Women Hit Harder by Climate Change

Washington, DC (May 6, 2008)- Nobel Peace laureates and co-founders of the Nobel Women’s Initiative, met to discuss their vision of ‘climate justice’- an approach to climate change that recognizes differential responsibilities for developed and developing countries, and puts the rights of people, especially women, at the center of the climate debate.

At the seminar, entitled “Creating a Climate of Change: Women, Nuclear Energy and Justice in a Warming World,” Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner from Kenya, said climate change is harder on women in poor countries, where mothers stay in areas hit by drought, deforestation or crop failure. “Men can trek and go looking for greener pastures in other areas in other countries… but for women, they’re usually left on site to face the consequences,” Maathai said.
Jody Williams, 1997 Nobel Peace laureate, said she saw climate change as a threat to security and that desertification of former agricultural land has fueled the conflict in Darfur. She said she visited a vast refugee camp in neighboring Chad where water was scarce and women and girls were dispatched to get water from outside the camp. She said, “Why did the women have to go? Because if the men went, they’d be killed. If the women go, the only thing they have to face is rape… If you don’t deal with development and climate, you will have an increasingly insecure world. But if you’re going to deal with it, you need to deal with it in terms of climate justice.”
Related Resources:
Women Hit Harder by Climate Change
Nobel Women’s Initiative