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Female leaders spearheading climate action

Words by Smiley Team

A free streaming platform with a focus on saving the planet is attempting to raise awareness of gender bias in the field of climate action.

At COP26, it was revealed that 10 of the 12 UK leadership team positions were held by men. Women are being largely left out of the climate crisis space, and streaming platform WaterBear has released two documentaries to draw attention and ‘break the bias’.

The two documentaries, SHE Changes Climate and Wild Innovators, were released in time for International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month.

“After the failure of COP26 to incorporate more women at the top of the COP26 negotiation team, we were hopeful that the COP27 team would be more inclusive”, says SHE Changes Climate co-founder Antoinette Vermilye to Smiley News.

“Yet once again the team will be led by a male COP27 President and a male high-level champion.”

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SHE Changes Climate is a short film revealing how women continue to be excluded from climate negotiations, interviewing those female leaders left absent.

“The climate crisis affects us all, yet the perspectives on, and decisions about how to tackle the crisis have been made mainly by men,” says Bianca Pitt, also a co-founder of SHE Changes Climate. 

“Women represent more than 50% of the population, and yet we continue to be ‘spoken for’. Women must be represented in climate negotiations.”

The other new addition to WaterBear, Wild Innovators, is a five-part series spotlighting five female leaders at the forefront of environmental change.

Interviewees include conservationists Rosamira Guillen, Resson Kantai Duff, Sheila Funnell, and Dr. Krithi Karanth, as well as food justice advocates Abigail Williams and Jayne Goss.

“Wild Innovator has selected remarkable women around the world working to protect the planet in different ways. I was particularly touched by their support in my case to show different dimensions to being a professional scientist and conservationist while also being a mum to two wonderful girls in India”, says Dr. Krithi Karant, one of the featured leaders.

'An entirely free streaming platform'

WaterBear has pledged to remain an entirely free streaming platform with the aim to use storytelling to make a difference and inspire a passion for climate action.

Women and girls are more likely to be affected negatively by climate change, as they make up the majority of the world’s poor and they are less likely to be in positions of power and leadership.

Both the teams behind SHE Changes Climate and Wild Innovators hope that their new films will bring attention to the fact that gender inequality also extends to climate change decision-making, and push for change.

Inspired to act?

DISCOVER: Watch SHE Changes Climate and Wild Innovators, along with other climate documentaries, for free on WaterBear.

SUPPORT: International charity ActionAid is working in the world’s poorest countries to support women to take on leadership roles. Find out more here.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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