Impact of climate change on women

by | Apr 1, 2019 | Women & The Energy Transition | 0 comments

There are different areas in which the effects of climate change are remarkably linked to belonging to a certain gender. Generally speaking, climate change effects are detrimental to gender equality, since they hit women harder. The gender issues are clearly present in the areas of agriculture and food security, biodiversity, water resources, safety, human mobility and settlement, as well as in the fields of energy and technology.

Among climate change impacts on woman, water is the most critical one.

The world’s poorest people live in regions where water sources are scarce. The majority of these poor are women.[1]

Fresh water sources suffer greatly because of climate change. This is a problem on two levels: on the one hand, families have less access to fresh water used for daily needs, like drinking, washing and cooking and on the other hand the water that is needed for agriculture is no longer available[2].

Like fetching wood, the chore of fetching water for the family or community is typically attributed to women[3]. This becomes more and more difficult for them, taking away precious time and energy to devote to other activities[4].

The long journeys are also a safety risk, especially for young women, whom might encounter violence on the way[5]. Not only does it become more difficult to get hold of a fresh water source because of drought, the water sources they can find are often polluted. This pollution causes serious health problems. Health problems that can translate into physical scarring, which is extra negative for women since it can lead to exclusion from the local community[6]. Because of the gendered nature of the allocation of water resources, including gender in water management projects raises their effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability .[7]

[1] R. WAHAJ, M. HARTL, “Gender and water, Securing water for improved rural livelihoods: The multiple-uses system approach” International Fund for Agricultural Development, 2012, p.2.

[2] H. THOMAS, J. SCHALKWYK, B. WORONIUK, “A Gender Perspective in the Water Resources Management Sector”, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, p.4.

[3] C. SEVER, “Gender and Water: Mainstreaming gender equality in water, hygiene, and sanitation interventions”, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, 2005, p.4.

[4] R. WAHAJ, M. HARTL, “Gender and water, Securing water for improved rural livelihoods: The multiple-uses system approach”International Fund for Agricultural Development, 2012, p.6.; M. LAUDAZI, J. SHAW, C. MONSIEUR, “Gender and Sustainable Development in Drylands: An analysis of field experiences”, FAO, 2003, p.15.; J.D. GURUNG, “Gender and Desertification: Expanding roles for women to restore dryland areas”, IFAD, 2006 p2-3

[5] .D. GURUNG, “Gender and Desertification: Expanding roles for women to restore dryland areas”, IFAD, 2006, p7.

[6] X, “Fact sheet: Women, Gender Equality and Climate Change”, UN WomenWatch, 2009, p.3.

[7] P. KHOSLA, S. AHMED, “RESOURCE GUIDE: Mainstreaming Gender in Water Management”, UNDP & GWA, 2006, p.12. 78S

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shares
Share This
X