Why Greenpeace Is Joining the Women’s March on Washington
by Adrienne Lowry
January 17, 2017
On day one of Trump’s presidency, women across the nation will rise up in solidarity to march for the rights, health, and safety of those his agenda threatens most. Will you join us?
© Kate Davison / Greenpeace
As of last week, Greenpeace has officially partnered with the Women’s March on Washington. On January 21, 2017 — the day after Donald Trump is sworn in as president — tens of thousands of people will come together in Washington, DC and in Sister Marches across the country to send a message to our new government: women’s rights are human rights.
I will be joining them. As an organizer at Greenpeace, I have spent almost every day since the election fighting against the hateful rhetoric and dangerous policies that Trump and his administration have put forward. And as a woman and activist, I have been fighting for progress on these fronts for years.
I remember one of the first times I truly felt like an activist was after traveling to Washington in college and — surrounded by other women speaking out — demanding that our representatives pass the International Violence Against Women Act. We’ve seen some progress since then, but now our incoming government is threatening to push us backwards and strip us of the rights we have worked so hard to earn.
In the face of these attacks, I am marching to show solidarity and stand up for all women.
Greenpeace and our supporters fight every day for a green and peaceful future. This weekend, I will march because I believe that we cannot have that future without equality and justice for everyone. Now more than ever, it’s essential that we protect our communities and show up for every person and group that is under threat.
I’m also joining because I know that climate change has outsized impacts on women, but their voices are too often left out of the movement for climate justice.
Here are just a few of the ways climate change disproportionately affects women:
- Natural disasters — which are expected to become more severe as the world heats up — are statistically more likely to kill women than men, especially in areas where women’s socioeconomic status is lowest.
- Climate change is one of the leading causes of declining water supplies, forcing women and young girls often to spend more time and go further distances to find water. This leads to greater personal safety risks and less time in school or earning an income.
- Women are also largely responsible for tasks that may become more difficult as temperatures rise. In addition to collecting water, women farmers currently account for 45 to 80 percent of all food production in the developing world. As climate change continues, traditional food sources could become unpredictable and scarce, causing women to lose their sole sources of food and income.
- In times of food shortages caused by climate change, women’s health is more likely to suffer. Higher food prices often affect women the most and women are more likely to reduce what they eat in order to feed their families.
- Environmental degradation also leads to climate migration. Both internal and cross-border migration forces communities to fragment and creates competition for resources, leaving women more vulnerable to violence.
The struggle for environmental justice is linked to the struggle for gender justice — and women are critical to the solutions that advance both. As Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard wrote last year, “What gives me an enormous amount of hope … is that while women may be disproportionately suffering from the pollution of our planet, we’re also at the forefront of stopping it.”
Every day, women are standing up in their communities and fighting to protect them from climate change. Greenpeace is marching not only to highlight how climate change impacts women, but to fight for women everywhere.
I am marching with my community in DC because I believe that fight begins at home.
Join us next weekend at the Women’s March in your city. Greenpeace volunteers across the country are connecting and forming groups to join their local Sister Marches and fight for women and the environment. Together, we can build an intersectional movement to fight the spread of hatred over the next four years and beyond.