Cultivating Climate Justice: Brazilian Workers Leading the Charge Toward Zero Waste

Brazilian recycling workers are leading a six-continent movement toward zero waste, a new kind of economy that puts a premium on environmental justice, good for people and the planet. Read the story here. The story is part 1 of a four-article “Other Worlds Are Possible” series on “Cultivating Climate Justice” which tells the stories of community groups on the frontlines of the pollution, waste and climate crises, working together for systems change. United across six continents, these grassroots groups are defending community rights to clean air, clean water, zero waste, environmental justice, and good jobs. They are all members of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, a network of over 800 organizations from 90+ countries.

According to the organization WIEGO, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing, “Little research exists about gender relations and divisions among waste pickers. A collaborative project involving waste pickers in Latin America seeks to shed light on the multiple levels of discrimination that women waste pickers face and their needs.

“In 2012, the Latin American Waste Pickers’ Network (Red Lacre), the National Movement of Waste Pickers in Brazil (MNCR), and Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) agreed on the importance of opening up a dialogue about gender in the context of waste picking or informal recycling. An existing relationship with the Center for Study and Research on Women (NEPEM) of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) allowed these groups to start a pilot project in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Later INSEA, an NGO, joined the project.”

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