By Kathleen Rogers

On Aug. 26, we commemorate Women’s Equality Day and reflect on the true meaning of equality. The day is important, not just to evaluate where women are in terms of representation and equal pay for equal work, but also to consider the potential for jumpstarting climate negotiations and the green economy by strengthening women’s leadership in these areas.

Our elected leaders and the world’s heads of state have failed to solve the climate crisis or to shift into a green economy – all while everyone knows that the path we tread will exhaust the world’s food, water and energy. Public opinion strongly favors action; nonetheless, progress is stalled. It’s no coincidence that female participation is dismal in the U.N.’s climate negotiations, in the halls of our government and in corporate board meetings.

Women get the connections between climate change, public health and economic growth, because climate change is disproportionately affecting women. Heat and extreme weather already impede the work that falls on women worldwide, e.g. collecting water and growing crops. Not only are women responsible for as much as 80 percent of farming in the developing world, they’re much more vulnerable to natural disasters than men.

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