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Climate and economic crisis and women’s mental health problems and well-being

Socio-political and economic phenomena resulting from climate change i z and environmental problems – including armed conflict, displacement and resource scarcity – are putting more and more women at risk. According to Reem Alsalem, UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, the climate crisis is exacerbating all types of gender-based violence, from physical to psychological and economic, “while reducing the availability and effectiveness of protection mechanisms and further undermining the potential to prevent violence”.

United Nations Environment Programme specialists estimate that 80% of those displaced because of climate change are women. In Peru, the scarcity of drinking water forces women and girls to seek water in rivers far from villages and deep in the jungle, increasing the risk of sexual violence. Conversely, in areas of illegal logging, women and girls are a prime target for criminal organisations.

According to the British Psychological Society, in times of economic crisis, women are more concerned than men about paying bills and household expenses and depressed about the rising cost of living. In a survey by the YouGov organisation, conducted in early September this year among 2006 adult women and men in the UK, 61% of women said they were more worried about paying bills than they were a year ago, and 47% of men said the same. Three out of 10 women admitted that money anxiety caused them to feel depressed. Among men, 26% declared similar feelings.

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