Friday, December 02, 2011

Climate Change: The Weight of Words

CLIMATE CHANGE: More than just a word game
JOHANNESBURG, 2 December 2011 (IRIN) - While poor countries are jostling to ensure the lives of their people are protected in a deal on the changing climate being negotiated in Durban, various NGOs, agencies and research institutes are lobbying to get a word into the negotiating text. They include groups who are keen on the words “nutrition security”, and others who want to ensure that “women and children” feature in the text each time the word “vulnerable” appears.

“It is not opportunistic. We are pushing for the empowerment of women and the recognition of the words ‘nutrition security’ - by that we are addressing so many issues at the same time,” said Cristina Tirado, director of the Centre for Public Health and Climate Change at the US-based Public Health Institute.

“Protection and promotion of nutrition and health are essential components of climate-resilient and sustainable development,” she added. ”Women serve as agents of change. Through their unique roles in the family and child care, agricultural labour, food and nutrition security, health and disaster risk reduction, they can be instrumental in addressing climate change, health and nutrition in an integrated way.”

In the developing world women are almost entirely responsible for growing the food for their households, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Yet only 10 to 20 of every 100 land owners is a woman, says the World Bank’s World Development report 2012, which focused on gender equality and empowerment.

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