This was written by MCAF Leadership Circle member Tina Beattie:
I recently spent a few days at an amazing conference — Tina Brown and Diane Von Furstenberg’s Women in the World Summit — celebrating the work women are doing across the globe to impact women’s issues, global issues. Basking in the luminaries speeches was invigorating, and even more wonderful, the activists stories was truly recharging. However, by the end I felt a bit hollow inside.
The environment was not a piece of this event. Aside from a recycling program Coke is sponsoring in South America, there was no mention of the environment and how that impacts those in poverty, women, unborn children, children’s health and ability to learn, developing countries and the disruption that is to come without addressing the most primary issue — climate change.
Then again, I see the right to live in a sustainable world the singular and most important right. Consider this a formal lobby for a panel on climate change next year. Especially, because women are leading the charge on this fight in all corners and in all ways.
My other disappointment came from being a wicked western Republican! It was the pervasive and not too subtle overlay that every women there must be a certain type of woman, democratic, not from the west or south, etc. etc. I had to giggle because most of the panels I either already support their group or am an active participant in their call to action.
I was feeling so thankful for the open gracious nature of Mom’s — because we need all women, and finding our commonalities is the key to saving the planet from its many ills. Being an environmental Republican, I have developed a thick skin. I am used to being the odd man out. But, it does cut when you are the odd woman out.
As moms — as women, we need to move the ball forward. The environment door has to be open to all women, of all stripes. It may be because they see mercury making its ways into the womb as a pro-life issue. You are right, welcome! It may be because they believe that tremendous increase in childhood asthma is a vast failure by the government to regulate clean air. Come on in, the door is open! All of our opinions and perspectives must be channeled to this singular goal of cleaning up our air for our children, here and everywhere.
The passing of Margaret Thatcher made me ponder this even more. As one of the first world leaders to sound the alarm on climate change, Thatcher entered that hinterland of stepping out on an issue before the political stream has caught up. I hope as more leaders, more women, step out on this issue we all rally around them. Whether they are an Iron Lady or not.