In a majority of developing countries, women are responsible for meeting household needs, providing water, and watering and irrigating their small farmlands over which they have control. Unlike men in these countries, women do not always have access to information and resources which will help them meet climate and environmental changes. The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women seeks to empower women and implement change by making their communities more aware of their lack of resources and how their proper stewardship of those resources would bring in more income and more growth in their land.
Many times, in these developing countries, women are left completely out of the decision making process, even though they are responsible for running and maintaining their households and keeping food on the table for their children. Agricultural development and preparedness for changes in climate or their environment should be a big part of their lives, and the UNEGEEW is part of that solution. When communities are informed of how they can exploit these wonderful female resources and the knowledge and expertise which these women possess, they can learn and use gender equality to their own advantage. In this way, ecological and environmental issues sometimes cross paths with women’s rights issues. Both genders should be free to determine how to appropriately prepare for flooding or drought conditions. However, when around two thirds of the illiterate adulthood in developing countries are women, and the ability to read is part of the global change and preparedness for emergency conditions, the gender inequality becomes glaringly obvious. When these women are able to match their knowledge of alternative methods of crop and food protection with the ability to read and write, as well as the ability to determine decisions made in their own community, they enable everyone, both men and women, to protect their assets, their agricultural development, and their water supplies during accidents or negative circumstances caused by nature. While these women are still held back from their full potential, these communities are not reaping the full benefit of their expertise. And that is costly.
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