On Friday, 13 House Democrats signed onto a resolution saying that the failure to halt global warming could force more poor women into prostitution.
“Whereas food insecure women with limited socioeconomic resources may be vulnerable to situations such as sex work, transactional sex, and early marriage that put them at risk for HIV, STIs [sexually transmitted infections], unplanned pregnancy, and poor reproductive health,” reads the resolution from California Democrat Rep. Barbara Lee and a dozen other House Democrats.
According to the resolution, global warming would cause more droughts, reduce agricultural productivity and increase food insecurity, disproportionately affecting women in Third World countries.
The resolution cites Hurricane Katrina as one piece of evidence about how global warming affects women as it displaced “over 83 percent of low-income, single mothers” in the region.
The resolution asks Congress to use “gender-specific frameworks in developing policies to address climate change” and encourages President Barack Obama to “integrate a gender approach in all policies and programs” aimed at stopping global warming. It also wants Obama to make sure those policies “support women globally to prepare for, build resilience for, and adapt to climate change.”
“My resolution will affirm the commitment to include and empower women in economic development planning and international climate change policies and practices,” Lee said in a statement to The Hill. “This will help communities adapt to climate impacts, and embark on a path towards clean and sustainable development.”
The resolution also notes that global warming increases the chance of regional conflicts due to increased migration patterns and refugee problems, which the resolution says would have a disproportionate impact on “the most vulnerable populations including women.”
However, the conservative Marshall Institute’s president, Jeff Kueter, argues that studies show that environmental factors are rarely the cause of conflict within or between countries.
“It makes sense that an environmental factor, by itself, is never going to precipitate a conflict if two societies are already amicably or peacefully aligned with one another,” said Kueter, adding that, environmental factors are more likely to inspire cooperation between groups.
“One of the reasons why this argument has been advanced, I believe, is to create a fissure inside of the national security community in order to advance a mitigation agenda domestically for cap and trade, for other kinds of carbon controls,” Kueter added.
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