Gender and Climate Change: Toolkit  for Women on Climate Change

A Global People's Climate Mobilization is taking place on September 20 and 21, just before the historic summit on climate change that is bringing heads state to New York City for a historic summit on climate change. In New York City there will be an unprecedented climate mobilisation – in size, beauty, and impact. This moment will not be just about New York or the United States. Heads of state from around the world will be there, as will the attention of global media.

In countries and cities across the globe, events and marches are being organized. To find an action near you, click here: http://peoplesclimate.org/global/ 

"Our demand is for Action, Not Words: take the action necessary to create a world with an economy that works for people and the planet – now. In short, we want a world safe from the ravages of climate change.

We know that no single meeting or summit will "solve climate change" and in many ways this moment will not even really be about the summit. We want this moment to be about us – the people who are standing up in our communities, to organise, to build power, to confront the power of fossil fuels, and to shift power to a just, safe, peaceful world."

On this occasion, Isis International would like to share with you our Gender and Climate Change: Toolkit for Women on Climate Changefor Women on Climate Change

This toolkit on Gender and Climate Change is part of an important endeavour by Isis International to explore innovative and strategic ways to communicate gender justice and climate justice issues, especially from Southern feminist perspectives.

Climate change impacts people and countries in many different ways, yet the impacts of climate change are not gender neutral because of existing gender inequalities. Climate change is the living reality of women, with two facets -- on the one hand, women are indeed the most affected because of long-standing issues of gender; on the other hand, they are also active agents in addressing immediate and strategic solutions to climate justice. However, this consciousness has not yet permeated the current discussions and negotiations nor the production of knowledge on climate justice.

To date, gender issues have hardly figured in the international policy discourse on climate change and have been often overlooked in discussions about strategies to reduce the source of greenhouse gases because of the "technical" or "scientific" nature of the strategies.

This toolkit aims to deepen our analysis from a broader and human-centered perspective on this imperative global issue of climate change and the mounting resistance to the corporate-driven false solutions that only deteriorate the catastrophe. In plain language, it provides community-based or grassroots organisations basic information on climate change and how to communicate climate justice with their constituencies and target groups.

The first part of this toolkit answers the questions: What is climate change and what are the effects of climate change? What is climate justice and what does climate justice have to do with gender? It shows how international bodies concerned with climate change do not take women's needs or gender issues sufficiently into account. It looks at the potential solutions proposed by international bodies and at what needs to be done to make these solutions more inclusive of women and women's needs.

The second part of this toolkit looks at how groups and organisations can use communication and advocacy to work towards climate justice and gender justice. A Communication Agenda can be developed to map out the steps for using information and communication in strategic ways to work towards climate justice. This includes: surfacing women's experiences of climate change; how to analyse the data; and applying a feminist development communication framework to empower women and advocate for women's human rights and gender justice.

The toolkit presents communication tools and strategies and both traditional and new information technologies (ICTs) with a special look at the usefulness of community radio. It looks at what elements make communications empowering.

Advocacy is a powerful means to amplify women's voices and promote climate and gender justice. The toolkit looks at how to use different forms of advocacy including: lobbying, information and communication campaigns, community organising, new ICTs and social media tools. It shows how to build an advocacy plan. 

All this is accompanied by real-life stories and experiences of women around the world with photographs and colourful illustrations.

We thank the many people who contributed to this Toolkit and especially the activists from Isis Activist School on Engendering Climate Justice for sharing their commitments, insights, wisdom and inspiration.

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