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GIRL PLANET . EARTH

A global platform for women and girls to share stories and discuss solutions to Earth overshoot - overpopulation, consumption, culture, climate change, biodiversity loss, social stress, and our planet

Olatomide Ojajune of Nigeria founded the podcast channel "TalkclimateAfrica," which uses music and the spoken word to spread awareness and inspire action. She is a community mobilizer and leader, as well as author of the book "Green Earth: Green Life."

Our Global Voices

Our global voices

SUCHE COŞKUN

SUCHE COŞKUN

TURKEY

'In today's world, our consumption-based lifestyles are heavily influenced by a capitalist production and consumption system rooted in luxury. The production and consumption of surplus goods lead to a disconnection from nature, alienating people from the natural world. By implementing green policies that prioritize the protection of the natural environment...

ELSIE GILMORE

ELSIE GILMORE

USA

'The fight over women's bodily autonomy has added extra stress to the environmental movement, which includes many women. I helped get abortion on the ballot here in Florida and am anxious to see how the state handles it if the amendment passes. Our state government does not act in good faith with citizen-led initiatives, so nothing is guaranteed even if we win.'

POULOMI CHAKRAVARTY

POULOMI CHAKRAVARTY

INDIA

'My professional path as an environmental and climate researcher was not just a choice but a calling. With a PhD in Environmental Sciences, my research revolves around land surface and atmosphere interaction during thunderstorm events, tales of changing climates, and the cry of Earth under the weight of degeneration due to anthropogenic forcings and...

KAMILA HEJLIKOVA TEMBO

KAMILA HEJLIKOVA TEMBO

CZECH REPUBLIC/ ZAMBIA

'Traditionally, women collect and process forest products such as fruits, seeds, and nuts. For example, the tradition of collecting and processing nuts from the large mongongo trees (also called manketti), has been transmitted from woman to woman at least since the early Holocene era. We aim to follow up on this tradition...

SHAURYA MOHAN

SHAURYA MOHAN

INDIA

'I am Dr. Shaurya Mohan, and my journey in the realm of carbon capture, waste-to-bio-CNG conversion, and environmental sustainability is driven by an unwavering passion to transform the world we live in. My pursuit of a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering has been a deliberate choice to champion the cause of our planet....

ZEHRA NUR SIMSEK

ZEHRA NUR SIMSEK

TURKEY

'The persistent buzz of a fly triggered a distant memory, transporting me back in time to the cherished summers of my childhood, spent at my farmer grandparents' rural home nestled in the mountain of Antalya. It was a village shrouded in forests and sustained by agriculture and livestock. The evening chirping of crickets, melodious songs of birds...

SUZANNE TAYLOR

SUZANNE TAYLOR

USA

'The force of nurture goes deep. My father would ask about the missing 2 points if I’d come home from school with a 98% mark. I was supposed to get 100%. So here we are, in this up-against-it world. What I can do to deserve that highest mark? It can’t be to handle any particular thing, where so much is wrong, but to see what gets *all* those things working right...

AYESHA SHAIKH

AYESHA SHAIKH

PAKISTAN

'Hi friends! My name is Ayesha Shaikh, and I am a human rights activist pursuing law at the University of London. The right to a healthy environment is a human right, and my journey to work on climate action started when floods hit my country, Pakistan. Many people lost their lives, along with their businesses and homes. I realized that...

ALISHA GRAVES

ALISHA GRAVES

USA

'Everybody has a different story, but we know from surveys, demographic and health surveys, and national-level surveys, that the less educated girls are likely to marry earlier. They’re less likely to have access to health services. That includes reproductive health services, counseling. They’re less likely to have decisionmaking....

WAFA MISRAR

WAFA MISRAR

MOROCCO

'After I completed my degree, I joined the civil society sector - to use my expertise to propose solutions for climate change adaptation and to advocate for the rights of women, who are often disproportionately impacted by environmental changes. The drought in Morocco has been particularly devastating for rural communities, and...

JOAN KEMBABAZI

JOAN KEMBABAZI

UGANDA

'Moureen Gufasha and I were inseparable friends. But on the 14th of February 2012 I lost her in childbirth soon after child marriage at age 13 to a 62-year-old rich man. She was the eldest from a family of 5 children whose farming income dried up during severe drought. I still remember her beautiful smile and dream to be a doctor...

TANYA NARANG

TANYA NARANG

INDIA

'I'm Tanya Narang, a 16-year-old student from India. I'm passionate about climate action, period poverty and enjoy western singing. My exposure to menstrual health management happened when I heard that our housekeeper would stop coming to work every month, as she would tend to her daughter who wasn’t able to go to school....

