Researchers have warned that climate change is disproportionately affecting the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries, and is causing an increase in violence, particularly domestic violence, as monitored by international research.
The research, which used satellite data and the US Health Survey, showed that domestic violence rose 60 percent in areas that experienced severe weather.
Women’s exposure to violence due to climate change
Another 40 analyzes, published in 2022 as part of a global review in The Lancet K, found a rise in gender-based violence during or after severe weather events.
The Washington Post published testimonies of women who were subjected to violence as a result of climate change, as a Kenyan woman said that she was forced to leave her home due to the escalation of violence against her by her husband.
She added: ‘My husband was abusive even before the drought now ravaging northern Kenya, the worst in decades, and when the family’s 68 cattle, their only means of survival, died, it became impossible to take the abuse coming from him, he looked visibly frustrated. He directed his anger against me and our children because he could no longer provide for us.”
The relationship between climate change and domestic violence
Another woman explained that the lack of rainfall plunges their families into poverty, especially since their community is particularly vulnerable to drought because they depend on livestock that die due to climate changes, and then the violence of men against them becomes more than ever.
For many women around the world, the threat of violence could become more common as climate change makes extreme weather events more intense and frequent.
For its part, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has identified a link between climate change and violence, citing mounting evidence that extreme weather events lead to domestic violence, with global implications for public health and gender equality.
A 2021 study of extreme weather events in Kenya by researchers at St. Catherine’s University in Minnesota found that economic stresses from floods, droughts or extreme heat exacerbated violence against women in their homes.