Dems' Climate-Change Fear: 'Transactional Sex'

House resolution calls on Congress to recognize the potential problem

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 30, 2013 7:13 AM CDT

(Newser) – Well, this is a novel argument for why Congress should do something about climate change. A resolution from 13 House Democrats warns that women are disproportionately affected by climate change and could even be driven to "transactional sex" if things get really bad, the Hill reports. "[F]ood insecure women with limited socioeconomic resources may be vulnerable to situations such as sex work, transactional sex, and early marriage that put them at risk for HIV, STIs, unplanned pregnancy, and poor reproductive health," reads the resolution from California's Rep. Barbara Lee.

As the resolution explains, climate change can cause more hardship for farmers—and it notes that in developing countries, female farmers produce the majority of the food. Further, it could spur conflicts that could turn populations into refugees; again, this would disproportionately impact women. And it gives a concrete example as proof: Hurricane Katrina displaced "over 83% of [the area's] low-income, single mothers." Lee says women are underrepresented when climate change policies are being considered, and the resolution calls on Congress to use "gender-specific frameworks in developing policies to address climate change."

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., speaks during the opening session of the International AIDS Conference in Washington, on Sunday July 22, 2012.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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