(Photo : Creative Commons)
As if causing melting glaciers, cracked deserts, disrupted natural food chains and the full-on destruction of native tribal homelands and endangered animal habitats isn't bad enough, now the phenomena known as climate change is responsible for leading women into prostitution.
That, at least, is the assertion of United States Representative Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and a dozen other Democrats, who want Congress to recognize how they say climate change is harming women and could lead impoverished women to "transactional sex" for survival, reports TheHill.com.
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The group's resolution suggests the world's diminished agricultural output brought about by climate change-induced drought has a particularly hard impact of women, who already face limited career opportunities generally and might well end up without any other alternative except to sell their bodies.
"Food-insecure women with limited socioeconomic resources may be vulnerable to situations such as sex work, transactional sex and early marriage that put them at risk for HIV, STIs, unplanned pregnancy, and poor reproductive health," states the resolution, which also notes female farmers produce 60 to 80 percent of the food in developing countries.
But, aside from women farmers, the resolution explains how climate change may harm so-called "marginalized women," refugees, sexual minorities, adolescent girls and women and girls with HIV.
Lee claims that women overall are grossly underrepresented in the development of climate change policy.
"My resolution will affirm the commitment to include and empower women in economic development planning and international climate change policies and practices," said Lee. "This will help communities adapt to climate impacts and embark on a path towards clean and sustainable development."
In addition to officially recognizing the effects of climate change on women, the resolution asks Congress to develop and implement "gender-specific frameworks in developing policies to address climate change."
According to a report by Newser, supporters of the measure refer to Hurricane Katrina as a prime example of climate change's negative effects on women.; the storm, they say, displaced over 83 percent of [the area's] low-income, single mothers.
The resolution also requests the president "integrate a gender approach in all policies and programs" related to climate change and to ensure such policies "support women globally to prepare for, build resilience for, and adapt to climate change."