Webinar 4: Gender and Climate Change (Transcript)


Webinar Series: Session 4

“Gender and Climate Change”

April 10, 2013




Elizabeth Davis: We have participants today from all over the world. We’re so pleased to have received such an overwhelming response to this critical and timely topic. Materials will be available today on EPI Global’s website in both English and Spanish.


Welcome to our “Gender and Climate Change” webinar, the fourth in our five-part Gender and Disaster series, which will explore how gender impacts the individual and collective experience of disasters and conflicts for persons, families, and communities. The series, sponsored by the Gender and Disaster Resilience Alliance, GDRA, and partner EPI Global, is designed to introduce participants to the subject through discussion of key concepts and research in this area. It will also speak to those more familiar with this topic area and delve into specific subtopics, policy issues, and best practices. The webinars will be geared for audiences made up of academics, emergency management practitioners, service providers, relief workers, students, and more.


We’d also like to invite you to save the date for our faith and final Disaster and Gender webinar, which will be scheduled at 1 p.m. Eastern standard time, entitled “Gender, Disaster, Policy, and Politics” on July 10, 2013.


The protocols we’ll follow for this webinar are:


• All attendees will be muted during this webinar in order to reduce background distractions.

• We encourage you to ask questions at any point by typing in the question box. All queries will be addressed at the end of both speakers’ presentations.

• Please be very clear and succinct in your query and indicate if a question is for a specific speaker. Otherwise the moderator will choose a speaker for you or present it to both to address.


As sponsoring organizations, the Gender and Disaster Resilience Alliance and EPI Global are committed to building awareness about the importance of gender impact on disaster. Both organizations seek to identify practical approaches and solutions so that this perspective can be implemented in the field, included in the emergency management programs, and supported by appropriate research.


GDRA is a network of women and men seeking to develop and strengthen the nation’s resilience to the increasing array of hazards and potential disasters we will face in the coming decades. Many members come to GDRA through their work on the ground to empower women as leaders for social justice, environmental sustainability, and disaster risk reduction, or through professional networks or associations engaged in the practice of disaster management. Elaine Enarson and Roxanne Richter, representing GDRA, led the organizing efforts for this webinar.


GDRA’s partner in this webinar series, EPI Global, is a nonprofit organization created to promote the practice of inclusive emergency management by coordinating and planning for, responding to, recovering from, and mitigating the impact of natural and man-made disasters. EPI Global’s mission includes cooperating and collaborating with emergency management practitioners and community stakeholders to identify issues and find solutions across the life cycle of emergency management, resulting in a better prepared public and a more capable response community. Elizabeth Davis, Rebecca Hansen, and Kimberly Cunningham from EPI Global led EPI’s efforts to organize this webinar.


Dr. Elaine Enarson
“Meeting Climate Challenges In the U.S. and Beyond:
Building on Women’s Leadership”


Elizabeth Davis: Please help me welcome our first speaker today. We’re excited to have Dr. Elaine Enarson, an accidental disaster sociologist whose personal experience in Hurricane Andrew sparked extensive work on gender relations in disasters. She speaks widely on gender and disaster risk reduction and has authored several gender and disaster risk reduction training manuals and preparedness guides for women’s grassroots organizations. She also helped develop a template for grassroots women taking the lead in risk assessment and vulnerability and capacity-mapping. Elaine is a founding member of the Global Gender and Disaster Network and founder/co-facilitator of the U.S. Gender and Disaster Resilience Alliance. Currently an affiliate faculty in the Emergency Management doctoral program of Jacksonville State University. She has co-edited The Gendered Terrain of Disaster: Through Women’s Eyes (1998) with Betty Hearn Morrow; Women, Gender and Disaster: Global Issues and Initiatives (2009) with P.G. Dhar Chakrabarti; and The Women of Katrina: How Gender, Race and Class Matter in an American Disaster with Emmanuel David. Her 2013 monograph Women Confronting Natural Disaster: From Vulnerability to Resilience addresses gender and disaster concerns in the United States, published by Lynne Rienner. Elaine can be reached by email at enarsone@gmail.com. Please help us welcome Dr. Enarson to today’s webinar.


