Webinar recording: Women paying the health cost of the climate crisis

In this IIED webinar on Thursday March 7, speakers quantified the climate change loss and damage faced by women battling drought, migration and debt bondage.
Webinar recording: Women paying the health cost of the climate crisis

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IIED's event Women paying the health cost of the climate crisis which took place on 7 March 2024. Focusing on women in Beed, India, this event showed how women are disproportionately affected by climate change. We examined the connections between climate-induced droughts and debt bondage, and significant impacts on women's physical and mental health – leading to drastic health decisions. Find out more in the new publication, Women paying the cost of the climate crisis with their wombs: quantifying loss and damage faced by women battling drought, debt and migration.

IIED's Ritu Bharadwaj introduced the innovative C-CIQ methodology, which is a comprehensive approach allowing for in-depth assessment of climate change impacts, encompassing not only physical and economic aspects but also the social, cultural and psychological wellbeing of individuals and communities.

Many thanks to our event speakers Arundhati Patil, Dr. Madeleine C. Thomson, Jasmine O’Connor OBE, Stefan Raubenheimer, and Marcia Toledo, and to all participants who submitted thoughtful questions. And thank you to Ian Fry who was unable to attend the event live but shared a video contribution. If you were unable to join the webinar, you can watch the full recording on IIED's YouTube channel.

You can find written questions and answers from the event here:

Q: Are there close equivalents of this mukkadam system example in other countries, or is it quite specific to India?

A1: The practice of exploitative labour contractors are prevalent in many countries. In our research we have seen that these labour contractors take advantage of distress migrants and push them in to different forms of exploitative/forced labour akin to modern slavery. 
A2: This is a really important point, exploitative employers take advantage, so part of the answer is to regulate and hold them to account.

Q: Is it quantified considering the mental trauma faced by the migrants? How are the impact and the damage monetised?
A: Mental trauma is quantified through a composite risk index. Loss and damage is monetised through economic valuation using revealed preference method.

Q: How is the sexual harassment faced by migrant groups quantified? 
A: The frequency of occurrence of sexual harassment is quantified through a rating score (1-5).

Q: Are there any kind of psychological and health interventions for those women and if so, what are the impacts and should it be done differently?
A: Local NGOs are running health and awareness-generation camps for the women in the study area to make them aware of their rights and seek right kind of treatment. There is a need to expand anticipatory and comprehensive social protection support.

Q: Did women workers themselves have any recommendations around distress migration?
A: Yes, we conducted participatory shared learning dialogues with the women to understand what support would help them better deal with the impacts of climate change. These are covered in the paper.

Q: Could you talk a bit about how surprising or not the findings are - in particular whether you’ve seen similar impacts quantified previously and/or elsewhere, whether in India or in other countries? 
A: Yes, similar impacts are seen on women in different context and countries. Do explore the case study compendium, Living in the shadow of loss and damage: uncovering non-economic impacts.

Q: How did you and your colleague manage your mental health whilst in the field and during the writing of your paper, and what advice would you give to other researchers on that aspect of ethnographic research?
A: It was challenging for the team to carry out the research and almost all of us faced mental health issues - but the drive to do something for these women kept us moving forward. We all have responsibility on climate action within our own domain of action and we felt it was our responsibility to do something about it.

Q: I am doing research on climate impacts on women specifically in South Africa, who face similar conditions as those in India. Could someone elaborate on possible ways to employ similar solutions in a global context?
A: We will be coming out with detailed guidance to use the C-CIQ methodology in a range of contexts, along with running tutorials in early April. Please check the Loss and Damage Observatory website in April: https://lossanddamageobservatory.org/

You can find Ritu's presentation from the event at IIED's SlideShare, and make sure to download, read and share Women paying the cost of the climate crisis with their wombs: quantifying loss and damage faced by women battling drought, debt and migration.

Thank you again for your interest, and if you have any further queries about loss and damage or this research, contact Ritu Bharadwaj at ritu.bharadwaj@iied.org.

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Kind regards,

Anne Schulthess
Marketing manager

Thank you @Ana Yi Soto for sharing about this event with our WildHub community. 

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Go to the profile of Thirza Loffeld
2 months ago

This webinar may be of interest to you too @Eberechi Cecilia Osuagwu, Wildhub Advocate 

Go to the profile of Lara Reden
2 months ago

Thanks for sharing!