FAITH PATRICIA ARIOKOT

FAITH PATRICIA ARIOKOT

UGANDA

'I planted my first tree at age 12. I started by planting trees and giving out seedlings to others, but I noticed that many were left to dry out. I had to get a niche in tree education and tree planting education. Through Faith in Trees, I started the Boom Pencil: the plantable pencil, a tool to teach what a tree is and the advantages of planting trees...

KIRSTEN STADE

KIRSTEN STADE

USA

'I’ve always felt a kinship with nature and animals, and I’ve always felt it was my job to protect them as I would my friends and family. Most of my career has been devoted to working on protecting United States public lands from extractive industries, and volunteering in wildlife and animal rescue...

MARIA NAKIGANDA

MARIA NAKIGANDA

UGANDA

'It's only human to reproduce and fill the Earth as written in the holy scriptures, but we also ought to have sustainable usage of the Earth, which is more beautiful with natural forests, lakes, rivers, and wetlands. As a city councilor in Kajjansi, I sensitize people about family planning, proper disposal of plastics, planting of fruit trees, and participate in youth climate campaigns...

RUTH LEBRUN

RUTH LEBRUN

USA

'In addition to raising one child, I have been a dance teacher, performer and choreographer, event coordinator, farmer of a community supported agriculture farm, and Registered Nurse at 55. Sadly, many pregnancies are due to lack of education and taboos about discussing sexuality...

NIKI BAKER

NIKI BAKER

FRANCE

'Once you take a pause from the bustle and confusion and open your eyes to the impact humans are having on Planet Earth, there’s no going back. It becomes impossible to pretend that things can carry on as they are. I’ve stopped apologising for being an ‘eco-warrior’. How can any of us be anything else?

SALAMATU FADA

SALAMATU FADA

NIGERIA / WALES

'My connection to nature and the environment began from my childhood holidays with my family. We spent a lot of life in Yankari Game Reserve, Nigeria and enjoyed the times immensely. Never did I imagine that those holidays will shape my professional career and my travels. ..

CATHERINE SARAH YOUNG

CATHERINE SARAH YOUNG

PHILIPPINES / AUSTRALIA

'As an artist, I believe that women contain in them universes of stories. I grew up in the Philippines, which has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancies in Asia. I saw how young women who went from having limited choices to even more limited ones. As I write this...

BARBARA WILLIAMS

BARBARA WILLIAMS

UK

'I have been working as an environmental activist in the UK for two and a half years. I specialise in lobbying the UK government to consider a paradigm shift to degrowth in recognition of global ecological overshoot and ecosystem collapse. My website is called Poems for Parliament...

MARIANNE PIETERSEN

MARIANNE PIETERSEN

AUSTRALIA / NETHERLANDS

'I am a 76-year-old woman, born and schooled in Netherlands. In high school we were taught that the world was heading towards overpopulation, that resources were limited and we had to learn to recycle because our waste management of dumping, was using up valuable land...

PENGYU CHEN

PENGYU CHEN

TAIWAN

'Pengyu means sea turtle in some languages. I live on a small island “Liuqiu”, a sea turtle hotspot, which recently became a very popular busy tourist attraction. Why not create a place where people can share what they see underwater and talk about oceans?...

GRESË SERMAXHAJ

GRESË SERMAXHAJ

KOSOVO

'When Phoebe asked me to join Girl Planet Earth Voices, at first I was reluctant, since I thought I don’t have one major success story on how I fought overconsumption or how I saved nature and our planet. Then, it occurred to me that indeed, neither I, nor we, do not have to do it all by ourselves....

MILEY CYRUS

MILEY CYRUS

USA

'We’ve been doing the same thing to the earth that we do to women. We just take and take and expect it to keep producing. And it’s exhausted. It can’t produce. We’re getting handed a piece-of-shit planet, and I refuse to hand that down to my child. Until I feel like...

SANDRA CUADROS

SANDRA CUADROS

PERU

'As I learned more and more about our relationship with nature, I realized how challenging is to make significant sacrifices that actually heal the planet. At the same time, I was lucky to have a mother that never pushed me to have children (unlike many families here in Peru). It is a hard decision...

JOSHEENA NAGGEA

JOSHEENA NAGGEA

MAURITIUS

'Conflicts over vital resources combined with anthropogenic pressures will result in more dire human-caused disasters. But in conversations about overpopulation and how we are pushing our planet home to its limits...

