New reporting highlights the disproportionate burden, caused at both ends of the climate change cycle, borne by women. In Minnesota, where Enbridge is seeking to build its controversial Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline, warnings from Indigenous groups over the link between the influx of extractive industry workers and sexual violence are coming to fruition, the Guardian reports. Crisis centers in the area are seeing the results, with one center saying it has received more than 40 reports from women and girls in northwestern Minnesota of harassment and assault from Line 3 workers. At least two Line 3 workers, both from out-of-state, have been charged with sex trafficking crimes.
The impacts of climate change also disproportionately burden women, 19th* News reports. Women have a lower life expectancy than men after natural disasters and experts are calling for the Biden administration to focus its gear aid toward women because they are more at risk for violence, PTSD, anxiety, and other acute distress disorders after extreme weather disasters. With 70% of American women serving as family or informal caregivers, incorporating caregiving and childcare into disaster response is also critical.
“The federal government could learn to listen to what is needed at the community level,” Dr. Alessandra Jerolleman, associate professor of emergency management at Jacksonville State University, told 19th* News. “There’s often a really strong focus on efficiency when federal dollars are being spent, and inefficiency tends to equal speed. And so it’s often much easier to render assistance to certain groups than it is to others. Unfortunately, how that seems to often play out is that upper middle class and higher get assistance a little more readily and other folks whose situations are more complicated get left out.” (Line 3: The Guardian; Disaster relief: 19th* News)