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Women bear the brunt of climate-forced migration

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The article highlights that policies have not yet sufficiently explored the impacts of environmental migration on the women who migrate and those women stay behind whilst their sons and husbands find work elsewhere. The author claims that past literature surrounding climate induced migration has tended to be gender-neutral. This article emphasises the problem of not incorporating gender in this discourse by stating that environmental migration is a gendered process. A recent report, prepared by ActionAid, Climate Action Network and Brot Fuer Die Welt (Bread for the World), titled ‘Climate Change Knows no Borders’, has called for more climate policies to highlight the gendered impacts of climate-induced migration.

After extreme climatic events, such as flooding, the author found that this correlated with a significant increase in young women and girls migrating elsewhere to find work to support their families. This leaves women vulnerable to trafficking and abuse. Traffickers under the guise of ‘agents’, who promise to help women find work, take advantage of their vulnerable situation and force women to work in brothels. The author also highlights the significant impacts of environmental induced migration on the women who are left at home whilst the men in the family search for work. In the absence of men, women bear the brunt of more responsibilities, with an increased amount of agricultural and household work.

 

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