How is climate change affecting poor women in Latin America? How is it experienced by women at a local level, in urban and rural poor communities? What role do women’s movements in the region have in developing mitigation and adaptation strategies and what needs to happen to make sure strategies are gender sensitive and address the needs of the poorest people? Whilst low income families are not major emitters of pollutants, they are the most vulnerable to climate change. In this interview, Susan McDade, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) expert, stresses the key role that women play in adaptation, as mothers, heads of households and agricultural producers. She considers the differences between countries in the region and emphasises the relationships between decision making, geography and the effects of climate change. She argues that in Latin American countries, government policies should focus less on mitigation and more on protecting the poorest people whilst developing climate change adaptation strategies. McDade stresses the importance of educating the next generation about the consequences of climate change and argues that social dialogue and partnerships between governments and non-governmental organisations, civil society, grass root and religious organisations, are essential to achieve progress.
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