By Eileen Reilly, SSND
During the Rio + 20 event, the Feminist Task Force and the Global Call to Action against Poverty sponsored an event to answer this question.
For the past two years they have been organizing a series of fifteen “Gender and Climate Justice Tribunals” around the globe to highlight the disproportionate impact that climate change is having on the women of the world. Grassroots women who have experienced climate change related problems in their lives and communities came together to testify before a panel of expert judges.
In Rio we heard from a few of them:
In Nepal, the women spoke of being particularly challenged by the lack of secure and affordable access to land, water, livestock and other natural resources.
In West Virginia, mountain removal coal mining has totally destroyed the natural beauty of the landscape and has contributed to serious health issues due to the increased pollution from the explosives used.
In El Salvador, the original Tribunal had to be postponed when a devastating storm made travel impossible. This only served to highlight the increasing poverty, violence and hopelessness felt by the women there as their natural habitat becomes increasingly fragile.
In Nigeria, women from the Niger Delta came together to testify about the damages caused by the oil companies that are drilling in their area.
As the session ended we were encouraged by the news that the US Congress is considering legislation to ban mountain top removal.
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