Care about equality? You should care about climate change
Originally posted on www.theangrynipple.com in April 2019
Author: Briony Latter
The urgent issue of climate change finally seems be getting an increasing amount of news coverage and attention, which has particularly accelerated in recent weeks. To highlight just some of the recent reports on climate change, both big and small: world-wide school strikes, climate change programmes with David Attenborough on the BBC and Netflix, climate change anxiety, the impact on insurance, protests, a climate change chat bot, a call to incorporate climate change in to weather forecasts, natural climate solutions, a pledge by parliament’s pension fund trustees and water shortages in England. If you hadn’t been paying much attention to climate change beforehand, it should definitely be on your radar now.
As a visitor to this website, you’re probably wondering about the links between climate change and the issues that The Angry Nipple project addresses such as equality and gender. Here I’ll take a brief look at how climate change impacts can be felt unequally by different groups of people both in the UK and abroad, as well as providing an overview of the link between climate change and women. There’s a lot of information out there about this so I’ve tried to pull together a wide range of different examples and provide a broad overview.
So is there a link between climate change and women? The short answer is yes. However, this isn’t a simple relationship and care should be taken not to generalise it. Not all women are vulnerable to climate change in the same way. Gender also isn’t the only way in which climate change impacts can be felt unequally and “gendered vulnerability to climate change is not due to characteristics intrinsic to women as a group”. A number of factors including geographical and social impacts have to be taken in to consideration.
What type of women are most impacted?
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) states that poor women are particularly vulnerable to climate change as they have “limited access to resources, restricted rights, limited mobility and [a] muted voice in shaping decisions” and point out that climate change will exacerbate current “patterns of inequality, including gender inequality”. It’s worth noting here that the commonly used statistic which states that 70% of the world’s extreme poor are women is apparently not accurate (it’s actually about 50%).