Climate change has emerged over the last thirty years as one of the major issues in international politics. It is now generally accepted that greenhouse gases emissions are contributing to a process of global warming which is leading to an increased incidence of natural disasters. The IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) Third Assessment Report of 2001 concluded that there is new and stronger scientific evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years was attributable to human activities (Dankelman 2002, 21). The effects of this global warming can already be seen today in an increased incidence of natural disasters. Rains, floods and cyclones in Mozambique in 2000 made 250,000 people homeless, killed 700 and led to an increased incidence of malaria (Dankelman 2002, 22).
[...] the impact of natural disasters linked to climate change on women in developing countries and the participation (or not) of women in international debates surrounding climate change and the formation of effective climate change regimes. In State of India's Environment Report' published in 1985 by The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in New Delhi, they concluded that, “Probably no other group is more affected by environmental destruction than poor village women” (Dankelman 2002, 23). Although the greenhouse gas emissions of African countries are insignificant in global terms, such countries are likely to bear the brunt of the expected increases in natural disasters linked to global warming (Denton 2002, 14). [...]
[...] This is reflected in the few journal articles I have been able to consult on the issue. However I believe the issues raised by the writers discussed above give us a much fuller understanding of the effect climate change is likely to have on women, particularly those in developing countries. Bibliography Cannon, Terry “Gender and climate change in Bangladesh, Gender and Development 45-50. Dankelman, Irene “Climate change: learning from gender analysis and women's experiences of organising for sustainable development,” Gender and Development 21-29. Denton, Fatma “Climate change vulnerability, impacts, and adaptation: why does gender matter?,” Gender [...]
[...] This shows that women can have an effective voice in climate change negotiations. Out of Kyoto, two mechanisms have emerged to help the South meet its obligations. The first is the Global Environment Facility (GEF). GEF was established to forge international co-operation and to finance actions to address four threats to the global environment: biodiversity loss, climate change, degradation of international waters and ozone depletion” (Denton 2002, 15). Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is a bilateral agreement between an industrialized country that must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions under the Convention, and a developing country” (Denton 2002, 15). [...]
[...] Many feminist scholars have stressed the importance of increasing the number of women on the various commissions related to climate change but will simply ‘adding women in' improve women's situation? At the Sixth Conference of Parties to the UNFCC (Cop6) in the Hague in November 2000 gender was hardly mentioned at all despite the fact 20% of the delegates were women (Skutsch 2002, 31). Indeed Fatma Denton argues that, “ensuring women's participation in these debates will not guarantee that the many issues faced by women in poverty will be addressed” (Denton 2002, 12) especially whilst the debates continue to reflect, “Northern priorities and interests” (Denton 2002, 10). [...]
[...] In 1998 Hurricane Mitch hit Honduras and Nicaragua affecting 2 million people and causing US$5 billion worth of damage. This time more men than women died leading to an increase in female-headed households to 40% in Nicaragua and 50% in Honduras (Nelson et.al. 55). The fact that more men than women died shows that an increased vulnerability to natural disaster related to climate change does not always translate into higher mortality rates in disasters. Hurricane Mitch also showed the potential for natural disasters to lead to positive changes in gender relations. [...]
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