Samantha Hung, Chief of ADB's Gender Equality Thematic Group, discusses how women and girls are making their voices heard and leading actions to address the climate crisis in Asia and the Pacific. Empowering them is key for an inclusive, resilient, and green development in the region.
Asia and the Pacific is at the frontline of a changing climate.
Women and girls are disproportionally affected, mainly due to existing gender inequalities. The United Nations estimates that 80% of people displaced by climate change are women.
Traditionally, women are the primary caregivers and providers of food and fuel for their families and communities, and are more vulnerable to adverse climate impacts.
Yet women are uniquely positioned to be agents of change. The Paris Agreement specifically called for further women empowerment efforts in climate decision-making.
Across the world and the region, women are making their voices heard and leading actions to address the climate crisis. They are renewable energy entrepreneurs, farmers safeguarding the seeds and biological diversity of their crops, and girls studying math and science preparing to join the workforce of the future.
Women are in the boardrooms of energy companies, leading local communities’ resilience efforts, and part of movements working to eliminate workplace discrimination or violence against women. We need to encourage and support more women and girls to take on these important roles.
Indeed, Asia and the Pacific’s greatest potential can be found in its women and girls. Empowering them must be at the forefront of our collective agenda for the region if we want an inclusive, resilient, and green development.