Sunday, February 24, 2013

African women hit hard by climate change

Denise Darcel in Epoch Times: African women walk for miles across harsh terrain to find clean water sources, planting and harvesting crops through scarcity and drought. Climatic disasters, such as floods, hurricanes, and landslides, can separate families, exposing women to human trafficking, hunger, and loss of life in a matter of moments.

Women must be an integral part of the climate change discussion in Africa, says the United Nations Initiative of the Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality. Yet, women are rarely involved in forming climate change policies.

More than 80 percent of African women work in agriculture; approximately 95 percent of the continent relies on agriculture for its livelihood. Women are thus key figures in economic development, and should be key figures in developing preventive measures or plans for repairing the damage caused by climate change, says the U.N.

According to the U.N. website, it is “imperative that a gender analysis be applied to all actions on climate change and that gender experts are consulted in climate change processes at all levels, so that women’s and men’s specific needs and priorities are identified and addressed.”...

Women in Zambia's Eastern Province hold bags of tilapia fingerlings in June 2007. The villagers are learning fish farming from US Peace Corps volunteers. State Department photo, in the public domain

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