Back to top

Gender Equality and Climate Change

On February 7, 2019, CAIDP supported a BCCIC panel discussion “Leading for the Future: Gender Equality and Climate Change”, as part of International Development Week 2019.

Climate change exacerbates existing challenges we face on a global scale and threatens our very existence.  We can already see the effects climate change is having on intensity and frequency of extreme weather, biodiversity, and economic stability.  We also know the effects of climate change impact women more heavily by worsening existing gender-based inequities.  So, what does this all mean? In what ways are the lives of women being impacted more severely?  And how are women taking the lead to face this challenge?  This panel of experts discuss how climate change intensifies existing challenges we are facing, how women are experiencing the impacts of climate change differently, and what this looks like in a Canadian context.  The panel also discusses what is currently being done to lessen these impacts, and what Canadians can do to contribute.

Click here to view the video.

Highlights in the video:
0:10:37 - Q1 How are people involved in the betterment of women in the climate change context around the world?
0:29:42 - Q2: Why is the connection between refugees and climate change not being talked about more? What are the particular impacts of climate change on refugee women?
0:35:57 - Q3: What are some examples of gender impacts in the developmental context? How are women experiencing climate change differently than men around the world?
0:47:06 - Q4: How is climate change being felt uniquely by women in your community, and other indigenous communities in Canada or around the world? How is indigenous women’s leadership showing up in climate action?
1:03:54 - Q5: What are some of the things that Canadians can do on a local level to engage with the climate change challenges faced by refugees, and how can we further educate people on this issue?
1:08:58 - Key takeaway messages

Organizers and Sponsors:

BCCIC, SFU International, UBC School of Economics, UBC ORICE, Women Deliver Mobilization, Amnesty International, Canadian Association of International Development Professionals (CAIDP)


Dr. Joanna Ashworth
Dr. Joanna Ashworth is the Director of Professional Programs and Partnerships in the Faculty of Environment at Simon Fraser University (SFU).  She is a research associate with the Pacific Water Research Centre at SFU,  a senior Dialogue Associate with the Wosk Centre for Dialogue, and a researcher with the SSHRC-funded project  An educator in sustainability, civic engagement and social learning, Joanna's research interests include innovations in sustainability leadership, green infrastructure, dialogue and social innovation.


Dr. Zafar Adeel
Dr. Zafar Adeel serves as the Executive Director of the Pacific Water Research Centre, and as Professor of Professional Practice at the School of Resources and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University.  His current research interests lie at the intersection of water security with the international development agenda, particularly the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  He has served with the United Nations for over 18 years with progressively increasing responsibilities in the international development and research environment. This includes a 10-year tenure as the Director of United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) in Hamilton, Canada.

Dr. Leila Harris
Dr. Leila Harris is a Professor at the Institute of Resources, Environment and Sustainability and in the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, both at the University of British Columbia.  Dr. Harris’s work examines social, cultural, political-economic, institutional and equity dimensions of environmental and resource issues. Her research focuses on the intersection of environmental issues and inequality / social difference, water governance shifts (e.g. marketization, participatory governance), in addition to a range of water governance challenges important for the Canadian context (e.g. First Nations water governance).

shḵwen (Ocean Hyland)
shḵwen is a multi-disciplinary artist in the fields of painting, jewelry, carving, and weaving. she lives, creates and learns in her traditional territory, on unceded coast salish land.   shḵwen has studied at both the native education college and at Simon Fraser university taking hands on programs like the native education college’s north-west coast jewelry arts program (Jan 2017-aug 2017) learning about art history and contemporary silver jewelry techniques, and Simon Fraser university’s language immersion program (sept 2017-current) becoming proficient in the skwxwu7mesh language.


Sophia Yang
Sophia is currently working as an Urban Forestry Research Assistant at UBC. She is is deeply passionate about ENGO work and public engagement having worked for organizations such as Natural Resources Canada, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the David Suzuki Foundation, Parks Canada, and UBC Sustainability. Sophia has been the recipient of The Starfish Canada’s Top 25 Under 25 twice in 2017 and 2018 for her work in renewable energy and youth engagement. Sophia was a member of the BCCIC Youth Delegation to the United Nations Climate Conference COP 24.