Feminism and climate change
Quintero addressed the importance of feminism and environmental activism as going hand in hand. “We need to respect our planet the way that we as women need and deserve to be respected.”
There’s an absolute need for women to be extremely active in the climate movement. Women around the world are going to be facing the impacts of climate change first, no matter what.
“Women are vulnerable to the effects of climate change in many ways,” she points to displacement as an effect of climate change that will cause women to be more vulnerable to other types of violence, and notes that “women of color are extremely impacted.”
She also noted that women who are still overwhelmingly responsible for caregiving, have to deal with the impacts of the pollution the causes climate change like rising childhood asthma rates. “If a child is sick with asthma, they are going to be staying home,” and in most cases, it will be the matriarch of the family tending to the child’s care, which can lead to lost work hours, and economic impacts.
The government needs to change in order to address how climate change affects marginalized women, said Quintero. “I think the number one thing is to put women at the center of the conversation. So much of what happens in government is decided by a privileged few. And generally, women are underrepresented, even in those rooms.”
Quintero points to the accomplishments of women like Christiana Figueres and many other women from community organizers to high-level politicians to engineers, who are playing critical roles in solving climate change. Figueres is the Costa Rican diplomat that played a key role in the United Nations Convention on Climate Change and helped build international strategy.