07 Jul 2014 Women of Expression – Women Adapting to Climate Change in Brazil
The Brazilian section of Article 19 Global Campaign for Freedom of Expression promotes the right to know for poor communities and advocates for freedom of information legislation to strengthen citizens’ participation. The threats from climate change are not gender neutral and it is essential that gender is incorporated into strategies to address climate change. In order to reach adaptation strategies and policies that are truly gender-sensitive, women’s voices need to be heard. To make their voices heard, women need information about their rights and the policies that affect their daily lives. This project fostered the exercise of communication rights to challenge women’s vulnerability to climate change. Article 19 Brazil worked with three poor and marginalised communities significantly challenged by the negative impacts of climate change with special focus on difficulties disproportionally imposed on women. One community is threatened by flooding and landslides, another by rising sea levels, and a third by drought. Women in the communities learned how to use the right to information and the law on access to environmental information as part of developing a community response. Their point of view and community based good practices in adapting to climate change was disseminated to community radios, public TV and web-based media so that other communities facing similar situations can benefit. Women from the communities directly benefited through skills development and empowerment, but all members of the communities involved benefited from having their concerns raised on a national stage and through a more positive representation of them in the media.