Women fighting climate change: Celebrating International Women's Day 2022
Updated: Mar 22, 2022
"Women hold up half the sky"
Women are climate defenders. Image Credit: MADRE organization
Climate change threatens the lives of all across the world. The Earth consistently undergoes natural changes, but human activity since the 1800s has propelled such shifts into a eminent threat not only against humanity but to all life forms. As a result of climate change the world will continue to see an increase in detrimental shifts in the temperature and weather patterns. Currently the Earth is 1.5°C warmer than the late 1800s, with the last decade being the the warmest. While scientists have deemed a higher temperature would jeaporadize a livable climate, it is projected that by the end of the century the Earth will have warmed by 2.7°C. Thus, all hands need to be on deck in order to ensure this is not the fate of the planet.
Women face inequalities due to climate change, not only directly through farming during extreme weather events but also in the opportunities present for them to become scientists. They are significantly underrepresented in all facets of the fight against climate change from representation in the field of science to decision-making processes. What remains the same is that the inclusion of women is integral to averting climate change.
Women leading climate change solutions - Video Credit: Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace & Security
This article will showcase some of the many incredible women across the world that are dedicating themselves to tackling climate change. Here we take look at each continent and the great work taking place in each.
- AFRICA -
Eritrea - Dr. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe is a Professor of Soil Biochemistry at the University of California. Before moving to the United States, Asmeret's completed a BSc in Soil and Water Conservation at the University of Asmara, Eritrea. Asmeret then continued her pursuit of a career in soil science and global by gaining an MSc in Resource Development (Political Ecology) at Michigan State University and a PhD in Biogeochemistry at the University of California.
Her research interests lie in understanding soil processes and the everchanging environmental conditions effect such processes. Within her research group, she is working on understanding the processes and mechanisms that regulate soil organic matter (SOM) and the greenhouse gases (GHG) released into the atmosphere from soil. Asmeret has also given a TED talk about the integral role of soil management and degradation within climate change. If you would like to listen to her insightful talk click here.
Rwanda - Dr. Myriam Mujawamariya is a lecturer at the University of Rwanda. In 2007, she received a BSc in Biology at the University of Rwanda. After this Myriam went on to complete a masters in Plant Sciences at Wageningen University, Netherlands and a PhD in Natural Sciences at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her research focus is plant ecology and eco-physiology. Myriam's field of interest is in understanding how tropical forests and different indigenous trees respond to climate change.
She was also named one of the winners for the 2022 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World. This was due to her research surrounding climate change and the environment.
- ASIA -
INDIA - Dr. Ketna Matkar is the Founder and Managing Director at Cipher Environmental Solutions LLP, offering ethical advisor and consulting. Using her expertise Ketna offers support in developing plans, policy advocacy and solutions to environmental concerns. She has worked with clients such as Centre for Sustainable Governance, Mumbai, Indian Pollution Control Association. Through her work she provides support in the environmental research projects of others. Her extensive background includes a PhD in Microbiology and training in Environmental Law and Policy, Climate change and Environment Impact Assessment.
- EUROPE -
NORTH MACEDONIA - Macedonian climate and social justice organiser, Simona Getova, dedicated many years raising awareness of the exploitative and harmful mining in the village of Kazandol. Simona is currently a PhD candidate in the field of political ecology and is interested in researching socio-ecological justice and low-carbon transitions in the post-socialist Western Balkan countries. Before starting her PhD she was awarded a MSc in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management from the Central European University. Her work has centred around climate change policy-making and climate justice training for civil society. Simona also volunteers with Young Friends of the Earth Europe.
- NORTH AMERICA -