What is it?
#March4Women is CARE International’s annual month of action for gender equality. #March4Women is a global movement, with events and activities taking place in countries around the world.
What is planned for #March4Women 2020?
On International Women’s Day on Sunday 8th March 2020, we held two fantastic events in central London: an indoor rally at the Southbank Centre (in collaboration with the WOW – Women of the World festival), and a march in central London ending in a grand finale, with speeches and entertainment, at Parliament Square.
This year #March4Women celebrates the power and passion of women and girls who are on the frontline of responding to climate change.
Find out about our fantastic partners who are supporting this year’s #March4Women events.
What’s #March4Women 2020 all about?
The climate crisis has created a humanitarian crisis: an environmental and ecological crisis which is also a crisis of poverty and inequality.
People’s lives and livelihoods are at increasing risk because of climate-related emergencies. That literally means the lives and livelihoods of poor and vulnerable people. They are the ones who experience the impacts of climate change the most keenly and immediately. Rich people and rich nations – the ones most responsible for the carbon emissions that caused the climate crisis – are insulated from the same level of risk.
More and more poor and vulnerable people need humanitarian assistance to cope with the impacts of climate change.
Women and girls are hardest hit.
The burden of dealing with the impacts of the climate catastrophe falls harder on women and girls. They are the ones who pick up the pieces after extreme weather, droughts, floods, storms. They are the ones on the frontline when crops fail, when food is short, when water is scarce. They are the ones who provide for their families and support their communities.
Women and women’s groups are at the frontline of the response. But they are marginalised and underfunded.
Governments, businesses, power structures are, institutionally and systematically, male-led and male-dominated and male-focused. The world is now facing an unprecendented global crisis. Women and girls must be a central part of the solution.
We cannot overcome the unprecedented challenges facing humanity with half the population left on the sidelines.
We cannot achieve climate justice without gender justice. It has never been more clear we need both.
- Read more in our policy briefing Why Climate Justice is a Gender Justice issue
This is a global problem. #March4Women is a global movement. Last year 40+ countries took part. Together we are stronger.
Every single voice gives us strength. You have an absolutely crucial role to play: from the local to the global, let’s make gender justice = climate justice.
What are you calling for?
We are calling on governments around the world – including the new UK government – to:
- Shift to net zero emissions – not as soon as possible but as soon as required to limit global heating to 1.5°C. Don’t say it isn’t realistic. Of course it won’t be easy, because we’ve left it so late. But it can be done. Make it happen.
- Set new and ambitious national plans by September 2020 to respond to the climate crisis. Include women’s groups and young people, including girls, in the design of those plans and make gender justice – achieving gender equity and equality across all aspects of society – an integral part of those plans.
- Significantly increase funding for gender-just climate resilience measures that support poor and vulnerable people in developing countries. That means climate resilience and adaptation measures must explicitly meet the needs of people of all genders, including women and girls, and at the same time address the gender and intersecting injustices that perpetuate inequality and poverty.
- Ensure this funding goes where it is most needed – to women and girls on the frontline of responding to the impacts of climate change and humanitarian crisis. That means funding women’s groups, feminist organisations and local women leaders to lead on the design and delivery of measures to support families, households and communities to reduce carbon emissions, respond to the emergencies they are already experiencing, and build resilient and sustainable lifestyles and livelihoods that reduce poverty and inequality, for everyone.
Is #March4Women only for women?
No, we encourage people of all genders to join us to #March4Women! We are campaigning for gender equality and speakers at our #March4Women events talk about what people of all genders – including men and boys – can do to help make a more equal world.
Why are men invited?
Men can be feminists too! We believe gender equality and a more equal world is good for everyone – not just for women and girls but for people of all genders, including men and boys. Men and boys can be great champions for gender equality and can play a key role, alongside women, girls and people of all genders, in challenging and changing the attitudes that lead to discrimination and inequality.
Why are you focusing on gender equality and not equality in all its forms?
As a humanitarian and international development organisation fighting poverty in more than 75 poor and developing countries, we know that gender inequality is a major cause of poverty. We know that empowering women and girls is a key way of overcoming poverty. And that’s why CARE puts women and girls in the centre of its work.
We recognise that many women face additional prejudice and discrimination in many forms – including ethnicity, age, sexuality, disability and religion – and that all of these must be overcome to achieve gender equality for all. In particular, in relation to the climate crisis, we know that women and girls from indigenous, cultural, ethnic and religious minority, rural and other backgrounds, face particular barriers to reducing the risk of disasters and mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change.
At CARE, through our partnerships and programmes, we aspire to tackle poverty and injustice in all its forms, to create a world where all people can live with dignity and security.
#March4Women is about bringing people together to celebrate International Women’s Day. By focusing on gender equality, we can join our voices to call for a more equal world and show solidarity with women and girls worldwide. We welcome the participation of all individuals and groups who support an end to gender inequality, and the multiple forms of discrimination that women face. Please join us in calling for a fairer world for everyone.
Why did the events go ahead, in the light of the coronavirus situation?
In the run-up to International Women’s Day, we closely monitored the unfolding situation around the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, liaising with our partners Women of the World festival (WOW festival events over the weekend went ahead as planned) and monitoring advice from Public Health England about public events and gatherings. At the time of the #March4Women events there was no official advice from Public Health England or from the UK government to cancel, postpone or otherwise curtail public events or gatherings.
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