Clear link between climate change and violence against women

Climate change is increasing the risks of gender-based violence, warns the UN Climate Change agency.

With the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC predicting an increase in natural disasters and the subsequent devastation in communities around the world, gender-based violence risks becoming an even bigger problem if it is not properly tackled

According to the UN climate change agency, climate change is recognized as a serious aggravator of gender-based violence. Around the world, climate change-induced crises have also been shown to worsen domestic violence, whether in relation to sexual and reproductive health or discrimination against Indigenous communities.

Violence against women is not limited to developing countries. Research conducted into natural disasters in one developed country found that they have increased the risk of domestic violence in rural regions. One of the reasons for this is the social and psychological pressure arising from loss of income resulting from the growing impact of climate change on the agricultural sector.

A report by CARE shows that women and girls are worst affected by disasters, finding that one out of five women who are refugees or who have been displaced because of a natural disaster has experienced sexual violence.

“Climate action is therefore an essential component in the ongoing fight to eliminate violence against women and girls,” concludes the UN climate change agency.

Image credit: UNICEF Ethiopia via Flickr

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