LINDA LARA-JACOBO

LINDA LARA-JACOBO

MEXICO / CANADA

'I am originally from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico (Kumeyaay Land), now living in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada (Mississauga Land). I am the eldest sister in a family of two daughters. I was born and raised in a family of scientists...

KAROLINA GOLICZ

KAROLINA GOLICZ

GERMANY

'I’ve just thrown the trash out. A large plastic bag filled with used nappies, baby napkins, food remains, and many other ‘necessary’ things of convenience. The bag I threw away fell on top of countless other plastic bags, carton boxes and old household appliances. And I felt like crying...

LAURA O. AGHWANA

LAURA O. AGHWANA

NIGERIA

'I am a Legal Practitioner from southern Nigeria, Delta State... Being an Urhobo by tribe with a culture which recognizes having many children as an evidence of a man’s wealth and the 30th child in a polygamous family of about 8 wives and 47 children, left me with no choice...

MALINDA GARDINER

MALINDA GARDINER

SOUTH AFRICA

'My parents had 5 children, of whom three had one child each and the other two none. My parents taught us to be frugal. They were farmers and we had to help with various tasks. This made us realise what it takes to put food on the table and clothes on our backs. We were taught...

REBECA YAMBERLA

REBECA YAMBERLA

ECUADOR

'Soy Rebeca Yamberla, tengo 43 años de edad y no tengo hijos, soy sola. Mis padres tuvieron 9 hijos, tres mujeres y seis hombres. Pero hoy, apenas tienen uno o dos hijos. En mi familia, mis cuñadas tienen cuatro hijos, y solo yo no tengo ni uno...

JULIA FRISBIE

JULIA FRISBIE

USA

'Before I carried my one beautiful child within me, roared him out into the world, and was undone by his constant need, the future beyond my lifetime seemed abstract. Now it’s as real to me as my own tired feet...

ISLAMIAT ABIDEMI RAJI

ISLAMIAT ABIDEMI RAJI

NIGERIA

'My mom had eight girls, but my dad had 12 children, some of whom I have never met. Knowing that my mom gave birth to eight children not because she can fend for them, but because of the pressure to have a male child, is a big lesson for me with the overpopulation and Earth crises we have...

MEGHA DATTA

MEGHA DATTA

INDIA

'From physically congested environments, sometimes surrounded with waste, filth and pollution, to greater insecurity for shared resources, mistrust, unhealthy competition - the list of impacts is long. As a privileged urban middle class Indian woman, I may not be an authority...

JULIA DEDERER

JULIA DEDERER

USA

'I am 73 years young, as engaged in matters that concern me as I was when I was 30, maybe even more. I never had kids. I felt a societal tug to have kids especially in my 30's, but, truthfully I've seen mothers who are meant to be mothers and I didn't have that...

CASSIE KING

CASSIE KING

USA

'I'm the Communications Director for the international animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere and I work with the Fair Start movement advocating for the first and foremost human right: an ecosocial fair start in life...

MALALA YOUSAFZAI

MALALA YOUSAFZAI

PAKISTAN

'When we educate girls and when we empower them and when we give them the quality education that they need, it actually helps us to tackle climate change because when girls are educated, they have fewer children. They're more economically independent...

MASUMI GUDKA

MASUMI GUDKA

KENYA

'Focusing only on the issue of population growth can disenfranchise women in the global south and further widen the gap between the north and south. Instead, let us encourage a discourse where we examine population growth and consumption patterns in tandem. ..

BELINDA ASHTON

BELINDA ASHTON

SOUTH AFRICA

'As human settlements spread out across some of the last vestiges of our natural world, habitats are being reduced and our living world is becoming smaller, more fragile. Can you imagine for a moment, the onset of spring, but no swallows? A moonlit night, yet no owls, no foxes, calling out across the darkness?...

MANUSHI SHARMA

MANUSHI SHARMA

USA

'Growing up in the eco-sensitive Himalayan region of Uttarakhand, I developed a passion for intersectoral approaches to tackle health and environmental injustice. With more than 10 years of experience complemented by a Master of Public Policy from Northeastern University specializing in environmental health, I felt I offer a unique interdisciplinary outlook.

LAURA CARROLL

LAURA CARROLL

USA

'My research led to me to dig into the history of pronatalism, and its negative effects on all of us and the natural world. What I learned motivated me to write The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction Will Create a Better World. While researching The Baby Matrix, I met renowned conservationist, Dave...

