In Pakistan, where monsoon rains and floods continue to wreak havoc on people’s lives and resources, analysts have asserted that climate change has a severe impact on women, who carry the majority of the burden of catastrophes in terms of psychological and reproductive health.
A study found that women are more affected than males are by climate change-related events, such as floods and storms. According to a study named “Understanding Climate Change, Impact on Women’s Reproductive Health: Post-Disaster Interventions in Sindh,” there is data demonstrating connections between climate change, health, and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
Mehmil Khalid, writing for Dunyanews, highlighted the report and stated that the lack of means to feed themselves and the lack of basic facilities, on which women are heavily dependent to operate a home, leaves them stuck pitifully.
The majority of women who work in agriculture in flood-affected areas suffer from considerable yield loss, which results in food insecurity and severe malnutrition in their bodies. Since they are forced to confine themselves in camps without access to food and water, women who lack resources often experience stress and psychological problems.
“Women who are pregnant and girls are more susceptible to psychological anxieties. While living in camps, women and girls experienced psychological fear and insecurity “the report claims.
Experts have observed that during floods, women experience significant reproductive health difficulties.
Due to serious problems and a lack of medical services to provide immediate treatment, some women die or their infants die.
Due to rigid gender barriers and male dominance, the majority of women are reluctant to practise self-aid. In times of dire need, they are confined to their camps and are not permitted to leave if they need assistance.
According to Khalid, women frequently have financial difficulties when their husbands pass away in flood-prone areas or even after they leave since they lack the tools to secure their financial future.
When calamities strike, domestic violence also increases, costing men their livelihoods and adding to their already high levels of frustration.
When they were unable to gather enough resources to scratch out a life, men would beat women in their encampment. They vent their resentment on their ladies because they think they are naturally tolerant and able to handle it. According to Dunyanews, it has been discovered that the subsequent relocations lead to an upsurge in occurrences of domestic and sexual abuse against women, leaving them defenceless and at the whim of their husbands.
According to analysts, if the government concentrated on disaster risk prevention and rigorously invited investments in adaptation and planned rehabilitation of people in advance in case of an emergency, the destruction caused by flash foods may be averted.
They urged the introduction of gender-sensitive legislation, the teaching of women life-saving skills, and the setting up of improved revenue production options as ways to empower women, lessen their vulnerability.
Future climate change-related disasters will become more severe and can only be prevented by implementing sustainable policies and climate change adaption strategies as soon as possible.
Analysts also emphasised the necessity for women to be given decision-making positions and encouraged to take part in developing logical solutions for issues related to climate change, which can lower the dangers involving women.
“Women interventions in cases involving women’s issues are vital in bringing about favourable outcomes and speedy fixes for difficulties that they encounter,” According to Dunyanews, who cited analysts.
Notably, the country’s National Disaster Management Authority reports that 937 people have perished in the South Asian nation since mid-June as a result of heavy rain and flooding (NDMA).
One million tents have been sought for Sindh in the south, which has been severely affected by the flooding, while 100,000 tents have been requested for neighbouring Balochistan. According to the NDMA’s most recent situation assessment, since the start of the monsoon, more than 3,000 kilometres (1,864 miles) of road, 130 bridges, and 495,000 dwellings have suffered damage.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of serious public health threats facing affected populations, including the risk of further spread of water and vector-borne diseases like malaria and cholera, as districts in Pakistan continue to be affected by intense monsoon rainfall and unprecedented levels of flooding.
Millions of people lack access to medical care and treatment as a result of the country’s approximately 888 damaged health facilities, 180 of which are entirely ruined, according to reports from many impacted districts.