Definitely the environmental crisis that is being debated today in the COP26 on Glasgow, Scotland, does not affect everyone equally, as shown by several studies of the UN, more women than men die from the consequences. Climate change forces them to work harder and exposes them to more violence.
They are most affected by the climate crisis, for example, in access to water, agriculture, natural disasters, energy and health. In various studies carried out during the last decade, it was determined that natural disasters take more lives of women than men, mainly due to socioeconomic factors.
This last phrase becomes even more relevant if it is analyzed in the light of what ECLAC affirms: the population of women constitutes the highest percentage of people living in poverty, for example, in Mexico the wage gap is -12.0 per cent. cent (54.0 pesos). The average payment of men is 449.57 pesos, against the 395.48 pesos that women receive.
In accordance with UN Women, the tasks of obtaining food, water and resources for the generation of energy are also assigned to women. And, given the scarcity of these resources, it is they (along with children and adolescents) who spend most of their time in being able to supply them.
They are also the segment of the population most affected by food insecurity: “in Latin America 8.4 percent of women are severely food insecure, compared to 6.9 percent of men,” according to the organization of the UN for Food and Agriculture (FAO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), says that there is a need to significantly increase investments aimed at reducing the gender gap, otherwise rural communities will never be able to recover from the effects of change climate.
“As long as gender inequality continues, climate change will wreak havoc on rural communities, especially with them that will only become more resilient to unpredictable weather conditions,” said Houngbo, on October 15, on the occasion of the International Day of Rural Women.
According to a 2016 study by the UN, 80 percent of people displaced by climate change were women. Other studies have shown that catastrophic events cause more deaths among themselves than they do.
In countries with a higher level of socio-economic equality between the genders, this disparity is much smaller. While women make up nearly half of the global agricultural workforce, they do not enjoy equitable access to the goods, resources and services needed to earn a decent income or adapt to climate change.
They make up the majority of the world’s poor people and are disproportionately dependent on scarce natural resources.
Women have less access than men to the land, financial resources, agricultural inputs, training and technologies that enable them to cope with climatic shocks.
“Women are the mainstay of rural communities and often confront difficulties in innovative and resourceful ways to ensure the well-being of their families, and they can play an important role in managing climate risks,” said Houngbo.
WHERE DO WE STAND?
- They comprise 43% of the agricultural workforce.
- They increase their performance up to 30%, when given resources.
- Women contribute to GDP growth by up to 5%.
- With your participation, famine can be reduced by up to 17%.
- By having less medical services, they die faster.
- Due to malaria, 10,000 women die from not receiving care.
- Women face longer working hours and lower wages.
WHY DOES IT AFFECT THEM MORE?
- Migration, poor working conditions and poverty hamper women’s ability to adapt.
- Climate change affects them more because they are collectors and managers of water and fuel.
- Every year 40 million people are forced to displace by climate-related disasters.
- Climate refugee groups include women without resources and totally dependent on a male.
By Israel López