Gender Life and Style

Climate change impacts more on women, children – expert

ARTHUR MWANSA, Johannesburg
THE Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the leading international body for the assessment of climate change, says climate-related hazards have more direct impact on women and children.
Chief meteorologist at the Zambia Meteorological Department Joseph Kanyanga said this when he made his presentation on climate extremes in Africa, focusing on participation, floods and drought, temperature and sea level rise at the just-ended climate change response dialogue in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“In many cases, women are more to the negative effects of climate change because of their lower social status in most countries.  Many impoverished women, especially those in the developing world, are farmers and depend on the natural environment for subsistence and income,” Dr Kanyanga said.
He said climate-related hazards also affect poor people’s lives directly through impacts on livelihoods, reduction in crop yields, destruction of homes and indirectly through increased food prices and food insecurity.
Dr Kapyanga said climate change impacts are expected to exacerbate poverty in most developing countries and create new poverty pockets in countries with increasing inequality in both developed and developing countries.
He said climate change threatens to overwhelm the ability of people to cope and adapt, especially if the root-causes of poverty and vulnerability are not addressed.

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