Women Rise Up for a Liveable Planet vigil on International Women’s Day, Forres High Street, Wed 8 March 2023
On Wednesday 8th March 2023, members of the Forres Women’s Climate Strike will hold a special vigil to mark International Women’s Day 2023 under the theme of Women Rise Up for a Liveable Planet. Their aim is to draw attention to the ways in which women are particularly affected by the climate-biodiversity crisis and the opportunities that the crisis presents for implementing changes that could lead to a fairer, more sustainable way of living focussed on well-being and living in harmony with nature.
Rachel Winter, local environmental campaigner, said, “Since we started our regular Friday lunchtime vigils, we’ve talked a lot about how women and girls, particularly in countries least responsible for the emissions driving the climate-biodiversity crisis, are often disproportionately impacted by it. And how their voices are often effectively silenced in negotiations about what to do about it. But what we haven’t talked about so much is the opportunities the crisis presents for us to transition to a healthier, fairer and more sustainable way of life, and that is what we are trying to do today.
The Chinese word for crisis beautifully encapsulates this, being comprised of two characters, one meaning ‘danger’ and one meaning ‘change point’. The head of the UN, António Guterres, has said that the climate crisis poses an ‘existential threat’ to humanity, and yet it also presents an opportunity for us to transition to living more in harmony with the natural world that sustains all life.”
According to the UN, 4 out of 5 people displaced by climate change are women and girls . And heat waves, droughts, floods, pandemics, and extreme storms too often impact them hardest, partly because they are more likely to live in poverty but also because they have less access to the resources they need to survive and recover from disasters (including education and basic rights). They are more likely to lose income when climate-related disasters strike and face systematic violence that escalates during instability .
Julia Tucknott, a local costume designer and former teaching assistant, said, “Climate chaos is absolutely a women’s issue and that’s why we wanted to bring more attention to it on International Women’s Day.
Women around the world are already suffering from the impacts of climate change and because women are more likely to live below or close to the poverty line, they are bearing the brunt of the cost of living crisis which is driven in part by the high gas prices we would not be so vulnerable to if we had transitioned away from fossil fuels earlier.
And yet our government is still dragging its heels when it comes to taking the level of action required and UK cabinet ministers have been warned that they face court action because of their catastrophic failure to develop policies for tackling climate change . As a bare minimum, our government needs to follow the science and issue no more licences for new oil and gas fields such as Rosebank. If burned, the fuel from this one UK field would create more climate pollution than the annual emissions of the 700 million people in the world’s poorest countries. These are the same countries that have contributed the least to the climate crisis but which are already experiencing some of the worst impacts of a warming planet .”
The women say that in this critical decade, when carbon emissions (still currently rising) must fall by half in order to avoid triggering catastrophic planetary tipping points, it is vital that women ‘rise up’ and make their voices heard about the changes they would like to see. XXX, says, “Just as inequality leaves women more vulnerable to climate change, it also means our voices are being vastly underrepresented when it comes to deciding what to do about climate change. Yet, it has been shown time and time again that when women are involved at all levels of decision-making, entire communities and nature can benefit.
Members of the wider Women’s Climate Strike movement, together with women from Women’s Climate Action and Christian Climate Action will also drop a banner on IWD23 bearing the message ‘Women Rise Up for a Liveable Planet’ from Stirling Castle’s battlements after an early morning projection onto the Wallace Monument.
The women were inspired to project their image onto the Wallace Monument after they read about Ethel Moorhead, a Scottish suffragette arrested in 1912 for breaking the glass containing the sword of William Wallace in order to leave the message “Your liberties were won by the sword, release the women who are fighting for their liberties.” 
Mandy Cairns, a ‘craftivist’ and local community organiser said, “We are a non-violent group but just as William Wallace and the suffragettes had to win their liberties, so we today need to win the battle for a future in which we can all live more sustainably and more in harmony with the natural world without exploiting its resources. This will ensure better wellbeing, health and overall happiness for everyone.”
Women who cannot make the in-person events have also been tweeting pictures of themselves holding placards saying what a future liveable planet should include. Photos show women holding signs saying ‘Women Rise Up fro Biodiversity’, ‘Women Rise Up for Climate Justice’ among others. See @womenscs for more.
Images: Mark Richards.
Women’s Climate Strike @womenscs
The Women’s Climate Strike aims to bring women’s climate protest to local areas through women striking up conversations, striking poses, or striking from work. It is now affiliated with the Women’s Climate Action network (https://womensclimateaction.net/)
 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-43294221, 8 Mar 2018