UN Gender Focus: climate crises, Pacific women and public employment

23 February 2017

Resilient health care systems “bread and butter” in helping women cope with climate crises: WHO

A resilient and adaptable health care system is the “bread and butter” of any effective response to a climate-induced crisis. That’s according to Dr Nata Menabde, Executive Director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) New York office. Speaking with Lucy Dean following a panel discussion on women and children’s health, she began by explaining why women are impacted more severely by climate induced crises.

Salote Tubuna outside one of her two small houses just outside of Rakiraki. Photo: UN Women/Murray Lloyd

“Harmful social norms” make Pacific women more vulnerable to disaster

Gender inequality, including “harmful social norms,” makes women and girls in the Pacific region more vulnerable to the impacts of disasters. That’s according to UN Women’s Multi-Country Representative Aleta Miller, who said that disastrous events such as Cyclone Pam in 2015, and Cyclone Winston last year, have become “the new normal”, increasing in both intensity and frequency. She said some studies had shown that women were up to 14 times more likely to be injured or killed in a disaster, than men. Ms Miller told Julia Dean why the agency was putting women and girls at the centre of disaster preparedness efforts.

Terje Tessem. Photo: UN News/Lucy Dean

Public employment schemes help combat inequalities

Women are often employed in unpaid work but public employment programmes can help address this inequality. That's according to Terje Tessem, chief of the Development and Investment Branch in the Employment Policy Department of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Lucy Dean caught up with him following a panel discussion at UN Headquarters about preventing conflict through decent work. Mr Tessem said public employment programmes, that’s when public funds are used to generate jobs, have wide-reaching benefits.

Presenter: Dianne Penn

Production Assistant: Ana Carmo

Duration: 10’00

Audio Duration:


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