Women and Climate Change

Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security

Climate change is one of the greatest human rights challenges of our time. The impacts of climate change – drought, floods, extreme weather, increased rates of disease, and growing food and water insecurity – disproportionately affect the world’s 1.3 billion poor. Women are more vulnerable to and affected by climate change as seventy percent of the world’s poor are women. As we celebrate Earth Day, we must focus on women’s role in finding solutions to these immense disparities.

In many rural communities, women must work harder to find food, fuel and water sources. Around two-thirds of the female labor-force in developing countries, and more than 90 percent in many African countries, are engaged in agricultural work. Climate change-related drought or flooding cause women in agriculture to lose access to their only source of livelihood.