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Wednesday 13 November 2019
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Women hurt more by climate-change

File photo: Jeff K. Mayers
File photo: Jeff K. Mayers

THE fall-out from climate-change hazards such as hurricanes and flooding affects women more than men, so women must help craft gender-based policies and responses, heard today's forum on Gender-Responsive Climate Action held by ParlAmericas at Hyatt, POS.

This was spelt out by keynote speaker Women's Environment and Development Network head Bridget Burns saying, "Climate change can exacerbate gender inequalities." Burns said women farmers have less access than their male peers to funding, tools, seeds, water-supply and knowledge, and so are more vulnerable to climate shock. Climate-change overall results in women having to walk longer distances to source water and so having less time for other activities such as education, she added.

ParlAmericas vice president, Canadian MP Bob Nault, said gender-based stereotypes affect how women are affected by climate-change, even as marginalised groups like women are less likely to be engaged in climate-change talks. Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George said some experts predict a rise in the frequency of extreme storms in Latin America and the Caribbean due to climate-change, and said gender is key in risk reduction, response and rehabilitation, and resilience and adaptation.

Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister Ayanna Webster-Roy said males and females are differently affected by climate change and the needs of single-parent households must be addressed. Planning Minister Camille Robinson-Regis said if anyone can better craft policies, it is female politicians.

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