- Kaylin Lemajeur
UN Sustainable Development Goals: Gender Equality
Updated: Jul 1, 2022
Gender Equality: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
As climate change progresses, its impacts on the Earth and society are going to be felt in increasingly harsh ways by vulnerable Water systems and communities. Although global climate change is impacting all of the Earth, these impacts are not being distributed equally across countries or communities; women and girls in particular are threatened by global climate change.
Extreme water-related climatic events such as droughts and flooding can lead to displacements of people, and disrupt the education of children, especially young girls. Refugee girls are only half as likely to be in school as refugee boys (McCarthy 2020). The risk of child marriage also significantly increases as climate change puts economic pressures on families from loss of livelihoods and homes (McCarthy 2020). In addition to loss in schooling and child marriages, women can be more likely to lose their lives due to climate change; women and girls are 14 times more likely to die in climate related disasters than men (WEA 2021).
Pregnant women and women who hope to become pregnant also face serious dangers when disaster strikes as they are unlikely to receive the necessary pre and postnatal care they need (McCarthy 2020), along with the dangers that come with living in a polluted environment and passing toxicity from pollutants that have been stored in their body fat onto children in the womb (WEA 2021). The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 13 both acknowledge that promoting gender equality and addressing climate change are imperative to transforming the world into a safer and healthier place.
Climate change is a problem plaguing all people on the planet, but it is essential that there be specific and tailored strategies created to ensure the health and safety of women and girls and prevent women from being disproportionately impacted by this global crisis.
Water& recognizes this as a critical time to address the disparate impact climate change can have on women and aims to provide support to women across the globe.
Across the globe, women hold the critical role of being Water bearers and utilizing Water in activities to support themselves and their families. Womens’ relationship to Water is one to be celebrated and cherished, but it also must be critically evaluated to ensure that women are not disproportionately impacted by Water-related disasters and Water issues. Water quality must be prioritized to ensure toxicity from pollutants do not invade the amniotic fluid that supports the development of a fetus.
Through our education materials and art, Water& hopes to illuminate this critical relationship women have to Water and highlight the knowledge women hold of Water globally. We also hope to provide resources on coping with Water-related quantity and quality issues and disasters to educate our audience. Furthermore, we hope to fill in any gaps of understanding people have on these topics to promote the safety and well-being of women and communities around the world.
“In fact, in every region of the world, girls and women are still more likely to be poor, illiterate, hungry, unhealthy, underrepresented in leadership positions, legally constrained, politically marginalized, and endangered by violence.” - UN Foundation
McCarthy, Joe. March 5, 2020. Global Citizen. Environment. Why Global Climate Change Disproportionately Impacts Women.https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/how-climate-change-affects-women/
United Nations.2021. Sustainable Development Goals, 17 Goals to Transform Our World.https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/
WEA. Women’s Earth Alliance. 2021. https://womensearthalliance.org/whatwedo/