Dr. Elaine Enarson: Good morning. Bienvenido a todos y gracias por venir. It’s really a pleasure to be here this morning to share some thoughts about the gender dimensions of climate change. I’m not a climate expert, and I’m here mainly with my disaster risk reduction and gender research hat on, just to let you know where I’m coming from. We don’t have much time, and I’d like to make this webinar as participatory as possible. I wanted to spend some time on the big picture and look at some of the different ways that people are applying a gender lens to this subject, focusing mainly on the U.S., for reasons that I’ll explain.


The big picture is huge. There is a lot of literature of course around climate change and also around gender, and increasing an emphasis on both. The burden of risk is one of the things that unites these two areas of practice. Basically disaster is not the same as climate, climate is more than just another hazard, and disasters are more than just another chapter in the climate change book. There are distinct differences and parallels.


One of the things that unites them is the disproportionate social construction of risk. The people who create it are not the people who bear the burden of it. This happens globally, within our communities, and within every country. There’s also a disproportionate ability of people to impact and control the effects and consequences of climate change or disaster risk at all levels. Another thing that units these two areas is gender, because everything about disaster and climate relates to the everyday living conditions of our own particular cultures. All of us live in a world that’s mediated by sex, sexuality, gender, gender relations, as well as all of the other power relationships that we’re so familiar with. So these are some of the things that unite the subjects of gender and climate and disaster.


Gendered effects also, and again this is a large and growing literature and I’m hoping in the discussion I can highlight some of them, and I won’t go over them now, but the gendered effects of climate change are quite pronounced and quite becoming really more apparent from safety, looking at gender-based violence and the risk of trafficking to gender relations, one of the most important and interesting research topics that feature how the social relationships of gender may change in progressive ways in future through the results of—through the effects of climate change.


Women and men and boys and girls don’t respond in identical ways to climate change any more than they do to disaster and have different capacities for responding in positive or negative ways, don’t see the same kinds of risks, may or may not learn about risk, share their information about risk make decisions about risk in the same ways and may very well have conflicting gender interests. And here I would emphasize both between women and men, perhaps between boys and girls, and within social categories of women and within social categories of men. That’s the nature of gender, it’s a very holistic concept.


When you look at responses, we have to understand again that the division of labor as well as the culturally gendered world that we live in puts us in different places, so we see different things, we have different kinds of knowledge, therefore we respond in different ways. One of the important takeaways from this webinar will be that there is an inextricably linked relationship between gender justice and climate justice, by which I mean that you can’t talk about any of these things, human security, human rights, disasters, or climate justice, without taking on board gender as well as other social power relationships. Human security comes up for girls in terms of food insecurity. In terms of human rights you have the violence that women and men and boys and girls face in different ways, in the face of climate change particularly during periods of crisis, of displacement. We’ve learned an awful lot about the gender dimensions of disaster, so I won’t go there.


And this connection between the social justice component of climate and climate action and the social justice component of gender is one that’s being made increasingly internationally, but I’m sorry to say that I think here in the U.S., in a country as wealthy as ours, it’s not as evident, and that’s why I’m pleased to have this opportunity to track with all of us about that.


This slide I put up because I wasn’t there at Manila, but I love it and I’m wanting my own country to be able to step out in such a strong way and make statements that link climate justice and gender justice, but we’re not there yet.


I want to give you a sense of some of the different ways that women and men are thinking about gender in this field. Again, I’m not a policy wonk, necessarily, but these are some of the issues at the top that really inform this body of practice, looking, for example, at the literal absence of women from the table. We know that a gender-blind policy is one that’s gender-biased. So really, regardless of what area of policy that you look at in terms of the present climate regimes, if you trace it back historically as it developed, becoming a little bit more gender-sensitive, but really it’s not, and relative even to disaster risk reduction policy, it is relatively gender-blind, as we say. It also falls off the radar screen in terms of development projects and disaster work.


Some of the people or organizations working to unify that, to bring together these communities of practice are the ones I’ve listed here on the bottom part of the slide, emphasizing that this is a time of great transition. So for example, while the Gender and Disaster Network hasn’t done much work around climate now, we are increasingly doing more, looking at the Commission on the Status of Women that just met recently and came out with some really important statements about disaster risk reduction and climate change. Most of the technical or professional research climate science groups have done very little work, but consider the World Meteorological Organization, WMO, which has a quite progressive perspective here.


