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Bikyamsr: In Asia, women’s empowerment key to battling climate change, poverty
KUALA LUMPUR: Women are key to battling climate change and reducing poverty in Asia, a new report this week published by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) said.
The report called on governments to implement policy that will change the plight of women, who across the continent face marginalization and are either ignored or exploited.
By ignoring women and their situation, most notably within rural and poorer communities, this exacerbates the poverty of the area and enhances climate change across countries and regions, RRI argued.
In Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, an independent researcher into the role of women and the rural environment Susan Assifah told Bikyamasr.com that the report highlights a number of issues that are being ignored by the governments in Asia.
“We have long thought of women as keys to building societies, but in Asia the idea that women can be movers in the economic and environment realm has to be the biggest thing gained fro this report,” she began.
“I believe that if government policy changes to help assist women to become more viable in the local rural market, it will bolster efforts by the government to create new ideas for development and infrastructure building,” she added.
The report agreed, arguing that “exclusion and inequality on gender grounds are still rife and complicated by the intersection of cultural and social norms, economic pressures, and inadequate legal and institutional frameworks.”
Authors of the study called for emerging programs and policies to combat climate change or encourage sustainable development to incorporate lessons learned and assist women in being leaders in their local communities.
“The volume highlights continued discrimination against women, despite the positive ecological, economic and social benefits enabled by their inclusion in the management and decision making processes regarding natural resources,” said Arvind Khare, Executive Director of the Rights and Resources Group.
“Asia is unlikely to achieve its climate and poverty goals if women’s rights to forest and land resources are not recognized.”
This is arguably the first time new research links analyses on the status of forest tenure rights and gender rights across South and Southeast Asia.
Posted By Madiha Qureshi at 9:53am on July 23, 2012
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