By Roxanne Ward, Content Creator for Acala. 

It's International Women’s Day, so what better time to look at the impact of gender inequality on our planet, and the impact of our planet on gender equality. Here’s our attempt to turn a very complicated problem into a few simple ways to help redress the balance…

The bad news? Climate change affects women disproportionately. The good news? Gender equality means good things for the planet.

So, how does climate change disproportionately affect women? There are hundreds of interconnected factors involved, but here are just a few:

  • UN figures indicate that 80% of people displaced by climate change are women. Their role as primary caregiver, providers of food and fuel, make them more vulnerable.
  • Globally, women are more likely to experience poverty, and make up 70% of the world’s most poor. This makes it difficult to recover from disasters which affect infrastructure, jobs and housing.
  • Women across the globe are less likely to be in control of their personal lives and finances, meaning they struggle to make decisions about their own lives, let alone decisions that might positively impact the planet. For example, in 18 countries, husbands can legally prevent their wives from working.
  • They are more likely to be excluded from education. Two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults are women. 750 million women were married before the age of 18. Educated generations make better decisions about their life choices, including family planning.
  • Women make up the majority of farmers in poorer countries but find it difficult to farm efficiently, as biases and laws inhibit their ability to borrow money, own land, and receive government support. This leads to lower yields and less effective land use.


It’s all fairly depressing. But don’t get mad, get equal. Climate change is a global problem with a gender bias, but redressing the balance can have a major impact on climate change, as well as the women it’s affecting. This is both a major problem and a major opportunity.

How can I help?

Support women’s access to education. Supporting the education of all children can help support our planet for future generations, helping them make more informed decisions and live more sustainable lives. Not only that, but women in control of themselves, their careers and their finances, will also take control of their family planning. According to Globe and Mail, if every single girl in the world were to finish school, we’d have 843 million fewer people on the planet by 2050. With overpopulation one of the single biggest effectors of climate change, empowering young women is possibly the best way to limit that impact.

Support the people already looking to make an impact. Behind every strong woman are thousands of strong people supporting her. Rally behind climate change activists, groups and products that give women a voice and appreciate the impact gender equality could have on our planet. Organisations like Solar Sister, C40 and Ecofemme are combining the support of women with environmentalism, and it’s partnerships like this we need to endorse. 

Shop Ecofemme and other products that empower women on Acala. 

Demand action. Governments and companies are finally starting to see the wider benefits of supporting women (improved business results, higher national GDP), which we now know will also have dozens of direct and indirect effects on our planet. Support those running for office who put the empowerment of women and the importance of the environment high on the agenda. No one to support? Run for election! Or if you’re looking for little ways to influence policy on a regular basis, sign petitions for relevant campaigns with just a click. Organisations like SumOfUs and 38degrees allow you to campaign locally or internationally, filtering by the causes you feel passionately about. And if you can’t find one to sign, start one!

Reduce your own impact. Climate change, although its effects are starting to be seen the world over, still disproportionately affects poor countries and the women in those countries. It seems obvious, but it’s rarely remembered that if everyone ate just a little less meat, drove their car a little less, bough sustainably and avoided extra packaging on their groceries and toiletries, the impact on the current rate of fuel consumption and emissions contributing to climate change would fall dramatically. Taking small steps in our individual lives can have a big impact on the lives of those most effected. Who will, most likely, be women.

Want to get started reducing the waste in your personal care routine, read our how to guide.


Gender Equality and the role it plays in creating a sustainable future for the beauty industry

Acala is committed to achieving carbon neutral status. Our goal is to build a model for circular economic growth that supports our strong commitment to climate action.

From empowering women leaders to supporting brilliant women scientists, at Acala we are seeking to advance gender equality specifically within the health & beauty industry.

Women make up the majority of our customers and women are at the heart of our supply chains and sourcing communities. Women are also the primary caretakers of their families and homes; their product and lifestyle choices have significant impacts on society, the environment and global economies.

At Acala we are committed to women and climate in three ways:

  1. People (supporting the happy, healthy lives of our customers)
  2. Community (contributing to and helping our customers to better their environments and support diversity of every kind)
  3. Planet ( commitment to a circular business model, sustainable product design and manufacturing)


You can read more about our personal commitments as a company here through our Sustainable Business Plan.

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