Monday, 21 March 2011

Sonia Gandhi says most of climate debate has been "gender blind"

On Thursday last week, Sonia Gandhi, chair of the Indian National Congress, delivered the Commonwealth Lecture 2011 on "Women as Agents of Change" and called for women's voices to be heard in the climate change debate. After all, as Mrs Gandhi said, "Climate change and environmental degradation exact a greater price from women."

“Among all the challenges facing humankind in the twenty-first century, few are more pressing than climate change and global warming. Unfortunately ... most of the climate debate so far has been gender-blind."

“Today, women in India are becoming agents of change through their own initiative, their energy and enterprise. Through individual and collective action, they are transforming their own situations and indeed transforming the broader social context itself ... India is at the cusp of a ‘demographic dividend’, due to its young and increasingly educated and skilled population. Imagine what might happen when this demographic dividend is multiplied by a ‘gender dividend’. It will, I believe, yield enormous economic gain and lead to profound social transformation."

Full lecture here.

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