On September 6, 2021, RESURJ alongside members’ organizations – ACCEDER (Costa Rica), FLAME (Taiwan), Tamazight Women’s Movement (Libya) hosted an interactive workshop “Drawing in our bodies in the landscape of environmental justice” at the Global South Women’s Forum (GSWF) organized by International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW- AP) The workshop aimed to unpack structural barriers to the realization and attainment of sexual and reproductive justice rooted in the climate and environmental crisis, as well as to provide critical reflection on contemporary approaches to climate actions and intersectional risk management.
During this workshop, we navigated through three aspects of climate and environmental crisis that impact our bodies: clean water and sanitation, food security and sovereignty, and extreme weather and disasters and their impact on feminist organizing.
Each of these topics incorporated a storytelling methodology, where each speaker narrated the story of a young woman highlighting the intersections between the above mentioned three aspects of climate and environmental crises with sexual and reproductive justice.
The first story is of A Zhe, narrated by Dana from Taiwan, who delves into the connections between food sovereignty, environmental justice, and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). It also builds on the impact of COVID19, and how multinational corporations and food giants benefit from the crises using an exploitative and extractivist approach, while taking the local food producers and small farmers out of the market, and in turn, threatening our food choices, land, and ecosystem.
The second story is about Ana, a university student from Costa Rica, narrated by Laura from Costa Rica. Ana’s story speaks about gender perspective in sanitation design, and the implications of the lack of it in women’s lives. The story also calls for adequate environmental policy to manage period waste, recognising that waste management is a structural issue that cannot be achieved solely by individual responsibility.
The final stories are told, by Inas from Libya, and Mangia from Mozambique. From them, we hear about extreme weather and disasters and their impact on SRHR, as well as feminist organizing – particularly highlighting impacts on young activists in rural and indigenous communities.
Inas speaks about how the conversation around natural disasters need to go beyond its immediate impact of physical destruction of land and should reflect upon the protection of our culture, intergenerational transfer of knowledge, as well as self and collective preservation that is central to our decolonizing work.
Mangia from Mozambique speaks about how during natural disasters like cyclones the focus of providing humanitarian relief becomes limited to food and medical assistance, while it should also take into consideration the human rights of women, young women, and children, as they are forced to change in a drastic way, and suffer gender-based sexual violence. It´s time we look at social justice issues with the same vision because gender inaccessibility provides stereotypes when humanitarian assistance is needed.
You can watch the complete conversation here.
At RESURJ, we hope to continue to explore the intersection of climate and environmental crises and their impact on the realization of sexual and reproductive justice and bodily autonomy. Watch this space for future conversations!