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Why women should take lead in climate action

By Nitin Gopalkrishnan – Buzz Green Program Manager 

I’m sharing what I learnt during one of my frequent visits to Kumta, a coastal town in the west coast of India. The purpose of my visits here was to interact with the artisanal fisher folk of this place and observe their way of life. I noticed that men catch the fish and women sell it.  

It was difficult to find fishermen for an interaction as most of the time they are at the sea. The only time feasible would be when they relax after a long haul at the sea.  Unlike the motorized boats which could go deep into the sea, the boats which these men used were traditional and were powered by ‘the hand’. Quickly moving to substance, I was curious to ask the group of  fishermen who were relaxing after the day’s job ; “How will an engine on your boat help you”? One of the men replied; “ If there is an engine we could go deeper and catch more fish”. Another added “ By going deeper we can catch good fish both in terms of quantity and variety and that will fetch us better income in the market”. 

The same question was asked to the fisherwomen (whom I met in their small hamlet).  For which they replied “Having an engine helps us catch more fish. But the sea doesn’t give us the same quantity of fish all the time, whenever there is zero catch we cannot afford the engine”. 

Climate change is caused by imbalance in resource utilisation. This statement by the fisher woman shows that women tend to give all available resources due consideration before making a decision on how to employ it. This tendency of women minimizes the resource imbalance and thus enabling to climate action.

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