Ensuring Gender Justice and SRHR in the Face of the Climate Crisis – Women Deliver

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Ensuring Gender Justice and SRHR in the Face of the Climate Crisis


The global climate crisis disproportionately affects those who have contributed the least to it. Adolescent girls, women, and gender-diverse people face the greatest impacts, with the fewest resources to cope and recover from climate shocks and stresses. They shoulder most of the burden from community and household coping strategies.

The climate crisis
has both direct
and indirect impacts on sexual and reproductive health (SRH):

  • Damage to Healthcare Infrastructure: Climate-induced shocks like storms and floods can damage healthcare facilities, making it difficult to access SRH services and products.
  • Increased Domestic and Care Work: Extreme heat and droughts increase the domestic and care work typically assigned to girls and women, like fetching water, maintaining crops, and caring for family members. This added burden means they spend more time at home or in isolated areas, which increases their risk of gender-based violence.
  • Impact on Education and Child Marriages: To cope with climate shocks and stresses, families often pull girls out of school for domestic work or resort to child, early and forced marriage — practices seen as survival strategies in the face of economic hardship caused by climate shocks and stresses. Without access to school, girls are denied comprehensive sexuality education and future economic opportunities.
  • Nutrition and Health Challenges: Climate shocks and stresses can reduce agricultural productivity, leading to nutrition problems that affect maternal, adolescent, child, and newborn health. High temperatures increase the risks of low birth weight, early births, and medical complications during pregnancy.

These impacts derail progress toward gender equality and hinder the realization of human rights, including sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Structural inequalities and historical power imbalances further limit girls’ and women’s access to financial resources and SRH services.new advocacy guide unpacking climate insights from wd2023 to drive cop28 action

Addressing the Climate Crisis with a Human Rights-Based Approach


When tackling the climate crisis, SRHR should not be tied to mitigation efforts. This crisis is driven by overconsumption, not population. The responsibility for reducing greenhouse gas emissions lies with those in power — governments and corporations — not with the bodies of girls and women.

Achieving climate justice requires that girls and women have access to SRHR to build their resilience. We must work collectively to reduce the burden of coping strategies on them and enhance their ability to adapt to the climate crisis. Incorporating SRHR into climate policies and ensuring climate justice is integrated into SRHR policies is essential. This must involve meaningful engagement with adolescent girls and women, amplifying their experiences, expertise, creativity, and leadership.

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