Glasgow Caledonian University

Highly Commended

A climate justice focus on gender and mental health

Glasgow Caledonian University’s (GCU) Mary Robinson Centre for Climate Justice (MRCCJ) is focused on the disproportionate impacts of climate change on particular groups in society. We raise awareness of how inequalities affect the ability of the poorest and most vulnerable to adapt to climate change impacts, and work with local communities to co-produce climate knowledge and build resilience.

Initially established through a partnership with the Mary Robinson Foundation, we address the overarching objective of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to ‘Leave no one behind’.

The specific project detailed in this application has investigated the impacts of climate change on gender-based violence and mental health. The project put the spotlight on the lived experiences of rural women in Malawi and delivered evidence directly to policymakers to inform future policy at the national level that would help address a growing mental health and gender-based violence crisis in the studied areas.

What the Judges Thought

A remarkable piece of research linking three key areas for this Green Gown Award. This innovative initiative clearly highlights gender equity and given the follow up work with the community and support organisations, has supported the women well whilst providing research evidence. This highlights a globally significant issue which deserves the attention of governments and institutions everywhere.

What it Means to Win

 “We are delighted to win this Award in recognition of our purposeful research on gender-based violence and mental health in women impacted by climate change. This research listens to the voices of those disproportionately affected by global warming, and demonstrates the power of working with communities to solve societal challenges.”

Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE, Principal and Vice Chancellor

Top 3 Learnings

  1. Our Centre has demonstrated that co-creation with traditionally excluded communities at greatest risk of climate change, can bring about individual, local, and regional benefits to ensure that there is a just transition to climate justice.
  2. We learned the importance of ensuring mental health support is available, both during and after, difficult conversations about the impact of climate change on people’s lives. We also learned about how gender-based violence and mental health problems are exacerbated by the impacts of climate change for the poorest communities.
  3. The creation of a globally unique MRCCJ has inspired other research and education institutions to embrace climate justice.
1- No Poverty 5 - Gender Equality 10 - Reduced Inequalities 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
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