Photo acknowledgement: Heidi Augestad
WoMin’s main activities with allies in Paris
Women's movement building for ecological and climate justice (WoMin, Rural Women’s Assembly, People’s Dialogue, Ibon International and others) – Monday 7 December, 2-4pm at Climate Action Zone, Grand Croisat, Bourse du Travail (République)
Women united for food energy and climate justice (WoMin, Rural Women’s Assembly, People’s Dialogue, CIDSE, Franciscans International, JPIC mining and Franciscans Delegation at COP 21, Sisters of Mercy International, Million Climate Jobs and others) – Tuesday 8 December, 10am to 1pm, Climate Action Zone, Olympe de Gouge
Towards a post-mining society and economy: We have the alternatives (People’s Dialogue, Churches and Mining, WoMin, Franciscans International, CIDSE, Million Climate Jobs) – Thursday 10 December, 4-6pm, Atelier du Milieu, Centre CentQuatre, 104 Rue d'Aubervilliers, PARIS 19 (Metro Riquet)
Africa is not for sale! A dialogue with African negotiators (People’s Dialogue, Rural Women’s Assembly, WoMin, CIDSE, Franciscans International, JPIC mining and Franciscans Delegation at COP 21, Economic Justice Network and others) – Friday 11 December, 1-3pm, Climate Action Zone, CentQuatre Salle 200
Dear sisters, friends and comrades
Thirteen sisters in the WoMin African Gender and Extractives Alliance start departing for Paris from the 3rd December with the objective of putting forward, alongside other networks and movements, REAL SOLUTIONS to the climate, energy, water and food crisis that reflect the needs and interests of the majority of peasant and working class women in Africa. We will acknowledge and uphold, in our organizing efforts with others, the lived alternatives in agro-ecology and food sovereignty of peasants; of natural resource stewardship by fisher folk, forest dwellers and indigenous peoples; and the labour of care by women in all of their diversity across the globe.
We will stand with other climate justice organisations to denounce COP21 and the UNFCCC as having failed African women and their communities before final agreements are even announced. The multilateral negotiations process has failed to prevent dangerous climate change until now and COP 21 will be ‘business as usual’. The voluntary pledges (the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs) by the big polluting countries’ leaders will, at the time of writing, raise world temperatures by a conservatively-estimated 3 degrees Celsius. It is an untenable outcome for Africa, which will experience average increases of more than 6 degrees Celsius in this scenario. Given the non-binding nature of the deal, violations are likely, so Africa and its peoples will cook, and tens of millions of Africans will die in the next third of a century, before 2050.
WoMin’s delegates are not accredited to participate in the UNFCCC. Instead, we will be working, alongside our friends and allies, to deepen our own analysis and thinking about the alternatives, to think about how we strengthen our movements, and to strategise how we forge greater people-to-people solidarity. This is our task in Paris.
In this briefing note, you will find more about our political positioning on climate change, the COP and the REAL alternatives; our major activities in Paris; how you can follow us on social media; and key resources that may be of interest to you. We will be with you in as many events as we can manage, and encourage your support to the dialogues we are working with others to convene. See you on the streets and in the strategy spaces in Paris!
What is WoMin?
WoMin is an emerging women-led, women’s rights African alliance working alongside national and regional movements and popular organisations of women, mining-affected communities and peasants. We aim to publicise the impacts of extractivism on peasant and working-class women, to work to counter these destructive trends, to support organising and movement-building by affected women, always linked to other excluded women. Most importantly, we advance an ecofeminist, post-extractivist, women-centred alternative based on our practices and struggles across Africa.
COP21 WoMin delegation
Our political positioning on COP 21
A few extracts from our COP 21 statement
An African Ecofeminist Perspective on the Paris Climate Negotiations
We predict: The climate negotiations will fail AGAIN...
Fossil fuel and industrial corporations, financiers and related elite interests have captured UN institutions and processes over the last decades, and the UNFCCC negotiations are no exception. COP 21, like its predecessors, will fail to address the disease of climate crisis at its roots: fossil-based energy production, car-based private transport and ubiquitous air travel, sprawling urbanisation, the liberalised global trade regime, industrialised agriculture, and over-consumption in the Global North (including parts of the geographical South). Instead, COP 21 will affirm false solutions, many of which present significant social and technological dangers: the failing carbon markets and offsets, nuclear energy, ‘clean’ coal, big dams, natural gas, agro-fuels, weather modification, geo-engineering, and Carbon Capture and Storage.
It is Africa’s more than 500-million peasant and working-class women that carry the burden of immediate and long-term impacts of both fossil fuels extraction and energy production, and the false solutions to the climate crisis, including corporatized renewable energy. This is because of the patriarchal-capitalist division of labour, our greater responsibility for agricultural production and social reproduction of families and communities, and our structural exclusion from decision-making in our families, communities, national governments and multilateral institutions.
African women, alongside our working-class, indigenous, peasant and black sisters in other parts of the world, offer the most revolutionary alternatives to this deeply destructive model of development. These alternatives are found in the ways African women produce food, conserve and steward natural resources, and take care of our families and communities. Ours are the LIVING alternatives to be recognised, built on and supported.
The recent terror attacks in Paris, Beirut, Baghdad, and Bamako are a response to deepening systemic crises African women have been contesting. The struggle against an oppressive development paradigm is, at one and the same time, also a fight against terrorism, militarisation, racism and war. This is our fight as African women; it is a fight for justice, peace, solidarity and love across the globe.
The activities of our allies and friends
We will be joining the activities of other friends and allies in Paris: these include CCFD Terre-Solidaire, Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES), the International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity (CIDSE), the Transnational Institute, the Sierra Club, The Women's Earth & Climate Action Network, the International Coal Network and Oilwatch.
For the full programme of CIDSE and its numerous allies please follow this link
For our two research collections and a significant library of resources please visit our website: www.womin.org.za
Of particular interest will be:
Following us on Social Media
For regular updates on WoMin at COP 21 please follow us on our twitter page: @WoMin2015 or #africanwomen4climatejustice
Our Facebook page is WoMin-African women unite against destructive resource extraction
Our website is: www.womin.org.za