Climate change is a social and intergenerational injustice; those who have contributed least are most impacted.
The world is witnessing a human-made climate emergency that will continue to make humanitarian crises and gender inequality worse.
Marginalized girls and young women experience the inequality and discrimination amplified by climate change. These girls feel the greatest impacts but have no information and resources they need to cope.
We support children to understand climate change, its impacts and how they can adapt. Through our work we also encourage children to take the lead on climate change issues and adaptation in their countries and communities.
We support young people to become aware of their rights and take the lead on climate action.
How does climate change affect girls’ rights?
During crisis, girls are often the first to drop out of school to help their families make money, do domestic chores or look after their brothers and sisters. If they are out of school, they are less likely to learn about climate change and how to deal with its effects.
When families’ income and ability to survive are put at risk, child marriage can be seen as a way to reduce the financial burden of taking care of girls.
During and after extreme weather events, girls are at increased risk of violence and exploitation, including sexual and physical abuse, and trafficking. These risks are heightened when collecting food, water and firewood, or when staying in temporary shelters.
Girls are more likely to go hungry when food is in short supply. Also, certain diseases may affect girls more than boys if they are already suffering from malnutrition or a lack of water, especially during menstruation or if they are pregnant or young mothers.
Disruption to health services due to disasters increases unplanned pregnancies and sexual and reproductive health problems. A lack of access to education can also limit girls’ understanding of these issues.
CADEF fights the effects of climate change on girls By:
Promoting girls’ education
Education is crucial in building the knowledge, skills and behaviors girls need to adapt to climate change. In addition, it supports girls to be responsible for the environment and active in leading on these issues in their communities.
Supporting girls’ leadership
We advocate urgent need for more girls and women to take the lead in climate policy and decision-making. This will ensure investment and action tackles the specific impacts on girls’ rights.
Advocating for equal economic opportunities
To limit global warming, economies must become carbon-free and sustainable. Girls and women must play a leading role in this transition so they will have equal opportunities and won’t have to face stereotypes around certain jobs not being suitable for women.
How we Advocate to support girls?
Currently 191 countries have agreed to limit temperature rises to 2 degrees Celsius as agreed in the Paris Agreement. However, over half of their national strategies do not include any mention of gender, while girls are almost completely ignored.
The global climate movement is being powered by girl activists, yet national climate strategies barely consider their rights. Climate action without girls and young women will fail to tackle the climate crisis today and will create bigger challenges in the future.
We advocate at local level for Governments to:
• Recognize the social impact of climate change and respond to the risks faced by the most vulnerable.
• Involve girls in the design, implementation and measurement of their climate strategies at local levels.
• Support girls to learn the skills they need to respond to the impacts of the climate crisis, take a leading role in climate action and hold leaders to account.
• Protect girls online and in public forums so they can confidently and safely speak out about climate change.
• Deliver climate justice so richer countries, who are historically responsible for the most emissions, provide support for the people and communities most affected by the climate crisis.