The Power of Mobilizing Women in the Climate Crisis

Women are by far the group most disproportionately affected by climate change. Yet, they are regularly left out of the conversation on a global scale. The United Nations estimates 80 percent of all people displaced by climate change are women and girls, who make up only 30 percent of global and national climate decision-making bodies. 

When thinking about the climate crisis, it is easy to become overwhelmed by dread and feelings of helplessness. But learning about the work of incredible women activists can provide a sense of hope and optimism as we all march forward into the impending storm. If we’re willing to listen to these women, we might actually be able to make it out of this alive. And dare I say, even better than before. 

In a World Increasingly Defined By Crises, We Need Women’s Leadership Like Never Before

Three trends characterized women’s leadership in the pandemic response: effective leadership, rapid response and socially inclusive policies.

In a future being shaped increasingly by climate change, the collapse of liberal democracies, growing inequality, pandemics and now a war in Eastern Europe, what’s needed more than ever are leaders with empathy backed up by serious attention to the needs of the most vulnerable—ones that can bring people together, in solidarity, during times of hardship and craft a set of socially inclusive policies that capture the complex and myriad impacts of crises.  We need not just more women, including diverse women leaders at the top but also more male leaders embracing the qualities that women leaders have exemplified throughout the pandemic. Nothing less than our future depends on it. 

Jacinda Ardern’s Rise to Power as “The Strong Woman”—Not the Strongman

Unlike a number of women outliers holding office, Jacinda Ardern hasn’t compromised her personality to suit her career; she hasn’t become “masculinized.” Assertive and effective in politics, she invokes a style that a broad spectrum of people, of both sexes, may seek in coming generations: the strong woman—as opposed to the strongman—who embodies astuteness, along with the ability to bring opposing forces together for a greater goal.

What Would It Take to Double the Representation of Women in Congress By 2050?

As the U.S. celebrates the fairly meager victories for women candidates in the 2020 election and compare our progress to our democratic allies around the world, there is much to learn from New Zealand’s successful transition to a mixed-member proportional system.

In order for the United States to make serious and sustained progress toward parity by 2050, we must invest our energy and our resources in systemic reforms that address the structural barriers women face as candidates and elected officials.