A week and a half ago, Mexico City became the second city worldwide to host Women4Climate. Women4Climate is a C40 initiative, a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change. C40’s main purpose is to empower, inspire, influence, drive action and raise awareness among female climate leaders to shape the future of the planet. Today, International Women’s Day, provides another opportunity to take a look at the relationship between fighting climate change, the role of women in that fight and gender equality.

Climate change initiatives so far have focused on topside actions coming from the higher spheres that emphasize a global vision of the problem. It is hard for a normal citizen to be part of these initiatives, such as green bonds, renewable energies and energy efficiency projects, in a day-to-day context.

Leaders like Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, Christina Figueres, convener of Mission 2020 and Vice Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, as well as other participants in Women4Climate, believe that women can have a great impact in the day-to-day context, partly because they have a deep understanding of the daily problems families face. As such, women, who on average spend 2.6 times more than men on unpaid domestic and care work, can offer innovative and applicable solutions that follow a bottom-up approach.

It is also in their interest to involve themselves in the climate movement, as they suffer the most from the consequences of climate change, according to UN data. UN reports indicate that 80 percent of people displaced by climate change’s consequences are women. In many parts of the world, women are also in charge of making sure that families have enough water and energy sources, and are the most affected by droughts and flooding. Likewise, when there is a lack of food, women are the first to reduce their food portions. For a deeper insight on how women are impacted by, and can help solve, climate change follow this link.

Women can provide a unique impact by connecting the dots between climate change and its effects on health, making their voice a necessity in decision-making positions. Nevertheless, there are still many areas where women lack representation and opportunities. In fact, 155 countries have at least one law impeding women’s economic opportunities and in 18 countries husbands can prevent their wives from working. As Figueres says, society has been investing in only half the population by providing most of the opportunities to men. “This has to change. As a society we cannot afford to run a marathon against climate change with one leg only,” she says.

To learn more about the achievements of the Women4Climate initiative, and the challenges that remain, don’t miss our next blog on Monday, March 12. UPDATE: The second blog on the Women4Climate initiative was published on March 14, as on March 12 a blog on the results of the first Mexican mid-term electricity auction was published.

For more articles on Mexico’s energy industry, check out our blog!

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