The Politics of Poverty

Ideas and analysis from Oxfam America's policy experts

US Congresswoman, Barbara Lee, introduces House Resolution 84 on women and climate change

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On Friday November 4, Oxfam Sister on the Planet Ambassador and US Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA), introduced a new Congressional Resolution, which recognizes the disproportionate impact of climate change on women and the efforts of women around the world to address this issue. In her press release, Rep. Lee urged Congress to ensure women are […]

On Friday November 4, Oxfam Sister on the Planet Ambassador and US Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA), introduced a new Congressional Resolution, which recognizes the disproportionate impact of climate change on women and the efforts of women around the world to address this issue.

In her press release, Rep. Lee urged Congress to ensure women are at the center of climate change decision making, saying, “While women are bearing the brunt of climate change’s effects, they are often underrepresented in the development of climate change adaptation policy. This is unacceptable.”

House Resolution 84 is a must-read for anyone who cares about climate change. Women produce much of the food in many poor countries, despite typically having restricted access to markets, land, and credit and less decision-making power at the household and community levels. As a result, they lack access to resources that can help them adapt when drought or floods threaten their harvest. As the agriculture sector gets hit by climate change, it “may lead to migration, refugee crises, and conflicts over scarce natural resources including land and water.” This could in turn affect America’s national security.

Women around the world are leading their countries and communities to innovative climate change solutions. Photo by Ilene Perlman/Oxfam America.
Women around the world are leading their countries and communities to innovative climate change solutions. Photo by Ilene Perlman/Oxfam America.

But, the news is not all bad. HR 84 emphasizes “the unique capacity and knowledge (of women) to promote and provide for adaptation to climate change” and urges Congress to leverage this in climate change policy-making and programming. Oxfam has long supported women worldwide combating climate change. Watch this Sisters on the Planet video for stories of women leading their communities and countries to innovative climate change and food security solutions.

Excited about this resolution? So are we! If you have a moment, we encourage you to call Rep. Lee’s office in Washington DC (202-225-2661) and thank her for introducing House Resolution 84 and for her incredible commitment to women and climate change. And leave a comment on this blog to let us know that you took action. After all, it’s not every day that we have a reason to call a Member of Congress and tell them what they’re doing right.

Nine Members of Congress have signed on as original co-sponsors: Oxfam Sisters on the Planet Ambassadors Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) and Rep Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO), Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA), Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Rep Donald Payne (D-NJ), and Rep Jackie Speier (D-CA). If you are in their district, thank them for their commitment to HR 84: call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202)224-3121 and ask for your Representative’s office. Don’t see your Representative? Call them via the Switchboard and tell them to join as a co-sponsor.

Flex your political muscles so that women worldwide have the opportunities to flex theirs. As Rep. Lee remarked, “Women must be included in creating and implementing climate change policies and practices if we hope to help communities adapt to climate impacts and embark on a path towards clean and sustainable development.”

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  1.  avatarParvez Babul, Journalist and President, Bangladesh Climate Change Journalists

    Great Barbara Lee! Thank you so much. You have done a great job in deed. As the president of Bangladesh climate change journalists, and all the journalists of our network working on climate change, sincerely appreciate your role. The global leaders must recognise that women are the most vulnerable due to climate change. So the action is needed to take now to save the lives of women, as they are the key to food security, which is badly affected by the climate change.

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