Women are losing more money due to climate change than men


A UN report has shown that in womenrural areas face greater economic losses from the effects of climate change than men. Let’s understand the researchers‘ findings

What’s the trend?

Global warming is an increase in the average temperature on Earth, the main cause of which is human activity. It has been observed since the end of the 19th century, and its speed is constantly increasing. If warming is not stopped, the planet will face negative consequences: some coastal cities will be flooded and disappear, there will be many more hungry people, and wars will break out over vital resources.

The effects of climate change also negatively impact economic inequality between men and women. Therefore, the fight against global warming is a sustainable trend of our century.

Women are losing income

On March 5, 2024, analysts from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) published the report “Climate Injustice.” It says that women in rural areas of the world suffer significantly greater economic losses from the effects of climate change than men. Their rural households lose about 8% more income due to heat waves and 3% more due to flooding.

FAO researchers analyzed socioeconomic data from more than 100,000 rural households and more than 950 million people in 24 poor countries. These figures were compared with continuous precipitation and temperature observations over the past 70 years. It turned out that on average, women lose about $37 billion annually from heat waves and about $16 billion from floods.

Reasons for loss of income

The FAO report shows that women take on additional workloads during extreme weather events compared to men. They are more likely to continue working when floods and droughts occur.

The main reasons for women’s greater vulnerability to financial losses from climate change are related to gender inequality and structural factors:

  • Women have less access to productive resources, assets, financial services, technology and knowledge. This reduces their ability to adapt to climate risks;
  • women are more likely to work in subsistence agriculture and are less likely to diversify sources of income;
  • Women bear the brunt of unpaid domestic work and care for family members. This limits their time and opportunities for adaptation, education and income generation.

Global losses

The FAO estimates that a 1°C increase in the Earth’s average temperature will cause female-headed households to lose about a third in income compared to male-headed households. In addition, the heat is forcing women and children in rural areas of the world to work an average of an hour more each week.

Lauren Phillips, FAO deputy director for gender equality and co-author of the study, said governments were failing to address the factors that disadvantage women and climate aid was not being targeted in a way that would close the gap between the sexes.

She emphasized that the report was the first to quantify this problem: “The gender gap can have a powerful impact on GDP growth. We can increase GDP by 1% globally if we improve food security for 45 million people by focusing on women.”

Women are affected more than men by the climate crisis, in part because its impacts exacerbate existing inequalities—unequal rights to land ownership and lack of economic opportunity.

The report joins a growing body of research showing that women and vulnerable populations are disproportionately affected by the climate crisis. The study also noted that older people face more negative consequences than younger people who have the opportunity to move.


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