COP28: Hillary Clinton advocates gender-responsive climate policies for Indian women

04 December,2023 05:09 PM IST |  Dubai  |  mid-day online correspondent

Hillary Clinton highlighted the importance of gender-responsive climate policies, particularly in addressing women`s challenges in India, during the `Empowering Communities: Women at the Heart of Climate Resilience` session at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai.

Hillary Clinton

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Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai said that gender-responsive climate policies are vital and specifically addressed the challenges encountered by women in India during a session on 'Empowering Communities: Women at the Heart of Climate Resilience'.

According to a PTI report, Clinton said the pressing issue of extreme heat, accelerated by climate change, is a significant threat which impacts livelihoods, health, and social structures, especially for women. She highlighted the disproportionate effects it has on women and said that there is a need for immediate attention to grassroots-level challenges faced by millions, particularly in India.

"So extreme heat has to be viewed as one of the most dangerous results of changing climate, especially in India. It is happening, and we know it's happening. And while we race to find big changes and transitions, we have to worry about what's happening on the ground with so many millions of people, especially women in India," Clinton was quoted as saying in the PTI report.

Clinton discussed the ways that intense temperatures affect women who work in the informal economy, citing her affiliation with the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) in India. She emphasized the political, social, and economic ramifications while highlighting the crucial role that women play in labour-intensive jobs in the unorganized sector.

Clinton expressed alarm about the resistance to women's rights and cited recent remarks made by Chinese President Xi Jinping, cautioning against messages that encourage women to prioritize marriage and having children over working. She urged a focus on equality as a group and pointed out how legal changes are harming women's responsibilities and rights.

She further said, "This is not just a health issue; it is an economic issue, a social issue, a political issue that I'm thrilled we are really raising the visibility up and added, "We observe legislative changes that diminish women's roles, pushing them to step back from the economy and eroding the rights of women striving for equality."

Along with Clinton, Reema Nanavaty, the Director of SEWA, brought attention to the difficulties that Indian women labourers confront as a result of climate shocks. Nanavaty emphasized the challenges faced by those involved in street sales and building, underscoring the pressing need for a Global Climate Resilience Fund specifically designed for women in India. She also emphasized the fund's pioneering role in the Global South.

"I think there's an urgent need for this Global Climate Resilience Fund for women, especially in India. This will be the first of its kind, a fund for the Global South, and this is a bottom-up fund," she was quoted as saying.

Clinton and Nanavaty both pushed for global cooperation and practical measures to address the effects of intense heat on Indian women laborers. Their combined cry for quick, focused action reflected the need to build a resilient and sustainable future for women.

Over 100,000 people have attended the current global climate talks in Dubai, which has drawn delegates from 198 countries, highlighting the importance of worldwide engagement in this important environmental conference.

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