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The good news is that women in industrialised countries are greener than men. A new study from the United Nations confirms that we have a lower carbon footprint and are better for the world's future health.
Where to start, let me count the ways... Women drive and fly much less than men. We are more likely to buy ecologically friendly and organic goods, recycle and be energy efficient. If that's not enough, according to the report, State of World Population, women respond more positively to environmentally friendly advertising. We are more likely to take action to address environmental issues and speak our mind to corporations and to governments. We are also more likely to get involved in co-operative and social initiatives on a personal level. Men like the impersonal technical and business stuff better
More on the carbon footprint...Since men are the meat eaters and women tend to eat less and also eat more vegetables our diet is better for the world. For example in Denmark, the report said that men eat 139 grams of meat daily compared to women who eat 81 grams.
Image from www.tear.org.au
Now for the bad news.
Women in poor countries are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change and are affected differently from men.
As we know, women at home, taking care of the family, are less like to have the same access to income earning jobs as men. They also have less mobility and are more vulnerable to weather changes and natural disasters. Drought and erratic rainfall force women to work harder to secure food, water and energy for their homes. Girls don't get educated because they have to help out at home with these tasks.
The report says that " the recent experiences of natural disasters indicate that women are more likely to lose their lives and otherwise fare worse than men in extreme events from heat waves to hurricanes and tsunamis."
Because women make up a large part of the agricultural workforce, if there is a decline they feel it first.
The report concludes that in poorer countries:
Climate change will not only endanger lives and undermine livelihoods, but it threatens to exacerbate the gaps between rich and poor and amplify the inequities between women and men.