Women’s rights and climate change


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Women’s rights and climate change

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Women’s rights and climate change

Author Bogdan Góralski

Human gender issues outrage public opinion all over the world. In my book entitled Man and climate, I present the impact of climate change on our civilization. In this article I raise the issue of women’s rights in the context of climate change.

As Krzysztof Szymborski describes in his book entitled Political animal (Szymborski K. (2011), Political animal, Polityka’s Library), great apes maintain a clear cultural division distinguishing the sexes from each other. Females take care of the offspring, and males fight for territories and females.
Differences in social functions result from the struggle for existence and, unacknowledged, behavior
species. Evolution has transformed apes morphologically into humans, but the social sex characteristics of human herds generally remain unchanged. Climate changes, movements of plant vegetation zones and the resulting migrations of anthropoids and later human groups played a major role in human evolution (Góralski B. (2014) Notes on the evolution of mammals in the context of climate change, available at Eioba.pl). As a result, the civilizational framework of human groups developed – human culture. This culture differed between human groups formed in warm and cold climates.
The warm climate promoted greater individuality – it was easier for a small group to survive in the more friendly environment of a limited fishing ground. In these smaller human groups, where, in addition to hunting, gathering was also practiced, every person counted, including women who were skilled at collecting – a culture of gender equality was created.
The cold climate favored larger teams able to hunt large animals that provided most of the group’s food. In these groups, existence depended on the successful hunting of a group of men – a culture of male predominance was created.
Both of these cultures, formed over hundreds of millennia, have survived to this day along with the genes of their representatives and differentiate modern societies in terms of the rights of women and men (Góralski B. (2013), Man and climate, available in the CEON Repository).

Climate change and economic development.

Fertile soils formed in the foreland of Pleistocene glaciers, which began to be used for agriculture during the Holocene climate warming, which resulted in a new type of human culture – life of groups of farmers in permanent residences. Agricultural populations grew in numbers because new workers were constantly needed to cultivate new areas of land. Women giving birth to children were valued. Research by a German sociologist (Richard Grunberger (1987) Social History of the Third Reich, PIW) indicates that in agricultural families cultivating small plots of land, most of the work is done by women. Due to greater responsibility for the well-being of the family, women’s rights in developing agricultural populations were respected. Women had equal rights.
This culture initially developed in the south of the Eurasian continent, where retreating glaciers allowed the climate to warm, e.g. in Anatolia, Mesopotamia, and southern China. In the south of Eurasia, numerous communities of peoples practicing agriculture developed. Climate changes occurring in the Holocene and historical times caused the zones of lush plant vegetation to shift northward and, along with them, the location of the centers of human civilization shifted. The original centers of agricultural cultures, e.g. in Egypt, Mesopotamia and southern China, lost their importance as a result of the drying climate, and the zones of monsoons irrigating them moved northwards. During the last phase of the Pleistocene glaciation in China, air temperatures dropped on average by 6-8 degrees Celsius and the summer monsoon zones moved 700 km to the southeast (Burroughs William J. (2005), Climate change in Prehistory: The End of the Reign of Chaos, New York: Cambridge University Press). During the Holocene warming, the zones of life-giving monsoons moved northwards. Agricultural peoples in the south then began to work on creating irrigation systems for farmlands on lands that lacked rainfall.
As a result of the drying of the climate, the former agricultural centers declined, and the people settled in these lands began to be subject to overpopulation conditions. Formerly numerous farmers’ populations, subjected to the environmental pressure of a climate that was deteriorating over the centuries, slowly began to adapt to the changed conditions. Irrigation was no longer enough to provide enough food, so the culture of life of a society affected by poverty began to change. First of all, social mechanisms reflected in customs began to limit the population. In these conditions, the importance of women decreased because they were held responsible for the problem-causing population growth. Women’s rights were limited and sex was subject to restrictive rules. 

To this day, the most overpopulated populations grant the least rights to women, e.g. in India and China, where even murders of newborn girls are commonplace (misogyns in Japan are the result of overpopulation in little area of  Japanese islands). Islamic countries located mainly in the south, where the Prophet Muhammad granted great rights to women, are differentiated into more or less pro-women depending on the biological standard of living of their population. The worse these standards, the fewer women’s rights. In the northern countries to which civilization centers have moved, where the plant vegetation is the most abundant as a result of today’s favorable climate, agriculture is flourishing and is the basis of the economic pyramid developed by northern societies. There are conditions for the development of the agricultural industry and new jobs are created. People are needed to work and women are starting to be employed. Women are starting to get educated. The increasing education of women in wealthier societies favors learning techniques limiting procreation. Populations grow less rapidly and continue to develop economically thanks to the export of products to less developed areas of the world. There are more jobs and the demand for employees is growing. Therefore, workers’ rights, including women’s rights, are increasing. Society is an example of a community with great rights granted to women Polish. Our country has always suffered from a lack of people to work, and already in the Middle Ages, the more biologically vibrant German populations flooded our country with waves of immigrants, resulting in colonization under German law. This was due to more favorable climatic environmental conditions towards the west of Europe, favoring the growth of the German population and its migration towards the sparsely populated eastern lands. The Polish population did not develop dynamically, which was due to climatic conditions that were worse than in Western Europe. There was still a shortage of women to work in Poland, which caused the phenomenon of serfdom and promoted respect for women and their rights. Women often died in the postpartum period, so attempts were made to secure their rights and privileges to encourage them to give birth. Women in the stagnating Polish population were protected by, for example, customary inheritance law (?) and provided with male protection. Because Polish society was agricultural and the farming conditions resulting from the unfavorable climate were poor, women were responsible for most of the responsibilities in running usually small farms. Their responsibility for the existence of the family increased and, with it, their authority over their families. The rights of Polish women increased, along with their responsibility for the well-being of their families and the rights of European women. Social mechanisms in Polish society were influenced by contact with the large Polish Jewish community, in which women were privileged by the laws of Judaism. Jewish families were granted the right to kill with impunity a man who neglected to support the family. Jewish women still govern their families, and the rights granted to them were probably created at a time when the existence of the Jewish population was threatened by widespread persecution and pogroms. Excessive rights granted to women result in an increase in homosexuality among men, because the sexual drive is satisfied and there are no family relationships that are dangerous for men. All this resulted in an increase in the rights of Polish women, which was maintained by the great recklessness of Polish men, who often neglected to take care of their families. The differences described above in respecting women’s rights in areas with different climatic conditions allow us to assume that a favorable climate has a positive impact on the human economy and gender equality. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that complete equality of rights and obligations of women and men in Poland will be possible in the conditions of developing agriculture and economy. We can develop Polish agriculture only by restoring the feudal system that favors population growth. We can develop Polish industry only by introducing protection for men through the voluntary principle of inheritance of acquired property by society. We will increase the Polish population through the migration of peasants from the overpopulated countries of the south, which will influence the respect of women’s rights, previously discriminated against, among the migrating peasant populations. My essay is an appeal to Polish women: “If you want to improve yours and your families’ fate, take care of women in countries overpopulated as a result of climate change.” Be more understanding towards Polish men. This will improve your well-being as well.

Warsaw, November 27-30, 2014 Bogdan Góralski Szymborski Krzysztof (2011),

Political animal, Warsaw: Biblioteka Polityki.

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