The role of women as agents of change in their homes, places of work and communities is often underplayed and is critical. Women think in time horizons spanning the lives of generations and deeply understand the inter-relationships between people and nature.
As an example, Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland from 1990-1997 and president of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, wrote an article focusing on women´s contributions in the fight against Climate Change. She highlights gender dimensions and that in many countries women act as champions of the green economy, practicing sustainable agriculture, protecting natural resources, and promoting renewable energy.
She states that awareness of the differential impacts of Climate Change on men and women is increasing. In Africa, women are responsible for 60-80% of food production and are adapting to these changes, showing incredible resilience. Women are also drivers of economic growth in education, business, agriculture.
A recent World Bank report identifying that women now represent 40% of the global labor force, 43% of the world’s agricultural labor force, and above 50% of the world’s university students. Productivity will be raised if their skills and talents are used more fully.
Mary Robinson encourages leaders to harness the contribution of women, which play a vital leadership role : “Their voice and leadership on Climate Change can result in a low-carbon revolution for the 21st century that is sustainable and equitable”.