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Climate change has a women face -A salty pathway ahead
By: Nasir Aziz, ActionAid Pakistan
The old mechanical thought would not work any more and it is the time for a paradigm shift in our behavior and attitude to empower the resource poor women. The threats of climate change are no longer hidden by any means and the affected most is no other than the resource poor women. The link is loud and clear that the Climate change as a women face. If we are still not ready to bring resource poor women at the fore front than we must be ready for a salty pathway ahead. While meeting number of farmers mainly men farmers and watching women farmers working in the rice fields during my field visit in the coastal zone, one thing started hammering my innocent mind when the golden time would come when women would be empower and involved in the decision making processes at household, community level and even beyond.
I must appreciated the diversification of the livelihood in various parts of Ninh Binh province but I hardly heard any echo about prioritizing women which make the rice field lush green, collect clam from the mud which is sold as a gold by the man later on, prepare beds for vegetables,processing salt from the sea water and so on while comprising her health, life and also at the forefront to bear the brunt of the impact of climate change.
The men farmers hardly know and aware about the climate change concept, so how we can imagine and think about resource poor women has any clue about the climate change issue and impacts. The women met in the field shared that they had never heard the word: climate change. They only feel that the life is changing. They also shared that incidence of diseases in poultry, pigs and other has increased manifold. The increased if any has nullified by ever increasing expenses on the livestock care.AThe message I coined during the field visit was to build a house with a powerful roof as if man is a house, the women is the powerful roof. It is the roof which usually face the brutality of the extreme weathers and the roof is powerful it would safe the whole house.
To go for a paradigm shift this is time to change the stereotype way of thinking. We have to give a loud and clear message that empowering women is the right way to fight with the ever increasing climate change threats. Avenues must be created at every level so that resource poor women can take a lead role and come at the forefront to fight for their cause and claim their right to food. These efforts must go hand in hand otherwise I must write again that Climate change with a women face and the salty pathway ahead is not going anywhere it would stay as it is or might go even worse. All the efforts to achieve MDGs, reduce poverty, hunger would be at stake and poles apart.
Empower resource poor women first otherwise this debate would be go on and the resource power women would be at the mercy of climate change phenomena with empty hands as usual
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