By Mona Sinha,
Global Executive Director, Equality Now
At Equality Now, we work in countries around the world to ensure women have equal protections under the law. The connections between women’s legal rights and the climate crisis may not be immediately apparent but the two could not be more linked.

In Kajiado County, a drought-stricken region along Kenya’s border with Tanzania, many people are dependent on livestock herding and farming and erratic rains have left families struggling to survive. Many women and children, especially girls, are treated as bargaining chips - leading to their education and even their access to food being deprioritized. Some families have married off their daughters in exchange for cattle or bride money. The pressure on families can even contribute to increases in female genital mutilation and other human rights abuses.
Many women and children, especially girls, are treated as bargaining chips.”
This is why legal protections are so important, so that during times of such crises, women and girls do not bear the brunt of discrimination.

The mission of Equality Now is to use legal and systemic change to bring about full and enduring gender equality for all women and girls. That’s why we are proud to support Project Dandelion, a women-led global climate justice campaign. Research has found that the least gender-equal societies are often the most vulnerable to climate emergencies. Women account for 70% of the 1.3 billion people living in poverty and are more likely to depend on the land for survival. However, they are often denied equal rights to land ownership and inheritance. This leaves them especially exposed to the harmful impacts of extreme weather like heat waves, droughts, flooding, and storms. Women must be at the table when addressing today’s most pressing issues. They are not only the ones most likely to suffer its most dreaded impacts, but they lead solutions when they are not held back by discriminatory laws and practices.


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

Improving women’s access to finance, land rights, education, and legal protections have been shown to result in climate protections such as smarter management of resources (water, soil protection, crop choices) and conservation. For example, investing in female farmers in Vietnam led to the regrowth of mangrove ecosystems which support the local economy, reduce flood damage and draw CO2 from the atmosphere, as a very effective carbon catchment.

Putting women in leadership positions and advancing laws around the world that require equality between men and women will not only protect women and girls from the most damaging impacts of the climate crisis, but will also catalyze critical solutions necessary to build a climate safe future for all. None of us can afford to sit back and wait for equality to arrive – we need to act now.

Equality Now and Project Dandelion are working toward this goal. Because climate justice is gender justice.


None of us can afford to sit back and wait for equality to arrive.”
next →
Dr. Ayesha Kareem