Violence against women is an issue that has not been alien to the United Nations, hereafter referred to as the "UN". This is why the United Nations Commission on Human Rights decided to appoint a special rapporteur on violence against women and girls on 4 March 1994. (United Nations, 2022). In her most recent mandate renewal, REEM ALSALEM, who was appointed in August 2021, decided to include among her priorities the theme "Violence against women and girls in the context of the climate crises", which she will present to the UN General Assembly at its 77th session in September 2022.
In their report based on the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, they state that the impact of the climate crisis does not affect everyone equally. Those who are in a vulnerable and marginalised position suffer the greatest impact. That is why, with women and girls being the most disadvantaged population, women and girls the most disadvantaged population, because inequality and discrimination in our society make them more vulnerable, resulting in them suffering disproportionately from climate change, as they are unable to access "food and nutrition, safe drinking water and sanitation, health care services and medicines, education and training, adequate housing, access to land, access to decent work and labour protection". (United Nations, 2022) It therefore seeks to propose a way to reduce this inequality compared to the rest of the population by directly addressing it through effective mitigation and adaptation structures, and by compensating for losses and damages.
It is important to highlight the point made by the Committee on the Elimination of Violence against Women in its General Recommendation No. 37 (2018) because it highlights a problem that is not evident to the eyes of others, and that is that, in times of natural disasters or food insecurity, in the absence of sufficient social protection, this part of the population is more exposed to risk.
This violence and insecurity, according to the committee, is also likely to occur to a greater extent in "camps and temporary settlements, and notes that domestic violence, child, early or forced marriage, human trafficking and forced prostitution are more likely to occur during and after disasters".
Although efforts are increasingly being made to address this almost invisible problem, the design and implementation of national, regional and global policies is not sufficient, and there is a lack of data on the consequences of the climate crisis on gender-based violence.
The rapporteur requests the support of those entities that she believes may have information on the following items:
1. The impact of the climate crisis, environmental degradation and related displacement on gender-based violence against women and girls, and on specific groups of women and girls.
2. The different manifestations or specific types of gender-based violence experienced by women and girls in relation to the climate crisis, environmental degradation and related displacement.
3. Good practices, strategies and challenges in mitigating and preventing gender-based violence and protecting women and girls in the context of the climate crisis, environmental degradation and related displacement.
4. Good practices, strategies and challenges related to integrating gender equality and combating gender-based violence against women and girls in disaster risk mitigation related to the climate crisis.
5. The extent to which women and girls are able, at all levels, to access information and participate fully, equally and meaningfully in climate crisis mitigation.
6. How decisions on what and how to finance climate crisis mitigation, adaptation and response affect the funds available to prevent and end gender-based violence against women and girls; and 7.
7. Any other issues of relevance.
As a conclusion, we could say that many countries have certainly not stopped to think that the climate crisis extends beyond the abrupt temperature changes that some regions of the planet are suffering directly. This has many more consequences, one of which is the damage that can be caused to vulnerable populations, such as women and girls.
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Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow (H2020-MSCA-IF-2020)nº101031252