Is Climate Change a Feminist Issue?
Yes, according to a report released yesterday by the United Nations Population Fund. "Women—particularly those in poor countries—will be affected differently than men," the report states. In developing countries, the report goes on to explain, erratic weather is increasing floods and droughts which "...increases the burden for women and girls, as they are the ones expected to ensure that there is enough food for the family." Women produce 60 to 80 percent of food in most developing nations, a task made increasingly difficult by climate change.
Aside from food production and acquisition, women in poor countries in general have fewer material resources and income-earning opportunities, more child-rearing duties, and they are less likely to survive natural disasters like tsunamis and floods than men. But as women may disproportionately suffer the effects of climate change, they may also be part of the solution. The report's authors suggest that wide access to contraception and reproductive health services for women in poor nations may do more to reduce climate change than any legislative action. (As we've reported before, children are CO2-heavy investments.) Additionally, women are "more likely than men to buy 'green' products" and are "less likely than men to trust governments and corporations to solve environmental problems."