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How Climate Change Will be More Devastating for Women


There have been numerous reports on how climate change can affect the environment, and affect natural resources of our planet. However, this crisis also poses a threat to the human population and more specifically women. With the unforgiving heat waves, droughts, rising sea levels, and extreme storms, women are going to be affected disproportionately.

A recent report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in February has warned that people who are marginalised by society because of their gender are less able to adapt to climate change or recover from its effects. Scientists concluded in a mega-review of the academic literature on climate impacts and adaptation that women generally have less money, fewer opportunities and are not prioritised by policymakers, who are disproportionately men.

According to a 2018 report by the United Nations, women are most likely to live in poverty. Besides this women are also likely to have less access to basic human rights like the ability to freely move and acquire land, and face systematic violence that escalates during periods of instability, reports Global Citizen. Hence with the already existing discrimination against women, as climate change intensifies, women will struggle the most. Global Citizen reports that the Paris climate agreement includes specific provisions to ensure women receive support to cope with the hazards of climate change.

Speaking with Global Citizen, Verona Collantes, an intergovernmental specialist with UN Women said, “The IPCC found that gender inequalities are further exaggerated by climate-related hazards, and they result in higher workloads for women, occupational hazards indoors and outdoors, psychological and emotional stress, and higher mortality compared to men.”

Another report by IPCC has pointed out that, women have lower emissions than men because they tend to eat less meat and drive less. In Germany and Sweden, men use 8 percent and 22 percent more energy than women, respectively.

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