A report by the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) for Catalonia's Sexual and Reproductive Rights Association has examined the extent of the links between climate justice and sexual and reproductive justice in organizations and social movements in Catalonia.
A report by the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) for Catalonia's Sexual and Reproductive Rights Association has examined the extent of the links between climate justice and sexual and reproductive justice in organizations and social movements in Catalonia. Entitled Amplificant la interconnexió entre la justícia climàtica i la justícia sexual i reproductiva [Expanding the interconnection between climate justice and sexual and reproductive justice], the report identifies the links between the two areas as a way to encourage reflection among the feminist and climate justice movements in Catalonia. Maria Heras and Hug March, researchers at the Urban Transformation and Global Change Laboratory (TURBA Lab) at the UOC's Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3), presented the report to the Parliament of Catalonia on 24 February.
The study was undertaken with various social organizations and government bodies, involving interviews and debates, and collected information to determine how climate justice movements incorporate perspectives of gender and intersectional feminism, and how the feminist movement addresses the climate issue. According to the authors of the report, it aims to "provide reflections, evidence and partnerships that help us build alternatives and political discourse, and contribute to defining and implementing actions for political and social impact and awareness."
The report was produced based on the paradigm of intersectionality, i.e. the framework within which "multiple social categories (such as race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or social class), which are a reflection of different systems of privilege and socio-structural oppression at a macro level, converge within a person's individual experience".
The report argues that the climate struggle is increasingly regarded as a broad-based struggle that needs to move beyond what have traditionally been considered "environmental" issues (energy, mobility, etc.) in order to "bring together other social struggles, such as the feminist and anti-racist struggles, and act in coordination with them." The authors of the study found that in practice, many of the collectives that were involved in the project work directly on areas of intersection including gender, socio-economic level, age, sexual orientation, origin and legal status. However, the report points out that "the major outstanding issue" for all organizations and collectives is to "integrate this intersectionality into their organization, in the composition of their collective."
What are the points of connection between sexual and reproductive justice and climate justice?
Conversations with the organizations working on sexual and reproductive justice that participated in the project also highlighted the points of connection with climate justice. In discursive terms, the two areas are part of the same dimension of struggles for social justice. Accordingly, they call for "justice from the bottom up" in order to combat inequality and oppression. As a result, they emphasize the need to create collectives that work with the people affected and with social movements, and to listen to them within community spaces. By doing so, they seek to "create knowledge and initiatives from the social base that can then rise to the political and institutional management level".
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Researcher at the Urban Transformation and Global Change Laboratory (TURBA Lab) at the UOC's Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3)
Hug March Corbella
Lecturer in the Economics and Business Studies Department
Expert in: Self-sufficient and resilient cities, smart cities, urban water management, degrowth, fab labs, ICTs and the environment (smart meters etc), citizen perceptions of environmental problems, urban farming, and new financial actors in environmental management.
Knowledge area: Urban political ecology, urban political economics.