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  • Thursday, July, 2024| Today's Market | Current Time: 07:59:56
  • As we reflect on the crucial roles that nurturing women and our collective mother, Earth, play in the sustenance of life, we are reminded of our responsibility to honor and protect them both. This perspective not only celebrates the vital contributions of women across the globe but also underscores the urgent need to address the adverse effects of climate change. Both women and Mother Earth face significant challenges, which particularly impact vulnerable populations. This interconnection calls for a commitment to women’s empowerment and environmental sustainability as intertwined goals that are essential for our collective future.

    The Dual Threat of Climate Change

    The repercussions of climate change extend far beyond environmental impact, deeply affecting social structures and disproportionately impacting marginalized communities, particularly women and girls. Climate change exacerbates existing gender inequalities and intensifies threats to their livelihoods, health, and safety. Women, often responsible for gathering water, food, and fuel, face increased burdens during environmental crises, affecting their roles and safety. Climate-related events can amplify social, economic, and political tensions, particularly in fragile regions, increasing vulnerabilities to gender-based violence and other forms of exploitation.

    The interconnection between climate change and gender inequality requires a focused effort on empowering women as key agents of change. Effective climate action must include women’s participation and leadership to ensure equitable and sustainable solutions. Policies and programs that do not address these dynamics, risk exacerbating inequalities and failing to protect those most vulnerable to climate impacts

    Importance of Mothers in Climate Change Resilience and Leadership

    Women are at the forefront of global efforts to combat climate change, demonstrating superior resilience and leadership in crisis situations. Despite their critical contributions, they face persistent gender inequalities that undermine their impact. Recognizing and valuing the role of women is essential to accelerating the collective action required to address climate challenges effectively.

    Firstly, women disproportionately suffer the consequences of climate change. According to the United Nations, 80% of those displaced by climate-related disasters are women. Natural calamities such as droughts, floods, and hurricanes exacerbate their vulnerabilities. Post-disaster, women also confront increased risks of violence, highlighting the gendered nature of disaster impacts.

    Moreover, women have proven to be exemplary leaders during crises. The COVID-19 pandemic illustrated this vividly. Women’s distinct approaches to disaster and emergency management enable faster and more efficient community recovery. An international study of 194 countries revealed that nations led by women experienced more effective pandemic responses. Similarly, corporate studies during the pandemic found women leaders excelled in motivating teams, initiating action, and fostering communication.

    Research further supports that women are more likely than men to adopt innovative and preventative measures in environmental conservation. Women’s involvement in natural resource management often leads to stricter sustainability practices, higher compliance rates, enhanced transparency, and improved conflict resolution. Their decision-making tends to prioritize the collective good, promoting fair practices and ethical standards.

    Empowering women not only addresses the immediate impacts of climate change but also builds a foundation for long-term sustainability and justice. It is crucial to close the gender gaps in environmental leadership to harness these benefits fully.

    SEEDS: Empowering the Mothers of Earth

    SEEDS (Sustainable Ecological and Environmental Development Society) has been at the forefront of addressing these challenges for the past 30 years by empowering women in India to become resilient against the impacts of climate change. Through innovative and compassionate projects, SEEDS not only supports these women but also nurtures their capacity to sustain their families and communities.

    ●          Sustainable Livelihood Development in Bihar

    In the Darbhanga district of Bihar, climate variability like annual floods, drought and frequent crop failures wreaks havoc on the lives of the local population. The majority of the community depends on agriculture and livestock, which are vulnerable and directly impacted by the increasingly unpredictable climate. This leads to frequent crop failures and diminished livelihood opportunities. With the aid of local partners, SEEDS initiated the Bihar Sustainable Livelihood Development (BSLD) project to mitigate these challenges. This project focuses on empowering women through the formation of 400 Self-Help Groups, focusing over 8,000 women across 74 villages. These groups are engaged in diverse activities such as goat rearing, kitchen gardening, and backyard poultry farming—sustainable practices that enhance food security and income stability while fostering environmental stewardship.

    ●          Reviving the Sundarbans

    The Sundarbans, a unique mangrove ecosystem located at the delta of the Brahmaputra, Padma, and Meghna rivers, faces multiple threats exacerbated by climate change. These include soil erosion and salinization, which endanger both the local ecology and the agricultural livelihoods of the community. In response, SEEDS launched the project “Restoring Life and Livelihood of Coastal Communities in Sundarbans: Reviving Nature as Solution.” This project emphasizes nature-based solutions such as mangrove restoration to protect against climate impacts while enhancing community resilience. Over 25,000 mangroves have been planted, playing a crucial role in stabilizing the local environment and providing new economic opportunities for the community, particularly women.

    This effort is not just about ecological preservation but also about providing women with the agency to actively participate in and benefit from environmental conservation efforts. By involving women in mangrove nurseries and plantation activities, SEEDS ensures that they are at the forefront of creating a sustainable future for their communities. These activities offer new sources of income and enhance the women’s role in local conservation efforts, transforming them into custodians.

    Both projects not only focus on immediate economic benefits but also aim to build long-term resilience. By enhancing knowledge and capacity, SEEDS ensures that these women can become leading figures in their communities, capable of guiding and supporting sustainable development efforts.

    Malti Devi’s Path to Empowerment

    In the rural backdrop of Darbhanga, Bihar, Malti Devi’s journey is a testament to resilience. Once burdened by financial hardships, Malti’s life took a transformative turn when she joined the Community Agro-Veterinarian Entrepreneur (CAVE) program through SEEDS. As a member of the Jay Ganga Self-Help Group (SHG), she utilized her training to enhance her community’s agricultural practices.

    Malti’s efforts have led her village towards sustainable cultivation. By employing modern agricultural techniques and establishing a nursery, she not only improved her family’s livelihood but also became a beacon of social progress and unity. Her work extends beyond agriculture; she provides essential veterinary services, promoting self-sufficiency and resilience among her peers.

    Beyond her community work, Malti manages her responsibilities at home, caring for her two children and in-laws. Her journey from financial insecurity to becoming a skilled community leader under SEEDS’ guidance illustrates her multifaceted role in fostering societal upliftment. Through dedication and acquired skills, Malti has overcome significant challenges, paving her way towards a sustainable future and inspiring many within and beyond her community.

    A Commitment to Mothers and Mother Earth

    As we celebrate incredible women who have shaped our lives, let’s also extend our gratitude to Mother Earth by supporting and recognizing the efforts of organizations like SEEDS. SEEDS work not only empowers women in the face of climate challenges but also reinforces the bond between our environment and societal well-being. In nurturing our mothers and Mother Earth, we foster a future where both can thrive in harmony.

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