KAMY x Taylor's Girl Up: Climate justice & intersectionality
Updated: Dec 5, 2020
As part of Asia Climate Rally, KAMY collaborated with local students from Taylor's University Girl Up Club to curate social media contents and organize a panel discussion related to gender responsive climate action. Taylor's Girl Up Publicity Director, Hailey Tan is also KAMY's Vice-chair.
Who are Taylor's Girl Up?
Girl Up was founded by the United Nations Foundations as a movement to help girls rise and claim their rights, gain equal opportunities and be acknowledged as no less than their male counterparts. Girl Up aims to fight against gender inequality and other issues of discrimination to level the playing field and truly empower humankind. Read more about Taylor's Girl Up here.
This collaboration also produced three climate & gender contents. Click them below:
Lack of conversation related to feminist solution of climate crisis in Malaysia
It's time for university students to bridge the gap of understanding between climate & gender.
We need to provide a safe space for everyone to be curious and ask questions about something as big as the climate crisis, something that might be difficult to grasp for the first time.
The Taylor's speakers corner has always been the place for students in the institution to speak about controversial issues (sexual harassment, menstruation, toxic masculinity, racism, etc) and spark meaningful conversations.
Though most of us students already have basics of what climate action looks like, it seems that we still consider 'climate' and 'gender' as separate entities or separate social justice movements. On the contrary, they are both very much interconnected. Women and men experience climate change impacts differently due to their socially constructed roles and responsibilities. Thus, we have to acknowledge these challenges and take an intersectional approach to create movements that are more inclusive and effective.
Intersectionality focuses on how social categories such as gender, race, socio-class, ability, sexual orientation, religion, and other aspects of our identity interact on multiple levels, contributing to discrimination, exclusion, social inequality and systemic injustice.
Open mic & discussion: Mother is Calling...
Aroe spoke about her life growing up in a 'haze town' of Kalimantan and when her climate activism started. KAMY would not be here without the support and training from 'senior' environmental groups such as Sahabat Alam Malaysia or KUASA.
Activism through social media and how it has changed during the pandemic. Since everything has gone virtual now, we experience 'digital fatigue'; the kind of discomfort (physically & mentally) that happens after looking at digital screens for too long. Additionally, youth has been bombarded with so much information, yet change is not coming fast enough. Climate action feels like an idea that's too far-fetched, it feels that even if you do anything, nothing will change.
Gabungan Pertahankan Hutan Simpan Kuala Langat Utara (PHSKLU) Aroe explained the phase 1 & phase 2 of PHSKLU campaign and speaks about her experience going to the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve speaking to the community and collecting documentation.
Call to action towards Asia Climate Rally and a little background story on how the coalition came together since last year.
Aidil Iman Aidid
Aidil speaks about the lack of LGBTQ+ representation in STEM field and environmental activism in Malaysia. He speaks about his own experience on social media where people always relate his advocacy to his sexuality. Not to mention the amount of harassment LGBTQ+ people experience just for speaking up about the issues they believe in. Quoting a nature.com article, he highlights that young people, are dropping out of their field because they feel threatened because of their sexuality.
Undergraduates who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or queer switch to non-science degrees at higher rates than their heterosexual peers.
Nicole started her activism through Zero Waste Malaysia and focused heavily on advocating individual actions. After visiting villages in Semporna, she saw that there were no waste management system and realized that this issue is something bigger. Now, Nicole is also part of KAMY advocating for climate justice and intersectionality.
What do we mean when we say its an 'intersectional movement' ?
It means that you are advocating for protection of both people and the planet.
Stop the old school thinking of only advocating protection of the planet but not the people. "People & planet" means acknowledging that all the injustices that happen to marginalized communities are interconnected and you can't fight for one without the other.
Amplify marginalized communities such as the Orang Asli, Orang Asal who are most affected by climate crisis and put them at the forefront of the movement.
Climate justice and intersectional approach means moving away from a neo-liberal colonial extractive way of operating and thinking .
Before ending her session, Nicole brought up a checklist of 'Questions you should ask yourself about wether your environmentalism is intersectional or not':
Does it advocate for the protection of the people and the planet?
Do you consider the social injustices and who is affected most by environmental hazards? and;
Do you then uplift these voices?
Have you done the work yourself before you go into these spaces?
How does your identity influence the way that you experience privilege or prejudice?
Watch full discussion here on Facebook Live.
Read the wrap up post here by Taylor's Girl Up: