Climate change: Women more vulnerable to dangers of global warming than men, say leading academics

Sexual inequality in poor countries means natural disasters will lead to more female victims

A new obstacle has emerged in the battle for female equality – in the form of climate change. Global warming will inflict far more suffering on women than men because they are more vulnerable to the floods, droughts and diseases that are expected to increase as the climate changes, leading academics have warned.
Climate change’s gender discrimination will be far more pronounced in those swathes of the poorer, developing world where sexual inequality is typically much greater, where the effects of global warming will be more extreme, and where less money is available to protect against the consequences, they said.
Women in poorer countries tend to be more vulnerable because, when disaster strikes, sexist social structures mean they are far more likely to be in the home cooking, cleaning or looking after others, putting them at greater risk from collapsing buildings.
But that is just one of many reasons why women tend to suffer disproportionately in natural disasters in the developing world. The research suggests that women could be considered more vulnerable in severe storms because they are less likely to have been taught to swim in poorer countries, as well as being more unlikely to own a mobile phone which could be used to call for help.
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