Climate Change and Women

A collaborative event between CWO and Free the Planet from Tuesday, February 16th.

What is Climate Change?

  • Greenhouse Gas Effect
    • Greenhouse gas emissions increase due to burning fossil fuels
    • CO2, Methane, CFCs (H2O even!)


  • Atmospheric CO2 Spike
    • Flux of concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere over natural cycles
    • Humans are creating CO2 at higher rate than ever. Exacerbating these fluxes (causing larger, more intense CO2 spikes)
    • Not only are we releasing CO2 and other GHG’s… these gasses stay in the atmosphere for a long time and influencing climate.envirograph
  • Impacts of Warming Climate
    • Sea level rise
    • Snow & ice cover decrease
    • Changing precipitation patterns
    • Increased intensity/frequency of extreme weather—floods, droughts, heat waves, hurricanes
    • Drops in agricultural and fish yields
    • Spread of disease
    • Ocean acidification
    • Also…
      • Positive feedback loops
      • Often, an increase/decrease in one causes an increase/decrease in the other

Who does Climate Change impact?

  • Variable effectsvulnerabilitymap
    • Variable effects geographically!
    • Many areas are more vulnerable than others
    • Bangladesh is ranked as the most vulnerable to climate change impacts in 2011.. due to:
      • extreme levels of poverty
      • high dependency on agriculture
      • high risk of drought
      • highest risk of flooding
    • Impacts the already disadvantaged
      • Climate change and environmental degradation will most greatly affect the least powerful people in society
      • Climate change will exacerbate existing social inequalities, including gender inequality
      • “Gender inequality is showing up… in climate change, Dr. Amber Fletcher”
  • Impacts on Women
    • Extreme Weather
      • 2007 Study: Impact of Catastrophic Events on the Gender Gap in Life Expectancy
      • First, biological and physiological differences between men and women may at times disadvantage women in their immediate response to the disaster
      • Second, social norms and role behavior may lead to a behavior of women that increases their vulnerability in the immediate course of the disaster.
      • Third, disasters may lead to shortage of resources of basic need as well as a temporary breakdown of social order, in which case the competition between individuals becomes fiercer and existing forms of gender discrimination become exacerbated and new forms of discrimination can emerge.
    • Food and Water Security

What can we do?

Badass Women

  • Rachel Carson
    • 40’s-60’s,born in Springdale (allegheny river), went to Chatham, concerns about DDT (no singing birds in spring) ‘62 silent spring, super inspiring EPA ecofeminism, death in ‘64(56)
  • Wangari Maathai
    • Kenyan born, school in Kansas originally then here for a masters in Biology! ‘’66, inspiring work in pittsburgh for environmental restoration, back Nairobi for PhD and founding of green belt movement 1977, teaching women how to plant trees and sustainable agriculture, politically active unbowed,  death 2011(71)

Consider these questions that we discussed at the event:

  • As an individual, what is the most effective way you can make a difference to improve gender inequality or address your environmental impact? Do you believe your actions at home can make a difference in the global community?
  • How can we get women more involved in environmental decision-making?
  • Women are not the only groups disproportionately affected by climate change. What other minorities and groups also face challenges due to socioeconomic inequalities?

Condom Casino Fun Facts

From Tuesday, January 16th 

CWO’s annual Condom Casino is our Sex ed event! We play games with condoms acting as chips and we learn about sexual health. Here are some of the trivia facts we had around.

  • How much liquid can an average condom hold?
    • A gallon (128 ounces)
  • Women of color are more prone to instance of sexual assault & rape. For example, 1 in 3 Native American women are expected to have been victims of sexual assault and rape in their lifetimes.
  • Only 22 states require that sex education be part of the curriculum in public schools.
  • Abstinence-only education is being funded by taxpayer money. (Some people argue this is increasing teenage pregnancy.)
  • Teens get much of their information online. This information can be severely inaccurate.
  • Only 5% of schools have made condoms available to their students.
  • Student Health now offers free condoms to students!
  • The incidence of sexual assault and sexual misconduct due to physical force, threats of physical force, or incapacitation among female undergraduate students at Pitt is 21%, according to the AAU Survey.
  • Which kind of lube should you use with condoms?
    • Water-based
  • Overall rates of reporting to campus officials and law enforcement or others were low, ranging from 5-28%.
  • The most common reason for not reporting incidents of sexual assault and sexual misconduct was that it was not considered serious enough.
  • A little less than half of the students have witnessed a drunk person heading for a sexual encounter. Among those who reported being a witness, most did not try to intervene.
  • About a quarter of the students generally believe they are knowledgeable about the resources available related to sexual assault and misconduct
  • Factoring in unreported rapes, only about 3% of rapists will ever serve a day in prison.
  • Protection should be used for which sex acts?
    • Vaginal intercourse
    • Oral sex
    • Anal intercourse
  • About 3% of American men — or 1 in 33 — have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
  • What kinds of birth control are available for women?
    • Daily pills
    • Intra-uterine devices (IUDs)
    • Female condoms
  • Non-latex condoms are available for individuals who have a latex allergy.
  • Birth control is most effective when taken within the same 2-hour window every day.
  • Many cases of chlamydia go unnoticed because it often presents with no symptoms.
  • Although both men and women can contract HPV, testing exists only for women.
  • Sexual consent is something that people need to discuss, no matter how long they have been in a relationship or how much sexual experience they have had.

Virtual [In]Equality: Women in the World of Video Games

From Tuesday, January 12th

During this meeting, we touched upon quite a few different topics, ranging from the way women are characterized in games, how women are representing in gaming as a whole, all the way to #Gamergate.

Below are a few of the resources from the presentation:

What’s your take on women in video games?

Who are your favorite virtual women?

Do you think game developers ethically responsible for creating representative characters in their games? Why?

Hello…It’s Me…Again

This post is to say that though this WordPress hasn’t been too poppin’, CWO sure has. In the past two months, there have been a number of events, including our biggest of the semester, Condom Casino and the Vagina Monologues. But we’re back! And we’re getting started again with updating you on what you’ve missed from past events.


-Pitt CWO ❤