Sexual and Gender-based Violence is a Climate Issue
By Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi,
Executive Director, Stand To End Rape Initiative
You may wonder how advocacy for the safety of women and girls and climate justice are related. It is simple. When climate disasters strike, families are not able to meet their most basic needs, causing a cascade of vulnerabilities for women and girls. Insecure living conditions, economic insecurity and disrupted communities further exacerbate the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence.

At Stand to End Rape Initiative(STER), our mission to end sexual and gender-based violence aligns with the need to address the specific vulnerabilities of women and girls in the face of climate change impacts.
More than ever, we need to be united.”
In the communities in which STER works, we are already seeing this unfortunate reality come to life: natural disasters increase household tensions, which can result in more cases of domestic violence, and scarcity of natural resources means women need to walk further from home to collect essentials like water, putting them at greater risk of violence from strangers on the road. Also, when families face economic challenges due to the loss of crops or land, child marriage skyrockets as girls get the responsibility of being married off to older men to contribute additional income to their families.

Despite our collective efforts, we are falling short in reducing carbon emissions and putting our planet on the brink of a devastating climate and nature crisis. Due to the urgency of the situation, we see an opportunity to create positive change by bridging the gap within our movement and rallying around a shared vision. Currently, our efforts are fragmented. And fossil fuel companies continue to exploit divisions and spread misinformation campaigns. More than ever, we need to be united. We have the power to stop the harm and shape a climate-safe future for all.

Credit: Stand To End Rape in collaboration with Yagazie Emezi

join us in ensuring our leaders take decisive action with greater urgency.”

At STER, we understand the intersection of climate justice with our core mission. We believe that every issue we champion is linked to the climate and nature crises. As a result, we urge everyone to join us in ensuring our leaders take decisive action with greater urgency. We are inspired by the resilience of the Dandelion, and we embrace its symbolism as a unifying force within the growing climate justice movement. Like a Dandelion, we aim to spread our message far and wide. We desire to build a network of advocates committed to our cause.

As young women leaders within this movement, we bring a unique perspective and energy to the table. We are determined to harness the power of millions of voices to effect positive change and secure a safe climate future for generations to come. We cannot do this alone. The safety of women, girls and the planet is our collective responsibility.

Join us, because every issue is a climate issue.

PassVAPP Act Project in Kebbi State, Nigeria. Credit: Stand To End Rape

The safety of women, girls and the planet is our collective responsibility.”
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Mona Sinha