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How Does Climate Change Fall Heavy on Women- Part 2

Climate change wreaks havoc on the marginalized and poor swaths of society. This change disproportionately affects the vulnerability of women as the poverty-stricken gender with no or low access to time, literacy, resources, credit, decision-making structures, technology, training, and support services that would help to enhance their socio-economic means to survive global warming changes.

Women’s susceptibility to climate change stems from social, economic, and cultural factors. First, 70% of women live in poverty.

According to the UNO, 70% of the 1.3 billion people living in conditions of poverty are WOMEN. In urban areas, 40 percent of the poorest households are headed by women.

Weather havoc has ramifications on securing the necessities of life. Food insecurity and the inaccessibility of clean water exacerbate the cycle of poverty.

                                                                          Women in Agriculture Workforce

The primary source of living for women around the world is dependent on natural resources. 38–46% of the workforce in agriculture are women and 2/3 are livestock keepers. Globally, 45–80% of women farmers are involved in food production.

These figures will give you an idea of how climate change has been increasing the vulnerability of women. In the recent flood of 2020, China suffered a loss of $32bn. The US lost some $60bn to hurricanes and wildfires. In Africa, the massive locust swarms ruined crops estimated to $1.8 bn. Other parts of Europe also lost around $2bn to the catastrophes caused by climate change. Source

The socio-cultural constricting norms make these challenges of climate change more recognizable to women.
For example, in many societies, women don’t migrate to seek secure refuge and more accessibility to food due to childcare responsibilities and family constructs. This leaves them with no relief, adding to women’s burden to get drinking water from more remote places and living in areas with no access to health professionals.

How do women endure the immediate upshots of catastrophes?

The long-term effects and a cycle of poverty for women manifest the devastation caused by climate change. Women are used as scapegoats for all the wrongs done by nature or by humans. Not only do their household duties get even more difficult after disasters, women also face more forms of violence right after these disasters occur.

Even worse, in many societies in Africa, right after disasters, the rate of child marriage rises. This includes the early marriage of girls to older men, double and triple their age! Girls and women are also sold out to older people for money!

According to UNICEF, the United Nations has warned that in the coming decades, child marriage rates could spike in Africa, more than doubling to 310 million by 2050.

“More than 1,000 are victims of human trafficking, and girls’ school drop-out ratios are also on rife. It is no hidden fact that during times of trouble, the rate of domestic violence, rape, and sexual intimidation increases.

In the US for instance, during Covid-19, the domestic violence rate increased by 8.1%.

Enabling women’s adaptation to climate change

How Does Climate Change Fall Heavy on Women- Part 2

Despite the vulnerabilities described above, women are the active agents of adaptation and mitigation. Their keen knowledge in agriculture and nature gives them negotiation power in the long run. They also happen to either head or contribute to the household’s income earning. Unfortunately, as it stands now, women are poverty-stricken, and most of their assets and income are attached to natural resources that are directly linked to climate change.

                                                                                                                                              Women Are the Poorer Gender

70% of the 1.3 billion people living in conditions of poverty are women. In urban areas, women are the heads of 40% of the poorest households. Women predominate in the world’s food production (50–80%). Still, they own less than 10% of the land. UNO

Women are less adapted to climate change. Hence they are unable to confront the climate challenges. And the solution might lie in:

  • Economic empowerment
  • Inclusive decision-making process
  • Literacy, education, and accessibility
  • Participation in the green economy

Women represent a pool of wisdom in adaptation and mitigation

Historically, women have played vital roles in water harvesting and storage, food preservation and rationing, and natural resource management. There are many proofs available that depict women’s abilities for adaptation and mitigation.

In Africa, older women have vast knowledge related to early warnings and alleviating the impacts of disasters. Besides, women have been very active in voicing their concerns and playing an active role in mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Movements like Green Belt and India’s Chipkoo demonstrate the active and effective participation of women.

The Green Belt Movement (GBM) is led by a Kenyan Women’s NGO back in 1977 and began a plantation drive to tackle the problem of soil erosion, deforestation, and water scarcity.

GBM is a case study that shows that women eagerly address the problem of erosion because erosion reduces their productivity and makes water inaccessible to them.

” Fujn fuses learning with earning in a fun way. Fujn is made by women for women. Ladies, dare to reimagine your possibilities! Check us out at www.Fujn.global, Fusion spelled F. U. J. N.”

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