The International Union of Conservation of Nature, IUCN, is one of the most important environmental groups that has really taken a lead role around gender and climate change. And the list goes on. So there are many people at the table and many issues to address.


Similarly within the research community, it’s a wide and growing field. Again, not quite so much in the U.S., but increasing I see it in Australia, a little bit in Canada, and definitely in parts of Africa throughout Latin America in the literature that I can read, and thank you for being here with us, those of you who are from Mexico and Latin America and the Caribbean to help broaden this dialogue so we can learn from each other about some of these effects.


At the top of the slide you’ll see some of the topics of discussion in the research community. They’re parallel but somewhat distinct from those in the disaster risk reduction community. I have some concerns, and others do, too, about the development of these research agendas. Are we, for example, reproducing that woman-as-victim vulnerability discourse? There’s quite a large discussion around that. Are we neglecting the role of gender in richer, affluent, highly development countries? The answer to that has to be yes. We are once again focusing more on women than on men, and more on the individual than on the socially structured gender relationships that take place institutionally and culturally as well as in our own homes. And we’re focusing an awful lot on adaptation, and perhaps we should be focusing much more on mitigation.


That was kind of a rapid-fire introduction because I wanted to get to this point, looking at gender and climate change connections within my own country. I do this with a bit of defensiveness, because I think that globally we are not seen as the most important frontier for this work. However, my perspective as I sit here in my beautiful warm and cozy office with a foot of snow outside putting greenhouse gases into the air, I think it’s important that we in the belly of the beast be part of this conversation, that we take the leadership roles in our own country. This is my final takeaway message. There’s enormous potential for women and men working together with a gendered perspective to step into leadership roles in a way that we haven’t in the past. Let me try and make my case.


We have to look, for example, at the disparate and overlapping carbon footprints of women and men. The first and most important point has to be that we live in such a carbon-rich world. We have been privileged. We benefit from this privilege every day as women and men and boys and girls. The differences between us that cut across gender or other lines may be small relative to the larger footprint, but they’re still important, and they still have a bearing on perspectives we can bring, whether we’re working in science or policy fields, as researchers, or as grassroots activists or perhaps a bit of all.


I think women and men have a similar perspective here, a similar burden to bear, if you will, similar opportunities for action, but there are some critical differences, and I want to explore a little bit of those. I’ve noted on most of these slides some relevant literature, but in big letters you should read, “We don’t know enough yet” under each of these slides.


We do see some differences in some of the research coming from Europe in particular about how men and women might drive cars differently. I don’t know if this rings a bell with you, but it does with me as I watch my sons do their “jackrabbit” starts. Women do tend to use mass transit more, but that’s not all women. Many of us are trapped in suburban islands, and we do tend to use more so-called green household practices. We make choices about our use of energy and our use of resource within a context that’s not chosen freely. It’s a context created by the larger political economy of energy and resource development in this country. Women and men do to a certain degree make them differently.


Here, when we look at the gender-specific effects of climate change in the U.S., we are just beginning to conduct this important research. Some of it replicates findings from other countries, some might be different. This is a long list, and of course we won’t have time to talk about all of these issues here, but there’s a wide and growing literature on the effects on neonatal health and maternal health around extreme weather events, whether cold or hot, and around the stresses related to disaster. We know also that women do expand the kind of care work that they provide in the same way that they do in disasters, but with climate, illness, particularly childhood illnesses increase, and the burden of home-front healthcare, if you will, falls still mainly to women.

We’re beginning to look at the effects on livelihood, for example, there’s important work going on, just to take one example, in North Dakota a resource community there and how women and men and the relationship between women and men might becoming more fraught and perhaps more dangerous. Again, this list is long. We won’t be able to speak to all of them, but let me just jump down to, for example, the women of Katrina. There’s been more and better research now around women of Katrina and their experiences of displacement, which are not the same as those of men in their family, sometimes through separation, sometimes through different opportunities for work, sometimes through different obligations to family and to the networks that bind us together. Very important in terms of the ability of families to adapt to climate change. There’s a lot to be learned here from disaster research.


