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Climate change: 'guardians of seeds'

Climate change: ‘guardians of seeds’

Status: 09.11.2021 7:03 PM

Women are affected more by climate change than men. At the same time, they can give important impetus in the fight against global warming. So equality plays a role in the international debate.

Fantou Jeng comes from The Gambia, a coastal country in West Africa. Storms and floods have increased sharply there in recent years. The consequences have particularly affected women and girls: “Girls have been forced to hold children’s weddings because farmers are poor due to the consequences of climate change. Children, especially girls, are no longer allowed to go to school because their parents were afraid of it. They will perish in the floods.”

“Seed Guardians”

In many countries, women are responsible for feeding the family. “We call ourselves the guardians of the seeds. And therefore also the guardians of future generations, their nutrition and their health,” said a spokeswoman for the indigenous Ecuadoreans.

They take care of sowing and harvesting, fetching water and cooking. Thus, they suffer more from climate change. But not only that, US House of Representatives spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi quoted recent studies: “80 percent of the people who have to leave their homes because of the consequences of climate change are women,” she said.

Only a third of the delegates are women

The fact that women are particularly affected should already be made clear in international negotiations and treaties. Since 2015, in the Paris Agreement on Climate Protection, there has been an obligation to take this into account. But only 40 percent of national climate protection plans deal at least marginally with specific gender issues. Only a third of delegates to climate conferences are women.

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Sven Harmeling of the aid organization CARE says the lack of women’s participation is a common problem and leads to poorer solutions. That is why the assistants on the site speak privately to the women’s groups: “Time and again it turns out that completely different things show much more clearly what is really needed. To store water, whether there are measures in the field of agriculture, and whether perhaps it should also Build schools and buildings to be safer against storms.”

Trusted Borrowers

Silvia Holten of Worldvision Aid for Children also relies heavily on women when it comes to microcredit: “In microfinance, more than 90 percent of our work is done with women, because it turns out that we can count on the loans that have to be repaid.” She describes reliability, accuracy, and cooperation as strong arguments for women-oriented projects.

Many in Glasgow say business plans alone do not do justice. This will also have to be implemented in about 200 countries. In any case, American Nancy Pelosi speaks of the Women’s Heart at the Climate Conference when she says, “If women can do it, the world can do it.”