge and power to ensure finance flows are benefiting local women's groups, responding to community needs and respecting human rights. This session will outline the climate finance landscape, as well as the key challenges and opportunities we hope to explore in this webinar series.
Video / 7 March 2018
The third session of our five part series on women's rights and climate finance, Getting the Money to the People: GCF Accreditation and Enhanced Direct Action, focused on accessing the Green Climate Fund through working with stakeholders at the country level (engaging with the National Designated Authority), utilizing Enhanced Direct Access, and seeking accreditation.
Event / 11 May 2016, 13:30 - 15:15
Both ENDS, MamaCash and FCAM are proud to contribute to the 'Adaptation Futures 2016- conference'.
Adaptation Futures is the biennial conference of the Global Programme of Research on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation (PROVIA). In 2016 the European Commission and the Government of the Netherlands co-host the fourth edition. Adaptation Futures 2016 is where scholars, practitioners, policymakers and business people from all around the world go to connect, learn and inspire. It highlights adaptation practices and solutions for people, governments and businesses. The programme addresses all sectors and all parts of the world.
News / 14 December 2018
During the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24) of the UNFCCC taking place in Katowice, Both ENDS partner Raju Pandit Chettri – director of Prakriti Resources Centre in Nepal - was one of the selected Southern leaders to meet with the Dutch Minister of Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Sigrid Kaag. We asked Raju about his expectations, messages, Kaag's responses and his experiences of the meeting.
External link / 1 August 2018
This paper by Prakriti Resources Center (Nepal) sheds light on the gender and climate change nexus, gender mainstreaming as a tool to address gender inequality, gender and climate change policy landscape both at international and national level, gaps and way forward.
Publication / 26 November 2020
External link / 19 June 2020
In 2019, Karambot Women's Agriculture Group (Nepal) convinced their municipality to fund its proposed irrigation plan, after they followed a planning and budgeting training.
Blog / 7 December 2020
Five years of GAGGA: “Once you understand what gender justice is about, your perspective will change for good”
Almost five years ago, the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA) started its journey to bring together the often still quite separate worlds of environmental justice organisations and the women's rights movement. At Both ENDS, Annelieke Douma and Tamara Mohr have been coordinating the GAGGA programme. Together they look back at five years of learning, connecting and enjoying the fruits of this innovative programme.
News / 8 March 2021
On International Women's Day (March 8th) the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA) will launch the "We, Women are Water" campaign to highlight women's role, demands and actions in ensuring water security in the face of climate change.
News / 23 March 2020
In many places in Latin America, access to clean water is under great pressure from overuse and pollution, often caused by large-scale agriculture or mining. This has significant impact, especially on women. In March, with International Women's Day on March 8 and World Water Day on March 22, they make themselves heard and claim their right to water.
News / 8 March 2018
Women around the globe are at the forefront of addressing the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation, designing, implementing, and scaling up their own solutions. Socially defined gender roles often position women and girls as stewards of the physical, economic, and cultural well-being of their communities.
External link / 31 May 2018
It was minus 20 degrees Celsius when 2.000 women gathered at the main square of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, to voice their distress about the terrible smog in the city caused by three large power plants. Soon after, the women were invited to speak about the problem of air pollution with the minister of environment.
News / 5 March 2020
In Indonesia, with its many islands and long coastline, for many communities fishing is an important livelihood strategy for many, both men and women. However, officially the women are often not counted as fisherfolk. And this is not a minor detail. It makes that their interests are being neglected. Both ENDS' partner Solidaritas Perempuan works with these women to amplify their voices.
Event / 7 March 2018, 15:00 - 16:30
Join us for the third session of this five-part series on women's rights and climate finance, aimed at building knowledge and power to ensure finance flows benefit local women's groups, respond to community needs and respect human rights.
News / 3 June 2020
Last Friday, 29 May, it was announced that both the Fair, Green and Global Alliance (FGG) and the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA) have been selected as two of the 20 potential strategic partnerships of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the 2021-2025 period. Both ENDS is pleased that the Dutch government is seriously considering extending its support to these networks, as they show that cooperation on the basis of equality between grassroots organisations and NGOs throughout the world can continue to bring about change in the position of women, in respect for human rights and in making trade chains and financing systems sustainable.