Climate change and sustainable development is a huge global issue, but it’s also a women’s issue. Existing gender inequalities often widen, and women are most vulnerable to many of the consequences of climate change. Drought, land degradation, decrease in crop yields and more all affect women disproportionately. Women Deliver just held its fourth global conference, and the Women News Network spoke to some young women who are global climate change warriors, fighting for change for women–and the world.
womennewsnetwork.net – (WNN) Copenhagen, Denmark, EUROPE: Seven years have gone by since then, but Majandra Rodrigues Acha of Lima still cannot forget the day she saw the true face of a woman’s vulnerability. It was June 2009 and television channels across Peru were broadcasting the news of a riot that erupted between the country’s indigenous people and the police. In the riot, known as the “Devil’s Curve Battle’ 32 indigenous environmental activists had died defending their land rights.
A particular image on TV screen haunts her even today: “It was an old woman, pointing at the dead people on the street and trying to express her sorrows. But since she spoke no Spanish, nobody seemed to understand her. There was such an air of helplessness around her!” she recalls.
The battle at the Devil’s Curve was a direct conflict between the state police force and a large group of indigenous people who were protesting a government policy that made it easy to grab local’s land for large corporate. Although the protest was peaceful, it turned violent when the police began to crackdown on the protesters. Soon, shots were fired, 32 indigenous people and injuring over a hundred. Nine policemen were also killed in the riot.