The excellent work of Kleinenberg and others around heat wave also makes clear the gendered effects. We find a real disparity, because in the European heat wave situation, it was predominantly older women who lost their lives. In this country, it’s predominantly and not only in the ’95 Chicago heat wave, but predominantly men who suffer from and die from extreme heat in this country, partly through socialization and isolation and other forces as well, which we could talk a bit more about.


The health of men and increasingly of women, of course, who are on the front line in energy occupations or as first responders is also jeopardized, and this is something that we can expect to increase. And again, the health risks for men are pretty well established in terms of flood deaths, so there are some real gender-specific effects. I’ve gone over these very rapidly, and I’m happy to come back and talk with us together about any of these.


Let me look briefly at attitudes and risk perception. Attitudinal differences are quite pronounced and pretty well established. Women are more risk-averse, but then you have to look at which groups of men, what’s the comparison. We are more knowledgeable, this is interesting, about climate science and yet doubt ourselves more than men who seem to have less accurate knowledge about science but think they know more, very interesting finding. We could talk more about that.


Definitely more supportive of our government taking a proactive condition and historically have been more active around environmental issues. In terms of gendered mitigation, we do, as I said, support higher levels of government action in critical areas that can really help at least mitigate the damage that’s been done and reduce further damage. We support more energy conservation. We certainly support more of the kind of local grassroots efforts such as community gardening or water conservation. And historically women have been leaders in social justice arenas, including this one as well, so there’s some important research going on around that.


We have really important roles to play in terms of adaptation, as we do with respect to disasters. Women tend to support higher levels of disaster preparedness and actually do engage more in, for example, voluntary emergency preparedness campaigns, beginning to diversify our livelihoods. You see this in farm families. Beginning to move and resettle when we must, and women’s work is essential in terms of family reconstitution and reestablishing what home means. We make choices that help minimize the effects of a changing and uncertain world, which affects our food and the way we produce our food.


Certainly organizing actively is another form of adaptation, doing political organizing around climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. And we talk a lot about working with children. This is again an area that’s led more by women than by men, not necessarily but historical in this country to date. There are many concrete examples of this, but just as I was preparing this presentation, I ran across this from the southeastern U.S., an interesting workshop that brought together African American farmers. It was not a gender project, but they did note that in their discussion of how families are adapting, how agricultural producers, landowners, and workers are adapting, they found two distinct narratives. If you look at the bottom, you’ll see a good example of how the division of labor situates the positions of women and men differently. We understand different parts of the production cycle. We have different interests, perhaps, and we have different ways of adapting to change as well.


Let me focus on the main thrust of this talk, which is to understand how and try again to make the case for women as leaders, both informal and formal. In this next slide you see I’ve drawn a very firm and fast distinction, which is obviously much blurrier than this, between women who are active in key roles around disaster risk reduction and column change, and women activists. We have a lot to be proud of in this country, a large and growing number of women who have leadership roles through elected or appointed in positions of power, within cities, for example, within cities, for example, within environmental agencies. We have women who are actively involved in and not necessarily at the top levels, but in critical movement jobs in climate action organizations. We have a stellar group of women scientists, climate scientists and researchers.


In addition, there are very large numbers of women who are in the U.S. who are very often U.S. citizens as well as U.S. residents whose careers and advocacy and volunteer work and whose interests and knowledge is addressing gender and climate change globally. Those are just some of the examples, WEDO and Energia and the GWA. They are also U.S. women working not on U.S. issues but work from here.


But I want to focus here on women who do take an explicitly gendered and gender-justice focus, because this is again something that women bring that men do not bring to this discussion. We work from a feminist or a women’s rights perspective, sometimes through sex-segregated or gender-based networks, such as the American Association of University Women, just to name one example. Very often through our faith organizations, often through the networks that arise after disasters, for example, women will rebuild after Miami or Women of the Storm or many of the other progressive women’s organizations that arose after Hurricane Katrina.


