Sisters on the PlanetWhy’s Oxfam — an organization that works to fight poverty, hunger and injustice — suddenly so involved with climate change issues? The answer’s simple: The poor, hungry and disenfranchised — who often live in areas already prone to natural disasters — are often the hardest hit by the impacts of climate change. And according to Oxfam (PDF), women in these communities are the hardest hit of all:

When natural disasters strike, they hit poor communities first and worst. And since women make up an estimated 70 percent of those living below the poverty line, they are most likely to bear the heaviest burdens. At the same time, women are often left out of the conversation about adapting to climate change, even though they are sometimes in the best position to provide solutions.
And encouraging and allowing women to provide those solutions is what one Oxfam America program — Sisters on the Planet — endeavors to do. After all, some women are already taking leadership roles in their communities to avert or mitigate climate change-related disasters. The Sisters on the Planet DVD (available for free viewing online) features four women — in Bangladesh, Brazil, Uganda, and post-Katrina Biloxi, Miss. – who are taking direct action in their communities to prepare their communities for future disasters.

Want to be a Sister on the Planet too? Take Oxfam America’s Sisters on the Planet Pledge, urging the U.S. government to cut greenhouse gas emissions and to offer financial assistance to communities that’ll be hard-hit by global climate change. You’ll then also get information from Oxfam about how you can educate others about the effects of climate change on women.

Image courtesy of Oxfam America

The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.