Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Women hurt by lack of say in South Asia's environment policy

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Fri, 22 Aug 2014 00:15 GMT

“No one can play tricks with us because we know how much water is needed for household work (as) we are the ones who do most of that work,” said management committee member Liyadurige Siyriyawathi. Committee members fine households that use too much water, which helps ensure the community has water throughout the year, she said.

Women holding decision-making positions are still a rarity in much of South Asia. Despite a combined population of some 1.7 billion, at least half of them female, the region still lags behind in empowering its women to take decisions on environmental and other issues, according to research by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

“Women can be effective foot soldiers, but for that they need to be empowered,” said Lorena Aguilar, a senior gender adviser at IUCN who oversees the organisation’s Environment and Gender Index, launched last year to monitor gender equality and women’s empowerment in making and carrying out environmental policies.

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