Though climate change affects all of us, its burden falls most severely upon the backs of women. The UN’s fact sheet on women, gender equality and climate change states “women constitute the majority of the world’s poor who are dependent on natural resources that are threatened by climate change.”
The report found “Women face social, economic and political barriers that limit their coping capacity. Together with unequal access to resources and to decision-making processes, women are disproportionately affected by climate change”.
In addition, ACTIONAID, a human rights NGO, found that environmental degradation puts pressure on girls to do more work at an earlier age. As environmental conditions deteriorate, girls do the hardest work; have the least say and suffer the lowest educational opportunities.
Priority must be given to safeguarding the lives of women and girls most adversely affected by climate change.