BISOLA REBECCA BAMIDELE

BISOLA REBECCA BAMIDELE

NIGERIA / GHANA

'As I blossomed into adolescence, I noticed a troubling trend: the birds we once cherished were disappearing, their melodious songs silenced by the encroaching urban sprawl. It was a heartbreaking realization that ignited a fire within me; a determination to understand and combat the forces threatening our natural world...

LYDIA KALEKYE NYAMBURA

LYDIA KALEKYE NYAMBURA

KENYA

'I thought you loved me.
When God created us, we were friends and you looked after me. You were very caring and I knew I had a friend and a parent in you. You earned my trust and I left my life on your hands. I used to give you a lot of water, you drank from me, I gave you life. I gave you fruits and you filled your belly. You treasured the ground you...

CHAYANIKA PERERA

CHAYANIKA PERERA

SRI LANKA / NETHERLANDS

'I spent most of my adolescence in the lush garden of my grandfather – who was also an economist attached to the UN. Early on, he showed me by example that economics and nature need not be competing forces. Yet, as I followed my grandfather’s footsteps into economics, the world beyond the garden diverged from his teachings....

DARREN NAMATOVU

DARREN NAMATOVU

UGANDA

'My foster mother was already grappling with being a widow with many foster and biological children... When rural men die their widows can be dispossessed of their homes, land and even children. So her situation was challenging. I came to feel that patriarchy and capitalism must be the worst things that have happened to humanity so far....

BOITUMELO PAULINE MARUMO

BOITUMELO PAULINE MARUMO

BOTSWANA

'Raised by grandparents, aunts and uncles, I understood the strength of an extended family. Balancing motherhood and college was a challenge, but I firmly believe that with determination, there are no barriers to our progress. In the gallery of life, we encounter people who unexpectedly become mentors and friends...

AIYESHA SWARNN

AIYESHA SWARNN

UK / INDIA

'My climate journey began with climate action at my university. But climate action still focuses on mitigation and adaptation: there is little info on climate restoration. Up to now, few people realise what it is. Climate restoration uses different methods to return the climate to healthy CO2 levels through carbon removal....

HILDA BERGANZA

HILDA BERGANZA

USA / GUATEMALA

'My job and mission is to empower and support youth and young adults at a global scale in their climate restoration activism journey. I'm now in the midst of developing a curriculum on climate restoration with a team at F4CR for high school aged students. It is my goal to teach others about climate restoration, the importance...

CHARLENE ANDRADE

CHARLENE ANDRADE

USA

'Along with an insatiable feeling of being an outsider, a tweener, a maverick, I lacked belonging, connection, inclusion in all aspects of my choices. But with 20 years of public environmental service at the state and federal level, I've been helping communities and local governments analyze the effects of us humans...

CATHY MORTON

CATHY MORTON

CANADA / USA

'Young women contemplating motherhood are often pressured to have children with the advice, “if you don’t have a baby, you’ll regret it later”. There aren’t that many older women who have chosen to be childfree and can report back. But I am here to report that it went fine - I have absolutely no regrets. And here's why...

CHAYA SARATHCHANDRA

CHAYA SARATHCHANDRA

SRI LANKA / CHINA

'I was born and grew up in a rural village surrounded by paddy fields near a coastal city of Sri Lanka. Life there was blessed, we always had fresh fish, vegetables, fruits and a bunch of innocent people to share the day. Life there was self-sustained and self-satisfied, full of greenery, soothing the soul. But I realized not everyone...

MILDRED SAABAH ACQUAH

MILDRED SAABAH ACQUAH

GHANA

'I am twenty-two years of age and a final year student at the University of Ghana, reading marine and fisheries science. As a student I may not have networks yet, but I have the one power every one of us possesses, and that is my voice. I am using it to incite and hopefully inspire people on climate...

ROWENA ATUHEIRE

ROWENA ATUHEIRE

UGANDA

'It was a normal day, I was at school and received a grim message..... this was January, 2019. One month down the road, I received another message, this time at home..... it was confusion all over the place! This is when my journey with climate change began. I lost two friends that year - one to heavy rains in Uganda, the other due to winds in Geneva...

MARIANA CAMPOS

MARIANA CAMPOS

BRAZIL/AUSTRALIA

'I would love to live in a world where there is more focus given to connection than to consumption. I think our economy could thrive from provision of services, arts, and other activities, rather than purchasing more quantity of ever cheaper and lower quality products. I am actively trying to do this for myself, but it is difficult when you are...

K.C. SHREYA

K.C. SHREYA

NEPAL

'I work with youth networks to empower and engage young people to take care of the environment and adopt nature-friendly practices and coordinate with various stakeholders to make sure that the climate action works are just and fair to all. Now, working for the environment is what I say and do.'

