Women's Perspectives Must Be Included In Climate Conversations

Women should not be viewed solely as passive victims of environmental degradation but as powerful agents of change who can contribute significantly to sustainable solutions.

Pradip Shah
New Update
women grow trees

Women participating in tree plantation activities | Image provided by the author

In the global discourse on climate change, a crucial yet often overlooked perspective is that of women. While climate change affects everyone, women, girls, and marginalised communities are disproportionately vulnerable to its devastating impacts. 


The intrinsic tie between gender inequality and climate change

Since women are assigned the role of homemakers, they are often tasked with responsibilities such as collecting water, and gathering fuel. Climate-driven events such as droughts, famines, global warming, and floods exacerbate these responsibilities, placing a disproportionate burden on women. Shockingly, approximately 80% of those displaced by the harsh consequences of climate change are women and young girls. The failure to recognise and address the gender dimensions of climate-related issues can further deepen women’s vulnerability, leading to early marriages, teenage pregnancies, and gender-based violence.

To effectively address these challenges, laws and policy frameworks must acknowledge and integrate the intrinsic connection between gender inequality and climate change. There is a pressing need to amplify women’s voices in decision-making processes and ensure their active participation in climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts. Women should not be viewed solely as passive victims of environmental degradation but as powerful agents of change who can contribute significantly to sustainable solutions. They bring unique insights and experiences to the table, offering holistic solutions that prioritise both environmental sustainability and social equity. 

Active involvement of women in tree plantation initiatives

“We cannot exclude the voices, knowledge, perspectives, and expertise of 50% of the population,” said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change. “We must have women, in all their diversity, involved at all levels – from climate negotiations to boardrooms to forests and fields.”

There must be active involvement of women in environmental efforts at all levels. Despite shouldering multiple responsibilities at home, women have demonstrated active participation in tree plantation initiatives led by Grow-Trees. Our projects, spanning across the country, have not only contributed to environmental conservation but have also generated employment opportunities for women in rural communities. We take pride in the fact that more than half of our plantation workers are women.


These endeavours not only contribute to carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation but also offer tangible benefits to women themselves. By participating in tree plantation activities, women gain economic independence and acquire valuable skills that empower them within their communities. By working in our plantation sites, these women can contribute significantly to their families' livelihoods.

Moreover, tree plantation activities have broader implications for gender equality and social justice. As women take centre stage in environmental stewardship, they challenge traditional gender roles and stereotypes, paving the way for more inclusive and equitable societies. By recognising and valuing women's contributions to climate action, we foster a culture of respect and empowerment that transcends boundaries.

What is the way forward?

In addition to advocating for gender-inclusive climate policies, we must also support grassroots initiatives that empower women through afforestation. By investing in women-led projects and providing access to resources and training, we unlock their full potential as leaders and change-makers in the fight against climate change.

As we navigate the complex challenges of the 21st century, let us not forget the transformative power of women's participation in mitigating climate change. By amplifying their voices, supporting their initiatives, and recognising their invaluable contributions, we can build a more sustainable and resilient future for generations to come. It's time to harness the collective strength of women in steering climate conversations and shaping a world where both people and the planet thrive.

Pradip Shah is the co-founder of Views expressed by the author are their own 

climate conversations Women Climate Change