Pollution and desertification have a disproportionate impact on women and children


Photo credit: Jordan Times

Pollution, desertification and women’s rights linked — SIGI



Pollution and desertification have a disproportionate impact on women and children, the Sisterhood is Global Institute (SIGI) argued, as new figures ranked Jordan as the 10th most polluted country in the world.

The Kingdom is the 10th most polluted country globally (among 115 countries ranked) and the second most polluted in the Arab world, a SIGI statement released on Tuesday said.

Citing the Numbeo.com website, SIGI said that Jordan received 85.73 points regarding environmental pollution, while Egypt received 88.88 points.  Libya received the best ranking among Arab countries and the 84th rank globally with 45.30 points. 

The statement was issued on the occasion of World Environment Day, marked annually on June 5, in accordance with UN resolution 2994/27. 

Jordan faces many environmental problems, including desertification, waste, lack of water resources, industrial waste and air pollution, SIGI said, adding that the issues of women, environment and climate change are addressed in the Jordanian Woman National Strategy 2013-2017.

 The general goal of the strategy, the statement continued, is to build the capacities and knowledge of women, in order to preserve the environment through active participation in the policy and decision-making processes related to the environment and climate change. 

Women have an “important and vital role to play” in dealing with desertification, yet they are negatively affected by the increasing amount of lands facing this form of environmental degradation, SIGI said. 

The problem is especially acute in dry areas, because those lands lose their productive abilities, which in turn affects food supply and increases rates of hunger  around the world, with 70 per cent of those affected being  women, the statement added.  

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

%d bloggers like this: