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Climate change and resource extraction disproportionally affect marginalized communities. This article explains why gender equality and women's rights are key to achieving environmental justice.
2017 is on course to be the deadliest year yet for environmental activism: 150 women and men have so far been murdered for defending natural resources and the communities who depend on them. Millions of the world’s poorest people live in countries with valuable and abundant natural resources like oil, gas, and minerals. Without consultation – and often without even a warning – mining, logging and other large-scale projects can be imposed on families and communities.
Resource extraction can have a devastating impact on some of the world’s poorest and most marginalized communities, destroying traditional ways of making a living and polluting the environment. In many countries dubbed as suffering from the paradox of plenty, irreplaceable natural assets are traded for fast cash, while strategies for broad-based development are ignored by the wealthy elites who dominate both politics and business.
As ecofeminists have highlighted for 30 years, unequal gender roles and relations make resource extraction particularly devastating for women. While elites may capture the profits disproportionately in many contexts, marginalized social groups – including women – are less likely to experience the benefits of extraction, and are affected differently by virtue of their gendered roles in the economy and society.
Read the full article about environmental justice by Caroline Sweetman at Oxfam.