Gender and climate justice

Date: November 22, 2011
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– Women, primarily on small farms, provide up to 80 percent of agricultural labour and produce 45 to 90 percent of domestically consumed food, depending on the region [1].
– Erratic rainfall and unseasonal temperatures already challenge some farmers, especially small land-holders who have less capacity to adapt. In Africa, the proportion of women affected by climate-related crop changes could range from 73 percent in the Congo to 48 percent in Burkina Faso [2].
– For women growers, this insecurity is compounded by a comparative lack of assets and arable land, and in some cases lack of the right to own the very land they till. Worldwide, women own less than two percent of all property. In many countries, less than 10 percent of women hold title to their land [1], which limits their access to resources and credit during crises.
– Efforts for reform fall short. An analysis of credit schemes for small-scale farmers in five African countries found that women received less than 10 percent of the credit awarded to men smallholders [3].
– Deforestation compounds these conditions, because many rural women depend on non-timber forest products (NTFPs) for income, traditional medicinal use, nutritional supplements in times of food shortages and as a seed bank for plant varieties needed to source alternative crops under changing growing conditions. Thus, loss of biodiversity challenges the nutrition, health, and livelihoods of women and their communities [4].
Source: UNIFEM


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