TODAY -

Climate justice is integral to development justice

Shobha Shukla *



Climate justice is integral to development justice, as it is essential for building a brave feminist future sans power and wealth inequalities. This is the dream of feminists in the Asia Pacific region, including Misun Woo, who recently took over charge as the Regional Coordinator for APWLD (Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development).

A law graduate from New York University School of Law, Misun Woo, is deeply committed to a feminist movement building to dismantle the current patriarchal structures and systems that are violating women’s human rights, deepening inequalities and fuelling conflicts.

Misun was in conversation with CNS (Citizen News Service) on the sidelines of APFSD (Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development) 2018, which was held in Bangkok, Thailand. Here are some of her insights on environmental and climate justice that is integral to ending resource and wealth inequalities between men and women, between rich and poor and between countries.

Right to a healthy and safe environment

Misun Woo: The right to a safe and healthy environment is increasingly being recognised as one of the core human rights. Climate change is a result of very deliberate political and economic decisions made by governments together with large corporations. Any form of climate change and/or environmental disaster manifests itself in intersecting forms of oppression impacting the lives and livelihood of women in different locations, of different religions and also those with different identities, in various ways.

Climate change and environment is a feminist issue and we have many evidences that women are affected more by climate change and natural disasters, with little recourse to remedies that can enable them to be resilient to their impacts. There are documented findings that after a natural disaster (like Typhoon Yolanda that struck Philippines a few years back), hits a community, women are forced to either migrate or are trafficked to become sex workers and also face different forms of gender based violence. Also in the event of an environmental crisis, women are more likely to die than men do as they have less access to remedies and justice.

On women environmental defenders

Misun Woo: As climate/environment issues are feminist issues and hence the core part of women’s human rights, there is an intrinsic overlap between women human rights defenders and environmental defenders. Both would have a very specific target because of their identity as women. So while women human rights defenders are also environmental defenders, and vice versa, there should be a different approach to support their work and protect them.

Women in the Asia Pacific region are fighting for climate justice and working to defend their land and natural resources to be able to control and manage them. A large number of these women subsist as farmers and live in rural areas, where their lives are very deeply connected to how the land and natural resources are managed.

This is also true of indigenous women. While governments are expected to protect people’s human rights, they are actually violating them, especially their development rights, by taking their businesses away from them. That in itself reveals the current global power structure.

Governments are taking the land away from people and giving it to large multinational corporations, and also to the military for use in times of conflict. Nowadays there are more coordinated efforts/ interlinkages of governments and corporations to follow a neoliberal agenda and use of force to just make the power to stay in a few hands.

It is natural that, in the absence of any other support, people are forced to organise themselves as movements to defend their rights. Governments feel challenged by the activism and work of women human rights and environmental defenders, because they are at the core of addressing the structural systems that prevent development justice, which has environmental justice as one of its five pillars.

While both men and women human rights defenders are being targeted, women are exposed to various types of threats. One of the tactics used by the governments is to attack the women members, especially their children. Moreover, women are more exposed to gender based violence.

On sustainable and resilient societies

Misun Woo: There is a growing uncomfortable feeling amongst women constituencies around the word ‘resilience' - a word that has been manipulated and exploited by governments to force people to actually endure their hardships and find solutions themselves, without highlighting the role and obligations of the state as a duty bearer. We refuse to be resilient and absorb all the shocks - economic shocks, climate shocks, political shocks.

The people who cause those problems should take responsibility. For me, resilient societies are those where people are able to articulate their demands and their vision for a dignified life, and where there are clear mechanisms/frameworks in place that when those collective visions are violated then who should be held accountable.

A sustainable society is where the power, wealth and resources are distributed in a very equitable and sustainable way. To tackle the root causes of existing inequalities between and within countries and people. Women have always played a very integral role in society.

One of the key values that women have brought in is the power of movements that women have organised themselves- by collectively shaping the visions and demands of people from different backgrounds, driven by people’s rights and human rights based principles. Women can chart out the kind of future we want.

On the importance of regional UN processes

Misun Woo: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are important as they universally apply to all the member states, and also because global development policies seem to generate more political interest (although implementation wise we are not very sure) than human rights treaties. But there is a clear disconnect between the SDGs commitments and the existing human rights obligations - especially around women’s human, economic, social and cultural rights.

So I think that (i) when we are engaging with our governments at the national, regional or global level, we have to remind them that the SDGs are the lowest common denominator and they attest to other human rights mechanisms, and (ii) we, as civil society organisations, have to ensure that there is a clearer link between regional and global processes, also that civil society’s participation as equal partners is institutionalised.

Note: APFSD 2108, was held in Bangkok in March 2018, where over 100 CSOs gathered under the umbrella of AP-RCEM (Asia Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism), to review the cluster of SDGs to be discussed later in July 2018 at the high-level political forum (HLPF) in New York.


