Disasters threaten rural women

Source: Khmer Times

A UN report found women and children were 14 times more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than men because of poverty and a lack of education. Supplied

Women in rural areas are at greater risk of harm during natural disasters such as floods, a government official has warned.

Speaking at a conference in Siem Reap province, Environment Ministry secretary of state Sabo Ojano said women are more vulnerable because they are expected to care for family members at home and lack access to educational information.

“Cambodian women are affected by natural disasters because they stay at home in areas susceptible to floods, while men often move to towns and cities to work. As the people responsible for children and the elderly, women are at greater risk during every disaster,” Mr Ojano said.

“When disasters occur, only a handful of women have the necessary training to prepare and respond, while women’s representation in management and leadership on such issues is still limited.”
He added that Cambodia suffered from floods and drought in 2011 and 2016, caused in part by climate change.
According to a report presented by the UN Women Cambodia representative, women and children are 14 times more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than men because of poverty and a lack of education.
Many rural women and children are unable to swim and the majority depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, but floods often damage crops, livestock, homes and community infrastructure.

Siem Reap’s deputy governor Pin Prakot said climate change is increasing the prevalence of natural disasters such as floods and droughts, which harm communities in the province and across the country.

“This regional conference provides an opportunity to gain more knowledge about disaster management and climate change adaptation to mitigate the effects of disaster as well as to enhance the livelihoods of people, especially those who are vulnerable in rural communities,” he said.

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