Climate Change is a hot topic across the globe aside from Covid-19 and it affects multitude of cultures from the unborn to the elderly. I could not help but dig a little deeper to see if there is a difference in how it affects the genders.

 To my surprise after reading different researches, one of the websites, IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) had some interesting publications that had been done on this subject.

On Gender Day at COP26,  it was unveiled that “To ensure the rights of all, inclusive and participatory climate policymaking, planning and implementation are necessary. Together, countries are shedding light on how a climate-resilient world values, protects and promotes gender equality and women’s empowerment”

Not all countries have adapted to all gender inclusive planning process. Some are making headway, others barely mention gender inclusiveness in their NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions) reports.

As a Palauan woman, I could not help but wonder on where Palau is at, especially in empowering women so they can participate in the Climate Change decision making process to ensure the sustainability of Palau is not lagging behind other countries.

Based on the collection of books I’ve acquired from friends and some I purchased from PCC (Palau Community College), Palauan women are an integral part of the cultural and economic success of Palau, thus their voices must be heard.

In all honesty, the negative impact of Climate Change affects everyone, but a higher percentage is leaning toward the female gender.

In some countries, a female child is starved, so a male child can survive. Different cultures react differently to stress induced from Climate Change. Climate Change also affect people’s mental and physical health and the worst-case scenario is death.

 Drought, monsoons and rising sea levels are just some of the issues faced with Climate Change. Natural resources are being depleted causing a scare in our global sustainability. Crop yields drop, livestock and fisheries are declining, causing food prices to skyrocket and families struggling to make ends meet.

This is nothing new, however everyone’s voices must be heard in order to make the decisions that would create a strong sustainable foundation for all to lean on to protect the lands and seas for generations to come.

Although men suffer through the stresses of providing for their families, women shoulder a heavier burden by doing the same as well as maintaining the home front. Empowering women could help societies adapt to the effects of Climate Change quicker.

Women, regardless of culture can shed light to their daily struggles based on their experiences, so that policy decision making and implementations can be made to benefit all, not just some…

According to Marina Andrijevic, a research analyst at Climate Analytics, “women are most vulnerable because of socio-cultural structures that deprive women of access to resources, decision-making, information and agencies, etc.”

A senior advisor at the World Resource Institute echoes Ms. Andrijevic’s sentiments by stating that “social equity is an integral component of effective climate action”.                         (Andrijevic, M. et al. (2020)

The affects of Climate Change serves as a lesson that all societies must unite regardless of gender to find solutions to either slow the pace of climate change or reverse it for future generations.

Global warming is not gender neutral. Empowering women and the weak puts everyone on equal footing for decision making and implementations of sustainable actions to preserve the natural resources that are slowly depleting. These actions are needed now. Luxury of time is null and void.

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