Filipino women pedal for rights, climate justice

Photo by Jimmy Domingo
Photo by Jimmy Domingo

SOME 1,000 bikers participated in the all-women “Pedal for People and Planet” in Quezon City on Sunday, March 12, 2023, to raise awareness on issues on women's rights, food, energy, and climate justice.

Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) and lead organizer of the event, said that “social and economic marginalization of women not only exacerbates women’s vulnerability to impacts of the climate crisis, it also undermines climate actions.”

She urged the governments to “make a rapid, equitable and just energy transition that meets the needs and upholds the rights of women.”

“Climate change is harming food systems in many parts of the world because frequent and more intense climate change-induced droughts, heat waves or flooding are destroying crops and livelihoods,” she said.

“Women bear the brunt of these climate shocks because women provide food for the family and many women depend on natural resources for livelihood. We need urgent actions to strengthen food systems that address social and economic needs of women and communities,” Nacpil added.

The bike actions were also held across India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nepal, and Vietnam to celebrate Women’s Month.

Citing some studies, the organizer maintained that women worldwide “are disproportionately affected by climate change.”

“Climate change exacerbates women’s burdens because of gender norms that tie them to domestic care work, such as gathering food, water, and firewood. Women also frequently lose part of their already lower earnings because women’s livelihoods are linked to natural resources that are adversely impacted by climate change,” Nacpil said in a statement.

“Despite having vital roles in local food systems as food producers, women remain unable to earn enough to meet their basic needs from health and water to adequate and nutritious food. In many cultures, women ensure the well-being of kin first and often eat last and consume the least,” she added.

It is also estimated that 60 percent of those chronically hungry are women and girls.

Meanwhile, the organizer said that over 50 cycling groups in the country have joined with climate campaigners to hold all-women bike actions in Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Bulacan, Atimonan, Camarines Norte and Batangas City, with Quezon City having the biggest event.

The bike actions in the country were in partnership with the Quezon City Gender and Development Council, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, The Firefly Brigade, Siklista Pilipino, Pinay Bike Commuter Community, Tropang Women Bikers, Women Bikers for Safe Spaces, 350 Pilipinas, Oxfam, Sanlakas, Oriang, and Aniban ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura. (SunStar Philippines)


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