April- Spring arrives.
Daffodils trumpet the news.
Birds return from their winter grounds.
Fruit trees blossom.
Farmers plant their crops.
New little lambs and calves nuzzle up against their mothers.
The Earth, our mother, feeds us, nurtures us, and inspires us.
Meanwhile, forces in this world kill virgin forests and ravage the Earth. So where are women in all this?
Environmental conditions affect women’s reproductive destiny. Toxic elements released into the air and water influence fetal development and children after birth. For example, women in Flint, Michigan, still worry about how lead in the water has impacted their pregnancies and their children.
People who live in poverty are more likely to be affected by climate change and environmental pollution. Poverty often forces the poor to live in areas threatened by flood, drought, and extreme weather disturbances. Women and girls constitute 2/3 of the world’s poor.
Yet, empowered to control their fertility, women can influence their communities. They can address the environmental, economic, political and social issues that affect their families’ lives. From the grassroots up, they can impact decisions made by their governments to protect their environment. Just as the environment affects women’s reproductive destiny, so their reproductive destiny affects the environment. Empowered women can strive to protect the health of mother earth, who supports us all.
Let us empower girls and women everywhere to celebrate Earth Day this month!