Table of Contents
- Why women must have a seat at the climate change decision-making table
Facts for Prelims
- Spratly Islands
- World Schizophrenia Awareness Day, 2023
- India’s New Parliament Building
Why women must have a seat at the climate change decision-making table
Climate change affects everyone, but its harshest consequences are felt by the most vulnerable i.e., women, children, and people from the sections of society who have almost no say in the decision-making process.
Climate Change and its Impact on Vulnerable Populations:
- Disproportionate Impact on Women, Children, and Marginalized Groups:
- The consequences of climate change affect everyone, but the most vulnerable groups, including women, children, and marginalized communities, bear the harshest consequences.
- Women often face increased health and safety risks during crises due to inadequate infrastructure and the unequal burden of domestic care.
- A holistic approach is necessary, considering the barriers and challenges faced by these vulnerable populations, when designing adaptation and mitigation strategies.
Importance of Women in Decision-Making:
- Increasing women’s representation in decision-making positions is crucial for wiser and more collaborative decision-making.
- Women’s role as caretakers of their families and their innate sense of stewardship make their perspectives valuable.
- Women’s involvement leads to better outcomes in terms of sustainable development and addressing climate change.
Challenges Faced by Women:
Lack of Access:
- Women face obstacles in accessing natural resources, impacting their ability to secure food, fodder, and water during extreme weather events.
- Limited access to resources hinders agricultural productivity and contributes to gender disparities.
- Climate disasters limit women’s access to healthcare and increase risks related to maternal and child health.
- Heatwaves and tropical cyclones have a greater impact on women’s mortality rates.
- Women are more likely to experience malnutrition and hunger, with potential long-term effects on children’s development.
Women as Farmers:
- Women farmers play a crucial role in protecting the environment, biodiversity, and ensuring food security.
- Limited land-owning rights and financial resources prevent women from taking leadership positions in agriculture.
- Involving women and indigenous communities with practical experience in sustainable practices can contribute to effective conservation efforts.
Importance of Women’s Leadership:
- Countries with higher female representation in parliament are more likely to endorse environmental agreements and have stronger climate policies.
- Women leaders in workplaces promote transparency regarding environmental footprints and emissions.
- Women have made significant contributions to agrobiodiversity conservation and natural farming.
- Recognizing and supporting these efforts is essential for sustainable development.
The Way Forward:
- Gender-intentional responses to the climate crisis are crucial for sustainable economic growth.
- Women’s voices and perspectives must be included in decision-making processes related to biodiversity and environmental governance.
- Awareness, education, and equal rights for women are necessary to create an inclusive and sustainable future.
- Climate financing should prioritize supporting women’s resilience and adaptation efforts.
- Engaging men and boys to support women’s empowerment and participate in biodiversity conservation is critical.
- Women’s leadership in climate action can help address societal challenges and create a more equitable and sustainable future.
- Inclusive approaches promote awareness, address root causes of inequalities, and contribute to long-term beneficial action.
A recent report indicates that the Chinese militarization efforts in the Spartly Islands have transformed these islands into strategic military outposts.
About Spartly Islands: Small Islands in the South China Sea
- More than 100 small islands or reefs in the South China Sea.
- North of insular Malaysia and roughly midway between Vietnam and the Philippines.
- Claimed in their entirety by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
- Portions are claimed by Malaysia and the Philippines.
- Brunei claims an exclusive economic zone over the area.
Size and Climate:
- Spread out over an area of about 158,000 square miles (409,000 square km).
- Tropical climate.
- Many of the islands are underwater.
- Largest naturally occurring islet is Itu Aba, which covers 90 acres (36 hectares).
- Another notable island is Spratly Island or Storm Island, measuring 900 by 1,500 feet (275 by 450 meters).
- The islands have wildlife such as turtles and seabirds, but no permanent human habitation.
- France held the islands between 1933 and 1939.
- During World War II, Japan occupied the archipelago and used it as a submarine base.
- After the war, the Chinese Nationalist government established a garrison on Itu Aba.
- When Japan gave up its claim to the islands in 1951, Taiwan, mainland China, and Vietnam all claimed ownership. The Philippines also added a claim based on proximity in 1955.
World Schizophrenia Awareness Day, 2023
Recently, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) commemorated Schizophrenia to raise awareness and to reduce stigma around mental illness.
What is Schizophrenia?
- Chronic, severe mental disorder affecting thoughts, actions, emotions, perception of reality, and social interactions.
- Commonly occurs in young adults during their productive age.
- Affects about 1 in every 100 people, with men being twice as likely to develop it as compared to women.
Symptoms of Schizophrenia:
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there)
- Delusions (strongly held false beliefs)
- Thought disorders (difficulty organizing thoughts or speaking coherently)
- Movement disorders (unusual body movements)
- Loss of motivation and interest in daily activities
- Withdrawal from social life
- Difficulty showing emotions
- Trouble functioning normally
- Problems with attention, concentration, and memory
Risk factors for Schizophrenia:
- Schizophrenia can run in families, but having a family member with the disorder doesn’t guarantee its development in others.
- A combination of genetic factors and life experiences may contribute to the development of schizophrenia.
Brain structure and function:
- Differences in brain size and connections between brain areas have been observed in people with schizophrenia.
Treatment for Schizophrenia:
- No cure for schizophrenia currently exists.
- Antipsychotic medications can help reduce psychotic symptoms during acute phases of the illness.
- Psychological treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy or supportive psychotherapy may reduce symptoms and improve overall functioning.
India’s New Parliament Building
Twenty opposition parties recently issued a joint statement announcing a boycott of the inauguration of India’s new Parliament building.
Building Design and Features:
- The new Parliament building follows the design of the Central Vista buildings and has a triangular structure.
- It covers an area of 64,500 square meters.
- The building accommodates the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Central Lounge, and offices of constitutional authorities.
Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha:
- The Lok Sabha, inspired by the national bird ‘peacock,’ can seat 888 members.
- The Rajya Sabha hall, inspired by the national flower ‘lotus,’ can seat 384 people.
- Each bench in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Chambers can accommodate two members with individual digital systems and touch screens.
Constitution Hall and Committee Rooms:
- The new building includes a Constitution Hall to showcase India’s democratic heritage.
- It features spacious committee rooms equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual systems.
Council of Ministers and Accessibility:
- There are 92 rooms dedicated for the use of the Council of Ministers.
- The new Parliament complex is designed to be ‘divyang-friendly’ or accessible for people with disabilities.
Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Development:
- The new complex prioritizes energy efficiency and is rated as a “platinum-rated green building.”
- It demonstrates India’s commitment to sustainable development.
- The building incorporates rainwater harvesting and water recycling systems.