Climate change worsens gender inequality in the Himalayas

Posted by on Sep 24, 2014

Spread the News:
A woman in Pothala, Nepal, enjoys the view of terraced rice fields, whose potential ecosystem services include groundwater recharge and flood and erosion mitigation.  Climate change in the Himalayas has affected women more disproportionally than men. (Bas Bouman/IRRI Photos/Flickr)BAS BOUMAN

A woman in Pothala, Nepal, enjoys the view of terraced rice fields, whose potential ecosystem services include groundwater recharge and flood and erosion mitigation. Climate change in the Himalayas has affected women more disproportionally than men. (Bas Bouman/IRRI Photos/Flickr)BAS BOUMAN

In the Himalayas, when a flash flood rips through a village or when a glacial lake flood outburst wipes one out entirely, surviving families relocate to new settlements, where women are often burdened with more labor and kept away from school, or sent off to an early marriage. Climate impacts have made gender and ethnic inequality more acute in terms of access to education, health care and food security.

Men have more opportunities for wage labor and better access to government services. Some women can obtain resources for themselves and for their children through the men they have ties to, but that dependence can leave them in an unfavorable position. Other women are left with little or no possibility of mobilizing ties to men to obtain resources.

Activists with the ACHA Himalayan Sisterhood walk in the People's Climate March on September 21 in New York City. (photo: Tsechu Dolma)

Activists with the ACHA Himalayan Sisterhood walk in the People’s Climate March on September 21 in New York City. (photo: Tsechu Dolma)

At the People’s Climate March on Sunday, the Himalayan women of New York marched in solidarity with women who are affected by climate change. Himalayan communities from the Tibetan Plateau to the South Asian plains have firsthand experience of the adverse impact of climate change, including flash floods, reduced water access and erratic weather patterns.

ACHA Himalayan Sisterhood, an emerging international network of Himalayan women working towards women empowering women in creating safe, supportive space for all, presented demands for climate justice. The Himalayan women called for immediate expansion of resources to build climate resilience through domestic and international policies that rest on local control of land and other resources.

Woman farmer gathering harvested rice after drying in the field for three days. (Sajal Sthapit/Flickr)

Woman farmer gathering harvested rice after drying in the field for three days. (Sajal Sthapit/Flickr)

Women are at the center of climate change impact as they are disproportionally impacted. In mountain communities and rural villages around the world, women are the ones who collect water, firewood and other resources to feed families. This August, torrential rainfall in Nepal led to flash floods and mudslides which claimed more than 180 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands. Events such as this recur often, and are becoming more frequent as climate change progresses.

Himalayan communities must deal with flash floods, reduced water access and erratic weather patterns as a result of climate change. (Tsechu Dolma)

Himalayan communities must deal with flash floods, reduced water access and erratic weather patterns as a result of climate change. (Tsechu Dolma)

Spread the News:

One Comment

  1. climate change would lead to depopulation in hills as potato would not grow nor wheat as earth temperature would rise by 8c ,the snow in SIBERIA has melted UNDERNEATH WHICH IS VEGETATION WHICH IS EMITTING METHANE HAVING A V GLOBAL WARMING POTENTIAL OF 25 AS AGAINST 1 FOR CO2
    POTATO WOULD NOT GROW AS IT REQUIRES GERMINATION TEMPERATURE OF 0C AND WHEAT WHICH REQUIRE 1.5 C

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Climate Change Worsens Gender Inequality in the Himalayas - CLIMATE HIMALAYA - […] Source>> […]
  2. Glaciers recede in East Africa’s “Mountains of the Moon” | GlacierHub - […] similarly reported in a GlacierHub post by Tsechu Dolma from the Himalayas, communities around the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda…
  3. Two GlacierHub Writers Win Prizes in 2014 | GlacierHub - […] needs of immigrant and refugee girls and women. Dolma has written posts in GlacierHub on issues of gender inequality,…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*