International Women’s Day 2022: “A Day in My Life: The Palestinian Women Championing Climate Justice”

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2022 (IWD), UNESCO Ramallah produced three videos, each one featuring a different Palestinian woman working in their own way to mitigate the effects of climate change. International Women’s Day is an opportunity each year to celebrate the achievements of women and progress made towards gender equality, while drawing attention to the challenges which remain.

This year’s theme – Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow – recognizes the critical contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all. In line with this year’s theme, UNESCO’s videos are part of a communication campaign that aims to promote positive examples of women working on environmental protection.

With each video, UNESCO is inviting the viewer to take a look behind the scenes at a day in the life of these environmental champions to showcase the vital role that women play in building a sustainable future. Too often women are excluded from the decision-making table, despite their involvement and significant achievements in the environmental sector. It is now time to acknowledge women’s successes and unite to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Advancing gender equality in the context of the climate crisis and disaster risk reduction is one of the greatest global challenges of the 21st century. It cannot be achieved without the meaningful participation of women and girls. Each effort in fighting climate change counts.

We see it with Rana H. Idais, a Water and Environmental Specialist from Gaza, who teaches her students every day about the effects of climate change on the environment in Palestine and beyond, as well as the importance of learning from accurate sources of information.

We see it too with Abeer Butmeh from Nablus, Water and Environmental Engineer and Coordinator of PENGON Friends of the Earth Palestine, who says: “Palestinian women are leaders in climate justice. Our ambitions and capabilities need to be supported to enable us to build a sustainable future.”

Finally, we see it from the perspective of Ruba Anabtawi, Environmental Editor and Reporter based in Jerusalem who highlights that “The media has an important role to play in raising awareness of environmental issues. In the media, we try to humanise environmental issues and make them relevant to people’s lives.”

All of these are examples of women who, despite many challenges, are still tirelessly working to ensure everyone can enjoy a society that respects its own environment and does not destroy it. Women play a vital role in society and all of us must support the leadership role of women and girls in Palestine! With their power, they can lead to real long-lasting change for all.

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