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Women and planet - time for a new social contract?

Event details


Watch the panel

Watch our panel discussion and be inspired by global women who stand together for gender and climate justice. 

International Women's Day

On 8 March we held a panel discussion with leading global voices on the role of women in tackling climate change.

Our panel of speakers for the event: 

  • Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, CEO, Christian Aid
  • Vanessa Nakate, Ugandan Climate activist and Champion
  • Bishop Marines R Santos Bassotto, of the Anglican Dioceses of the Amazon, Brazil
  • Wanun Permpibul, Executive Director of Climate Watch Thailand and member of Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)
  • Farhana Yamin, Veteran Climate Lawyer and Activist - via video message

The climate crisis is shaped by power relations, which disproportionately impact women and girls, who bear the brunt of environmental and human rights abuses.

Women are less likely to be compensated for loss of income for climate change-induced disasters as they are not recognised heads of households, property owners or formal income earners.

Yet, despite understanding most keenly the impacts, not just on themselves, but also on future generations, they are often excluded from decision-making tables.

It's critical to capture and codify the expertise and visions of these women and marginalised communities if we are to transform the old system which has led to our climate emergency and build a new planetary social contract that seeks to put the last first and leave no one behind.

The work for a clean and sustainable environment that protects our planet requires a grassroots as well as a top down approach – sustainability built from the ground up. Sustainable change rarely come from within the system, it often comes from outside. from the disruption of protest, from women, youth, the grassroots. Women around the world are already leading movements for climate justice, and challenging issues such as land grabbing and environmental destruction.

Speaker bios

We are delighted to welcome a truly global panel of women to discuss the impact of climate change on women across the world.

Amanda Khozi Mukwashi has devoted more than 25 years to working on poverty alleviation, tackling injustice and inequalities.

She has worked in both intergovernmental and non-governmental spaces, bringing in-depth experience from across the development sector. She is the Chief Executive Officer of Christian Aid, leading development and humanitarian interventions in Africa, Asia & the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean. Amanda has also served with the United Nations under the United Nations Volunteer programme in Germany, as Chief, Volunteer Knowledge and Innovation and Chief of Advisory Services.

Prior to this, she worked for VSO International, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa in Zambia and for the UNFPA Zambia Country support programme on Gender, Population and Development. She has served as a trustee for Bond and as President of Akina Mama wa Afrika.

Amanda is a published author. But Where Are You Really From? is her first book. She has a Master’s degree in International Economic Law from the University of Warwick and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Zambia.

Vanessa Nakate, 24, is a climate activist from Uganda and founder of the Africa-based Rise Up Movement.

She began striking for the climate in her home town of Kampala in January 2019, after witnessing droughts and flooding devastating communities in Uganda. She now campaigns internationally to highlight the impacts of climate change already playing out in Africa, as well as promoting key climate solutions such as educating girls. In 2020, Vanessa was named a UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as being listed one of the BBC's 100 Women of the year and the 100 most influential young Africans.

Bishop Marines R Santos Bassotto, is the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Amazon. She was the first woman appointed as a Bishop in Brazil and South America.

She is a theologian with specialisation on religious diversity and human rights. She coordinates different commissions of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil, such as the National Commission on Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue, the National Commission on Liturgy and the Commission on Mission. She was also a member of the inter-religious dialogue group of Porto Alegre city for 20 years and member of the Committee of Religious Diversity, as well as the Inter-religious and Ecumenical Forum of the of State of Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil.

Marinez organised the Anglican Service of Diakonia and Development’s magazine on Gender, Sexuality and Rights in 2016 and has been a lecturer in several institutions.

Wanun Permpibul, is Executive Director of Climate Watch Thailand, a non-profit, non-governmental organisation, focusing on climate policies and actions, covering both mitigation of greenhouse gases, resilience building, and adaptation, towards a just and sustainable society.

She has been engaged in the climate change discussions and actions including mitigation (energy and forest issues), resilience building and adaptation in Thailand. She works on the ground with farmers and women in communities to empower them to realise their rights to development and to demand just climate policies and actions that respect human rights, ecological balance, gender responsiveness.

She has applied different participatory approaches to engage farmers and women in doing action research that brings in their concerns and voices as input to climate related policy recommendations and take those for national policy advocacy. The work on the ground has been included in and been part of the national and regional calls for stopping coal and fossil fuels, finance for locally identified initiatives, and for downscaling climate projections integrating local wisdoms in building resilience and long term adaptation to impacts of climate change.

Recently, she has been working with women communities in the North and South of Thailand to identify gaps in Thailand Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and to ensure the NDCs reflect the needs of women and climate justice issues. Also, the recent work on Sustainable Development Goals, together with women, locally indicators have been identified and women monitor the plans, policies and projects using their indicators. These gaps and local indicators have been become significant input to the national movement for policy advocacy.

Farhana Yamin is an internationally recognised environmental lawyer, climate change and development policy expert. She has advised leaders and ministers on climate negotiations for 30 years, representing small islands and developing countries and attending nearly every major climate summit since 1991.

In addition to founding Track 0, she is an Associate Fellow at Chatham House, a Senior Advisor to SYSTEMIQ and an FRSA.

She was voted Number 2 on the 2020 BBC’s Power List with the judges describing her a 'powerhouse of climate justice' and is active in numerous community-based initiatives and social justice movements.

The panel will be chaired by Christian Aid's head of global policy and advocacy Fionna Smyth.

Find out more about our latest campaign for climate justice