Gender and Climate Change

From the Jesuit magazine Streven via Mirada Global:

Over recent decades it has become clear that women play important roles in the use and management of natural resources. They are usually the ones responsible for the provision of water and biomass energy for the household.

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It seems logical that they should also be more severely affected by changes in the availability and quality of natural resources. If there is no potable water or fuel available close to your home, you have to trek longer distances —often with heavy loads over rough terrain—. If there is less food available, and you are used to being the last to eat, there will remain less for yourself. Frequently, women’s poor health is thereby additionally put under pressure.

This interface between environment (ecosphere) and human society (social environment) —where gender relations take place— is more evident if climate change occurs. After all, the agricultural production is under pressure, potable water and (biomass) energy are scarce, heat stress and diseases are increasing, and weather-related disasters become more frequent. The burdens and stress on women are heavier, and their opportunities to receive training or education become increasingly fewer. There is also an increase in violence.

Also available in Spanish.

Tim Reidy

 

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