Feminist economics demands a new development paradigm

, by Social Watch

Gender equity is a key element of any genuine program towards sustainable development. Analysis included on the Social Watch Report 2012 and the national contributions to the study prove, once again, the stagnation of the fight against these disparities, with disastrous consequences on the struggles against poverty, climate change and food security.

“Men and women play distinct roles in areas such as food production, fuel consumption, resource management, disaster response, and in the care economy. As a result they are affected in unique ways by climate change and are positioned to make unique contributions to adaptation and mitigation efforts,” wrote Canadian expert Kate McInturff, of the Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA), in the chapter of the report entitled “Green and equal: Financing for sustainable and equitable development”.

“Women make up the majority of small-scale food producers. They are far more likely than men to be responsible for cultivation, food preparation and managing the distribution of food to their families and communities,” added McInturff.

The expert relates the case of the agricultural female workers in Montalban, Philippines. “Women have responded to the impact of changing weather patterns and increased fertilizer costs by changing their methods of cultivation and the variety of rice that they grow—resulting in lower GHG emissions, less fertilizer use, and crops that are better adapted,” she explained.

“As this example demonstrates, climate change funds that overlook the role women play in food production miss an opportunity to make a significant impact on both food security and adaptation and mitigation efforts,” McInturff added.

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