Women rise up for a liveable planet in Stirling on International Women’s Day

On Wednesday 8th March 2023, women will drop 10m banners from the battlements of Stirling Castle bearing the message ‘Women Rise Up for a Liveable Planet’.

This will follow a pre-dawn projection onto the Wallace Monument calling for a halt to plans to open the Rosebank oil and gas field off Shetland. Afterwards, an outreach stall will be held in Stirling city centre where the public can drop by to find out more about how the climate crisis and biodiversity loss are affecting women and girls around the world, and their inspirational role as climate leaders and land defenders. Embroidered panels created by ‘craftivists’ bearing messages calling for the protection of the natural world will be on display along with information about how women can better amplify their concerns and demand action.

The activists have timed their message to coincide with International Women’s Day 2023 in order to draw attention to the ways in which women are particularly affected by the climate-biodiversity crisis.

Dr Mairi Spanswick, Clinical Psychologist and activist said:

“Women are disproportionately impacted by the effects of human induced rapid climate change. According to the UN, 4 out of 5 people displaced by climate change are women and girls [1]. Heat waves, droughts, floods, pandemics, and extreme storms too often impact women hardest, partly because they are more likely to live in poverty but also because they have less access to the resources they need to survive and recover from disasters (including education and basic rights). Women are more likely to lose income when climate-related disasters strike and face systematic violence that escalates during instability [2]. Climate chaos is absolutely a women’s issue and that’s why we felt compelled to highlight it on International Women’s Day.”

The women are calling for the UK government to do more to bring down emissions, commit to opening no more new oil and gas fields and lay out its plans for a just and orderly energy transition.

Dr Sandy Winterbottom, author and founder of Women’s Climate Action said:

“The head of the UN, António Guterres, has said that the climate crisis poses an ‘existential threat’ to humanity and yet our government is still dragging its heels when it comes to taking the level of action required. UK cabinet ministers have been warned that they face court action because of their catastrophic failure to develop policies for tackling climate change [3]. As a bare minimum, our government needs to follow the science and issue no more licences for new oil and gas fields such as Rosebank. If burned, the fuel from this one UK field would create more climate pollution than the annual emissions of the 700 million people in the world’s poorest countries. These are the same countries that have contributed the least to the climate crisis but which are already experiencing some of the worst impacts of a warming planet [4].

Failing to transition away from fossil fuels earlier has also left us vulnerable to the high gas prices contributing to the cost of living crisis and because more women live below or close to the poverty line, it is they who are now bearing the brunt of this.”

The group say that in this critical decade, when carbon emissions (still currently rising) must fall by half in order to avoid triggering catastrophic planetary tipping points, it is vital that women ‘rise up’ and make their voices heard. Mandy Cairns, local activist and community organiser, says, “Just as inequality leaves women more vulnerable to climate change, it also means our voices are being vastly underrepresented when it comes to deciding what to do about climate change. Yet, it has been shown time and time again that when women are involved at all levels of decision-making, entire communities and nature can benefit.

The women were inspired to project their image onto the Wallace Monument after they read about Ethel Moorhead, a Scottish suffragette arrested in 1912 for breaking the glass containing the sword of William Wallace in order to leave the message “Your liberties were won by the sword, release the women who are fighting for their liberties.” [5]

Mandy continued, “We are a non-violent group but just as William Wallace and the suffragettes had to win their liberties, so we today need to win the battle for a future in which we can all live more sustainably and equitably with greater well-being, health and overall happiness. Women ask me ‘What can I do?’ but the question is ‘What can I do with others?’ We need to work together to realise our true power and demand that our political representatives take the urgent large-scale action the science tells us is required. Our home is being destroyed and we must hold those profiteering from its destruction to account.”

Women from a number of groups will be participating, including Extinction Rebellion Scotland, Women’s Climate Action, Women’s Climate Strike, and Christian Climate Action.

Although the actions are women-led, everyone is welcome to come along, recognising that greater gender equity not only benefits us all, but also has better outcomes for the environment.

Who is involved


[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-43294221, 8 Mar 2018

[2] https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/how-climate-change-affects-women, 5 Mar 2020

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/mar/04/revealed-cabinet-ministers-warned-of-legal-action-over-uks-failure-to-tackle-climate-crisis, 4 Mar 2023

[4] https://www.stopcambo.org.uk/updates/what-is-the-rosebank-oil-field

[5] https://www.stirling-lhs.org/sca-suffragette-action.html