OVER-LOOKING women’s contribution to addressing climate change will result in lost opportunities to achieve multiple benefits in the environment, health, security and other sectors, says Global Gender Office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN-GGO).
Senior gender officer Cate Owren said women not only often led the way in adapting to climate change impacts but they also play a key role in mitigating climate change by optimizing energy efficiency, influencing a household’s and community’s consumption patterns.
‘‘Gender continues to be one of the world’s strongest markers for disadvantage. In the context of climate change,’’ she noted.
Ms Owren also said that climate change was a major threat to the environment and natural resources ‘‘which we need for the sustainable development of our globe; it will undermine the very foundation of socio-economic development and will increase inequality and poverty’’.
Ms Owren added that climate change will have a serious impact on the livelihoods of poor women in developing countries, as the increasing droughts and storms will affect agriculture and water resources which are often the responsibility of women to mitigate.
According to the Zambia, the national gender policy articulates that women are effective leaders in their communities when it comes to addressing the harmful effects of climate change.
‘‘When women help devise early warning systems and reconstruction efforts, which the NGP notes as crucial, communities largely fare better when more severe and more frequent natural disasters occur,’’ said Ms Owren.
The IUCN senior gender officer said advancing gender equality was one of the most transformative investments a country could make in its future.