|Introduction: Give brief context of the question.|
Body: What are gender specific impact of climate change and measures to deal with it?
Conclusion: Way forward.
Climate change has significant gender-specific impacts, particularly in low-income countries, where women often face greater vulnerabilities due to their socio-economic roles and limited access to resources and decision-making. Reports of UNO & ILO have highlighted that across genders, women are considered to be highly vulnerable and disproportionately affected by climate change than men to the impact of climate change.
Some Key Gender-Specific Impacts of Climate Change in Low-Income Countries:
- Impact on Livelihood: In low-income nations, women are frequently in charge of agriculture, water collection, and fuel collection—activities that are extremely vulnerable to climate change. Due to droughts, floods, and shifting weather patterns, they may lose their jobs and means of subsistence. According to the ILO, over 60% of working women in southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are still in agriculture, where they are often underpaid and overworked.
- Health: Changing climate patterns can lead to the spread of diseases and illnesses, affecting women’s health, particularly during pregnancy and childbirth.
- Food security: Crop yields and food availability are impacted by climate change, which may result in more food poverty. Women prepare the majority of the food for their families and frequently put their family’s dietary requirements first. Despite being the backbone of the food production system, women own only about 10% of the land used for farming.
- Displacement and Migration: 80% of individuals displaced by climate-related disasters are women and girls, according to a UN report. Women, particularly those from at-risk populations, experience unique challenges both during and after natural catastrophes. Women who have been uprooted are more vulnerable to discrimination, exploitation, and gender-based violence. A McAllister (2023) study has highlighted how there could be 1.2 billion climate refugees by 2050.
Some measures to mitigate them:
- Invest in education & training: We must invest in women’s access to resources, education, and training to withstand effects of climate change. By educating people on sustainable agriculture, water management, and energy production, we can lessen the detrimental effects of climate change on people’s living conditions. For instance, the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) teaches women farmers in India how to adapt to changing climatic trends to better sustain themselves.
- Decision-Making: Effective mitigation and adaptation methods for climate change, as well as finding adequate work, depend on women’s engagement in climate policy decision-making at all levels. Gender equality in the bodies that make decisions is crucial since women are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The Gender and Climate Change Development Programme is one such initiative in South Asia that seeks to give women a stronger voice and thereby improve their influence in policymaking.
According to estimates, 130 million people could be pushed into poverty by 2050 due to climate change risks, natural disasters, and food inflation, impacting women’s inequality. Gender equality and environmental objectives complement each other, forming a positive feedback loop that can expedite the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).