The Cost of BP's Boys' Club: Why the Oil Industry's Macho Culture Is Bad for Women and the Environment

By Linda Basch

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is being called -- with increasing justification -- one of the greatest ecological disasters in history. The term "human error" has been ubiquitous since the spill began, but it grants far too much leniency to a company and an industry that for years has operated with a certain arrogance and machismo that has contributed in no small way to the catastrophe. But don't take my word for it:  

... We can begin to understand the tendency toward machismo in BP with simple numbers: all of BP's executives are white males, except for one female HR leader. Our research has shown this to be short-sighted. Countless studies have demonstrated that diversity in leadership produces better results overall. Women also tend to be more tempered risk-takers, which, among other things, could have shifted BP's decision not to use a safeguard device on the Deepwater rig, a potentially disaster-averting move that could have cost as little as $500,000.  

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posted 19 July 2010


The Next Green Frontier

By  Zainab Salbi
Women for Women International founder and CEO

Today we are facing a global food, nutrition, and climate crisis. Over the past few years, nearly 100 million people have been added to the global count of chronically hungry worldwide. Food prices have jumped almost 80%, pushing thousands of families on the brink into poverty and hunger. Environmentally damaging agricultural practices such as deforestation compound the CO2 emissions that are causing greenhouse effects. Chemically enhanced fertilizers contaminate the ground and strip the Earth of necessary nutrients.

We cannot build sustainable democracies, economies, or solutions for climate change and food shortages if we do not fully incorporate women in policy responses. There isn't a better story to illustrate the disconnect between the reality of women and the theory of policy than this food crisis and the agricultural strategies that aim to address it.

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posted 18 October, 2010

Women Empowered by Restoring Desertified Land

by: Helda Martinez  |  Inter Press Service

Natagaima, Colombia - Indigenous and rural women from southern Tolima, a province located in the heart of Colombia, are lending a hand to the bleak land around them, with the aim of simultaneously recovering the ecosystem and regaining their own dignity, in a community effort that is changing their environment and their lives.

Manos de Mujer (Women's Hands) is the name of the non-governmental organisation working since 2001 in Natagaima, a town some 100 kilometres south of the provincial capital, Ibagué. Nine hundred women of the Pijao native community plant ecosystem-friendly seeds to grow natural crops without the use of agrochemicals.

"Nine years ago, the land all around my plot was a yellowish colour. There were only one or two lonely trees," Claudina Loaiza, who has been part of the projects since its onset, told IPS..

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posted 4 December 2009


Gender Missing in Climate Agreements

by: Sabina Zaccaro  |  Inter Press Service

Rome, Italy - Women are known to be innovators when it comes to responding to climate change. The question is how to ensure that the role of women and gender equality are reflected in climate change agreements.

Women in poor countries will be the most affected by climate change effects, according to the 2009 State of the World Population report, released last month by the United Nations Population Fund. This is because women comprise the majority of the world’s farmers, have access to fewer income- earning opportunities, and have limited or no access to technology.

To understand how far women are involved in decision making on climate change, TerraViva spoke with Lorena Aguilar Revelo, global senior gender advisor to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) which is a part of the Global Gender and Climate Alliance launched at the United Nations climate change conference in Bali in December 2007.

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posted 31 October 2009


First Nation Women 'Walk the Environmental Talk'

By Bijoyeta Das
WeNews correspondent

(WOMENSENEWS)--Their lips wind-burned, feet blistered, shoes worn out. They keep walking.

Sometimes they walk as much as 54 miles in a single day, taking turns carrying eight liters of water in a copper pail and an eagle staff, a six-feet long carved staff with eagle feathers attached, which serves as a flag for Native Americans. At night, they rest in the houses of their supporters or in lodging arranged by a casino. Some nights they camp out in the bitter cold.

For six springs, Mother Earth Water Walkers have walked nearly a month to circle one of the Great Lakes in North America.


The goal is to raise awareness that water is essential and sacred.

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posted 24 October 2009




Breast Cancer Link to Environment Goes Mainstream

By Molly M. Ginty
WeNews correspondent

(WOMENSENEWS)--When she looks at her suburban street, Geri Barish sees cancer. She believes it's under her feet, in the soil that came from landfill and has been sprayed with pesticides. She believes it's overhead, in the electric transformers that hang from telephone poles on her quiet cul-de-sac.

"Pollution from these sources may explain the cancer that killed my mother, my son and too many of my neighbors," said Barish, of Hewlett, N.Y., a middle-income community at the heart of a dense cluster of cancer cases. "It may also explain why I've had to battle breast cancer three separate times myself."

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posted 5 July 2010

Woman Wins Environmental Prize for Fighting Mining Problems

Monday 20 April 2009
by: Jim Carlton | Visit article original @ The Wall Street Journal

San Francisco - A West Virginia woman who says her life has been threatened for her work fighting coal-mining problems in Appalachia is among this year's winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize, the green
world's equivalent of the Oscars.

The Goldmans, now in their 20th year, are being presented to seven activists at a ceremony in San Francisco on Monday. The prizes are sponsored by a foundation headed by San Francisco philanthropist Richard Goldman, who started the awards in 1990 with his late wife Rhoda as a way to honor grassroots environmental activists around the world. The recipients get cash awards of $150,000 each, which many honorees have plowed back into their respective campaigns.

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posted 22 April 2009