Listening to young people: Mobility for future (EN)

Listening to young people: Mobility for future

4.4 Climate action: a female topic?

The results of the quantitative study showed that a large proportion of respondents iden- tified as female. As detailed in section 3.1.1, they accounted for 75.1 % or around three quarters of all young participants. While quantitative studies frequently have a larg- er share of female respondents, the share of participants who identified as female in the LEMOCC study was comparatively even higher than in other current youth studies. This point was hence explored further in “Well, we call it mother earth – not father earth”

the focus groups, with participants asked to share their thoughts and positions about it. While the focus group discussions were qualitative in nature, contrasting with the quantitative nature of the online questionnaire, there is certainly a quantitative aspect to consider here, too, given that the number of female participants in the focus group sessions was similarly as high as in the online survey: of the 22 young people who attend- ed the sessions, 18 were read by the research team as female. There were no differences between groups or pre-set age cohorts; in all groups, those who were read as female clearly dominated. The impression that girls and young women have a greater interest in the subject at hand and in partici- pating in surveys of this kind was shared by the focus group participants themselves; they pointed out that the majority of those present were indeed female or were read as such. Furthermore, they did not question the facts and figures derived from the quantitative survey; instead, none of the groups seemed in any way confused or surprised by the fact that the number of female par- ticipants was so much higher than the number of males. The focus group participants put forward a number of

theories to explain this, based on the idea that climate change can be seen as having two dimensions: social/ societal and technical. In terms of seeing environmental issues in general and climate change in particular as a social/societal problem, the focus group participants suggested that (young) women may generally be more concerned with social issues and challenges and also are more likely to voice their concerns. Also, said the participants, climate action rarely produces a direct, measurable result or a quick win. Unlike men, they suggested, women may be more given to engagement in areas such as the climate; one stated, “I don’t know, but maybe women are more used to being engaged for things they get no immedi- ate reward for”. Another theory was that because wom- en more frequently carry responsibility for family care, they may be more exposed to the impact of climate change, e.g., when buying groceries. The participant who brought this up prefaced their remark by saying that they realised this was a form of gender attribution. In the same vein, another participant said, “Well, we call it mother earth – not father earth”.


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