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At first they may seem like two different issues, but feminism and environmentalism are intricately connected. The ecofeminist movement aims to show how environmental degradation and oppression of women are linked to the common denominator of the patriarchal-capitalist power structure. In this framework, men are promoted to the top of the hierarchical structure and maintain their power by using the earth’s natural resources at their convenience (Warren, 2014). Women, at the worse at of the spectrum are seen as ‘things’ to be conquered or more generally, as inferior. According to this view, both women and nature are exploited at the hands of the capitalist, patriarchal system that we are a part of. 
Understanding the nature of how environmental issues are caused can deepen our understanding on how and why women are oppressed. This multi-faceted approach may lend in a hand in designing solutions that address the issue more holistically.

Climate Change Impacts Women More
The effects of climate change will disproportionally impact women more than men since majority of the world’s poorer population is made up of women (Society Zero, 2019).
As the Peruvian activist, Mara Alejandra Rodriguez Acha, puts it:
‘The changing climate…further increases disparities, as its impacts hit vulnerable populations – who have done the least to contribute to this crisis – the hardest. And among those at the frontlines of climate impacts are the bodies, lives and livelihoods of women around the world — particularly rural and indigenous women.’
Women in poorer countries make up majority of the agricultural labour force. Not only does this sector heavily depend on underpaying women, but it is also an industry which is most at risk from climate change. Therefore women are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change (Society Zero, 2019). 
On another note, a report by the World Health Organisation showed that extreme climate events affect women’s health more than men’s. Natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, storms and droughts results in a higher mortality rate for women in comparison to men. Why is this? The study showed that humanitarian aid such as the distribution of food and medical attention prioritised men. Extreme climate changes also put women at greater risk of sexual and domestic violence. After Hurricane Michael, rates of domestic violence in Florida doubled according to Meg Baldwin, director of the Refuge House (Daza, 2019). 
Climate change and the extreme weather events that result, put women in increasingly vulnerable situations where they are susceptible to abuse or hardship. 
Men Contribute More to Climate Change
The cause of climate change is broadly explained by a consequence of human activities, but a study from Sweden suggests that men disproportionally contribute more than women do (Rosenberg, 2021). The Journal for Industrial Ecology published a study (based on economic findings) which showed that single men on average, spent 16% more on pollutive activities compared to their female counterpart (Carlsson Kanyama, 2021). All subjects of this study were then encouraged to uptake more eco-friendly options for food and transport. Results showed that even after attempting to live a ‘greener’ life, women still performed better, since men typically travel more by plane and car whilst women are more likely to take public transport (Carrington, 2021).
Lastly, another factor to this issue is men are less likely to adopt more environmentally lifestyles such as ‘veganism’ due to seeming less ‘masculine’. The intention here is not to shame men, but to recognise that climate change is a problem largely driven by men. By challenging the concepts of being environmentally friendly as being ‘un-masculine’, we might be able to help the environment.
Where to Now?
“Climate change is a man-made problem with a feminist solution”, says Mary Robinson (Society Zero, 2019). 
Women are often the resource managers of their families across all parts of the world. This gives them the power to make decisions that will help the climates condition. As U.N Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated, “the world’s women are the key to sustainable development, peace and security” (Daza, 2019).
Environmentalism is a feminist issue and one that requires women’s voices to speak up, contribute ideas and lead change. Saving the world however shouldn’t be ‘women’s work’, men need to drastically step up – but the feminist movement will be integral in pushing society towards a healthier planet.
Written By: Annika
Carlsson Kanyama, A., Nässén, J., & Benders, R. (2021). Shifting expenditure on food, holidays, and furnishings could lower greenhouse gas emissions by almost 40. Journal of Industrial Ecology, In Press.
Carrington, D. (2021). Men cause more climate emissions than women, study finds. Retrieved 2 August 2021, from
Daza, V. (2019). Two fights in one: feminism and environmentalism. Retrieved 2 August 2021, from
Society Zero. The environment is a feminist issue. (2019). Retrieved 2 August 2021, from
Rosenberg, L. (2021). New Study Shows Men in Sweden Have a Higher Environmental Impact Than Women. Retrieved 2 August 2021, from
Warren, K. (2014). Feminist Environmental Philosophy (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Retrieved 2 August 2021, from