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Climate change affects women differently!

Did you know that women and girls in rural Maharashtra carry up to 22000 kilograms of weight for drinking water on their heads per year? 

In 2023, Maharashtra has received less rainfall than last year – 27 out of 36 districts are rain deficient in varying degrees. 

This summer, more girls will miss school hours in search of water, which will result in dropouts. More women will have to climb down the wells, risking their lives, walk more miles, and spend more hours collecting water.

Extreme weather events like droughts, floods, and storms are becoming more frequent and more severe as the world warms. Sudden economic stress and societal inequality often trap women, pushing them into more physical labor.

I am trying to dig into women’s daily routines and explore how patriarchy and climate change combined are impacting women and girls in rural parts of Maharashtra. I am traveling to remote villages and documenting how women experience climate change.

With the help of the Strava app I have documented the distances women are walking for water. Our data shows that average women in water-stressed areas walk an average of 5 km every day for water which is a staggering 1800 kilometers per year!

While we are using technology to collect data in numbers, we also conduct group discussions with groups of women to understand and document their struggles due to climate change.

More data on climate change through the gendered lens will help us find better solutions. We aim to change how Maharashtra’s state-level climate change mitigation policy is designed. It should be drafted considering the increasing plight of women and girls from the Rural parts of the state.

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