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The Smart Climate Money Is on Women

If done right, climate-change projects could provide a unique opportunity to invest in women’s potential. By directing financial resources effectively, the world can make significant – and simultaneous – progress in tackling both global warming and gender inequality.

LUXEMBOURG – Women account for 43% of the agricultural labor force in developing countries, but account for only about 7% of investment in the sector. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, investing more in female farmers could increase agricultural yields by up to 30% – almost enough to offset the decline in output expected by 2030 because of climate change.

This is just one example of how climate and gender are deeply intertwined. Women’s livelihoods often depend on forests, rivers, lakes, and oceans, and their knowledge of these resources could spearhead conservation efforts. At the same time, women suffer more than men from climate change, because they tend to be poorer and often lack the financial wherewithal to recover from flooding, heat waves, or wildfires.

But even as climate change profoundly affects women’s lives, high-level climate discussions or policy initiatives rarely consider their conditions, needs, and views. This is both unjust and short-sighted. Climate projects need women’s input to succeed, given the huge role they play as consumers, community leaders, workers, and entrepreneurs.

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