Good question regarding this post on gender and climate change. At minimum, natural disasters kill more women and girls than men. Social status and education are key issues to resolve in poor countries that are growing fast.
Start with this short report, Gender and Climate Change, from WHO.
Globally, natural disasters such as droughts, floods and storms kill more women than men, and tend to kill women at a younger age. These effects also interact with the nature of the event and social status.
The gender-gap effects on life expectancy tend to be greater in more severe disasters, and in places where the socioeconomic status of women is particularly low.
Other climate-sensitive health impacts, such as undernutrition and malaria, also show important gender differences.
Gender differences occur in health risks that are directly associated with meteorological hazards. These differences reflect a combined effect of physiological, behavioural and socially constructed influences. For example, the majority of European studies have shown that women are more at risk, in both relative and absolute terms, of dying in heatwaves.
Hrmm. Without googling, I guess it’s something about patriarchy preventing women from access to science and environmental decision making - right?
Personally, I work with a lot of women in government. Obama’s CEQ and the EPA are both headed by women, and they attend our events regularly. At Vermont Law School, most students were women. And, if I recall, science and enviro-based education programs are dominated by women by something like 60/40 ratio to men. And Lisa Schipper is my climatey-idol. Btw, I’ve written several pieces about women, see here and here (see a big list of posts here).
In my experience, women make better decisions than men in the environmental space. They’re more efficient, stick to the facts, and ask more questions.
If my experience scales up to a generalization as well as a measurable societal trend, then maybe eco-feminism theory will be a but a blip in history…