Climate change has a huge impact on girls and women – UNFPA

The effects of the climate crisis are not gender neutral, and women and girls are more affected, said the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

“Without equal rights and the ability to make decisions about their own bodies, women and girls are simply not on an equal footing when it comes to navigating the devastating consequences of the climate crisis,” said Dr. Natalia Kanem , Executive Director of UNFPA. , in an opinion piece published Tuesday in The independent.

Climate change multiplies existing vulnerabilities, said Matt Jackson, UNFPA director, in a blog post Tuesday. Since women and girls make up the majority of the world’s poor, they are the hardest hit by the impacts of the climate crisis, which include extreme weather patterns that can limit access to food, water and shelter, Jackson said.

“Climate-induced poverty, food insecurity and air pollution are negatively affecting maternal and newborn health outcomes, with an increased risk of preterm birth, stillbirth and low birth weight,” added Jackson.

“The aftermath of disasters also carry increased protection risks for women and girls,” said Jackson, who gave examples of tropical storms in Latin America that leave girls vulnerable to sexual abuse and cyclones in the Asia and Asia region. the Pacific, precipitation peaks in gender violence.

Protesters hold placards as they take part in a protest, as the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) takes place, in London, Britain, on November 6, 2021. (Credit: REUTERS / HENRY NICHOLLS)

“Families that are in financial hardship and cannot feed their children are more likely to take their daughters out of school and offer them in marriage,” he said.

Attempts to improve resilience to climate change have failed to include a necessary “gender lens” to address this unequal impact on girls and women, Jackson said.

UNFPA is the UN sexual and reproductive health agency and its mission is to achieve a world in which “every pregnancy is desired, every childbirth is safe and the potential of every young person is fulfilled.”

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