JULIANE ZEIDLER

JULIANE ZEIDLER

NAMIBIA

'Born as the third of four girls, I took it for granted that women "can do." My father died and I grew up in a women-led environment. This instilled in me a natural belief that a woman can do everything, be a great mother, have a brilliant career and change the world...

AGNES WANGUI IRUNGU

AGNES WANGUI IRUNGU

KENYA

'I would like to write my story about gender and climate change. Growing up in Kenya's rural highlands has given me a chance to closely observe the climate change that has gradually come into place. In rural Kenya, women are involved in agricultural activities but...

TATIANA ANDROSOV

TATIANA ANDROSOV

BELGIUM / USA

'It was 1976. I was standing at the desk of Addis Ababa’s most luxurious hotel complaining to fellow UN colleagues that we were in a bubble, far from the realities of life. A distinguished man turned to me and asked, “Would you like to see reality?” I recognized the respected minister...

OLIVIA NATER

OLIVIA NATER

FRANCE / GERMANY / USA

'As much as I enjoyed picturing myself doing research in exotic locations, I felt like I had to dedicate my career to fighting the horrifyingly rapid erosion of biodiversity at the hands of humanity. The best thing about working in the population field is that I get to combine...

KAOSSARA SANI

KAOSSARA SANI

TOGO

'Last night we started drilling to find water for people in the Sahel region of my home country, Togo. It was hard and long, but successful. I am having the most difficult experiences in my life and I think it will make me more strong to face life and adapt to every situation in life...

FU-TZU YANG

FU-TZU YANG

TAIWAN

'Peng Hu Islands, composed of 90 islands and islets in Taiwan, is my hometown. I grew up by the sea. Stone fish weirs are obstructions built in tidal areas, and are one of the remaining methods of traditional fishing in the world, and despite population sprawl...

GABRIELA FLEURY (they/them)

GABRIELA FLEURY (they/them)

BRAZIL / USA

'Human populations and wildlife have always lived alongside each other, but current times have made the complex landscape of human-wildlife interactions even more complex. I do research in Sub-Saharan Africa to examine how to mitigate conflict...

JENNIFER ANISTON

JENNIFER ANISTON

USA

'I don't like [the pressure] that people put on me, on women — that you've failed yourself as a female because you haven't procreated. I don't think it's fair. You may not have a child come out of your vagina, but that doesn't mean you aren't mothering...

BELA SCHULTZ

BELA SCHULTZ

USA

'Despite a worsening climate crisis, I never questioned if I would have children. Not having a child was a sacrifice I wasn’t willing to make – but how could I justify that decision as someone committed to addressing climate change? I found the answer when...

ILHAM HADDADI

ILHAM HADDADI

MOROCCO

'I used to think that education is a right for all in my country and that all kids go to school, since I grew up in a city where all girls my age attended school. Unfortunately, I discovered another reality when appointed as a teacher in a remote area...

NANDITA BAJAJ

NANDITA BAJAJ

INDIA / CANADA

'Current pronatalist structures around the world are mired in a type of population control that pressures, and often coerces women into procreating. Driven by patriarchal, religious, cultural, political, or economic ideologies...

MARIA ROSA MURMIS

MARIA ROSA MURMIS

ARGENTINA / CANADA

'I am an environmental and climate change advisor specialized in international cooperation and also a farmer transitioning to agroecology. I am very happy to have found a space to discuss the role of population in global sustainability and wellbeing for all...

GRACE PAM

GRACE PAM

NIGERIA

'People need training that recognizes the value of wisdom, wisdom that goes beyond what we learn from the walls of a conventional school. The wisdom we learn by paying attention to everything around us, nature and people, and learning to have...

FEZILE MTSETFWA

FEZILE MTSETFWA

ESWATINI

'We already have two or three strikes against us when trying to compete professionally on the global stage - being women, being black and African. We can't also be the pregnant African postdocs needing extra attention and accommodation in a highly competitive environment...

CLOVERLEY LAWRENCE

CLOVERLEY LAWRENCE

SOUTH AFRICA

'I am the youngest of 6 girls and was raised in a culture that favoured a male heir. Growing up in apartheid South Africa, access to opportunities was limited, while being part of a large family meant resources were even scarcer...

REEM A. ELOMARABI

REEM A. ELOMARABI

SUDAN

'Rapid increases in population growth in Sudan led to desertification, land degradation, loss of biodiversity and habitat. Many states in Sudan face challenges such as lack of drinking water, electricity, education and unsuitable environments for living. I work at a...

