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Women’s Empowerment: The Key to Fighting the Climate Crisis

11 Mar 2019 Wadsam Afghanistan Business News

Written by: Kimberly White

When one thinks of solutions to climate change, immediate thoughts

may be expanding renewable energy use, reducing deforestation, or opting

for EVs vs. traditional vehicles. However, there is another powerful

key in the fight against the climate crisis that has been largely

untapped: women. Studies have shown that women are

disproportionally impacted by climate change. According to the United

Nations, 21.5 million people are displaced annually by weather hazards

worsened by climate change. Out of those displaced, women account for 80%. Women are also more likely to experience poverty and have less socioeconomic power than their male counterparts. Approximately 60% of the world’s chronically hungry

people are women and girls. While women account for 50% of the world’s

poor, children account for 44%. The World Bank reports that for every 100 boys living in extreme poverty, there are 105 girls. Advancing gender equality and empowering women can deliver cross-sectoral, long-term solutions and results to climate change. According to Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, “If we took away the barriers to women’s leadership, we would solve the climate change problem a lot faster.”

Addressing a 2011 report,

former Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon stated,

“Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic

growth — these are one and the same fight.  We must connect the dots

between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health,

food security, and women’s empowerment.  Solutions to one problem must

be solutions for all.”

This January, Project Drawdown’s Vice President of Communication and Engagement, Katharine Wilkinson, gave a TED Talk on women empowerment and global warming.

She states, “The gender-climate connection extends beyond negative

impacts and beyond powerful solutions. Women are vital voices and agents

for change on this planet, and yet we’re too often missing or even

barred from the proverbial table.”

Project Drawdown, a nonprofit organization and coalition focused on solutions to climate change, marks educating girls as the 6th most important solution to mitigate the climate crisis. Family planning follows close with a ranking of 7th and women smallholders ranks at 62nd.

In the 2011 edition of The State of Food and Agriculture,

the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) reported

that agricultural production could be increased and the number of people

facing hunger could be reduced by 100-150 million if women had the same

access to land, technology, financial services, education and markets

as men.

At the 2016 Step It Up Together with Rural Women to End Hunger and Poverty event, European Union Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica,

stated, “It is often said that if you educate a woman, you educate a

whole generation. The same is true when we empower women across the

board -not only through access to knowledge, but also to resources, to

equal opportunities, and by giving them a voice.”

Climate change will disrupt the economies and lives of communities around the world. It will impact every country and every continent. It is time we recognize and empower the change agents we often overlook: women.

Originally published on the Planetary Press. Photo: UNWomen

The post Women’s Empowerment: The Key to Fighting the Climate Crisis appeared first on Wadsam.

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