Posts Tagged ‘women’
The poorest billion people on the planet contribute only 3% of the global carbon footprint. Those same billion people will also bear the brunt of climate change. Those people tend to be farmers, and they tend to be women.
The UN Population Fund has issued a new state of the world’s population report about the impact of global climate change on women, stating that “Drought and erratic rainfall force women to work harder to secure food, water and energy for their homes…Girls drop out of school to help their mothers with these tasks. This cycle of deprivation, poverty and inequality undermines the social capital needed to deal effectively with climate change.”
In response to the stunning inequality of the impact of climate change, UNFPA calls for measures to improves the lives of women and mitigate the impact of climate change. That includes supporting education for women and girls, expanding access to reproductive health services, and doing better research on gender and population dynamics in climate change. It’s small stuff compared to the magnitude of the problem of climate change. Better, though, than nothing.
That’s what Kathleen Mogelgaard, the climate program director at Population Action International concluded after sitting through global climate change talks in Bonn, Germany.
Mogelgaard summarizes the point of this conference in the first of a series of articles she will write on the sessions she attends:
Over the next two weeks, these delegates, who make up the climate convention’s “Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action,” will debate, expand, and refine the draft text of an agreement. They will endeavor to agree on who must cut emissions, by how much, and on what timescale. And they will discuss how the industrialized countries will help the developing world adapt to the climatic changes that are already here and are destined to get much worse before they get better.
She reported back on how climate change negatively affects women from a panel of speakers from around the world, put together by the Global Gender and Climate Alliance.
Many speakers pointed out over and over again how, because women are the main providers of subsistence, they are the ones to be the most negatively affected by changed in climate.
Here is what I thought to be the strongest quote in Mogelgaard’s article:
But they are not just victims, the panelists pointed out. “Women everywhere in the world possess unique knowledge and skill, and are active agents of change,” said Lorena Aguilar of the World Conservation Union. According to Khamarunga Banda, of ENERGIA in South Africa, “Women make the majority of choices about individual lifestyles and are the ones who change ‘business as usual’—so they will need to be central figures in reducing energy use and switching to cleaner sources of fuel.” Building on these ideas, the GGCA’s strategy is to ensure that gender dimensions of climate challenges and solutions find a place in the text of the next climate agreement.
Read the rest posted on Grist.org