Emerging countries need women-led climate action

Source: The post is based on the article “Emerging countries need women-led climate action” published in “The Hindu” on 5th September 2023.

Syllabus: GS3- Environment – climate change

News: The article discusses how climate change disproportionately affects women, especially in low-income countries. It also emphasizes the importance of women’s education, training, and inclusion in climate policy decision-making for effective adaptation and mitigation.

Why are women in developing and less developed countries more vulnerable to climate change?

Dependence on Natural Resources: Women in these countries often rely on natural resources for their livelihood, making them directly affected by climate shifts.

Poverty: Women are more likely to live in poverty than men. This financial strain limits their ability to adapt to environmental changes.

Responsibility for Basic Needs: Women, especially in rural areas, are tasked with fetching water, food, and fuel. Climate change makes these tasks more difficult, increasing their daily burdens.

Agriculture’s Impact: According to the ILO, over 60% of working women in southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are in agriculture.

Land Ownership: Despite being key in food production, women own only about 10% of the farming land.

Exposure to Disasters: According to a UN study, 80% of those displaced by climate-related disasters are women and girls.

How can investing in women help?

Adaptation to Climate Effects: Educating women aids in navigating climate change impacts. For instance, SEWA in India teaches women sustainable farming in shifting climate patterns.

Resource Management: Training women ensures better sustainable practices for agriculture, water, and energy.

Strengthening Livelihoods: By empowering women with knowledge and resources, they can better financially support themselves, especially against climate-induced threats.

Promotion of Sustainable Practices: Investing in women’s training in eco-friendly farming ensures a more sustainable approach to agriculture and food security.

Why is women’s participation in decision-making vital?

Unique Perspectives: Women, especially from vulnerable communities, bring firsthand experiences that can guide effective climate strategies.

Address Gender-specific Issues: As noted by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), after disasters like the 2015 Nepal earthquake, women faced trafficking risks. Their inclusion can ensure such issues are addressed.

Promotion of Equity: Gender parity in decision-making ensures all voices are heard, leading to more comprehensive solutions.

Effective Adaptation and Mitigation: Programs like the Gender and Climate Change Development Programme in South Asia emphasize the importance of women’s voices for successful climate change strategies.

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