Climate crisis is ‘not gender neutral’: UN calls for more policy focus on women | Global health

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Solely a 3rd of nations embody sexual and reproductive well being of their nationwide plans to deal with the local weather disaster, the UN has warned.

Of the 119 international locations which have revealed plans, solely 38 embody entry to contraception, maternal and new child well being providers and simply 15 make any reference to violence towards ladies, in line with a report revealed by the UN Inhabitants Fund (UNFPA) and Queen Mary College of London on Tuesday.

The report is the primary to look at whether or not local weather plans confer with sexual and reproductive well being.

It calls on extra international locations to recognise the disproportionate affect of the local weather disaster on ladies and women, and for extra motion.

Rising temperatures have been linked to poorer maternal well being and issues throughout being pregnant, reminiscent of gestational diabetes. Excessive warmth has been related to triggering earlier deliveries and a rise in stillbirths.

The report stated the local weather disaster exacerbated present inequalities. In east and southern Africa, for instance, tropical cyclones have broken well being services, disrupting entry to maternal well being providers and serving to unfold waterborne ailments reminiscent of cholera.

Hurricanes and droughts enhance the dangers of gender-based violence and little one marriage, it added, as households beneath stress are much less in a position to help daughters and search to marry them off.

Angela Baschieri, an adviser on inhabitants and improvement for UNFPA and one of many report’s authors, stated: “If we have a look at the plan of motion for ladies and women, nationwide plans present there’s extra work that could possibly be completed.

“We all know local weather change disproportionately impacts ladies and isn’t gender impartial so there’s a want to handle these gaps and impacts.”

The report highlighted the international locations which are taking motion. Paraguay, Seychelles and Benin have specified the necessity to construct climate-resilient well being methods permitting ladies to offer beginning safely and entry well being providers.

9 international locations, together with El Salvador, Sierra Leone and Guinea, have included insurance policies or interventions to handle gender-based violence.

Solely Dominica has talked about the necessity for contraception, regardless of proof of disruptions to family-planning providers throughout climate-related disasters.

Vietnam is the one nation to acknowledge that little one marriage happens extra typically throughout instances of crises as households search to scale back their financial burden (for instance, marriages of ladies aged 11 to 14 elevated by half in Bangladesh in years with a heatwave lasting a month).

“Local weather is setting us again on the struggle to gender equality. Our level can be to be sure that local weather coverage recognises the differential affect on ladies and takes it into consideration within the design of coverage,” stated Baschieri.

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