Right to Environment

*This is an excerpt from PKKK’s Rural Women Status Report on CEDAW 2011.

UN agency  reported that the Philippines ranks third in the world in terms of vulnerability to climate change.[1] The 24.32 percent disaster risk index puts more rural and indigenous women in vulnerable situations.

Disaster risks to rural women are results of environmental degradation.  CEC reported that only 3% of our original forest remains.[2] From 2000 to 2005, there are 1.98 %  of our forest that is lost annually.   Only 4% of our coral reef has excellent condition, most have severe condition.  Mining displaced indigenous peoples, depleted mineral resources and caused landslides.  More than 20 typhoons visit the Philippines annually.

Climate change impact affect rural women differentially according to Peralta.[3] Faced with disaster such as typhoons and droughts, women have lesser capacity to recover since they have fewer assets to sell. Also, more women than men fall into chronic indebtedness related to climate-induced crop failures since more women borrow. When food shortages arise from poor harvests linked to weather problems, women are the last to eat in their households.They prioritize the food needs of male household members and children over their own.

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