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Climate Change Disrupts Women’s Tasks: Princess Zeid

Climate Change Disrupts Women’s Tasks: Princess Zeid
Jordan’s Princess Sarah Zeid (left) and Minister for Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola during the Technical Experts and Ministerial Consultations at the Sofitel Resort on Denarau Island yesterday. Photo: Waisea Nasokia
October 27
12:12 2015

Climate change disrupts every element of women’s tasks and daily lives, says Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan.

Princess Zeid said women were the primary caregivers of the family, where they also shouldered the greater burden of managing and cooking food, collecting drinking water, and taking care of livestock.

She was addressing the Pacific Technical Experts and Ministerial Consultation on Strengthening Climate Change through Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health, yesterday at the Sofitel Resort and Spa in Nadi.

“When climate impacts are rapid in onset, the outcomes for women and children are also exceptionally severe,” she said.

Women and children, she said, were 14 times more likely than men to die during a disaster and the graver the localised gender inequality, the greater the difference.

She said in disasters women died because, under force of the social norm that when outside the home they be accompanied by a male family member, they did not flee early or fast or far enough.

She said the particular role women played in the care of children and the elderly further slowed their escape.

“Their lack of opportunity or permission to practice such protection activities as the ability to swim or to climb a tree – all account for the extraordinary differences in survival rates.”

In the face of a disaster’s devastation, she said women and girls faced additional barriers to accessing health-care services, with many humanitarians failing to prioritise provision of sexual and reproductive health services among disaster recovery interventions, even though these are essential to minimum dignity. She said women who were subjected to violence before a disaster, were more likely to experience increased violence after the disaster.

In short, she said women and men experienced disasters differently.


About Princess Zeid

Princess Zeid, a former American actress, is married to Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

She is a maternal health advocate for the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children, a ‘Global Champion’ for the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, and a member of the Women’s Rights Division for Human Rights Watch advisory board.



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