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‘Little Amal’, a 3.5 meter tall puppet of a young Syrian refugee, is displayed at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain November 9, 2021. Yves Herman/Reuters

‘Little Amal’, a 3.5 meter tall puppet, took the stage at the UN climate summit in Glasgow on Tuesday to raise awareness about gender equality regarding the impact of climate change.

Her lawyer was Samoan climate activist Brianna Fruean, who reminded the audience that women and girls are often those most “affected” by the impact of the crisis.

“That’s why we are here today,” Fruean said on the summit’s Gender Day, “To work and fight for all little girls to inherit the world they deserve to lay the groundwork change to grow.”

The puppet Little Amal, representing a young Syrian girl, traveled 8,000 km across Europe to raise awareness of the plight of refugee girls.

COP26 President Alok Sharma said “gender and climate are deeply linked”, adding that women and girls are “disproportionately affected”.

Securing their education will be crucial to empowering girls and “equipping them to face the climate”, he said, as at least four million girls this year will not complete their education in the face of climate-related crises, according to the Malala Fund.

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, called the climate crisis a “threat multiplier, amplifying and accelerating existing inequalities in our economies and society.”

“Dealing with rapid climate change is a matter of justice and equality,” as 80% of those displaced by climate change are women, Pelosi said.

Teresa H. Sadler