Why Invest in Women is the Key to Reducing Climate Change?
, (Nevy P)
Gender equality has not received attention as a key to reducing climate change so far. And most people don’t aware that climate change impact women the most, impact women more than men. But why? First, in developing regions, most people don’t understand clearly what discrimination based on gender that women must face. With this reason, we are from Act Global did an online survey to get to know people’s knowledge about this matter, then we specialized the survey into the climate change/environment aspect.
87.5% of our responded are women and only 20% understand well the discrimination based on gender that women have to face. Here are five discriminations based on gender that women have to face:
Marginalization is the process of making group of class of people less important or relegated as secondary position. Example: in a family where they don’t have enough source/income, they will prioritize their boys to get education instead of girls because they feel that their girls will be okay without education as her husband will provide for her.
The definition of subordination is the placement in a lower class, rank, or position. Example: not letting the women to take leading position just because of her sex.
Stigmatization is the action of regarding someone or something as worthy of disgrace.
Example: Stigmatization of women based on what they wear, if a woman show skin, she is seen to be ‘teasing men’, if women wear a face covering she is seen to be ‘submissive to a man or pro-terrorism.
In patriarchal world, society see the men as the center of power and every woman must be weak, and submissive that is why in this context we know ‘gender-based violence’. Example: domestic abuse and marital rape.
A double burden is the workload of people who work to earn money and responsible for significant amounts of unpaid domestic labor. Example: women who work, take care of household, husbands, and children.
Then, what is the connection between women’s empowerment and climate change?
Gender equality is the fifth SDG’s and a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world. Women currently make up 43% of the agricultural labor force in developing world, and with the same access to resources as men, could increase farm yields by 20-30% and rescue global hunger by 12-17%, and avoid 20 billion of global carbon emission by 2050.
As women are marginalized compared to men, that’s why they are less educated than men in developing regions because families prioritize their boys. In developing world, women are still underrepresented in the engineering, technical, and scientific fields that will be crucial to find innovative solution is climate change. Uneducated, marginalized women are most likely exploited in labor such as fast fashion industry. Women make up the vast majority of garment workers in fast fashion industry, 80-90% gender majority in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. While the management positions are men-dominated. The fast fashion production targets are too demanding and overburdened workers are often subjected to forced overtime with little to no pay.
With little to no knowledge about it based on our survey, it is hard to take action because people don’t understand the problem. It is important because climate change is the most complex challenge in our time, gender inequality will dramatically limit the respond that we need. So it is important for us to share the knowledge that we have, and it is important to ensure equal resource and space for women and men to participate in in climate change decision making and action at all levels.
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