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Addressing Intersectionality in American Climate Justice: Where is Gender?

Authors: Jade Sasser*, University of California - Riverside
Topics: Gender, Cultural and Political Ecology
Keywords: Climate justice, intersectionality, gender
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Climate justice is grounded in understandings that the distribution of climate benefits and burdens is an ethical, moral and political issue in which differential impacts are experienced at the intersection of multiple social identities. Climate justice organizations in the U.S. tend to focus their analyses around race, ethnicity, and class, often leaving gender out of the discussion. This absence is particularly stark when compared with international climate justice work, which has historically foregrounded gender inequality. This paper explores this contrast. Based on in-depth, semi-structured interviews with representatives of twenty U.S.-based organizations working at the intersection of gender and climate justice, this presentation investigates the roles of movement building, climate literacy, and the relationship between theory and engaged practice. It analyzes the role of intersectionality in shaping movement actors’ understandings of gender inequality in the U.S. climate justice movement. It also foregrounds the ways American climate and gender justice activists frame their work in comparison to global South activism, specifically in the interactions of race, gender, and class. The paper concludes with a discussion of tools and emergent practices engaged by movement activists.

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