INSTITUTE OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
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Gender Justice and Girl’s Leadership in the Age of Climate Change

To celebrate the International Women’s Day, the IBVM-CJ UNNGO office, the Provinces in Spain, Canada, and the UK hosted an intergenerational dialogue – ‘A Climate of Change: Gender-Justice and Girls’ Leadership in the Age of Climate Change’ last March 9, 2022.

Organised by youth interns across our network, Riya Bhargava (UNNGO), Carlota Gayo Nieto (Spain),  Ailish Gaughan (UK) and Zindzi Malanca (Canada), its aim was to create an open space for dialogue between different generations (youth and adults) to share their views on girls’ rights and climate justice. The idea was to prepare and inspire young people for the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66) held from 14th – 25th March 2022).

The youth organisers conducted a survey before event and presented the results. The survey was directed to young people aged between 15-30 and it was a real success: 325 respondents showed their concerns towards the climate crisis and women’s status.

The results from the survey can show a blueprint of young generations’ willingness to take action. Some takeaway messages are shown below:

  • Young people are clearly affected by climate change. Most of them highlight the significance of the geographical area where they live.
  • Heavy precipitation, intense heat waves (increase in temperatures) and excess cold (decrease in temperatures) are among the main consequences of the climate change phenomenon.
  • Young generations are deeply concerned about the future of the planet. They are also scared about their future living conditions. Moreover, they also believe that governments, world leaders and activists must contribute to mitigation.
  • Recycling clothes, food and products used; reducing food waste; using public transport; reducing plastic consumption; promoting green spaces with tree-planting; reducing meat consumption (turning vegetarian/vegan) are some of the main actions being taken by respondents to tackle climate change.
  • Young people think that their voices must be heard. This means leaders from the politics, business and state sectors must listen to their demands for a greener and more sustainable world. In this aspect, women and indigenous communities are the most vulnerable to climate change and must have a space for speaking up.

This intergenerational dialogue analyzed the many gender-based inequalities exacerbated by climate change and environmental disasters. The speakers shared their stories working on the intersection of girls’ rights and climate justice.

Both speakers and attendees were amazed by all the opportunities that young people have to start to take action and contribute to end the climate change disaster. The intergenerational dialogue can be summarised in two words: hope and action. It is now time for young people (especially girls) to stand up and make an impact.

Read the full summary HERE.

Watch the event HERE.

Author: Carlota Gayo Nieto (IBVM Spain Youth Intern)

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