We have a long history of women organizing around racial justice and environmental justice, bringing those two together and increasingly bringing gender and climate change into that discussion. And then we have the advocates who are explicitly working as feminists, as women, specifically on this question of gender and climate change in the U.S. So there’s a lot going on, and I’m concerned that there’s not the visibility, there’s not the understanding of the potential for uniting, for developing a strong platform, for coalition-building, for knowledge exchange among these different kinds of formal and informal leadership. One of the messages that I tried to get across in the book that I just was writing about U.S. women in disaster management in the U.S., there’s such enormous potential and yet we don’t work together, we don’t understand what each of us can bring and what we can do together.


Let me run through some examples of that to try and drive that point home and then I’d be happy to hear a different perspective when Cecilia comes to talk with us about her experiences in Mexico.


Here you have a slide of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton surrounded by numerous women from around the world who are actively leading their countries on policy. It’s important to note that not every country and not every Secretary of State would do this, but she did. It’s again a demonstration of the enormous potential of this country to step out on leadership roles, both in the U.S. and globally.


Many faith-based groups are active. Not as many women’s faith-based auxiliary groups are active in climate change as men are, I think. That’s a hypothesis I’d put forth, anyway. You might think of church women as not necessarily being the demonstration kind, but they are, we are, through many different faiths. Here’s an example through United Methodist Women. You can about them on their website. They have been participating in some of the conferences. They are there. There are pressuring our own administration both for change globally and for change in the U.S.


This is an interesting project that comes very close to home. I’m speaking to you from outside Denver, in Boulder, Colorado, and Erie is a town just around the way where fracking has become extremely controversial. These are women in the Mothers Project, which arose in opposition to try and speak as mothers, as they say, as a “grassroots mom-powered” network to try to bring awareness to and in fact to reduce or to certainly make safer the process of fracking for natural gas, which is something that we have to look closely at. You see in the bottom right that they have addressed a letter to Michelle Obama speaking as mothers. You may know that the history of maternal feminism in this country has been quite controversial, but this is a position that has taken root in environmental and climate change work and others may want to add other perspectives, but it’s a very powerful one, speaking as mothers to defend a planet that can provide a safe space for their children and safe places for infants.


Women’s Environmental Network, one group among many of scientists, researchers. These women work out of the Bay Area. They network, they do community education, they exchange resources. Here in Denver there’s another group called WISE, Women In Sustainable Energy that does similar work, and perhaps in your communities as well you have organizations, caucuses, if you will, of women professionals, again an important form of formal and informal leadership.


I do not know anything about True Blue Women other than what I’ve read on the network, but they seem a fascinating group to me because they’re regionally based and they work on a number of different issues from a feminist or social justice perspective. One of the issues they work on is fracking, which of course is closely related to our carbon footprint in the U.S. You can read more about their work there.


And I am, of course, a former Girl Scout. I love what the Scouts do. Boy Scouts have been involved in their own ways. It’s been the Girl Scouts who have stepped up and tried to make this connection to empower young girls as leaders in their own communities. If you don’t have anything else to do after the webinar, do go watch this little video, it’s about 10 seconds long. It’s one the young girls did, “Don’t Be Scared, Be Prepared,” and what was unique about their work and valuable is their relationship with EMPOWER, which you may know is an emergency management organization here in the U.S. for women. In the Philippines, interestingly enough, I was just doing some reading there, the local governments are negotiating and establishing MOUs with the Girl Scouts of the Philippines to take on lead roles in local grassroots disaster risk reduction campaigns. At the bottom I’ve given a link to what the leaders have developed, some resource materials for working with girls, specifically with girls, to step into this frontier of climate change and an uncertain future for us all.


This group is really fascinating to me, Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice. You may or may not have visited a nail salon recently, but in the Bay Area, the POLISH campaign has become very successful, quite well-known now. They were predominantly Vietnamese women who understood that the chemicals that they were using to polish nails and do other things in the nail salons were both risky to their own reproductive health and also had harmful effects on the environment, and their work is all about finding the crossroads between reproductive justice and climate justice. Well worth exploring the kind of practical and theoretical work they have done. They have training manuals, advocacy work. They really are a model.


