Women's Power

Funding women as leaders, decision-makers, and contributors is essential to solve the climate emergency

October 14, 2019

2:12 pm

As the climate emergency captures more of the global conversation, people are searching for the best solutions in the few years remaining before irreversible effects take hold.

One answer that’s getting an increasing amount of attention is to empower women as leaders, decision-makers, and contributors when it comes to climate financing. With the majority of the world’s poor being women, climate change impacts make life even harder for people already experiencing conflict, political uncertainty, and economic struggle. Another source for understanding the causal link between woman and climate — what’s known as a nexus — is the September 2018 BSR report called “Climate+Women.”

Research also shows that people who are most impacted additionally have the closest relationship to scalable solutions to mitigate and reverse climate change. In work done by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), women and girls are pivotal to addressing climate emergency impacts and leading toward humanity’s overall resilience.

Yet for now, funding to charities dedicated to women and girls receive only 1.6% of all donations — a minuscule amount — according to a study released in October 2019 by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, titled Women & Girls Index: Measuring Giving to Women’s and Girls’ Causes.

In a new announcement, the path to empowering women with funding got a high-profile boost. Philanthropist Melinda Gates plans to put $1 billion toward expanding women’s power and influence in the United States over the next decade. She told Reuters that she “loses sleep over fears the nation will stop caring about inequality and diversity.”

Earth's Call Fund is part of a thriving ecosystem of climate solutions philanthropies with women leaders. Two notable organizations are the Keeling Curve Prize led by founder/director Jackie Francis and the Roddenberry Foundation, for which Meg Busse is the COO.

The Earth's Call Fund community has already identified women and girls as an essential focus. At the “Gender and Climate” session at the May 2019 Earth’s Call event, the panel discussed ways to elevate the conversation and stimulate more investment in women and girls. As one attendee said, “It’s not about women’s empowerment — it’s about power.”

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