Melting glaciers and forlorn polar bears are the poster children for climate change; now some House Democrats have created a resolution hoping to make women the new face of the problem.
U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and a dozen other Democrats are calling on Congress to recognize that climate change is harming women and could lead impoverished women to "transactional sex" for survival, reports TheHill.com.
The resolution paints a bleak picture of diminished agricultural output because of climate change-induced drought; it says these changes can have a significant impact on women.
"Food-insecure women with limited socioeconomic resources may be vulnerable to situations such as sex work, transactional sex, and early marriage that put them at risk for HIV, STIs, unplanned pregnancy, and poor reproductive health," the resolution states.
The resolution notes that female farmers produce 60 to 80 percent of the food in developing countries.
Beyond women farmers, the resolution claims that climate change will harm "marginalized" women — refugees, sexual minorities, adolescent girls, and women and girls with HIV. Lee said that in general, women are critically underrepresented in the development of climate change policy.
"My resolution will affirm the commitment to include and empower women in economic development planning and international climate change policies and practices," she said. "This will help communities adapt to climate impacts, and embark on a path towards clean and sustainable development."
The resolution requests that Congress recognize the effects on women, and to employ "gender-specific frameworks in developing policies to address climate change."
It also asks the president to "integrate a gender approach in all policies and programs" related to climate change, and to ensure these policies "support women globally to prepare for, build resilience for, and adapt to climate change."
Related climate change stories on MNN: