Global warming and the changes caused by it increase the chances of women being the target of more episodes of violence, especially those living in agrarian societies.
The conclusion comes from UNESCO, which has been drawing attention to the effects of climate change and scarce resources on the intensification of violence against women and girls:
"Climate change is a threat multiplier - it can aggravate migration and displacement of populations, as well as contribute to crop problems or flooding, thus increasing pressure on households and livelihoods. Studies show that women are responsible for 65% of household food production in Asia, 75% in sub-Saharan Africa and 45% in Latin America. It is often women's traditional roles that put them at the greatest risk from climate change - they become vulnerable to violence when they have to walk dozens of kilometers every day to secure food, water and firewood, or after being displaced or impoverished by disasters. Loss of livelihoods and poverty can also increase domestic violence because of economic pressures, and because of persistent practices of female genital mutilation and child marriage," said Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25, 2016.
Research shows that when a country or region faces a natural disaster, tackling violence against women becomes less of a priority and the mechanisms to protect women are weakened. In 2005, in Mississippi (southern United States), there was a 45% increase in the number of cases of sexual assault during the seven-month period following Hurricane Katrina. There was also a 300% increase in domestic violence after two tropical cyclones hit the province of Tafea in Vanuatu (Oceania) in 2011. In New Zealand, during the weekend of the Canterbury earthquake in 2011, there was a 53% increase in domestic violence.
The ELAS Fund has the promotion of a just and sustainable environment as one of its investment areas and has been participating in meetings and debates on gender and climate, such as the Global Alliance on Gender and Climate Innovation Forum, which took place in Marrakesh, Morocco, in November 2016. We understand that the full participation of girls and women - and their leadership - is fundamental to responding adequately to the negative effects of global warming.
"The ELAS Fund's desire to participate in the Forum is due to the institution's interest in mobilizing resources to support women's organizations in the field of gender equity and climate change. The ELAS Fund has a partnership with the CASA Socio-Environmental Fund, with other women's funds in South America and with CFEMEA precisely to invest in this area," says Amalia Fischer, general coordinator of the ELAS Fund.