How Climate Change Affects Women in Ghana

by Phoebe Shum

Who knew that gender bias could exist even in a topic such as climate change?

According to the UN, women are most vulnerable to climate change due to their role in food production. After all, 70% of the world’s farmers are women, and these women produce 60-80% of the world’s food crops. Trish Glazebrook (2011), Philosophy Professor from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, explains how climate change particularly affects women subsistence farmers in areas of poverty. In northeast Ghana, the successful growing of crops is highly dependent on the rainy season due to the lack of irrigation technology. The rainy season is the only growing cycle per year, and when anthropogenic climate change causes extreme and abnormal weather conditions like droughts and floods, farming patterns are altered and the women are not able to provide subsistence for their families. Land degradation, desertification and soil erosion heavily affect the women, and the many people they provide for. On average, one woman can be responsible for 6 to 17 people, from children to the elderly to the sick to the handicapped. Their survival heavily depends on natural resources. Continue reading

Where Climate Change Meets Social Inequality

by Breanna Sewell

Author Phoebe Godfrey uses her paper, “Race, Gender & Class, and Climate Change” (2012) to address the potential sociological outcomes of global climate change, specifically in regard to the intersection and overlapping effects of the social constructs, race, gender, and class. She begins her article by denying the validity of the argument that global climate change may or may not exist and diverts the reader’s attention to the sociological effects of climate change; first admitting that, regrettably, environmental sociologists have only in recent years turned their attention to climate change, and then asserting her opinion that the “complementary and contradictory intersections” of race, gender, and class are present everywhere and their importance is underestimated. Continue reading