ISLAMABAD: Women remain ignored in the climate change impact studies, experts said on Thursday, asserting that they were more vulnerable to natural calamities.
Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) Pakistan, an independent policy think-tank, organised an international conference in Islamabad titled ‘Empowering Women for Growth and Prosperity: From Evidence to Policy’.
National Commission on the Status of Women Chairperson Khawar Mumtaz said women contribute Rs400 billion a year to national economy but that is not highlighted appropriately and still the nexus between phenomenal work and women empowerment is not examined as yet.
“We have also not linked the impacts of climate change on women and the opportunities associated with it,” she said.
Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women Programme Officer Gillian Dowie said: “Investing in knowledge on women’s empowerment and the effect of climate change is critical. We look forward to learning about the evidence from Pakistan today, taking stock of the lessons internationally, and identifying tangible policy solutions.”
Urban Institute Director Elizabeth Peters said she hopes that the conference will contribute to the national development agenda.
International Development (DFID) country head said that no country has achieved prosperity without harnessing the potential of women.
Unfortunately, in Pakistan, women are disproportionately affected by many issues. There is a need to provide better education to women and girls and empowering them to make their choices by themselves. DFID is supporting Pakistan in achieving sustainable development.
Canadian High Commission Aid Head Daniel Joly said unfortunately in Pakistan, women face issues to their participation on various avenues. Climate change is another area of concern, as it has greater impact on those who rely on natural resources for their livelihoods which includes women as well. Women can play a greater role in fighting climate change due to their local knowledge.
There were three panels on ‘Putting women to work — human capital, growth and labor markets’; ‘Pathways to reducing women’s vulnerability to climate shocks and stressors’ and ‘The economic costs and solutions to violence against women’.
LEAD Pakistan CEO Ali Tauqeer Sheikh referred to a study by LEAD Pakistan which explores environmental degradation, climate change and economic empowerment of women based on a household survey conducted in Dhaka, Delhi, Lahore and Islamabad. “Women are particularly vulnerable to climate change events and environmental degradation in urban areas.” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2018.