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Women Hold Up Half the Sky

Good news. This week we are taking part in Dundee Women's Festival 2023.

Of course, Dundee Women's Festival is a great opportunity for women to come together, to learn, to share information, and to encourage each other in many different areas of our lives.

We are running a decluttering workshop and are really looking forward to meeting new people. While we love speaking to those of you who are already interested in climate change and motivated enough to want to make changes in your lives, we take every chance we get to speak to people for whom this is not yet a priority.

Decluttering – how does that make you feel?

Rather guilty (because you know you should do it)

Very nervous (because you wouldn’t know where to start)

Dismissive (you don’t know what all the fuss is about)

Perhaps you are even wondering why a decluttering workshop would be included in a Women’s Festival? And what it has to do with our core work of limiting climate change?

We could be mean and tell you that if you want to know the answers you will have to book a ticket to our event ……… but we wouldn’t do that!

It would appear that, generally, when there are women in a household they are the ones who do most of the day-to-day organising. We are now saying this is how it should be, or that we like this state of affairs, and, of course, we are generalising, but that seems to be a fact.

It is also fair to say that many people feel they have too much stuff and would love to be living in a tidier space Put these two together, and it is more often than not the women who have to take the bull by the horns, and get the house tidied! At the very least, they often have to initiate the tidying – smart women will then delegate the actual work.

Actually, there is science behind these rather depressing facts, which seem so sexist and hopelessly old-fashioned.

Research that examined how family members talked about their living environments showed that women who described their homes as being more cluttered had increased levels of the stress hormone, cortisol and greater depressed mood throughout the day, compared with women who described their home as more restful and restorative.

Men, however, did not experience the same stress or mood disruptions based on their home environment, leading researchers to suggest that women may feel a higher level of responsibility for the home.

What is clutter exactly? The dictionary defines it as “a collection of things lying about in an untidy state”.

Things, huh? That bring us back to one of our biggest bugbears, buying too much stuff. That has a huge impact on climate change, as you know. We’re always banging on about buying less ……..

As if all this hasn’t convinced us that decluttering is a highly appropriate subject both for us and the Women’s Festival, let’s remind ourselves what the United Nations (UN) has to say.

The UN acknowledges that while climate crisis affects us all, it has a disproportionate effect on women. Its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) found that women’s vulnerability to climate change stems from social, economic and cultural factors, but that women should not only be seen as victims of climate change – they are also active and effective promoters of adaptation and mitigation, which will equip them well for the task ahead.

So, all that remains is to ask, will you join us? We still have a few tickets available for our workshop tomorrow evening (Thursday 9th March). It’s a serous subject, but we’ll tackle it in an informal and lively way with plenty of opportunity to chat and encourage each other.


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