How Women Are Saving the Planet

You might think that the most significant parts of environmental efforts are recycling or energy reduction, but there’s a far more vital tool at work — women. This half of the population could be the key to effective change for the earth.

women and the environment. NCVO London
Credit: NCVO London, FlickrCC

While there remains a glaring gap in gender parity, gender equality is slowly on the rise, and the planet stands to benefit from it. From economic conditions to global climate change, flourishing women are making a substantial impact.

The roles that women play in society are irreplaceable, and when they are properly equipped and given much-deserved platforms, they are active contributors to the planet. Let’s look at the range of benefits that women are providing around the globe.

Reduced Carbon Footprint Through Education

Managing climate change is a huge feat, but informing women and girls about reproductive health can diminish the strain of the environment. When females are educated about contraception, they can intentionally participate in family planning and provide a stronger framework for the next generation.

For every dollar spent on contraceptive supplies, developing regions and countries save $2.20 on maternal and newborn healthcare. With the protection against unwanted pregnancies, women can focus their attention, resources and skills elsewhere.

Ultimately, women who are educated on birth control can invest more in the children they intend to have. Uninhibited population growth is a major factor in climate change, but contraceptive education can regulate this unrestrained escalation.

Protection for Wildlife

Many women exhibit care for creatures and their habitats, and they are taking great pains to promote wildlife conservation. At Kruger National Park in South Africa, a band of young women called the Black Mambas patrols the grounds to turn away poachers.

These local women are dedicated to saving rhinos, which were slaughtered by poachers every seven hours in South Africa at the time the Black Mambas started. Female guards like Leitah Michabela want future generations to enjoy wildlife, too.

Other female activists are spreading the word about endangered species and animal cruelty. However, even those who don’t claim to be outright activists, like Gabriela Cowperwaith, are exposing the public to the upsetting state of animal treatment. She directed a film about SeaWorld’s violent practices toward their orcas, and this documentary incited a large-scale protest of the theme park’s behavior.

As wildlife benefits from concerned women, nature has a better chance of thriving down the road.

Stewardship of Land and Awareness of Voting Rights

When women are empowered, it has a positive effect on their community and the environment. This is specifically true in matters of land ownership, as the rights of women can boost economic growth. Without the potential for upward mobility, the risk for poverty and familial instability are higher.

In many developing areas, men only possess a clear ability to own and control land. Especially in communities that depend on agriculture, property is a critical economic resource. A woman’s income can spike up to 380 percent when she holds the right to own or inherit land. However, clear rights to property are withheld from women in places like South Sudan and Afghanistan.

In Tanzania, Leah Orwangas nearly lost her land when her husband passed away. A Maasai man attempted to possess the property, but the Ujamaa Community Resource Team stepped in to educate her about her rights. Now as the rightful owner of her land, she uses her knowledge to teach other local women about their property and voting rights.

Forward-Thinking Leadership

A higher percentage of women take environmental issues seriously, which presents implications for leadership. Recognizing the potential for progress seems to be an insight that a large number of women hold.

Women in charge prize diversity and are in tune with the issues plaguing the planet. In many industries, women in leadership hire more women. Not only are women benefitting the environment — they’re building up other women for success.

Support Revolutionary Women

As females around the world tirelessly work to create a better planet, it’s crucial to encourage women in their efforts. Providing more women with opportunities can open up greater hope for the earth. Reinforce the groundwork that women are constructing across countries and cultures for improved economics, wildlife conservation and climate health.