So says Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland and UN High Commissioner. The world has been conscious of climate change for decades, but the particulars of its disproportionate effect on women are only just entering public consciousness.
The number of extreme weather-related disasters has doubled in the last two decades, according to the UNFCCC. Wildfires, hurricanes, cyclones and drought disproportionately affect vulnerable countries in the Global South - the consequences of which can be overwhelming. The impact on agriculture, in particular, is stark - the yields of major crops can be massively reduced, contributing to food price hikes and income losses. These changes threaten food security across the world.
Significantly, it is women that often hold the roles that are most adversely affected. Around one third of employed women worldwide work in agricultural roles. But it’s not just their economic security that is endangered by extreme weather. A community’s ability to build resilience is heavily reliant on its women - who are tasked with caregiving roles alongside occupational pressures. If food is scarce, women typically eat last.