Ground Report | New Delhi: Women in South Asia become poor; Global warming is having a direct impact on the income of poor women in South Asia. These women who work from home have seen a decrease in their income due to the increase in temperature and rain as their work hours are reduced.
Women in South Asia become poor
Homenet South Asia, an organization of women who work from home, has produced a detailed report after conducting a survey of 202 women from India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. The report shows that these women are now able to work less, so their income has also been reduced.
In a survey of 202 women in cities across India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, more than 40% said they spend less time in their informal jobs and earn less, found HomeNet South Asia, a regional network of groups representing home-based workers.
About a quarter of the number of working women in South Asia are women who work from home. This number is much higher than that of men because only 6 percent of men work from home. Homenet says that this group of women who work from home are among the lowest income groups and the most vulnerable.
According to the report, the effect of rising temperatures has had an impact on women’s productivity. Due to the excessive heat, these women cannot work at home for a long time. The report says that these women often work in the manufacture of food or clothing, etc. and their productivity has decreased by as much as 30 percent.
The report tells the story of Goma Tailor, a woman who sews cloth in Nepal. Goma, the tailor, says: “Our house is not completely pucca. The roof is made of tin that gets so hot in the summer that it becomes difficult to work in the afternoon. If I make the fan work, the electricity bill reaches more, which I can’t pay.”
Something similar is the story of a street vendor in India. The income of this woman named Mamtaben has been reduced due to the heat and rain because she can work as a street vendor for less time than before. Mamtaben said: “It is so hot that whatever food they cook if it is not sold on the same day, it spoils. And now it rains in any season, it rains at any time of the year. When it rains If so, people do not come to our street vendors. If the food is not sold, there is a lot of loss.
A large proportion of these women who work from home come from urban slums. These poor women already live in poor economic conditions and the decrease in income has multiple negative effects on their standard of living. The report says that the average income of these women is much less than the average of $1.90 or around 140 rupees per day.
In the last decade, major changes in climate have been seen in South Asia. Suddenly, climate change became common. The recurrence of disasters such as droughts, floods, extreme heat and cold has increased. According to Homenet, two-thirds of the people surveyed believe that all of this is being done by God.
Lack of awareness
There is a lack of awareness among people and information about the measures needed to deal with environmental change is negligible. For this reason, the report says, most women are taking actions that are harming rather than helping. For example, when incomes decline, these women change jobs or change homes.
The report’s lead researcher, Dharmistha Chauhan, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that these women are part of the international supply chain, so it is important that big companies invest to help these women. “These women need skills development and help that will enable them to fight against environmental change,” she said.
Chouhan said, “These women identify environmental change as more days of heavy rain or increased heat, etc. But most women believe there is nothing they can do about it.”
Homenet has recommended in its report that women should have homes built with materials that save heat and consume less energy. Apart from this, they have also been told of the need for better drinking water facilities and financial help to build their house properly.
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