NEPAL, KATHMANDU — Shanta Devi, a resident of the Nepalese village of Saptari, lost everything when floods swept through her village, destroying her land, house, and orchards.
“The floods came so suddenly and were so strong that we had no time to prepare.
Shanta Devi’s story is not unique. Women in developing countries, including Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, are particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change. According to a report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), climate-related disasters, such as floods, landslides, and droughts, are destroying homes and livelihoods, leaving women and their families without access to basic necessities like food, water, and shelter.
For women living in mountainous areas of these countries, the impact of climate change is particularly severe. In Nepal, for example, women in remote mountainous areas are often responsible for collecting water and fuel for cooking and heating. However, due to climate change background, water sources are drying up, and forests are disappearing, making it increasingly difficult for women to access the resources they need to sustain their households.
“Climate change is making it harder for women in mountainous areas to access water, fuel, and food.
In India, women in mountainous regions are also facing the impact of climate change, with erratic weather patterns and natural disasters damaging crops and disrupting food production. “Women in mountainous areas are often the primary farmers, but climate change is undermining their efforts to grow crops and support their families. We need to invest in climate-resilient agriculture and support women’s entrepreneurship to build their resilience,” said Sanjay Singh, Country Director of the IFAD in India.
Similarly, in Pakistan, women in mountainous areas are facing the impact of climate change, with frequent landslides and floods damaging homes and destroying crops. We need to prioritize their needs and invest in their resilience,” said Shahid Zia, a gender and climate change expert based in Pakistan.
In Bangladesh, women in mountainous areas are also facing the impact of climate change, with increasing frequency and intensity of floods and landslides causing displacement and loss of livelihoods. We need to ensure their participation and leadership in decision-making to build their resilience,” said Rahnuma Salam Khan, a gender and climate change expert based in Bangladesh.