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Monday, March 27, 2023

How women lead the way in adapting to climate change, by EJN

With the world marking the 2019 International Women’s Day on Friday, March 8, the Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) takes stock of some of its best women’s-focused reporting over the past year

Woman farmer
A woman farmer: Women are said to be more vulnerable to the effects of climate change because they are more than proportionally dependent on natural resources that are threatened. Photo credit: ng.boell.org

The stories produced cover a wide range, from looking at how women are being excluded from climate change discussions in the Himalayan region to how women in the remote terraced hills of Nepal are working to rejuvenate their land and their economies through carbon credits offered to private emitters in Europe.

There are other positive stories of female-led adaptation. In India, women from the Dongria tribe are leading an initiative to revive heirloom seeds in an effort to create a climate-resilient food system. And in the coastal state of Odisha along the Bay of Bengal, women are raising their voices through a women’s federation where they share how weather-related disasters are impacting their livelihoods and discuss solutions. Reviving old recipes and farming traditions is the focus of this three-part series from EJN grantee, Amrita Gupta. While a report out of Indonesia explores how Dayak women farmers in East Kalimantan are surviving the impacts of palm oil.

Every March 8, the world celebrates International Women’s Day to mark progress toward gender equality but, in many places, particularly in climate-vulnerable communities in the Philippines, indigenous women suffer from tremendous poverty and discrimination and women broadly find themselves at increased risk of sexual violence and abuse following natural disasters. EJN’s Content Coordinator for the Philippines and the Pacific writes about the challenges facing vulnerable women in the region and how more support is needed to help them build climate-resilient communities.

Also in the Philippines, EJN’s 2019 media grantee, the Centre for Women’s Resources, produced a report assessing the challenges currently confronting the country’s women. It found that economic uncertainties have limited women’s opportunities and made them vulnerable to abuses. The number of women working in agriculture has also declined dramatically in the past 10 years due to land rights issues and poverty, with one in three women shifting to another form of work, the report notes.

CWR, a Philippines-based non-profit research and training institute for women, produces the report, known as “Ulat Lila” or Purple Report, each year ahead of International Women’s Day in an effort to present its recent research and spark discussion among women in different sectors. With support from EJN, CWR is currently working on a digital storytelling project, #HerStoryOurStory, that aims to raise awareness of environmental issues among young journalists and widen the space to talk about and report on gender-based violence in times of disaster and environmental change.

According to the EJN, it has worked hard to try and ensure a good gender balance amongst the journalists it trains. In 2018 a total of 1,198 of the journalists trained by EJN and its grantees were women, making up around 55% of the total trainees.

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