Women in power: learning through climate emergency declarations in Canada
Master of Education
SubjectClimate change education
Climate change policymaking
Gender and climate change in Canada
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis is a qualitative inquiry that explores women decision-makers’ learning within the climate emergency declaration movement across Canada. Guided by a critical and feminist methodological approach to social movement learning, this study integrates gender and climate justice with climate change education and politics by asking the following research question: What and how are women decision-makers learning through their experience within the climate emergency declaration movement? Data consisted of qualitative interviews with ten women decision-makers who were directly involved in the climate emergency declaration movement within various governments and places across Canada. This research provided rich insights into the personal, professional, and political learning opportunities they experienced in these contexts. Nature connections, emotional responses to climate change, and family matters were important factors that influenced participants’ motivations and learning experiences. Participants learned about, and embodied, alternative worldviews including a climate lens, climate-engaged youths’ perspectives, and Indigenous knowledge systems. Material power, governmental powers, relationships, the COVID-19 pandemic, and gender are five power structures that participants also experienced and learned about through the involvement in the climate emergency declaration movement. Recommendations for future research include critical exploration of the integration of climate change education and climate change policymaking by various people working in diverse places to better understand the opportunities for and barriers to taking institutional-level climate action.