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Climate change impacts everyone, but the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, particularly women and girls, face the burden of economic, environmental, and social shocks. However, these women are driving climate action as early adopters of innovative agricultural practices, first responders when tragedy strikes, and key decision-makers in their countries about energy and trash. Action on climate change can only be successful or sustainable if women are involved.
While climatic change impacts everyone, not everyone is affected equally. Climate change vulnerability is worsened by unfairness and marginalization related to gender, ethnicity, income inequality, and other economic and social variables. Climate change solutions are more effective when they address these issues. This is where women enter the picture.
Here are five convincing arguments for how women are driving climate action:
Women and girls comprise about half of the world’s population but are frequently left out of climate change discussions. However, to meet the Paris Agreement target of reducing the world’s temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, we will need everyone to work together. This implies that more women and girls must be empowered and active. We need women at all levels, from negotiations on climate change to boardrooms to forests and farms, particularly in sectors and regions heavily struck by the effects of climate change.
Indigenous women, specifically, are at the center of environmental conservation, with valuable expertise and knowledge that can aid in building resilience and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. We may achieve a more sustainable and fair future by involving more women in driving climate action.
In emerging countries, women account for over half of the global agricultural labor force. Women can boost agricultural production by 20 to 30 percent when given equal opportunities for resources as males. According to the UN, this increase in productivity not only increases total agricultural output by 2.5 to 4% but also has the potential to reduce world hunger by 12 to 17%.
Empowering women in agriculture can also help with climate adaptation. Providing adequate technologies and resources may encourage environmentally friendly farming and conservation practices. Furthermore, by eliminating poverty, we can assist individuals in better adapting to the consequences of climate change. Investment in women and girls benefits both communities and countries. According to studies, countries with a high proportion of women in the legislature are more inclined to approve international environmental treaties.
Involving women is critical when it comes to creating community climate resilience. The UN states that when women are involved in planning, communities are more effective in their strength and capacity-building plans. Furthermore, women are often the first rescuers in community reactions to natural disasters, leaders in disaster risk reduction, and contributors to recovery following a catastrophe by addressing the immediate rebuilding needs of their families and enhancing community development.
We may create more robust, more resilient communities that are better prepared to tackle the challenges of climate change by integrating women in community planning and disaster response operations.
Climatic change impacts everyone, but not everyone equally. Climate change, whether in affluent or developing countries, disproportionately affects the world’s most vulnerable people and exacerbates existing inequities. In poverty and owing to existing roles, obligations, and cultural norms, women frequently suffer additional risks and costs from the effects of climate change.
In many countries, for example, women are liable for domestic energy, food, water, and care for the young and elderly. Climate change’s repercussions, particularly in developing nations, might raise the burden on women and girls, for example, by requiring them to travel further to collect daily necessities, leaving less time for paid labor and exposing them to greater danger to their safety.
The good news is that putting effort into gender parity and women’s empowerment has far-reaching benefits, such as preserving the environment, reducing poverty, and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition, by approaching climate change from a gender perspective, we may promote women’s rights and encourage more gender equality as women drive climate change.
The positive development is that women and girls are increasingly empowered to participate in and benefit from climate action as women drive climate change. Many nations have highlighted how they incorporate gender across diverse priority areas within their national climate action plans and National Adaptation Plans as part of the UN Climate Change process.
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Gender Action Plan asks for women’s full, equitable, and significant participation in the international climate process and a prominent role for women in decision-making and driving climate action. In 2012, governments convening under the UNFCCC set a gender balance aim for national delegations and climate policy and action. After then, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat published an annual report on the gender mix of national councils, policy and decision-making bodies, and UNFCCC and Paris Agreement working groups.
What is required now is for countries to be intentional in their efforts to attain gender parity in climate decision-making and policy roles at the municipal, national, and international levels.
Women’s spirit and vitality should always be considered a catalyst for change. More vital female leadership in environmental governance has been shown to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. Women leaders are more likely to use their influence to establish renewable energy enterprises, select sustainable alternatives, and reduce domestic fossil fuel use. Furthermore, research reveals that countries with a high proportion of female legislators are more likely to sign international environmental treaties.
Women can be the driving force behind mitigation measures. They have already taken the lead in adjusting to the harsh effects of climate change, but the part they can play in bringing down the climate disaster is being disregarded in the global narrative. Finally, finding and implementing strategies to address the gender-specific implications of climate change is critical. And we must foster an environment where women are driving climate action and may take responsibility for devising answers to challenges that affect them the most.
Also Read: 10 Unexpected Effects of Climate Change