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session 1 Speakers

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Professor Jafry is qualified as both an engineer and a social scientist. Currently Director of GCU’s Centre for Climate Justice providing academic and strategic direction, leadership and management for the achieving the Centre’s aims as global leaders in the delivery of high quality policy relevant research for development, teaching/learning and broadening knowledge exchange in the area of climate and social justice.

She is an experienced lecturer at both the postgraduate and undergraduate courses on environmental management, sustainability and climate justice and supervises thesis to doctorate level.  Tahseen's current research interests include the justice and equity aspects of climate change, gender and poverty targeting, climate migration and conflict, the psycho-social impacts of climate change, and the geo-political nature of climate justice discourse.

Tahseen has over 25 years of research and development experience in international development covering many fields including agriculture, health, water, energy, food security, gender.  She has worked extensively in these fields in Sub-Saharan Africa (Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi), South Asia (India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan) and small Island States as an experienced manager and co-ordinator of multi-country and multidisciplinary complex consortia for international donors including DFID, CGIAR, Scottish Government, World Bank and IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) delivering research and development projects. 

A Determination of the Inter-relationship between Climate Change, Gender Based Violence, Mental Health and Climate Justice for Progressive Social Change

The impacts of climate change on gender based violence and mental health are two of the most prolific and least understood areas of study which currently has a limited evidence base.  Gender-based violence and mental health issues are often hidden behind the face of the physical devastation that is occurring as a result of climate change. 


Yet, women are not only victims of climate change; they also possess key skills to develop essential solutions.  Women on the frontlines of climate crisis are the driving force for the survival of their communities through the worst devastations to build resilience and strength amongst themselves.  Much of this work is often overlooked, unrecognised or unsupported financially.  With support though, there is evidence that grassroots women’s work, as a ‘response’ to climate change is an opportunity for progressive social change and an indication that upholding women’s rights is key to building resilience as climate change worsens.  Therefore, by implication it is imperative that practical solutions are found to help rebuild lives, rebuild resilience and rebuild a future that is climate just.  Aiming for progressive social change is the focus of this presentation through a determination of the inter-relationship between gender-based violence, mental health, and climate justice resulting from climate change.

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Reproduction, Gender and the Environment: Fertile Connections

In this period of climate crisis, attention has turned, more or less explicitly, to the importance of reproduction as both a site of environmental harms and as a space in which we might formulate responses that will help to adapt to a changing climate. In this talk, I will draw on my experience across several research projects, including explorations of reproductive ethics with environmentalists, public discourses around assisted reproduction, seed-saving practices and activism and the reproductive decision-making of contemporary climate activists. I will discuss some of the ways in which reproduction, kinship and intergenerational relationships shape the ways in which people in the UK think about, experience and respond to environmental issues including climate change. In particular, I will explore the enduring salience of conceptions of nature and naturalness in thinking about the environment, gender and reproduction, relationships between death and reproduction in relation to the spectre of mass extinction and the renewed attention to (re)generation and intergenerational responsibilities that has emerged in recent climate activism.


In thinking through connections between reproduction and environmental concerns, we need to attend to reproductive infrastructures and to learn from the reproductive justice, environmental justice and climate justice movements. These frameworks remind us that existing power inequalities drive the intersections between reproductive and environmental injustice and so, in responding to the ecological crisis, we must be careful about what ideologies and norms get reproduced along the way. In this talk, I will explore how we might grasp the important, yet complex, connections between reproduction and the environment whilst resisting the problematic lens of ‘overpopulation’, as well as heteronormative assumptions about what fertility, reproduction and kinship are.

Katharine Dow is a senior research associate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge and deputy director of the Reproductive Sociology Research Group (ReproSoc). Her main research interests include connections between reproduction and environmental concerns and how intersecting inequalities (re)produce reproductive injustice.


Katie’s research on how British environmentalists make ethical judgements about reproduction has been published in several venues including her book, Making a Good Life: An Ethnography of Nature, Ethics, and Reproduction by Princeton University Press in 2016 and in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. Her subsequent project on media representations of the birth of the world’s first IVF baby, Louise Brown, has been published in Sociology, Reproductive BioMedicine and Society Online and Medical History.


Katie co-leads a project called Reproducing the Environment with Janelle Lamoreaux (University of Arizona) and is currently coordinating a work package called (In)Fertile Environments on the Wellcome Trust-funded collaborative project, Changing (In)Fertilities, led by Sarah Franklin and Marcia Inhorn. She is also the reviews editor for Reproductive BioMedicine and Society Online.

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People, power and possibilities for our future: Why we need mental health enabling communities to achieve climate justice for women in the global south 

It is now widely accepted that climate and environmental health challenges will have significant impacts on the mental health and wellbeing of populations. Concepts like climate and eco anxiety are gaining traction in the public sphere, but they are largely explored from the perspectives of people living in high income settings, despite the fact that the precarity faced by those in the global south likely places them at a greater exposure to the ill effects of worsening ecological realities. Mental health interventions for women in the Global South already face a series of difficulties in engaging meaningfully with structural drivers of distress. This suggests that current packages of care  will be ill placed to manage or respond to these new burdens. 


How are we to more appropriately address the emotional and psychological impacts that climate crises will have in the lives of marginalised women?  This talk will draw on insights from my work in Southern African and Latin American settings to reimagine treatment and care in ways that allow for attention to climate justice for women at the coal face of the crisis.  Drawing on my theoretical framework of 'mental health competent communities' I suggest a way forward to supporting the development of mental health promotion and treatment interventions that are complex in nature, and unite quests for the promotion of positive mental health, with those for climate justice in spaces of activism and action. 


Dr Rochelle Burgess is a leading community health psychologist who specialises in community approaches to health, with an emphasis on community engagement and qualitative methodologies. She is interested in the promotion of community led approaches and views community engagement as the route to responding to the intersections between health outcomes and broader development issues such as poverty, power, systems of governance, and multiple forms of violence. Her work draws on participatory and transformative methods as a route to ensuring that target communities have the opportunity to benefit from various forms of research conducted on their behalf, from design through to implementation and evaluation. 

She has worked on community mental health research for more than a decade, with an emphasis on the development of community mental health interventions for women experiencing common mental disorders (in South Africa, Colombia, the UK and more recently, Zimbabwe). She is a leading voice in the emerging field of Social interventions in Global Mental Health.

She is a Lecturer in Global Health at UCL's Institute for Global Health, and Deputy Director of the UCL Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases. She is the founder and Director of UCL's Global Network on Mental Health and Child Marriage, and UCL's Global Mental Health Network. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health, among other affiliations.

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