New York, Sept. 22: Eduardo Sacrel, O.Carm. represented the Carmelite NGO at the Climate Summit. He served on the panel for the conference “Caring for God’s Creation” sponsored by the Franciscan Action Network.
U.N. Women chief: Climate change impacts fall hardest on women. Women must take a greater leadership role in fighting climate change because its effects fall hardest on women, the head of UN Women said. “Women are on the frontlines, bearing the brunt of climate change,” said Phumzile Mlambo- Ngcuka, executive director of the United Nations agency dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Climate change and gender equality are inextricably linked, Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet said, “This is a crucial debate because we know those who are in an unequal situation are most at risk.” She noted that women and children are 14 times more vulnerable than men in climate change-related natural disasters, such as the floods and droughts.
Women also feel the negative effects of climate change on agriculture, a sector in which they represent 43% of the global workforce and 65% of those involved in raising livestock.
To mitigate the effects of climate change on these women farmers and ranchers, programmes are under way to train women in more efficient livestock management, organic farming that reduces the carbon footprint, and hydroponic farming that uses recycled water, she said. When it comes to climate policy, Bachelet said, more women need seats at the table. “Female leaders should be present in the corridors of political power,” she said, adding that Chile recently mandated that 40% of all candidates for political office must be women.
In an effort to encourage women’s leadership, she said Chile will host a conference early next year in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, a landmark agreement by governments to commit to gender equality and women’s empowerment. The conference, which will include male and female leaders from around the world, will assess women’s progress in the last 20 years and also address the United Nations’ Post-2015 sustainable development goals which should include gender and climate change, Bachelet said.
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