I’ve just read an item of news on the New Consumer website which is something we may already be aware of but is such an important issue to raise again and again. That is the additional effects that climate change has on women and girls in developing countries like Kenya.
The news item ‘Climate Change Devastating Women’s Lives‘ reiterates the harsh reality that whilst climate change affects all members of such poor communities, there are added, knock-on social issues for the women and girls in these communities. Some of the issues are:
- Women and girls (some as young as seven) who are tasked with fetching water are now having to walk triple the distance than they previously did to find it.
- Women are having to turn to prostitution because they are struggling to feed their families.
- Girls spending more time walking for water are missing out on vital education, women have less time to care for their families.
- Women and girls, exhausted from walking long distances, are vulnerable to rape and risk of HIV infection.
How could anyone read these facts and ignore the devastation that climate change causes? For the sake of making a few changes to our lifestyles it doesn’t seem much of a sacrifice knowing what these women have to go through every day does it?
The full New Consumer report comes from information via Esther Musili, Kenyan Aid worker, who is speaking alongside Foreign Secretary David Miliband on September 23 at a meeting at the Labour Party Conference. Let’s hope the politicians sit up and listen to her.