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Women and the Climate Crisis

Laila Salgado

As the need for climate action rises, the role of women in the fight against climate change has become incredibly important. While seemingly unrelated, gender equity and environmental sustainability are deeply interconnected. Women, often disproportionately affected by environmental impacts, are emerging as leaders, voices advocating strongly for change. As we move forward with sustainability initiatives, it is vital that we acknowledge the unique position of women in the global climate crisis. Making strides to understand both issues and the ways they intertwine will allow us to combat climate change effectively with equality.

The Impact on Women

Climate change presents distinct challenges for women. The United Nations (UN) reported that women are disproportionately impacted by almost all of the challenges highlighted in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. One significant area is agriculture, where women, particularly in developing countries, are often responsible for food production and water collection. Natural disasters can alter the weather patterns necessary for the successful performance of these duties, and the voices of women often go unheard. Additionally, studies have indicated that gender-based violence rises with the occurrence of a natural disaster, including physically and psychologically.

Furthermore, current policies hold a “carbon-tunnel vision,” meaning that well-intentioned environmental initiatives often fail to see the big picture of social sustainability. For example, women in low-income communities are often negatively impacted by environmental policies like expansion of public transport, carbon pricing, and taxes. Though good for the environment, these initiatives often ignore the needs of women and minorities.

Women as Leaders

Women are in a unique position to take charge as leaders in the climate change era. Studies have shown that in the face of a global crisis, a prime example being COVID-19, women proved to be more swift and effective leaders than men. Research also indicated that women leaders are more inclined to think for the future and the collective whole. In conservation specifically, women leaders led to stronger sustainability policies, conflict resolution, and honesty.

Empowering Women

As we move forward in the fight against climate change, it is essential that we continue to empower women. Research has shown that empowering women influences societies worldwide by promoting green policies, local economies, public health, and education. Additionally, countries that have a greater social and political status for women have 12% lower carbon emissions. Another study showed that nations with a higher population of women in their administrations are more likely to ratify international treaties concerning the environment.


In conclusion, the fight against climate change requires exploring social sustainability. We must address the vulnerabilities of women in the face of the global climate crisis and acknowledge the extreme benefits of empowering female leaders. By embracing gender-equity and staying steadfast in our mission to save the earth, we can ensure a safe and vibrant future for all.


1.Gloor, J. L., Mestre, E. B., Post, C., & Ruigrok, W. (2022, July 26). We Can’t Fight Climate Change Without Fighting for Gender Equity. Harvard Business Review.

2. Pexels. (2019). Free stock photos · Pexels.; Pexels.

3. Schueman, L. J. (2022, March 16). Why women are key to solving the climate crisis. One Earth.

4. UN WOMEN. (2022, February 28). Explainer: How gender inequality and climate change are interconnected. UN Women – Headquarters.


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