Media Advisory: International Women’s Day Vigil & Rally for Climate Justice, Holyrood, 7-8 March 2022

News

Women will lead a 24-hour ‘drop-in’ Vigil For Climate Justice outside the Scottish Parliament, ahead of a Rally on International Women’s Day (8 March)

Activists from Women’s Climate Strike and other organisations will begin a 24-hour ‘drop-in’ Vigil at 7pm on the 7th of March followed by a rally the next day. 

On International Women’s Day itself speakers, storytellers and poets (including the Scottish Makar) will take centre-stage from 2pm, followed by a climate choir and music from 5pm.

At 7pm, alarm bells will be rung to signal how little time we have left to tackle the climate-nature crisis and avoid run-away climate change.

The vigil and rally are part of the International Day of Women’s Climate Action, organised by the Women’s Climate Strike, to protest the disproportionate impacts of climate disruption on women. They demand action to tackle gender inequity, as well as proper representation for the most affected people and peoples in climate negotiations.

This event is being organised by cis, Intersex, Non-binary, and trans (FINT) women. Every person is welcome to join us, recognising that greater gender equity benefits all.

Background 

The UN estimates that 80% of people displaced by climate change are women and girls [1].  Heat waves, droughts, floods, pandemics, and extreme storms impact women hardest: they struggle to survive and recover afterwards because they are more likely to live in poverty and to lose income when climate-related disasters strike. Women have less access to education and basic rights and face systematic violence that escalates during instability and conflict [2].

Dr Sandy Winterbottom co-founder of Women’s Climate Action [3], says, “Women carry the weight of the climate crisis and the burden of waiting for the world to act, not just in the Global South but also here in Britain. Because more women live below or close to the poverty line, they are now bearing the brunt of fuel poverty. This could have been avoided, if we had transitioned away from fossil fuels earlier.”

Just as inequality leaves women more vulnerable to climate disruption, so too does it result in women’s voices going unheard when it comes to deciding what to do about climate change. Women are still under represented in climate negotiating bodies [4], even though we know that when women are involved at all levels of decision-making, communities and nature can benefit.

Rachel Winter, a community development worker from Moray, says, “Climate breakdown is accelerating rapidly and we have only a few years left to take the necessary action. Delays in transitioning away fossil fuels has cost us precious time and left us at the mercy of those who control supplies, as we now see in Ukraine.

People ask ‘What can I do?’ but the question is ‘What can I do with others?’ Women make up nearly 50% of the population but it is only when we stand together in complete solidarity that we can realise our true power. We call on everyone to stand with us today, even if only for a few minutes. Our home is being destroyed and we must no longer leave it to others to hold those profiteering from its destruction to account. Please join us – the time is now!”

Sources
[1] ] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-43294221, 8 Mar 2018
[2] https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/how-climate-change-affects-women, 5 Mar 2020
[3] https://womensclimateaction.net/ 
[4] https://www.forbes.com/sites/bonniechiu/2021/10/30/cop26-why-are-women-still-missing-at-the-top-climate-table/?sh=47483902519d 

Programme of Events (provisional)

Monday, 7 March, starting 7pm: Vigil for Climate Justice
24-hour ‘Drop In Vigil’ (ends 7pm on 8 March). A small group of women will maintain the vigil for 24 hours. All are invited to join them and sit or stand in solidarity for as long as people feel able.

Tuesday, 8 March, International Women’s Day 2022
Vigil continues (11-5pm: those standing vigil will be joined by the Lady of Justice)
Throughout the day:
Memorial to female environmentalists who have been killed
Stitches for Survival panels, originally created for COP26
Tree of Hope – MSPs are invited to add their messages
Family-friendly picnic (lunchtime)
Rally for Climate Justice
2-5pm – Speakers, storytellers, singers, and poets, including Kathleen Jamie, the Scottish Makar, who will read ‘What the Clyde said, after COP26’
5-7pm – Music and choirs
5 minutes to 7pm – Sounding the Alarm

 

About Women’s Climate Strike

The Women’s Climate Strike is a grassroots organisation calling for women across the globe to set up a regular climate strike in their local area – be that a city, town, village, or neighbourhood – to demand immediate action on the climate catastrophe.
https://womensclimatestrike.com/

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