So is Women of Color United for Climate Justice, which is represented here on the right. It’s a group of women who work for environmental justice but also with attention to the intersections with race and with climate and with gender justice. On the left, closely aligned, is the Sister on the Planet campaign, which is sponsored by Oxfam. They had a global speaking tour representing a number of American women, including Sharon Hanshaw, whose work you may know in Coastal Women for Change, which is a transformative organization that Sharon built after her experiences in Hurricane Katrina. Just several examples of how women of color in the U.S. are really on the front line and Native American women are as well.


Michelle Roberts, Advocates for Environmental Human Rights, quite well-known again, a social justice coalition that’s present at most of the climate change conference negotiation meetings, speaking again as women, as representatives of disempowered communities at high risk, trying to hold accountable every nation to the guiding principles of internal displacement.


And the Atkapa women of the Grand Bayou, Louisiana. Some of you may be familiar with Rosina Philippe and some of her colleagues along the Gulf Coast whose work has been so important in bringing attention to the position of Native American, indigenous women’s knowledge, the risk that climate-like disasters and climate disaster pose to the very cultural survival, the livelihood but also to their sense of self, to language, to place, to food, to cultures, to tradition. There is so much at stake, and they are taking the lead in organizing for relative safety.


Let me just quickly wrap up here. I want to take a breath and slow down for a moment, because as enthusiastic as I am, I think you can probably tell that I have a feeling that we are on the verge of a moment where women and men together can really step forward in the U.S. and take leadership in our own communities, but also in terms of holding our nation accountable and working with people in the U.S. who are able, willing, and poised to take on climate change in a positive and progressive way.


And yet, and yet—let’s look at some of the hazards. Once again, in this field, as is true in most of the work around disasters, when we say “gender,” really we are talking about women. There’s a huge need for research, for policy development around men and boys and also for more age-specific and of course race- and class-specific work around gender. It’s a very large research hole, and I encourage anybody and all of us to try to think as broadly as we can about the structural relationships between groups of people.


There is an illusion that we’re all in this together, that climate change is something like a disaster that brings us together, that we face it equally and that any focus on a particular population is divisive. But in fact, we’re not in this together. You have only to look at the literature or talk with development workers or environmental specialists or women on the front lines of change, especially in poor countries, where the resources are so lacking, to understand this point.


The third cautionary note is the notion that women are all united in the face of climate change, but again, we are not united, any more than women and men have a unitary position around climate change. Women’s interests do structurally differ, both from men’s in certain conditions, and from one another. So we need in this conversation around gender and climate change to always ask, which women? Why? How? Under what conditions? What are the commonalities? Where’s the common ground? What divides us? How can we begin to address those?


Sad to say on the fourth point we are really up against it again. We’re hearing again and again that world population is the driving force of climate change and so fertility control, population control of women is the magic bullet. We know that’s not the case, but it’s a struggle that we have been through before, and I’m sad to say that we are once again going to have to draw that distinction between reproductive rights and responsibility to control and time our families and that notion that there are just too many of us. That’s simply not the case, that there are too many of us and that birth control for women is the solution.


We also are at risk of reproducing this ideology of the subordinated women in the global South and the emancipated women in the global North, which is one of the myths that feeds into this sense that American women, women in the U.S., need not engage in this because we are not affected particularly negatively and we share the interests of the men with whom we live. Well, we don’t all live with men, we don’t share these interests, necessarily. It’s really a myth that’s divisive more than helpful.

Another gap we’re at risk of reproducing is this notion of the “two solitudes,” I’ve recently written to try and talk about the two solitudes, but also the bridges that we can cross to develop a much larger tent which brings together gender justice work with disaster and with climate change work. But right now, I’m fearful that we are reproducing this divide that you see in the larger discussion around disaster and around climate, and that the gender and disaster and the gender and climate communities are similarly on parallel paths. I hope to be proven wrong. I’d love to talk more with you about that.


And finally, I think a last cautionary note is that as usual, the notion of women and gender is easily co-opted, this is one example of a little corporate-funded pro-fracking video. Women can be used, the notion of women as activists, the notion of women benefiting from coal, for example, can be used in ways that are not helpful and are not accurate, don’t fairly represent the reality. We need to be prepared to respond to those as well.


I’m letting you know that onsite you’ll find a Spanish version of everything I just said, and I’m sorry for speaking so rapidly, and you’ll find these extra slides as well that have not been translated, but I’m happy to make them available as well. I’ll stick them into Google Translate.


