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Women, Oil and Climate Change Campaign

October 10, 2012

According to American Nobel Peace laureate Jody Williams global energy policies negatively impact the lives of women and children in ways that most of us don’t even think about. Such a belief is behind the Women, Oil & Climate Change Campaign, which began yesterday, where a delegation of women will talk with other women along one of the major routes of the proposed Tar Sands Pipeline through Canada.

According to the campaign:

Women around the world have been at the forefront of movements to reduce the impacts of climate change and build healthy, sustainable environments,” said Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Laureate (1997). “We have been aware of the growing concerns of women living in oil sands communities and we are eager to see the realities for ourselves, first-hand.”

The group started their eight-day tour of Alberta and British Columbia on October 9 and will meet with women community and First Nation leaders, as well as women government and industry officials. Delegation members—which also include Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah Harmer, award-winning Kenyan environmentalist Ikal Angelei, corporate executive Chris Page and climate scientist Marianne Douglas from University of Alberta—will listen to how energy projects are changing the lives and livelihoods of women, children and communities in western Canada, and also the actions that women and communities opposing the energy projects are taking in response.

Some Facts About Women & Climate Change

  • Climate change is deepening the food crisis for women and their families. Women are the majority of the world’s small-scale farmers and produce most of the world’s food. More frequent crop failures mean women work harder and families eat less (OXFAM Canada).
  • Women comprise 20 million of the 26 million people estimated to have been displaced by climate change. These discrepancies are especially strong in countries that lack gender equality (Women’s Environment Network UK).
  •  Climate change leads to increased illness and disease and women are the primary caregivers for the sick (OXFAM Canada).
  •  Women and female children spend more than 10 million ‘person-years’ carrying water from remote sources each year. In Africa alone, the World Health Organization estimates there are more than 40 billion work hours lost each year to the need to fetch drinking water (CARE Ethiopia).
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