When natural disasters strike, they hit poor communities first and worst. And since women make up an estimated 70 percent of those living below the poverty line, they are most likely to bear the heaviest burdens.
In the aftermath of floods, droughts, and storms, women often encounter domestic and sexual violence and are deprived of essential services. Relief efforts regularly shortchange female health needs, such as obstetrical care. Girls drop out of school to save on school fees or to spend more time fetching water. Taken in combination, these circumstances contribute to a cycle where women are unable to participate in decision-making about climate change solutions. When women participate in decision-making at national and community levels, they can help devise effective climate change solutions that build stronger communities.
WEDO and Oxfam America recently produced a joint fact-sheet demonstrating the geographical distribution of climate change impacts around the world.