The theme for International Women’s Day 2022 (IWD 2022) is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow,” honoring the contributions of women and girls around the world who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response in order to create a more sustainable future for all.
One of the greatest global challenges of the twenty-first century is advancing gender equality in the context of the climate crisis and disaster risk reduction. Climate change and sustainability issues have had and will continue to have, significant and long-term consequences for our environment, economy, and social development. Those who are most vulnerable and marginalized bear the brunt of the consequences. Women are increasingly being recognized as being more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than men because they make up the majority of the world’s poor and are more reliant on the natural resources that climate change threatens.
Women and girls are also effective and powerful leaders and change-makers when it comes to climate adaptation and mitigation. They participate in and lead sustainability initiatives all over the world, resulting in more effective climate action. For sustainable development and greater gender equality, it is critical to continue to examine the opportunities, as well as the constraints, to empower women and girls to have a voice and be equal players in decision-making related to climate change and sustainability. A sustainable future, let alone an equal future, is out of reach without gender equality today.
Thi past year has been an important year for women. Kamala Harris was inaugurated as the first female Vice President of the United States. Whitney Wolfe, the founder and CEO of Bumble, became the youngest woman to take a company public. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the first woman and first African to hold the position of Director-General of the World Trade Organization. And, more women are continuing to make history in 2022.
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