There is systemic inequality between women and men everywhere in the world. Universally, women continue to face limited access to and control over resources. Women are largely under-represented in decision-making processes that shape their lives and their societies. Gender inequality is reinforced every day through discriminatory attitudes, practices and structures. The inequality that women experience hinders the progress of half of any society and is a fundamental barrier to integral human development and social justice.
Gender equality is a systemic issue. We frequently observe gender-specific impacts across our areas of work. The lack of enforcement of rural women’s property rights makes it difficult for them to access land on which to grow food. Though women are often assigned the duty of caring for the health of a community, women are denied participation in decision-making on energy sources that may emit dangerous pollution. Women’s position in society is exploited by corporate supply chains as a source of cheap labor in poor working conditions. Women face structural barriers to accessing justice if they try to seek legal rectification for land grabbing or corporate abuse. Though we often see women at the heart of organising grassroots movements, rarely are they the spokespeople or representatives. Despite efforts by many movements and the international community to address this imbalance, their voices do not carry the same weight in front of government or corporate authorities as their male counterparts.
We know that these gender specific impacts must be addressed in the policies we advocate for to regulate corporations, and the solutions we propose for just and sustainable energy and food systems. These solutions must acknowledge the decision-making structures that disempower women, and try to actively reimagine participatory processes that ensure women are treated equally as actors within society. We are working with our partners and members to find methodologies to open conversations on gender equality in their diverse cultural and economic contexts, to challenge mentalities and unequal relationships. We celebrate women’s perspectives and amplify their voices in our media.
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