The second week of the Glasgow climate change conference has begun. Tuesday, November 9, will be devoted to. recognising gender equality, and the empowerment and participation of women and girls in climate action and policy.
Gender inequality refers to the difference between women and men. girls will experience climate changeThey are unique and distinct in their own ways. They are more likely to die in extreme weather eventsMen are more likely to be displaced than women. Climate change is causing them to be forced to migrate, lose their homes, and become more vulnerable for gender-based violence.
Many families dealing with climate stress are familiar with child marriage as a common coping strategy. In 2016, for instance, a 15-year-old girl in Mozambique was married in exchange for 2,000 Mozambican Metical (approximately A$42) to forestall her family’s climate-induced poverty.
Strong evidence also supports the assertion of the impact of climate change on girls’Education. It will also increase the existing barriers faced by girls. These include learning disruptions caused by insufficient funds for school fees, food, water, and menstrual hygiene items. During natural disasters, girls experience an increase of care work and disruptions from forced displacement or immigration.
The Malala Fund projects that the climate events of 2021 are unlikely to occur. at least 4 million girlsFrom completing their education. Similar. a new report from NGO Plan InternationalIt is clear that if current trends continue, climate change will contribute to the denial of education for at least 12.5 millions girls each year. According to the report:
Even though girls are significantly impacted by climate change, they are also powerful agents of change, capable of strengthening a country’s response to climate change.
Why education for girls is so important
In describing the COP26 summit as “a two-week long celebration of business as usual and blah, blah, blah,” activist Greta Thunberg summed up the attitude of many young people protestingAll over the globe. This is because political leaders are defending their interests at the expense future generations.
The growing youth activismIt is an acknowledgment that our planet is damaged. theirs to inheritAnd fix. Young people in our region will endure an increase in severe weather events, a rise in food insecurity, challenges to their health from poorer air quality and pollution, and the impact of species’ extinction and biodiversity change.
Education for all young people is essential in the face of these challenges. Climate resilience is a key component of education.
Project Drawdown, a global research projectThe organization, which identifies climate change solutions and assesses them, also notes the importance of education
This strengthens resilience and prepares women and girls to face the effects of climate change. They can be more effective stewards of food, soil, trees, and water, even as nature’s cycles change.
Education for girls can be a way to combat the climate crisis in three key areas:
Climate change can only be addressed if both social sciences and sciences are taught. Girls’ participation in these fields will drive innovation in green technologies as well as a social approach to resilience built on equality
formal education can build on women and girls’ existing community-based knowledge regarding disaster risk reduction and help them respond to climate emergencies
Education creates pathways for women and girls to make more independent decisions about work, family planning, community engagement, and other areas. Education also opens up opportunities for leadership and participation to formal decision-making.
Young women and girls are already leading the way for climate solutions in the region. Anjali Sharma (17 years old) led the way in creating a Climate Response Plan. landmark class action – with seven other teenagers – in the Australian Federal Court against Australia’s environment minister Sussan Ley. The group sought an injunction against Ley’s approval of a coal mine expansion. It argued that this would contribute to climate change that threatens their future.
The Malala Fund also iterates the importance of investing in girls’ education in the fight against climate change. It is argued that such investment increases social resilience as well as strengthens adaptation and mitigation efforts.
Australia can do more
The Plan International report shows Australia spent A$516 Million of its official assistance for climate change projects in 2019.
That represents just 25% of Australia’s development assistance, putting Australia in 12th place among the OECD’s 30 development committee donors.
Plan International’s report also shows climate education is absent in Australia’s recent development policies and education strategies. For example, Australia’s Partnerships for Recovery: Australia’s COVID-19 Development Response’ policy — launched in May 2020 — fails to mention climate change among the three pillars of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Young people are demanding changeFrom those in power, organizing in their communities to educate each other, engaging in activities that protect the environment and adapt it to changing conditions, and demanding to hear from them.
Australia must be more ambitious in helping young women and youth to face the future. By prioritising girls’ education in its funding and partnerships for regional development, Australia can promote gender equitable climate leadership.
It is the responsibility of political leaders to not only engage and respond to young people but also to increase their ability to confront climate change in the present and future.