Day 1 - Mary Robinson

Screen Shot 2020-12-01 at 16.09.33.png

Oh, the weather outside is frightful,...’ 

Snow and frost are very closely associated with images of Christmas. However, over the last decade we’ve had more snow days closer to St. Patrick’s Day than the 25th December. The relative mildness of Christmas of late is a bit disconcerting as we are all experiencing first-hand the effects of climate change. Which brings us on to our first Feminist for our 12 Days of Feminists. We are all very familiar with the many contributions to women’s participation in public life, bodily autonomy and legal equality which the Former Irish President Mary Robinson has made. She has more recently been to the forefront of awareness raising and consensus building across continents about the need for action on climate change. Not only has she been providing a platform for the science around climate change, but also highlighting the inequalities being experienced as a result of climate change.


In her book, ‘Climate Justice: A Man-Made Problem With a Feminist Solution’, as well as her podcast ‘Mother of Invention’ Robinson puts the experiences of women from across the world at the centre of the climate debate. Entrepreneurs, farmers, scientists all give accounts of the disproportionate impact climate change is having on women within indigenous communities and developing countries while these communities contribute the least to the pollution and emissions causing natural disasters. The physical disappearance of land masses lost to the sea or the discrimination experienced by minority communities receiving humanitarian and financial aid in the aftermath of hurricanes in America are just some of the challenges which have been met with feminist solutions. The book has definitely influenced how Sibéal goes about our work – from sourcing local for materials and supplies for our conferences and hosting our business on-line as much as possible.


Speaking on RTE’s Late Late Show in November 2020, Robinson was optimistic that efforts from individuals and countries, as well as COVID imposed restrictions, has already positive impacts on the environment.


So as we kick off our 12 Feminists of Christmas, Sibéal would like to encourage you to keep up the great work, buy locally and sustainably for your loved ones this year!   


Sources: Climate Justice: A Man-Made Problem With a Feminist Solution’

Mothers of Invention podcast,

RTE, The Late Late Show, Friday November 20th, 2020.

For more of our '12 Feminists of Christmas' check back each day from 1st to 12th Decemeber 2020. 

Áine Sperrin