UNEP Releases Report on Women at the Frontline of Climate Change

6 December 2011: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) GRID Arendal has released a report titled “Women at the Frontline of Climate Change: Gender Risks and Hopes.” Released on the sidelines of the Durban Climate Change Conference, the report states that investing in low carbon, green technologies can strengthen climate change adaptation and improve women's livelihoods.

According to the report, climate change exposes women's livelihoods and health to disproportionately high risks. The report underlines that women are responsible for approximately 6% of household food production in Asia and 75% in Africa. It also states that women in climate change-vulnerable communities are more likely to lose their lives during natural disasters, due to poor access to basic lifesaving skills and cultural factors restricting mobility.

The report calls for designing adaptation programmes with a focus on gender equity, due to the key roles women play in agriculture, forest economies, biodiversity and other sectors, particularly in developing countries. The report also recommends increased investments in green, labor-saving technologies, including irrigation systems or water harvesting, which can improve the quality of life and increase the productivity of female farm workers while benefiting the environment, through replacing fuel wood often collected by women with cleaner fuel alternatives.

The report was prepared by UNEP's GRID Arendal/Rapid Response Unit in cooperation with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and INTERPOL. [UNEP Press Release] [Publication: Women at the Front Line of Climate Change]