Wherever you are in the world, inequality is affecting you. The rich are getting richer while the poor and the planet are paying the price. Inequality has reached extreme levels that make it one of the biggest challenges of our time.
Meet three extraordinary women - Haoa, Ipaishe and Hamide - who are facing and standing up to the extreme inequality that is destroying our environment.
Haoa is 35, and lives in Kalapara, Bangladesh. She says, “The embankments broke because there are regular storms and flooding. The root problem is climate change. If we can’t grow crops then how will we survive?”
Halfway around the world, Ipaishe, 50, from Gutu in Zimbabwe is facing similar problems. She explains, “Over the last ten years the climate has changed. There was a lot of rain, and all of our crops were destroyed, so we could not harvest any food.”
And in the leafy village of Yirca in Turkey, Hamide suffered the destruction of her olive groves, their only livelihood, when a big polluting coal power plant made moves to grab her community’s farming land. She tells us, “My grandson and I have asthma, of course I’m going to resist against these power plants.”
The richest are most responsible for climate change - ten percent of the richest people in the world are responsible for half of global CO2 emissions, whilst the poorest fifty per cent are responsible for only one tenth of emissions.
Yet it is the poorest - particularly women like Haoa, Ipaishe and Hamide - that will suffer worse from the disastrous effects of our planet’s changing climate. This continues because the richest and most powerful corporations and individuals have massive power to bend the rules in their favour. They won’t change a system that works for them.
That’s why the rest of us must unite to demand change. Women like Haoa, Ipaishe and Hamide are taking the power back, and giving us hope.
[Hamide and her community are choosing life, not coal, pushing back against the coal power plant destroying their lands. Nathalie Bertrams/Greenpeace]
After losing her home to flooding, Haoa has been been leading a group of women in her village to demand the local government strengthen river embankments and protect the population and their crops.
Meanwhile in Zimbabwe, Ipaishe and other women in her community are part of an irrigation project, trying to adapt and continue to grow crops despite the decreasing rainfall. Ipaishe took her message for action against climate change directly to world leaders, representing women farmers across Africa at global climate talks.
And Hamide and the women of her community helped to protect their farming land and to win the battle against the polluting coal power plant.
Inspired by these struggles to overcome inequality and injustice, we are coming together from Jan 14th for the #FightInequality global week of action. We are demanding a better future where our governments fight inequality.
Alone we may be weak, but together we are powerful. Join these women’s fight against inequality. We’re on the brink of something huge.