Want to help fight climate change? Start with reproductive rights

“We cannot simultaneously champion fighting climate change without also fighting for the rights of women. The two are inextricably linked; they stand hand in hand. It’s about time we all stood up with them.” That’s the bottom line of a smart new post in The Guardian by blogger Madeleine Somerville. Somerville connects the dots between women’s empowerment, access to modern contraception, and environmental action.

Women are likely to be among the most vulnerable populations in the face of climate change and other disasters. They’re already highly vulnerable in times of war and political crisis. “Even in 2016, in the most democratic nations, our equality stands precarious, subject to the whims of shifting political tides,” Somerville writes. “It’s not hard to understand that in the event of a global climate crisis, women will be immediately rendered one of the most vulnerable populations.”

Somerville also raises the uncomfortable specter of “overpopulation,” but she’s quick to note that consumption is just as big a problem – if not bigger – in increasing climate pollution and other kinds of environmental degradation. And she points out that lack of access to modern contraception is a problem around the globe, including in the United States. “The United States is the largest democracy in the world, yet only 18 states and the District of Columbia require that information about contraception be taught where sex education is provided.”

Read the entire piece at The Guardian.