October 7th: Alice Paul Institute and Bella Abzug Leadership Institute
Welcome to Day 7 of the 11 Days of Action!
We believe that women’s rights are human rights, and so human rights issues are feminist issues! That’s why we need to talk about environmental and climate justice. As we work towards being ever more intersectional in our approach to feminism and progress, we remember that some people are disproportionately affected by climate change.
We know that in the United States, people with less economic power and access have less choice about where they live, in terms of both communities and neighborhoods. This means that lower income families often find themselves living on old brownfields, near superfund sites, alongside dumps and municipal waste facilities, or near industrial areas that compromise air and water quality. We also know that a disproportionate number of those lower income people are single mothers and people of color.
We don’t just want girls to live in families that have more economic power so they can live in safe environments, we want to create a world that respects every girl’s right to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and play outside in uncontaminated ground. Equity means ensuring that all families, and all girls, are able to breathe freely no matter where they live or whose neighborhood they are in. That’s why we are standing up for environmental justice.
We can’t stop climate change by changing any one law or policy. We have to address the structural issues- like loopholes in laws- that allow corporations and other entities to ignore the environmental impact of their actions and practices. And because we are all part of the environment, and are all affected by changing climate, we have to hold our officials accountable for the impact their laws have on us!
Join us for a Twitter chat from 11am to 12pm to talk about climate justice! Find us on Twitter @abzuginstitute & @AlicePaulInstit and on Instagram @bellaabzuginstitute & @alicepaulinstitute , and use the hash tags #VoteCleanVoteGreen #TheFutureIsGreen #OutspokenOutside #ClimateChangeIsAFeministIssue #11Days2020 #IDG2020 #EquityForGirls
The Bella Abzug Leadership Institute would like to highlight the following:
Our namesake, Bella Abzug, once said that “all issues are women’s issues. We must each wear the hat of an advocate.” Which is why she co-founded the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), a global women’s advocacy organization that seeks to increase the power of women worldwide as policymakers- to achieve economic and social justice, a healthy and peaceful planet, and human rights for all. You can get involved by volunteering, participating in training sessions and workshops, and supporting their programming.
Another recommendation is the Consortium on Gender, Security, and Human Rights, an organization devoted to bringing knowledge about gender and security to bear on the quest to end armed conflicts and build sustainable peace. They are hosting a virtual symposium from October 7th-9th called “Confronting the Climate Crisis: Feminist Pathways to Just and Sustainable Futures.”
Women’s Weather Watch (WWW) has done some really impactful work via radio addressing the gaps in quantitative and qualitative data at the local level from the elderly, women and children in rural and remote communities and disabled and minority groups, so that disaster management systems are inclusive and take a stronger prevention approach to gender-based violence. We should encourage similar efforts globally, especially with the fires that are ravaging that have ravaged the West Coast as of late.
Supporting feminist research efforts in terms of combatting climate change is key to moving forward collectively.
Start a campaign around climate change- on specific environmental issues that affects your community. Attend hearings held by your city and state agencies. Look out for specific environmental plans and actions that your community is planning to take which will negatively impact your community and try to speak at the hearing. State your opposition to further environmental damage and remind them that you will have to fix future problems that come from today’s policies.
Limiting emissions of greenhouse gases is a way you can make a tangible impact from home. Develop a plan to reduce daily electricity use around your home. Ask each member of your household to take responsibility for a different electricity-saving action. Encourage your parents to do any/all of the following:
- get a home energy audit
- use renewable energy
- purchase solar panels & carbon offsets
- adjust your thermostat
- install solar lights & tankless water heaters
- use energy saving light bulbs
- wash clothes in cold or warm water
- line dry clothes
- plant a native garden
- use non-toxic household products
The Alice Paul Institute would like to highlight the following:
- Get online and research Superfund Sites in your area using the EPA website. They are more common than most people realize. Call your state representative and demand they make cleaning up these toxic areas a priority.
- Find out your representative’s position on the Green New Deal, Carbon Taxes, and Clean Energy. An easy place to start is the League of Conservation Voters Environmental Scorecard, which grades elected officials based on their environmental policy track record. Make posts on social media outlining these positions with the official’s name and office phone. Use the hashtags #VoteCleanVoteGreen #TheFutureIsGreen
- Post pictures of yourself in your favorite natural or outdoor space, and write about why you need a clean and safe natural environment. Use the hashtags #OutspokenOutside #ClimateChangeIsAFeministIssue