These are some of the reading I think should be on all of our bookshelves when we begin to look at gender and climate change. It’s a new and rapidly expanding field. These are the resources that seem most helpful to me right now. I do sincerely recommend those. Some good positive examples. There are many more. I wanted to just put these on one slide, some from the UN, some from other action groups, and research, wonderful, good research coming out, case studies from South Africa, for example, that really get at shifting gender relations and the risk that are imposed and how women and men differently are beginning to come to terms with them and respond to them. Under these research examples, I’ve listed a few from different parts of the country to give you a flavor for the kind of research that’s being done there, wishing, as I was doing this, that we had more work from the U.S.


Some recommended websites among many more.


And finally, I would love to hear from you all and look forward to your conversation after Cecilia’s discussion. Please type any questions or comments or observations that you’d like to share. If you have resources that you’d like to add to my slides, I’d be happy to have those. Thank you for your thoughts today. It’s a new frontier. In my view it’s fundamentally the fracture line of the future, of the twenty-first century. We have got to get that right. We can’t get there, will not get there, without the concerted efforts of all of us, and that includes women and men, boys and girls. We can’t get there without a rights-based approach, and that includes the rights of women and men as well as boys and girls. Let’s get at it! Thank you very much for your attention. Gracias por su atención.


Roxane Richter: Thank you, Dr. Enarson, for that thought-provoking and insightful presentation. I’m sure we’ll have a lot of questions from that today.


Cecilia Castro García
The Mainstreaming of Social and Gender Equality as a
Measure of ‘Mitigation’ of Risks or Adaptation to Climate Change in

Urban Areas in the Valley of Mexico


La transversalidad de la igualdad social y de género

como medida de ‘mitigación’ de riesgos o adaptación ante el

cambio climático en zonas urbanas en el Valle de México


Roxane Richter: Our second speaker, Cecilia Castro García, is a Mexican researcher and scholar-consultant to various national and academic organizations such as the College of Mexico and the Center for Research and Higher Studies in Social Anthropology and of the Institute of Geography. She has worked with international organizations, such as the UN, UN Development, UNDP Mexico, Cuba, Panama, and El Salvador. She specializes in the management of disaster risks, gender equity, and equality. She graduated in design, human settlements, and urban and regional planning and is a specialist for the interdisciplinary program women’s studies at the College of Mexico. She has a Ph.D. in social sciences in the area of women and gender relations. Cecilia is president for the Center for Research and Development Studies and Social Equality since March of 2010. Her personal research includes the publication of several articles and books about the inclusion of gender equity and equality and the comprehensive management of disaster risks and civil protection, social housing, and social organization.


Other themes have included the adaptation to climate change, human rights, public observatories on governance, local development in social-urban Mexico. Cecilia is a promoting committee member of the National Feminist Meeting in 2010 and 2013. She is a member of the International Virtual Network on Gender and Disaster, and in 2008 she was the recipient of the Mary Fran Myers award. Won’t you help me welcome Cecilia to our webinar today?


Cecilia Castor García: Hi, everybody. It’s a pleasure to be with you in this situation. I’m going to speak in Spanish because I feel comfortable and I feel that I make myself understood well.


[continues in Spanish]


Rebecca Hansen: Thank you very much. I know there were a few questions, but I don’t think we’ll be able to get to those today. If you do have questions, be sure to send them to the organizers of this webinar. We’ll post all the information on the website, and you can send your questions. I want to thank each of the speakers and the huge number of attendees who have joined us today and taken time out of their very busy schedules from all over the globe to be with us. I understand and appreciate the effort some of you took to join us at crazy times in the morning or the middle of the night. We appreciate your cooperation. As we’ve received a lot of questions today, we will be posting a verbatim transcript of the recording. You’ll be able to download the webinar and hear to whole thing. That will be available within the next couple of weeks. The materials that the speakers addressed, the presentations, the bios are all on EPIGlobal.org. I want to thank everybody for their time and energy and most important for your interest in this very important topic. Thank you so much for the work you do every day in your communities. We looked forward to a continued dialogue. Thank you so much. We’ll see you at the next session on July 10, 2013.


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