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State of World Population 2009

Facing a Changing World - Women, Population and Climate

image of State of World Population 2009

The whole world has been talking about carbon credits, carbon trading and emissions targets. But not enough has been said about the people whose activities contribute to those emissions or about those who will be most affected by climate change, especially women. How do population dynamics affect greenhouse gases and climate change? Will urbanization and an ageing population help or hinder efforts to adapt to a warming world? And could better reproductive health care and improved relations between women and men make a difference in the fight against climate change? The linkages between population and climate change are in most cases complex and indirect. But the nature of these linkages is becoming clear enough to arrive at the key recommendations of this report for mitigating climate change and aiding adaptation to it: elicit a new level of engagement by Governments in the areas of population and development, provide access to reproductive health and actively support gender equality.

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Mobilizing for change

Working with farming communities along the flood-ravaged coast of southwestern Bangladesh, the humanitarian organization CARE has maximized its employment of women, trained all staff in gender relations, and prioritized work with female-headed households. Some time ago women farmers lamented that their chickens, a profitable source of livelihood when the weather was fair, were drowning when the monsoon season drove floodwaters over the land. The farmers and the non-governmental organization identified a strategy that effectively solved the problem: Give up on chickens. Raise ducks.

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