* Shobha Shukla wrote this article for e-pao.net
Shobha Shukla is the Managing Editor, CNS (Citizen News Service) and has written extensively for gender justice, health and human rights over the decades. Follow her on Twitter @Shobha1Shukla, @CNS_health or visit www.citizen-news.org
This article was webcasted on June 13 , 2018.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • The East Wind from Yunnan
  • Yaoshang Thabal :: Poem
  • North East NSS Festival begins
  • Opposing stand on ST demand
  • Kounu Lairembi Haraoba #1 : Gallery
  • Nipalsuba Mapok : Shumang Leela
  • Women's Bill : A passage to nowhere?
  • Challenges in elderly for medical tests
  • All's fair in love in war: Nitza :: Review
  • Why I write ?
  • Looking back to 2012, 2014 elections
  • Mukna Kangjei #2 : Gallery
  • Mova Cave of Hungpung in Ukhrul
  • Catapults, Molotov Cocktails & Music!
  • Appeal for Meitei's demand for ST
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Google News Training for Journalists
  • Of Crimes Against Humanity :: Poem
  • Bedtime beauty hacks to look young
  • Mary Kom to skip Asian championship
  • Thabal chongbagi SenKhaiba : Gallery
  • Zeliangrong women: Role in society #2
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Cry of a Dying River - 69 :: Poem
  • Nationality & Gorkha statehood movement
  • Free Children Heart Surgery Camp
  • Workshop on Python Programing at MU
  • Lining up for BJP, Cong
  • Indian Politics after Pulwama Terror Attack
  • Sory Wahengbam : eRang Actress Profile
  • International River Day @ Nungbrung Village
  • Nongthombam Biren: People's CM
  • Can Jamir Do A Lazarus ?
  • Dr. Shantibala's The Sacred Witch :: Review
  • Rural development process
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Eyeing 22 out of 25 in North East
  • Interfering the media
  • Myanmar army cracks down on NSCN (K)
  • Phayeng Koubru Haraoba #2: Gallery
  • Chirangchaibi, Abenao :: eMing
  • Komorebi - The Longing :: Poem
  • Little love in twilight of life
  • Election code of conduct anytime
  • Surveying India's unemployment numbers
  • DAMMS' statement on Meitei ST Demand
  • Choosing the right candidate
  • Demand for ILP :: Articles/Photos...
  • The Innampei festival of Chothe #2
  • CC Meet: SU vs NACO : Gallery
  • AEbu tuMduna lEKi gad_ra :: Seireng
  • That Hurts :: Poem
  • Workshop on Statistical Data at MU
  • The International Women's Day
  • Politics : A way of life !
  • Celebrate festival of democracy responsibly
  • The truth unfolded
  • Nipalsuba Mapok #1 : Gallery
  • Maisnam Renuka's Painting : Gallery
  • Parental Alienation: Poem 2 : Poem
  • The cost of a vote
  • Motivation & rewards for development
  • Career options in Commerce stream #2
  • Forest rights more than nine-tenths
  • Setting back final deal by 60 days
  • Traffic woes
  • slams Nagaland CM's statement on ILP
  • Symbolism in the Tribal Art #4
  • Laiphrakpam Ashok Kumar: Akademi Award
  • ST Demand Rally [Mar 3] #2: Gallery
  • Mee Manukhang will not be televised
  • Govt should grant prosecution sanction
  • Zeliangrong women: Role in society #1
  • General Strike mapung fana chathari
  • Rolling out Lok Sabha schedule
  • Saroi Khangba @Imphal : Gallery
  • 'Women Health' Workshop : Gallery
  • Manipuri Muslims Conference : Report
  • Meetei ST demand bu lanna uhanbiganu
  • Caveman & Children of (19)70s : Poem
  • Workshop on "Women Health" at Pune
  • Natural facial at home for glowing skin
  • Inauguration of NSS Camp at ADBU
  • Changing Manipur - which direction ?
  • Nongkhrang Ehanba @Lilong #2 : Gallery
  • Cessation of hostilities to POW
  • Magical power of music
  • Intl Women's Day requires regrouping
  • General Strike Mapung Fahanbiyu
  • Pravish's Case disposed by CJM
  • NSS Camp at Assam Don Bosco
  • Former Cong leader welcomed at Dimapur
  • Never asked India for land quip
  • Issues of women's rights
  • Barak Fest @ Senapati #2 : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2019 #1: Gallery
  • Reading Megh-dut in Manipuri #2
  • To be a woman and to be in India
  • Cry of a Dying River - 68 :: Poem
  • Can Meitei/Meetei be a tribe ?
  • Raging debate over ST demand
  • Climate change matters
  • Class X Exam @Johnstone : Gallery
  • ciH Amadi tMgi KeYnaba :: Seireng
  • Yaoshang be observed as 'Sports Week'
  • Hmar Inpui Assembly at Churachandpur
  • Jute bags versus Lenobags