ROCIO HERBERT

ROCIO HERBERT

MEXICO

'I moved to the United States from México with my parents and seven siblings when I was 15. It was the most amazing experience to notice all the opportunities available to me if I only worked hard enough. Having freedom to choose my career and adventures seemed much more attractive than having a large family...

JOANN SEAGREN

JOANN SEAGREN

USA

'I first made the connection between population, women’s education and choice, and our natural world when the Audubon Society asked me to go to Washington DC to meet with my senators, Dick Durbin and a brand-new senator, Barack Obama...

LAVINIA PERUMAL

LAVINIA PERUMAL

SOUTH AFRICA

'I'm not sure population growth or even consumption are true reflections of the actual problem. We face a deeper struggle. Whether it is the climate crisis or a biodiversity one, any effective mitigation and adaptation will require us to tackle the injustices of the past and present...

BEYONCE KNOWLES

BEYONCE KNOWLES

USA

'Who run the world? Girls!'

KAREN ESLER

KAREN ESLER

SOUTH AFRICA

'The impact we have on this planet, as collective humanity, is noticeable and profound. As a  result we now experience feedbacks to our own health and well-being.  It’s time for close scrutiny of our individual actions, because combined, multiple sustainable choices and behaviours will help to restore diversity...

DUSTI BECKER

DUSTI BECKER

USA

'In my lifetime human population has more than doubled. In 1954, there were 2.7 billion people - soon we'll be 8 billion! Humans cause climate change, ocean acidification, and many species extinctions. We are making the planet unlivable for ourselves and other creatures...

CHIOMA I. OKAFOR

CHIOMA I. OKAFOR

NIGERIA

'In my culture, the number of children you have determines the level of respect given to you as a woman. But this is gradually changing. In the former days, a woman can give birth to 11 children and more, until 6 children became the minimum. Now most couples are content with 3 children...

OLATOMIDE OJAJUNE

OLATOMIDE OJAJUNE

NIGERIA

'Growing up in Nigeria, surrounded by the lush beauty of nature, I always felt a deep connection to the earth. But it wasn't until I began my career as a forester that I realized the devastating impact of human actions on our planet. I remember the first time I saw a forest ravaged by logging and deforestation. It was like witnessing a loved one in pain.

TAMARA KAHUTHIA

TAMARA KAHUTHIA

KENYA

'Thank you to all mothers who recognise the difficulties that climate change poses for both our present and future generations. The environmental activist who has inspired me in my advocacy journey is my mother, Lucy Mbae. She has devoted her life to reducing climate change and making a significant contribution to building a sustainable future...

LIN GENCTURK

LIN GENCTURK

USA / TURKEY

'Everyone should have the right to be child-free. If more men and women were aware of our population's impacts on planetary health and quality of life, there would be fewer of us having children, and more support for everyone. I'm one of the fortunate who can say no to parenthood. I see my right and my decision as a gift to me and to Earth. There are enough humans and other...

PAULA SMITH

PAULA SMITH

USA

'I'm a 76 yr old wife of 57 yrs, the mother of two girls and three granddaughters, now even great-grandchildren! Yesterday I watched The Letter by Pope Francis. I care deeply about the planet, and have been a justice activist for the last 5 yrs or so. I've been learning and changing all through my life. I'm a Christian who is less evangelical now...

BLESSING EWA

BLESSING EWA

NIGERIA

'Growing up, I was led to believe that I only needed was to learn more about home management so that I can be of value to my husband when married. I got used to sayings such as: If you keep acting like this, your husband will send you back home!, or Is this how you will behave when you get to your husband's house? No one advised me on being an effective leader...

FRASER LEE HUDGINS

FRASER LEE HUDGINS

USA

'My love for the earth began when I was young. I grew up as a military brat. I moved every 4 years or so, which provided the opportunity to see many different types of ecosystems. I would spend hours playing outside and learning about my environment. As I grew older I began to notice similar issues affecting the places I was...

HERMON ASMERON G

HERMON ASMERON G

ERITREA

'Just like any other child, I loved nature and flowers. But one day I woke up to see my best friend gone, I was heartbroken like I was struck by lightning. My best friend was a mango tree, the best tree ever - and one that I got mangoes from. But now she was gone, because our neighbors wanted to put up a shop. I promised myself I...

DENISE AYEBARE

DENISE AYEBARE

UGANDA/RWANDA

'I was born in Rwanda but my family fled to Uganda due to the civil war in the 1990s. As Prime Minister of Uganda's National Youth Parliament, I've moved motions for the government to prioritize climate action over economic growth. I realized that creating systemic change wasn't enough: the climate change requires shifts...

