While war, poverty, health and a range of other pressing global issues affect women worldwide, climate wouldn’t be one of the first you’d think of. Well, think again.
According to new research conducting the United Nations, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) and the University of London, climate change severely impacts women’s lives and contributes to the already existing gender inequalities that exist across the globe. Inhabitat picked it up:
For example, Amy North, a researcher at the University of London’s Institute of Education, notes that in sub-Saharan Africa, women are responsible for collecting water and firewood. Decreased rainfall brought on by climate change will undoubtedly make these resources more scarce. Women will need to spend more and more time searching for these items, meaning they’ll have less time to engage in money-making activities or attend school. In Kenya, poverty brought on by drought has been linked to a decrease in school attendance, and parents are more likely to withdraw girls from school than boys.
In Uganda, “famine marriages” are all too common. Less rainfall brings agricultural losses, which means increased poverty in rural areas that depend on farming. To combat this poverty, many families are marrying off their daughters at younger and younger ages in order to secure a dowry or bride price. As climate change continues to spur drought and agricultural losses, the situation may only get worse for women.
In short, we have to recognize that issues like water, food and energy are all women’s issues. It’s necessary for foks to recognize that and begin to address issues of gender when discussing climate change. Check out the entire report, it’s pretty eye-opening.