  • ...Work for social justice
  • State of higher education here
  • Creating an education-friendly atmosphere
  • Shopping for Shivaratri #1: Gallery
  • 3rd World Bamboo Workshop #3 : Gallery
  • Reinvigorating the Awl-len festival
  • I am a poet :: Poem
  • Roles of Members of Parliament
  • Don't just age gracefully - Age beautifully
  • SRF/JRF for Mizoram University [Upd]
  • ST status campaign : An overview
  • May be this time it may happen
  • ST Demand Rally [Mar 3] #1: Gallery
  • Sanaroishingee Nunit : Gallery
  • Rejoinder to TNL's Diatribe on the Kukis
  • Schemes of Panchayati Raj #2
  • Career options in Commerce stream
  • 3 Resolutions from ST Demand Rally
  • NPF on Nagaland Budget Session [Feb 25]
  • LS elections :: Key : Choice of candidates
  • Price of development
  • Phayeng Koubru Haraoba #1: Gallery
  • Nagaland Dance @Sangai Fest : Gallery
  • Bad Boy Eats the Yellow Snow
  • Name :: Poem
  • Alcohol prohibition
  • Treading murky waters
  • PM Kisan: Reducing risk..increasing return
  • Rallying around ST demand for Meiteis
  • Myanmar Army takes control of NSCN (K)
  • Henjunaha #3 :: Funga Wari
  • Reading Megh-dut in Manipuri #1
  • Purnima Ngangom's Painting : Gallery
  • Impact of Anglo Manipur War 1891 #2
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Lived across LoC
  • Most Beautiful Woman in World : Poem
  • CAB no more issue
  • Traditional Raas Dance #2: Gallery
  • Cultural @Republic Day #2 : Gallery
  • RS adjourned without CAB: What now? #3
  • Retrospection on Sport person's Day
  • Marriage ceremony : Zeliangrong & Tai #3
  • Thadou Inpi & TSA not under KIM & KSO
  • Bioscope show
  • The haunt continues
  • Positive change in behaviour of cops
  • Maharaj Kumar Priyabarta Singh : Profile
  • March Calendar for Year 2019 :: Tools
  • CV Raman & National Science Day
  • Cry of a Dying River - 67 :: Poem
  • Tour of laboratory by a blood sample
  • MU celebrate National Science Day
  • Science Day at DM Community College
  • Displeasure over attitude of PDA :: NPF
  • The making of a united India
  • Morning air raid at JeM camp
  • Lui-ngai-ni @Senapati #3: Gallery
  • Arunachal PRC Issue: Vis-a-vis Gorkha
  • Literary representation of political violence
  • Understanding distance learning
  • Good governance required in Arunachal
  • Save energy, ecology & humanity
  • Framing of guideline for school transporter
  • Yubi Lakpi #1 : Gallery
  • Holi Pala @Sangai Festival : Gallery
  • Indie films: Loktak Lairembee & Soni #2
  • Workshop on Python Programming at MU
  • They say :: Poem
  • Election manifesto for all & sundry
  • Camellia oil for heavenly beauty
  • Programme on Road Traffic Safety
  • PRC: Appeal to Governor of Arunachal
  • Towards optimistic ideology
  • The task ahead of STDCM
  • The Innampei festival of Chothe #1
  • My encounter with a Japani
  • Korean Seminar of Hangeul Day at MU
  • Total ban on polythene bags need of hour
  • The Masked Painter :: Poem
  • Arunachal Issue : Representation to HM
  • The Consumers' Rights
  • CAB in a new avatar ?
  • Singcha Wuya Won @Kamjong #2 : Gallery
  • Konthoujam Maikel's Painting : Gallery
  • Impact of Anglo Manipur War 1891 #1
  • RS adjourned without CAB: What now? #2
  • Hole in the bag :: Poem
  • Climate change: Dual perspective
  • Pui Jianna Thangamliu :: eRang
  • March Past: Republic Day: Gallery
  • Dark light and The Wishess' might
  • Manipur on Meitei edge
  • Belshazzar's feast - A failed mission
  • Education in the era of Google
  • Healing is different from cure ....
  • RPL trainees of Garo Hills - II
  • MHA "notification"
  • Nagaland- Feb 26 : Sense of urgency
  • Lui-ngai-ni @Senapati #2: Gallery
  • Police check @Jirimukh, Jiri : Gallery
  • Nongkhrang Ehanba @Lilong #1 : Gallery
  • Traditional Raas Dance #1: Gallery
  • Rajkumar Singhajit : Tagore Award 2014
  • Mukna - Indigenous Games : Gallery
  • Dzukou Valley, Senapati : Gallery
  • Amuktang-Ga Haikho #2 : eRang
  • Thamoise Foidattuna :: e-pao Radio
  • Check Post (ICP) @ Moreh : Gallery
  • Konthoujam Maikel (Painter) :: Profile
  • Onetwo Okram : Singer- Profile :: eRang
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #3 : Gallery
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download
  • List of Restricted Holidays for 2019
  • List of Public Holidays for 2019
  • List of General Holidays for 2019
  • SPONSORED ADS