THATO ANGELINA GABAITSE

THATO ANGELINA GABAITSE

BOTSWANA

'My journey through climate change activism is mostly based on the effects it has on young girls and women, who in rural and remote communities are the most affected as they have to make sacrifices to ensure that the rest of the family is cared for. Often, children miss school due to lack of water for sanitation, irrigation and...

PHOEBE DAHL

PHOEBE DAHL

UK/USA/KENYA

'My biggest lesson that I have had to unlearn is that you don’t have to get married, have children and buy a house to find fulfillment in life. As a girl - now a woman, we are conditioned from a young age, with influence of generations before us, that happiness and success is defined by getting married and having children....

MADELINE CANMANN

MADELINE CANMANN

USA

'After I had enough of feeling powerless, hopeless, and angry about the way people relate to the environment, I made the decision to broaden my focus and accept the fear of jumping into the world of information in all its messiness and complexity. That was over four years ago now. I found my way to the Institute for Humane Education...

PHOEBE ANUMELECHI

PHOEBE ANUMELECHI

NIGERIA

'My classmate and neighbor Rebecca wanted to become a journalist. I overheard her eloquently reading old newspapers. But her family expected her to marry at their archaic view of a girl's ripe age, not further her studies. And she did marry. Five years since graduation, she struggles to cater for her three children and is pregnant...

KALPANA CHANA

KALPANA CHANA

SOUTH AFRICA/AUSTRALIA

'I was born in 1965, into an Indian family in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am the youngest of six siblings, three brothers and three sisters. My parents brought us all up in the same house and when my elder brothers married and had children, we continued to stay together in one extended family. Living in a large family teaches one to be tolerant...

GEETHA P.N.

GEETHA P.N.

INDIA

'As an ocean advocate and scientist, I am always trying to speak about the importance of marine ecosystem and biodiversity conservation to everyone. I wish to continue this activity to a broader level to a huge audience globally. I am an ocean lover, mother of a baby girl, with a PhD in benthic taxonomy and community ecology...

MONICA SCIGLIANO

MONICA SCIGLIANO

USA/UK

'Addressing population growth is far from the only solution to our environmental crises. Decreasing consumption, promoting active transportation and plant-based diets, cutting waste, redistributing resources and power, and economic degrowth and localisation are all important...

MAXI PIA LOUIS

MAXI PIA LOUIS

NAMIBIA

'For the past years, women in conservation have not been equally involved in decision making when it comes to environmental issues. Though we are actively involved as primary natural resource users and land users, we did not have an equivalent voice in making decisions. This is changing...

LILI ROQUELIN

LILI ROQUELIN

FRANCE / USA

'I am an established singer-songwriter-producer in New York City (I grew up in France) and a proud childfree woman.
I have produced and released the first-ever original song with the title "Childfree'' with 55 happy childfree women on the coverart. It is an anthem for women who live a life without having children by choice...

YUKA TANAKA

YUKA TANAKA

JAPAN

'Fossil fuels have been dug limitlessly, energy has been consumed limitlessly, trees have been burned limitlessly, and the world’s population has grown limitlessly. In such a situation, climate change is unavoidable, that we have entered an era in which each one of us...

SUSAN PETRIE

SUSAN PETRIE

USA

'It’s all about infrastructure. That word keeps coming up in my life. I live in upstate New York, USA where man-made industrialized infrastructure--especially transportation--is a huge deal. It can be very harsh. But, natural infrastructure is also a huge deal because we are located...

NATASHA JASMIN DURY

NATASHA JASMIN DURY

FIJI / UK/ UAE

'As a teenager, I took part in a UN-style 'International Roundtable Conference by Future Leaders' on climate change in the UAE with His Highness Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi, known around the world as the 'Green Sheikh.' Our island nation produces less than 1% of carbon emissions, yet...

ZOLA CHEN

ZOLA CHEN

TAIWAN

'I have a passion for oceans, and I love swimming with whales and dolphins. I live in Taiwan, an island where various whales and dolphins periodically travel by. As a marine ecology photographer, I followed them in the waters of Tonga, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Japan, and other places...

SHEREEN SHABNAM

SHEREEN SHABNAM

UAE / FIJI / SPAIN

'As a journalist from Fiji Islands, a nation most affected by climate change, I like talking about climate change. The more you find out how global warming impacts smaller nations, the more aware and cautious you will become about wastage in your day to day lives. I have been...

