Latest

Women Leaders on the Frontlines at USOW

Topics: , , , , , , , ,

Last month, WEA was honored to be a community partner for the United State of Women Summit where we co-hosted and presented at the “Eco Women’s Leadership on the Front Lines panel. This event highlighted the critical work of women leaders to solve environmental challenges around the world and gave rise to the Eco Women’s Alliance — a forum for continued collaboration.

Thank you to our event partners (Center for Food Safety, Los Angeles Food Policy Council, Kiss The Ground, Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles, Three Squares Inc., Women In Green Forum, NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program), our generous sponsors (NationBuilder, Green Wish, Repurpose, Califia Farms, and Actor/Activist Sharon Lawrence), and our host committee for making this possible!

Watch Amira Diamond present at “Eco Women’s Leadership on the Front Lines.”

Join us for the Women’s Assembly for Climate Justice

Project: Accelerating Women's Climate Solutions in the U.S.

Topics: , , , , ,

WEA is honored to participate in the Women’s Assembly for Climate Justice: Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change on September 11th in San Francisco (and livestreamed). Organized by our friends at WECAN, this dynamic public forum will be a gathering of women leaders from across the United States and around the world, joined in solidarity to speak out against environmental and social injustice, draw attention to root causes of the climate crisis, and present a diverse array of strategies. This event will be held the day before the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in California.

Find additional details and RSVP here.

India Ripple Academy Learning Lab: Applications Open

Topics: , , , , , , , ,

Applications for the India Ripple Academy Learning Lab are still open and the deadline to apply is July 31st. The Learning Lab is a 2-month program that will launch in Rishikesh, India with a training intensive from September 14-16, 2018.

The Ripple Academy Learning Lab is a unique opportunity for women environmental leaders in India to strengthen their work, increase their impact, and gain deeper access to the movement of regional women leaders transforming environmental crises into solutions.

Learn more and apply!

Puerto Rico and Gendered Natural Disaster Resilience

Topics: , ,

In September 2017, Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated Puerto Rico and wiped out much of the island’s infrastructure. Hurricane Irma touched down on the island first, and left approximately 1 million residents out of the island’s 3.4 million without power. Two weeks later, Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 Hurricane, left more than 60% of the island without water and almost all without electricity. It was the worst hurricane to have ever hit Puerto Rico.

(US Department of Defense)

The hurricanes severely damaged the island’s power grid, and nine months later, Puerto Rico’s residents are still frustrated by the lack of power and stability available. Although electricity has at long last been restored to a majority of neighborhoods, many are still struck by random power outages which, at times, lasts for hours. This instability has kept residents in a state of perpetual limbo, uncertain when they’ll be able to return to anything resembling normal.

As Puerto Rico continues to grapple with the catastrophic scale of destruction on the island, it is crucial that we lift up those who are most often disproportionately impacted by natural disasters. While natural disasters affect all in its wake, research has shown that women and girls are at greater risk in post-disaster regions. Using data from more than 140 countries, the United Nations Development Program recognized the complex relationship between gender equality and natural disaster resilience, finding that natural disasters lower women’s life expectancy more so than for men – 14 times more. Many times, this is because women traditionally serve as primary caregivers in families and are often tasked with caring for (and therefore ensuring the safety of) children and the elderly.

Even in the aftermath of natural disasters, women remain at risk, often experiencing high levels of violence as a result of cramped and overcrowded shelters. Furthermore, UNDP found that women are more susceptible to sexual and domestic violence following disasters when possible perpetrators’ feelings of helplessness and loss of control are heightened. Prior to Hurricanes Maria and Irma in September, women in Puerto Rico already experienced high rates of violence as well as higher rates of poverty among women. These are often compounding factors; in post-Hurricane Katrina Louisiana, for example, many of those who faced the most violence were also those who experienced the deepest poverty – African American women and children.

(FEMA Photo Library)

As climate change-induced natural disasters increase, we will undoubtedly be faced with more hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes, flooding and brush fires. It is critical that we center the needs of women and girls, both in disaster prevention and relief efforts. While women’s vulnerability post-disaster is great, so too is their strength and leadership to connect, support, and rebuild communities.

Here are just a few local organizations in Puerto Rico working to rebuild their communities: