Twenty-six years after the landmark UN World Conference on Women in Beijing, gender equality has not been achieved anywhere. In a blog for IIED, Tracy Kajumba and Clare Shakya reflect that if we want to transform society, we need a radical new approach, starting with the way we respond to climate change. This is how it begins:

At IIED, our strategy commits us to address inequality and promote the rights and voice of poor men and women, young and old. Social justice is at the centre of our climate change research. But over the past year – a year when the COVID-19 pandemic has made global inequality much worse – we have asked ourselves whether the way that we work and what we do will support transformation quickly enough. We need to proceed with renewed urgency, taking steps through our research to dismantle systems that hold some people back and privilege others when confronting the challenge of climate change.” It then sets out 5 steps towards social justice:

1. Gender and intersectionality analysis must be central to designing our intervention

2. Getting better at intersectionality means understanding power dynamics

3. Tracking our impact

4. Gendered and intersectional communication of evidence

5. Enabling ourselves to be better at tackling gender and intersectionality in climate action for social justice

There is much of interest in this, but it seems odd that there is no mention of education as a strategy for helping to ease change. This is how the blog ends:

Climate change is a justice issue that requires us to dismantle systems that oppress, exclude, disadvantage and prevent people from accessing resources and opportunities for adaptation, while privileging others who have power and decision-making control. Our work requires us to engage thoughtfully with these people excluded from power, to support them in challenging these systems and reimagining our future.”

Given how much many schools and teachers see this as part of their agenda, the lack of a mention of education or schools seems doubly puzzling. Or are schools deemed to be too conservative as institutions to be part of what the authors propose?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment