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Women at the People’s Climate March

WECF’s Director tells why she was marching

23.09.2014 |WECF

The People's Climate March in New York

September 21 was the Peoples Climate March in New York. Sascha Gabizon, Executive Director of WECF took part in the march. She and other participants tell their reasons for joining.
“I am marching in the Peoples Climate March because we need true solutions to halt climate change, based on human rights. I am afraid that some of the large corporations involved in the Climate Summit are not willing or able to move away from energy sources which are killing people and the planet. In particular I am concerned about nuclear energy being promoted as a solution, a false one, as it is overall the most damaging of all energy sources and the risks are unacceptable for humanity. When we only apply “carbon” as the sole measure we risk choosing unsustainable pathways, all decisions have to be based on a broader sense of justice, rights and sustainable development in harmony with our one and only planet earth.” Sascha Gabizon, Executive Director, WECF International and co-organising partner of the Women’s Major Group.

 “Women’s groups in the US and around the world are mobilizing for climate justice! An opportunity for global transformation is within reach, and it will neither start nor end with one day.  But we know that when the challenge is greatest, and the moment is right, there is power in taking to the streets. A brighter future will not be realized unless we demand it, and our demand will best be heard with all women’s voices in a powerful chorus together.”

“Climate change is the crisis of our times. For too long now, political posturing, greed and complacency in ‘business as usual’ has taken precedent over justice, equality, action and ambition. But change is not something which you wait for, it’s something that you make happen. WEDO is headed to the People’s Climate March in a spirit of common purpose with fellow women’s rights leaders, feminists and activists to demand climate justice and ignite a movement for change.” Bridget Burns, Advocacy and Communications Director, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO).
“Here at the Young Feminists and Allies NOW chapter, we understand well the connection between the abuse of mother earth & animals and abuse of women. Quite a few of us are vegan or vegetarian and we all care about the environment. We are thrilled to participate in the march.” NOW YFA.
“Women of the South are particularly tired of hearing politicians and other development partners give one excuse or another for why the strongest and useful climate mitigation target of 1.5 degrees is not possible, why adaptation measures do not concentrate on gender equality, human rights and social justice, why there have not been fundamental changes to our global economic and development systems, why climate finance is not easily accessible, and a loss and damage mechanism is not yet ready. The truth is that we are suffering now, our communities are already dealing with all kinds of economic, social and ecological damage because of the actions of the few, and the impacts on the world majority, indigenous peoples, and people from small island states, among others, are many and immediate. We need urgent national, region and global action, and this march is to let everyone know, that the time is NOW!!” Noelene Nabulivou of Fiji, Diverse Voices and Action for Equality, DAWN, and Pacific Partnerships to Strengthen Gender, Climate Change and Sustainable Development.
“Nature will not wait while politicians debate. It is time to demand action that addresses the roots of the climate crisis and fosters justice for the Earth and present and future generations that is why WECAN is participating in the People’s Climate March. The opportunity to prevent the worst impacts of climate change will be lost forever unless the global community changes course immediately.  Governments must act now. We all must act now. If we do not, our children will look back at us wondering why we did not act when we still could have made a difference.”
Osprey Orielle Lake –Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN).

“Climate change affects everyone, but not in equal ways.  It will take everyone, both men and women, as equal participants in climate action to bring real lasting solutions.  That means empowering those most impacted by the changing climate to take action, especially women - they are uniquely positioned to be the true agents of change.  As a representative of Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA), I am joining people around the world gathering together for the People's Climate March to call on our leaders to action, not words.  The time to act is now.  It's that simple.” Cara Beasley, Coordinator, GGCA Secretariat.
“I am marching so that young girls will not have spent a significant amount of their youth collecting water, fuel, and recovering from climate disasters by the time they reach my age. I want climate justice for my generation and all generation to come.” Naima von Ritter Figueres, Youth Climate Activist (26 years old).
“On September 21, 2014, the Metro NY Chapter of the U.S. National Committee for UN Women will march for climate justice. While the effects of climate change are felt around the world, women bear a heavier burden. Effects such as drought, flooding, and unpredictable temperatures impact women who are providing food, water and firewood for their families. In the context of climate change, supporting gender equality and women's empowerment is as vital as ever. The People’s Climate March is an opportunity to show the world how critical and timely the climate movement is right now. Join us as we march for our future.” Katherine Garcia, Co-President, Metro NY Chapter of the U.S. National Committee for UN Women.
 “I am marching in the People's Climate March on September 21st because I see what is at risk: The water, land, air and spirit. I only need to look at Detroit and the South Bronx to clearly understand that the most vulnerable to pollution and human rights violations of natural resources in our country are the poor and working class, who are largely communities of colour. The connection between racism, environmental quality, lack of economic and educational resources is undeniable and still persistent for over 600 years. The time has come for action. As a woman of colour, a child of immigrants, and parent my responsibility is to be part of the solution. I am marching for change. I am marching for sustainability with dignity. I am marching for a safe, clean, and beautiful place to raise my family. I am marching for life.” Alicia Grullon is a Bronx based artist and organizer for PERCENT FOR GREEN, a social practice project to pass new green legislation in New York City.
“I am marching as a grandmother and retired educator who cares deeply about the future of life on the planet for the young. Women, both psychologists and anthropologists tell us, are generally more empathetic in nature. It’s interesting to note that the labour union most involved in hands on support of fighting climate crisis is the nurses unions, as explained in an article, Sept. 15th in It’s a pity that our American culture teaches men, through an emphasis on violent team sports like football, to be more completive and antipathetic in nature, to “kill” the enemy so to speak, while women are more often charged with nurturing and caring for family. How much does this lack of empathy, and a sense of competition to beat the other team down, then exist among the CEO’s of the fossil fuel industries and in the leaders of the world at climate talks and peace tables? Of course, this is a generalization and individuals defy generalization, but it is galling to know that the more nurturing sex is the one that suffers more in climate catastrophe. Women charged with protecting, caring for, nurturing and birthing children and families withstand extreme weather events less ably then men, and that, in effect, makes climate crisis a sexist issue, as we all know it is in many ways a racist issue and an economic issue in the sense of class. We need to make a statement that we women are very much involved in fighting climate crisis and very much aware that women and children, along with the poor and disenfranchised of global society, suffer the most. We want to show that we are NOT victims, but actively aware of our circumstance and active in alleviating ourselves of vulnerability in the climate crisis emergency now so definitely upon us all, and all life everywhere.” Daniela Gioseffi, Editor/ American Book Award Winning, Feminist Author and Eco-Activist and experience TV & Radio journalist/broadcaster
“On September 21st, I will be walking, not as I, but as WE.  I join with all women who have shown time and again that they can think ahead, and envision the future, not only with good judgement and logic, but also with imagination and empathy, fuelled by facts and personal witnessing.  The earth’s temperature is rising and I know, as a mother and grandmother, that we must be as concerned about that 2 or 3 degree rise as we would be if it was our own child, up all night, running a 102 degree fever.  We are learning to think in a new way toward a future we will never see.  As women, we are caretakers as well as leaders, guardians of our home, our earth.  The People’s Climate March is the beginning of an urban and global movement of civic leaders and citizens working together over the next months and years on behalf of climate change and environmental justice.  On September 22nd, that movement begins.”  Leah Barber, 350NYC; People’s Climate March Host Committee; cofounder, The Interdependence Movement; former dancer and choreographer.

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