Issue Briefs & Blogs

This section encompasses key issue briefs and a corresponding summarizing blog post.

Agroecology: A Game Changer for Gender Equality and Sustainability?

Written by Trimita Chakma

Agroecology, which applies ecological principles to agriculture, such as sustainable farming and eco-friendly practices, has gained increasing interest amidst the climate crisis. But what does agroecology have to do with gender equality? 

As our planet grapples with the climate crisis, researchers have delved into how these farming practices can redefine gender roles, especially in the Global South. 

Fascinating findings from Latin America to Africa to Asia suggest that agroecology can be a tool for empowering women farmers, improving gender equality, and boosting women’s decision-making power. At the same time, these practices also combat climate change and ensure food on our plates.

However, outcomes vary across contexts. In some places, managing biodiversity is highly gendered, with men controlling commercial seed systems while women focus on local seeds. The impacts depend on the community’s cultural norms. But overall, agroecology shows potential to be transformative.

What’s refreshing about the field of agroecology is that many studies use participatory methods, engaging farmers directly through workshops and action research. Rather than top-down interventions, this facilitates mutual learning between farmers and scientists. Key books and reports also compile case studies of women-led agroecology initiatives.

Recently, there’s been a shift towards explicitly incorporating feminist ideas into agroecology. Concepts like food sovereignty, social justice and intersectionality are now prominent in the agroecology literature. This feminist lens scrutinizes power imbalances in food systems and moves beyond gender stereotypes and recognizes the diverse experiences of women.

More work is still needed at the intersections of gender, race, class, caste, and indigeneity. But the research demonstrates agroecology isn’t just about eco-friendly farming – it can cultivate more just and equitable communities as well. 

As the climate crisis exacerbates gender disparities, agroecology may offer a promising solution. The field is still relatively new, but holds radical possibilities. Through collaborating with farmers through participatory action research and feminist principles, we have the opportunity to foster feminist agroecological practices globally, paving the way for a more just future.

For more information and illustration of the nuances of this research, delve into the literature landscape brief showcasing key studies and debates.

Read Here: Agroecology and Gender

Beyond the Rainbow: The Climate Struggles of the LGBTQ+ Community

Climate change is a global challenge that affects everyone, but not always equally. Among the communities that face unique challenges due to the changing climate are LGBTQ+ communities. Let’s dive into the emerging literature that shines a light on this intersection.

The Disproportionate Impact on LGBTQ+ Communities

While climate change affects everyone, marginalized communities, especially the LGBTQ+ community, often bear the brunt of its impacts. Discrimination and exclusion are unfortunately common themes when it comes to disaster-related policies and services. For instance, many LGBTQ+ individuals often face inadequate disaster relief and institutional discrimination. This is further exacerbated by fears of prejudice, leading many to avoid accessing emergency services altogether.

The Global Perspective

The challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community are not limited to any one region. For instance, in Australia, lesbian and bisexual women face systemic discrimination in emergency services. Meanwhile, in Pakistan, the transgender community grapples with both the impacts of climate change and societal exclusion.

Health Disparities and Climate Vulnerabilities

The health disparities within the LGBTQ+ community further magnify the challenges posed by climate change. With higher rates of chronic disease, mental illness, and substance abuse, coupled with discrimination in healthcare, the community is at an increased risk. Socioeconomic factors, such as homelessness and poverty, further compound these vulnerabilities.

The Need for an Intersectional Perspective

It’s essential to understand that the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community are multifaceted. For instance, transgender people of color often face heightened abuses in disaster shelters. This highlights the importance of an intersectional perspective that considers multiple marginalized identities.

Resilience Amidst Challenges

Despite the many challenges, the LGBTQ+ community showcases remarkable resilience. They have established post-disaster support networks and offer unique mental health services. Advocacy groups are also at the forefront, championing inclusive disaster policies.

The Way Forward

While the emerging literature provides valuable insights into the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community in the context of climate change, there’s still much to learn. There’s a pressing need for more participatory research led by LGBTQ+ communities to understand their vulnerabilities better and inform meaningful action.

In conclusion, understanding the unique challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community in the face of climate change is crucial. Only by acknowledging and addressing these challenges can we hope to create a more inclusive and equitable future for all.

This piece was written by Trimita Chakma, GEDA Technical Guidance and Data Mapping Consultant. For a deeper dive into the evidence and studies that support the claims made in this post, please download the literature landscape brief.

 

GEDA Technical Guidance and Data Mapping consultancy led by Trimita Chakma and Bea Moraras, all found under Resourcesin the GEDA website. For more information on the consultants, please read their interview for the GEDA Insights Newsletter. 

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