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Climate Change, Take Action Now!

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Climate change is one of the most urgent issues of our time. While the impacts of hurricanes, droughts, floods, and heat waves are already widespread, women are particularly vulnerable to its impacts. At the same time, women are taking leadership in curbing the impacts of climate change.

Natural disasters and environmental changes magnify existing inequalities, and gender inequality is among the most pervasive forms of discrimination. Women’s historic disadvantages – their restricted access to resources and information and their limited power in decision-making – make them more susceptible to the risks of extreme weather events. Climate change also reinforces traditional gender roles when times of crisis force women to go the extra mile to locate and provide life-sustaining natural resources.

In 2009 the World YWCA partnered with the Alliance of Youth CEOs [1] and UNICEF to produce a climate change manual by and for young people. The manual is intended to empower young people to take action on climate change by providing in-depth case studies and examples to inspire and motivate youth-led initiatives. Critical in this manual are the positive actions highlighted that girls and young women can take on climate change mitigation and adaptation [2]

This guide emanates from a participatory, consultative process in which representatives (both young and old) from all organisations came together and shared experiences and practical approaches for engaging children and young people in the climate change agenda through local actions.  It presents a wealth of case studies based on the experience of these organisations, which illustrate best practices from a diverse range of countries and situations. What is common to all of them is the promotion of the civil engagement of children and young people in local action projects.

[1] The Alliance of Youth CEOs includes: The International Award Association; International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC); World Alliance of YMCAs (YMCA); World Young Women’s Christian Association (World YWCA); World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS); World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM)
[2] UNDP Human Development Report, International cooperation at a crossroads – Aid, trade and security in an unequal world, New York 2005.
Publisher World YWCA, Alliance of Youth CEOs and UNICEF
Date of publication 2010
Number of pages 94
Language English   (French and Spanish available soon)

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