Focusing on Gender and Reproductive Justice in Climate Change Work

By Rachel Walden — April 12, 2010

The Asian-Pacific Resource & Research Centre for Women (ARROW), an NGO focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights in Asia, has released a new climate justice-themed issue of its ARROWs for Change publication.

In In Search of Climate Justice: Refuting Dubious Linkages, Affirming Rights, the organization criticizes the linking of population control efforts to climate change work, citing disparities between rates of population growth and levels consumption, and the ways in which attempts to simply reduce birth rates ignore other demographic factors (such as per capita consumption) that contribute to climate change concerns.

Most important, perhaps, are concerns that population control strategies “have inevitably led to abuses, coercion and the violation of women’s fundamental rights,” and the argument that “women’s rights to control their own fertility should not be sacrificed to protect the environment.” The authors note women’s vulnerability to adverse effects of climate change, and argue that women’s bodies should be looked at with concern for the effects of climate change on women, not looked at as the vehicle for climate change solutions.

Several pieces in the publication further explore this topic, and resources for further reading are also listed.

One response to “Focusing on Gender and Reproductive Justice in Climate Change Work”

  1. Dear Rachel,

    Thanks for posting about this. I assume that using women’s bodies to fight climate changes means compulsory sterilization?

    I am completely against this, and I do think that most sensible people would be as well. It’s not more people we have to fight, it’s the fight for women’s empowerment and education. If we can help a great number of women get educated and get more power, there will automatically be fewer children.


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