Looking for Leaders on Climate? Follow the Women Farmers
Looking for Leaders on Climate? Follow the Women Farmers
By Jon Queally / commondreams.org
Mar 8, 2015

Across the globe, countless women are standing up to the ravages of climate change – and to the governments and big businesses who are allowing it to destroy the world

"I give you a message from my heart," she says, "let's move forward and work together for the benefit of everyone. And especially for those who work in the fields, as we are the ones who suffer the most."

That is the voice of Arminda, a farmer and agro-forestry advocate from Bolivia, who is among a number of women farmers and activists featured in a campaign video by Oxfam International which celebrates female voices from around the world who are raising the alarm about climate change, organizing their communities in response, challenging others to recognize their wisdom, and pressuring local and national officials to follow their lead.

According to Oxfam, the small group of brave women in the film is just a sample of the thousands of others who are standing up to the ravages of climate change – and to the governments and big businesses who are allowing runaway global warming to destroy the world.

With Sunday recognized by the United Nations as International Women's Day, Oxfam's focus on the vital role played by the women farmers is part of the organization's ongoing GROW Campaign, which targets the intersection of hunger, climate change, and global inequality.

Alison Woodhead, director of the campaign, says women make up 43 percent of the agricultural workforce in the world's developing countries and play a vital role in both food production and preparation.

These women, explains Woodhead in a blog post on Sunday, "have a wealth of knowledge about seeds, crops, water and land management. But the imbalanced responsibility of them putting food on their own family tables, as well as producing much of the world’s sustenance, is getting tougher all the time because of increasingly unpredictable weather."

As this recent reporting by Agence France-France explores, climate change may be a "man-made" problem, but its negative impacts are disproportionally felt by women across the world.

"It boils down to the fact that women and men have different types of vulnerabilities already in the world," explained Tara Shine, special advisor to the Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice think tank, headed by the former Irish president-turned UN special envoy for climate change. "And then climate change comes along and accentuates all of those."

In addition to their insight on the threat of climate and food insecurity, it is because of their unique role within their families and communities, argues Woodhead, that women are now essential leaders in the global fight against climate change. The video produced by Oxfam, she says, represents only "a snapshot of the huge contribution women across the world are making in the battle against climate change – an issue that impacts everyone, regardless of gender identity."

Also featured in the video is Langing, a farmer and climate youth leader in the Philippines, who says she saw no other option but to rally to the cause after her schooling was cut short after drought killed off the crops of her family's farm.

"In my opinion it's unfair on us," says Langing. "We are not the main contributors to climate change. But in these times, we should not blame each other. If we do what is right and start with ourselves, imagine the impact we could have. If we all believed in the same principles, we surely would be able to mitigate the effects of climate change."

And Rosario, who like Arminda hails from Bolivia, adds, "If you want something, you can get it – it’s just about the power inside you to go and do things.  So my message to people would be 'let's get organized, let’s get together, let’s talk and move forward towards the same point.'"

3.8 ·
1
Trending Today
On the Wildness of Children: The Revolution Will Not Take Place In The Classroom
Carol Black18,282 views today ·
Paramedic's Response to "Burger Flippers" Making an Equal $15/Hour is Beautiful
Craig Carilli9,920 views today ·
We Need Ecstasy and Opium in Place of Prozac and Xanax
Marc Lewis and Shaun Shelly8,026 views today ·
I Promise, It's Not Lame to Ask a Woman for Permission
Dave Booda3,774 views today ·
Argentina: The Country That Monsanto Poisoned
Michael Warren and Natacha Pisarenko3,351 views today ·
Caitlin Moran's Posthumous Advice for Her Daughter
Caitlin Moran2,978 views today ·
Getting Assange: the Untold Story
John Pilger2,754 views today ·
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action2,679 views today ·
How to Defeat Negative Thinking
2 min1,715 views today ·
Load More
What's Next
No, Humans Are Not at The Top of The Food Chain
Paul Mahony
Climate change: Time for the Skeptics to Put Up or Shut Up
Henry Porter
Hope vs. Fear - Motivation for Change - Anjali Appadurai
4 min
Like us on Facebook?
Looking for Leaders on Climate? Follow the Women Farmers