Emeli Sande says climate crisis is having a disproportionate impact on women

‘It’s the women who are already victims of social injustice, that are being left completely vulnerable in this crisis’, singer says

Sarah Young@sarah_j_young
Sunday 08 March 2020 16:20
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Topless activists from Extinction Rebellion block Waterloo Bridge in protest of climate change

Women are disproportionately affected by the climate crisis, Emeli Sande has said.

The Scottish singer, who took part in the #March4Women event campaigning for climate justice and gender equality on International Women’s Day, opened up about the impact the climate crisis had on her family in Zambia.

“I have a lot of family over there, all my dad’s family are in Zambia, and just over the past year I’ve been reading about how the climate crisis has really been affecting lot of sub-Saharan African countries, Zambia included in that,” Sande said.

“And often it’s the women who are already (victims of) social injustice and are already up against so much, that are being left completely vulnerable in this crisis.”

Sande added she wanted to raise awareness of the situations people like her family are facing as a result of climate change.

“I think more people should be aware of it,” she said. “My family are a farming family so this year has been quite difficult in terms of harvest and I think they are experiencing more droughts than usual and it’s just so unfair that countries that are least affecting global warming are being affected the worst.”

Sande described online movements which bring people together, such as #March4Women and #MeToo, as wonderful.

“I think just having all the women together and us all being able to communicate and network with one another and show physical presence and really demand what we think is fair, I think it’s so essential that we can do that and it goes beyond just one day,” she explained.

“There are so many appalling injustices that women face around the world and just kind of raising my voice for this day is wonderful and then if we can echo that throughout the year it would be really powerful.”

On Sunday, the climate change protests continued with topless activists from Extinction Rebellion blocking Waterloo Bridge.

The group of 31 women formed a human chain across the bridge to “highlight the disproportionate impact of the climate and ecological emergency on women”.

A spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion said: “A January 2020 report by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature found that climate breakdown and environmental degradation are driving an increase in violence against women.”

“The report found that deforestation and the degradation of land mean women have to travel further to collect the things they need, like firewood, and are exposed to violence, rape and abduction when they make these journeys. UN figures indicate that 80 per cent of people displaced by climate change are women.”

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