Applying intersectionality to our climate change response

Increasingly more South Africans recognise the seriousness of climate change, and the threats it poses to our survival.

The drought that currently affects the Western and Eastern Cape provinces (and the scarcity of water that plagues South Africa, generally) is a consequence of mixed variables that include man-made climate change, i.e. influenced and exacerbated by human activity.

Climate change refers to the ongoing trend of change in the earth’s general weather conditions as a result of a rise in the average temperature of the earth’s surface; the rise in average global temperature is due, primarily, to the increased concentration in the atmosphere of gases, known as greenhouse gases (GHG), or carbon dioxide equivalents through the burning of coal, oil and gas. Climate change- and global warming- remains one of the monumental challenges facing the international community, yet still too many perceive the phenomenon as being an exclusively environmental issue.

It is, however, also a highly gendered challenge with ramifications that adversely affect specific groups of people.


Danielle Hoffmeester is a Gender Justice and Reconciliation Project Officer at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation

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