Aerial view of flooded rice fields
Aerial view of flooded rice fields

Global Girls Creating Change: Recognising the power of young marginalised girls in climate activism 

“Despite the barriers they face, young girls are powerful change agents for climate action.” : Natasha Hamdy shares how the G2C2 project is amplifying the voices of marginalized girls in climate activism.

Madhesh Province: Facing the Unequal Burden of Climate Change

The Madhesh Province of Nepal is considered the food basket with ample rainfall and is at dual risk of severe drought and flooding. The increasingly dry cycles and flooding raise the likelihood of a humanitarian crisis and contribute to the decline in Nepal’s economy. Following the 2015 earthquake, many water systems were destroyed, leaving 2.8 million internally displaced persons due to the lack of water and food. Water pollution and scarcity are among the many adversities most people face. 

However, there are gendered implications that extend beyond the direct effects of climate change. Climate change has a cascading impact climate change has on young girls. The young girls in Madhesh Province are particularly susceptible to the impacts of water mismanagement., specifically the lack of access to sanitation systems for those who menstruate. Statistically, women are more likely to be responsible for obtaining food, water, and fuel for their households, which puts them at a significantly greater risk as these tasks become more time-consuming and natural resources depleted.

Climate change has a snowball effect on pre-existing social issues such as gender-based violence and diminished feminine and reproductive health. So, employing an ‘intersectional climate change’ approach is crucial to recognise how climate change exacerbates other forms of inequity. 

To foster and elevate a diverse movement of girl-centred climate action to lead, shape, and inform equitable, inclusive climate policies and actions – Restless Development Nepal has partnered with Hivos to implement Global Girls Creating Change (G2C2).  This global initiative, implemented in Brazil, Uganda, Indonesia, and Nepal,  is informed by an intersectional climate justice approach, with girls in all their diversity, particularly girls from marginalised groups disproportionately affected by climate change, at the centre.

In Nepal, the project is being implemented in eight districts of Madhesh Province through the national partners LIFE Nepal and SODCC. The program offers training, mentorship, and capital to facilitate the collaborative development of climate solutions for the Girls Champions. A select group of girls from the Madhesh Province will participate in the global G2C2 coalition and COP30 in Brazil in 2025.

Young girls disproportionately affected by climate change have power within their local community and the wider world. G2C2 empowers young Nepali girls to make decisions that will affect them the most. Young girls must be an active voice in local, national/regional, and global climate conversation because they are most susceptible to the effects of climate change. 

Leading the Change: From Marginalised to Changemakers 

In this social climate, it is rare for a woman or girl to be included in decision-making processes, supplementary to the fact that they are already at risk of having limited tend to need more access to assets, finances, and economic opportunities.  Despite these barriers, young girls are powerful change agents for climate action.

G2C2 will assist young girls in building the skills and experience to co-create impactful climate innovations and influence equitable climate policies. This will, in turn, alleviate the disparities in knowledge. It is crucial that the young girls affected most can lead the decision-making processes, voice their concerns, and actively participate in community dialogues on gender norms.

Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@evans_dimsphoto

Author

  • Natasha Hamdy

    Natasha Hamdy is currently in her fourth year of pursuing a double degree in law and media and communications, with a major in journalism and nonfiction writing. She is deeply passionate about humanitarianism and plans to continue her studies at the postgraduate level. Natasha's research and writing focus on the representation of marginalized voices in Western media and the shortcomings of international law in protecting civilians. Her dedication to human rights advocacy and legal journalism reflects a unique combination of academic excellence, practical experience, and a strong commitment to justice.

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Global Girls Creating Change: Recognising the power of young marginalised girls in climate activism 

by Natasha Hamdy Reading time: 2 min
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