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Environment & Climate Change

Illuminating the disparate and often ignored impacts on women of environmental factors and climate change and pinpointing the causes and possible solutions.

The hidden toll of heat waves on women in South Asia

South Asia has endured an unprecedented heat wave, with March seeing the hottest temperatures on record in India. Evidence suggests the heat is landing a cruel double blow on women’s income and health.

Related: Reporter’s Notebook: Women’s invisibility in climate stories erase their narratives. The result is bad policy

Reporter’s Notebook: Women’s invisibility in climate stories erase their narratives. The result is bad policy

According to official government statistics, 75.7% of rural women in India are engaged in agriculture. But in article after article, farmers are often exclusively portrayed as men. With the changing climate hitting the agriculture sector hard, women’s invisibility in media coverage leaves their distress unacknowledged.

‘The smoke enters your body’: A toxic trash site in Kenya is making women sick

As rubbish piles up on a vast dumpsite, the women who sift through it for their livelihood are suffering reproductive health problems that scientists say have been overlooked.

Related: Air pollution’s impact on women’s health is not getting the attention it needs, scientists warn

Reporter’s Notebook: Indoor air in India can be just as bad as the country’s toxic smog. Was I wrong to be surprised?

India's polluted skylines regularly make international news. But it’s only now coming to light that air quality inside homes, which mainly affects women in the kitchen, can be just as bad.

Air pollution's impact on women's health is slipping under the radar, public health experts warn

Evidence is clear that air pollution is linked to higher rates of miscarriages, pregnancy complications and stillbirths, affecting women’s reproductive health. But public health experts say that air pollution’s impact on women's health is not getting the attention it needs.

Money in the forecast: Women reap unexpected gains from India's investment in early weather warning systems

India’s investment early weather warning systems was expected to help a predominantly male field of fishermen. But data suggests it may have unexpectedly led to major financial gains for women since the systems were launched a decade ago. Experts say the unintended win shows that gender is still a blind spot for climate policymakers.

In the Sundarban, climate change has an unlikely effect — on child sex-trafficking

Child trafficking is on the rise in one of the most climate vulnerable places on earth—revealing blind spots in climate policy, experts tell contributor Ritwika Mitra.

‘No fish means no food’: How Yurok women are fighting for their tribe’s health

Their salmon have all but disappeared, so Yurok mothers are fighting for their tribe’s health and food sovereignty.

Female ‘Hotshot’ Firefighters Want Action on Reproductive Health Risks

A system "built for men" exposes women to chemicals that have been linked to miscarriage, birth defects and slowed fetal growth.

In Nigeria, gas giants get rich as women sink into poverty

As international gas companies like Eni, Shell and Exxonmobil reap millions of dollars, women in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region say gas flaring is destroying their land and livelihoods.

Are chemicals poisoning the world’s female workers?

Women are disproportionately exposed to deadly substances—and may be getting disproportionately sickened by them.

‘Water Warriors’: The US Women Banding Together to Fight for Water Justice

Women have been deeply embedded in the movement for clean water and sanitation for decades, which has become even more pressing amid the pandemic.

Lessons from Texas: Advocates Warn of Extreme Weather’s Link to Domestic Violence

When a winter storm paralyzed Texas last month, millions of people in the state were left without power or heat or drinkable water. Traveling was dangerous and cell service was spotty. At the Houston Area…

In Afghanistan, Climate Change Complicates Future Prospects for Peace

Afghanistan is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change, and one of the least equipped to handle what’s to come.

‘I Need the Money But I Feel Guilt.’ How a Drought-Resistant Crop Turned Women in Kenya into Reluctant Drug Lords

Khat is one of the most popular — and lucrative — drugs in the region, bringing in $400,000 a day in Kenya alone for its primarily women sellers.

Amid Smoldering E-Waste In The West Bank, Activists Fight For Reform

Burning electronic waste to extract metals for resale is toxic, illegal, and common in the Palestinian Territories. Can activists forge a new path?

Women in Ghana Battle a U.S.-Owned Gold Mine for Land and Livelihood

Yaa Konadu wasn’t at the farm when the men came to take it away from her. “Come,” said one of her workers, who called the 74-year-old grandmother at her home in town with the bad…

Trump Pulled Out of the Paris Climate Agreement—And Women of All Ages Will Feel It

Women and girls are bearing the brunt of the consequences of climate change.
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