How rural women are adapting to climate change in Latin America and the Caribbean
Climate change is one of the principal threats to food justice, traditional means of subsistence and ways of life. The impacts of climate change in Latin America are becoming increasingly worrisome, particularly the impacts on the agricultural and forestry sectors, given their dependence on weather conditions. This creates a regional situation that is economically, socially, environmentally, and politically vulnerable, putting food security, human security, and the basic conditions necessary for poverty reduction at risk. Virtually every country within the region has suffered the consequences of extreme weather events over the past few years.
Analysis of the region’s vulnerability to climate change shows that periods of droughts and flooding are intensifying, and that natural disasters are and will be not only more extreme but also more recurrent. The loss of glacier area is reducing the availability of water for human consumption, agricultural and livestock use, and power generation. Soil continues to steadily erode and degrade.
Indigenous women and rural women play a very important role in addressing climate change, specifically in efforts to ensure food security in their households and their countries, as well in climate change adaptation efforts. The impacts of climate change affect everyone in a different way but nevertheless gender discrimination makes women especially vulnerable to these negative effects. This is especially true in the case of indigenous women and rural women, whose conditions of life and marginalization put them at greater risk.
In Latin American 58 million women live in rural areas. However, only 30% of rural women own agricultural land and less than 5% have access to technical assistance. Improved, gender-focused public policies for climate change adaptation will without a doubt help to reduce the gaps that intensify the vulnerability of rural women.
The photos and short stories in this post, from different countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, document the impacts of climate change on the region’s rural women, and the ways in which these women have sought to adapt.