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

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 ·
What's Next
Trending Today
Noam Chomsky Has 'Never Seen Anything Like This'
Chris Hedges · 20,473 views today · Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite...
For Those Who Don't Want to Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils
Peter White · 15,336 views today · Ranked-choice voting is catching on, and Maine might become the first state to help citizens vote for candidates they actually want.
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 10,994 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Anarchists - What We Stand For
unknown · 9,311 views today · Anarchism : The word “anarchy” comes from Greek and means “no rulers”. As a political philosophy, anarchism is based on the idea that organization does not require rulers—that...
Donald Trump Is the Mirror and Hillary Clinton Is the Mask
Chris Agnos · 8,444 views today · Disclaimer: I do not support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president. I think the scope of the political debate is far too narrow for the kinds of actions that need to...
10 Quotes From an Oglala Lakota Chief That Will Make You Question Everything About Our Society
Wisdom Pills · 5,668 views today · Luther Standing Bear was an Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief who, among a few rare others such as Charles Eastman, Black Elk and Gertrude Bonnin occupied the rift between the way of...
Gil Scott-Heron Deconstructs Colonialism and Black History in His Own Unique Style
3 min · 5,461 views today · His-Story: I was wondering about our yesterdays, and starting searching through the rubble and to say the very least, somebody went to a hell of a lot of trouble to make sure...
HyperNormalisation (2016)
161 min · 4,659 views today · We live in a time of great uncertainty and confusion. Events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control. Donald Trump, Brexit, the War in Syria, the endless...
Donald and Hobbes Is Genius
Various · 4,401 views today · Some clever folk have been replacing precocious 6-year-old Calvin, from the Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, with Donald Trump and the results are, well, take a look...
Our Obsession With 'Good Immigrants' Breeds Intolerance
2 min · 1,940 views today · Society sets the bar so high to become a 'good immigrant', argues writer Nikesh Shukla, that normal immigrants are demonised. He says non-Brits in the public eye have a simple...
My Cuba - An Intimate Look at the Pleasures and Struggles of 6 Different People's Cuba
150 min · 1,758 views today · Cuba - diverse, vibrant and complex - is undergoing immense change. But what does it mean to be Cuban in this time of change? Six people. Six films. From the comedy and ballet...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,753 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Lessons in the Calais Jungle: Teaching Life Stories and Learning About Humanity
Aura Lounasmaa · 1,553 views today · I am part of a team of academics teaching a course to residents in the Calais Jungle, a camp for migrants and refugees outside the French city. Life Stories in the Jungle has...
Planet Earth II Could Be Best Nature Doc Ever Made
3 min · 1,030 views today · 10 years ago Planet Earth changed our view of the world. Now we take you closer than ever before. This is life in all its wonder. This is Planet Earth II. A decade ago, the...
Bird Watching on Lesvos Island - A Poetic Call to Stand With Refugees
3 min · 989 views today · Born in Darfur, Sudan and raised in Philadelphia, Emi Mahmoud is the 2015 World Poetry Slam Champion and the Women of the World co-Champion of 2016. From a young age Emi...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 817 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 696 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
The Important Difference Between Love and Being Loved
2 min · 590 views today · We talk of love as if it were just one thing: in fact, it’s two very different moves, Loving and Being Loved. You start to grow up when you stop focusing on the latter and get...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 587 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Alliance of 600,000 British Doctors Calls for 'Imperative' Coal Phase-Out
Nadia Prupis · 521 views today · Doing so would constitute 'double win for tackling the twin health threats of air pollution and climate change,' report states
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Looking for Leaders on Climate? Follow the Women Farmers