Women pay the highest price of the climate crisis and its consequences.

This is not a biological reason, but, according to the World Economic Forum, in a global setting where it will still take more than 130 years to live in a world with equal opportunities, women are more impacted because of the inextricable link between environmental damages and human rights. More precisely, if a community or a group of persons is in a situation of deep-rooted disparity or does not recongize fundamental rights, then extreme events caused by climate change (such as floods or earthquakes) will cause the conditions of inequality to become harsher, with negative impacts on physical and psychological integrity, on health, and on safety, but on education and work too.

According to the UN, in fact, women and girls all over the world are on average 14 times more at risk of losing their lives in the case of natural disasters caused by climate change. For example, 70% of the victims of the tsunami that took place in the Indian Ocean in 2004 were women. All of this happens because globally women still bear the unproportioned burden of care activities. Thus, in the case of an emergency they will have to first help children and elderly find repair, slowing down their own evacuation and putting themselves in situations of higher risks for their physical safety.

Furthermore, the fact that in some countries women are forbidden from practicing any kind of sport activity leads to a higher risk of losing their lives in the case of floods, because most probably they will not be able to swim. Another case that might happen in countries where women are not granted access to financial credit or financing for their own activities, because it would be more difficult for them to recover financially if a natural catastrophe damages their workplace or their commercial activities: it could happen for example if a shop is flooded.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), 80% of climate migrants are women, since they are more involved in sectors such as fishing and agriculture, which are highly vulnerable industries and particularly hit by the climate crisis.


In this situation including the gender perspective in the debate on the Loss and damage fund is of vital importance, so that the instruments to tackle the consequences of climate change can really be successful and effective.

First and foremost, more data broken down by gender are needed, so to better analyze the consequences of the climate crisis on women and the phenomena of female climate migrants.

Last June the OECD published the last Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Global Report, introducing for the first time data and indicators referring the climate and equal opportunities. It is a first commendable step that hopefully will continue in the next years with even more indicators, and will be followed by other organizations, including the countries that are most hit by the climate crisis globally.

Among the criteria for the assignment of resources allocated by the Fund it would then be necessary to include an evaluation of gender impact. That would allow to analyze at the beginning and at the end of the assignment the modes of disbursement, the subjects and the projects recipients of the Fund, ensuring that women too can benefit from it depending on their most urgent challenges.

According to the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), at COP27 women’s representation was the lowest in history: there were only 7 women, on a total of 110 leaders.

We cannot ignore this challenge anymore and it cannot be rectified just by dedicating one of the days of the Conference to gender issues (this year it will happen on December 4th). Equal opportunities should be a mainstream and cross-sectional approach to any agreement and negotiation regarding climate. It should not be forgotten that, despite everything, women today make up more than half of the global population.

Article by Martina Rogato, Sustainability/Diversity Advisor, Founder ESG Boutique e Co-chair Women7.org

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