TRACEE ELLIS ROSS

TRACEE ELLIS ROSS

USA

'The husband and the babies are the expectation of what's supposed to happen at a certain point, and people fall back on, 'Well, that's the point of the human species, procreation.' And I'm, like, 'I think there are a lot of babies; isn't that part of what's going wrong, there's too many?...

EMEM UMOH

EMEM UMOH

NIGERIA

'As founder and Chief Executive Officer of Women in Nature Conservation Organization (WINCO), my core career goal is to raise future passionate and resilient female conservationists in a career line fondly referred to 'the men's world'. Personally, I have...

VICKI ROBIN

VICKI ROBIN

USA

'I am childless by choice and know many women choosing the same who feel belittled. Let's celebrate both joys: children and child-free. In 1994, the UN held a global conference on population in Cairo. Students of my "frugality = freedom" book, Your Money or Your Life...

ZUZIWE NYARELI

ZUZIWE NYARELI

SOUTH AFRICA

'It was a delightful experience growing up in semi-arid rural areas of the Eastern Cape near Tsomo, South Africa, with my three sisters. Between the 1970s and 1990s, we lived in less crowded and polluted environments as our parents were self-sufficient...

BROOKE MORALES

BROOKE MORALES

USA

'As our population grows and higher demands of consumption are to be met, the lives of billions of animals are industrialized. Through factory farming, animals turn into merchandise. Humane living conditions are traded for the maximization of profits...

KARINE PAYET-LEBOURGES

KARINE PAYET-LEBOURGES

FRANCE

'I am profoundly saddened by the state of the Earth. I feel shame that greed and foolishness drive species extinction and ecosystem degradation.... My career, personal interests and sensitivity have brought me to the worldview that humanity, and planet Earth as a whole...

JAYNE STEPHENS

JAYNE STEPHENS

IRELAND

'The more people, the more consumption, but it's not that simple, is it? ... Things are changing rapidly and unlike the generation before us, now most of my friends, women and men, are choosing not to have children. There is a shift happening, conversations of overpopulation...

AMY LEWIS

AMY LEWIS

USA

'Because my parents believed in me as a person, because they had faith in me and my vision for myself and the world I wanted to inhabit, I am now happily engaged in an ambitious career to protect half of Earth's land and halt the impending destruction of the biosphere...

FLORENCE N. BLONDEL

FLORENCE N. BLONDEL

UGANDA

'In my country, Uganda, like in most of Sub-Saharan Africa, pressures for young girls and women to be childbearers persist. An average woman has about five children. My mom had 10. It's mostly the only choice we are given growing up, finding a man, giving him many children...

PERNILLA HANSSON

PERNILLA HANSSON

SWEDEN

'The concept that we cannot have endless growth on a finite planet is not a complicated concept. It was something I could understand even as a child, and it is only when we seriously discuss this reality that progress can be made...

VIOLET MWENDERA

VIOLET MWENDERA

MALAWI

'I have always been passionate about the environment, and it saddens me to see the unsustainable path that we are currently on. When discussing sustainability and climate change, overpopulation has always been at the centre of discussions, But we cannot address population growth without addressing...

PHOEBE BARNARD

PHOEBE BARNARD

GLOBAL CITIZEN

'I've had a fire in my belly for humanity to take charge of our destiny on this planet, and not give in to destruction, denialism, or despair. Since our 2019-2021 papers on a "World Scientists' Warning of a Climate Emergency," I'm working to implement solutions in the six areas we recommended to humanity...

ONAJITE OKAGBARE

ONAJITE OKAGBARE

NIGERIA

'My country is blessed with natural resources, but the issue is sustainability in the wise use of our resources. Our government officials amass wealth for themselves instead of using resources wisely for the masses...

ANAIDA WELCH

ANAIDA WELCH

PANAMA

'My  mom had six children, five girls and one boy.  In her own family there  were only three siblings, two brothers and herself.  When I was a  teenager, I never thought of kids or getting married.  My major concern  was to finish school.  After that, getting married and having children  was still not on my mind.  I had no plans for that...

BETTY SCHABERG

BETTY SCHABERG

USA

'I recently watched an archeology documentary about an ancient brothel on the east coast of England. The birth control method of the time was to give birth, and, in the process, kill the baby. A large pit of baby skeletons was the first clue. This information haunted me...

MONICA LAMBON-QUAYEFIO

MONICA LAMBON-QUAYEFIO

GHANA

'I have always believed that education is a powerful tool to empower women in sub-Saharan Africa, where it has been known to reduce early marriage and fertility, increase the likelihood of wage employment and improve autonomy in decision making...

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