A new resolution from Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and a dozen other Democrats argues that climate change hurts women more than men because it forces women to turn to "transactional sex" in order to survive.
"[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," the resolution says.
Lee told The Hill that women are critically underrepresented in the development of climate change policy, and that her resolution "will affirm the commitment to include and empower women in economic development planning and international climate change policies and practices."
We support integrating policies that "support women globally to prepare for, build resilience for, and adapt to climate change," but aren't ok with the premise that all sex workers choose sex over death. As the resolution notes, climate change could also add "workload and stresses" on the female farmers who produce 60 to 80 percent of the food in developing countries; it also cites the "over 83 percent of low-income, single mothers" displaced by Hurricane Katrina as evidence of how climate change can affect women. "Climate change tragically forces women to prostitute themselves" is a titillating headline, but it's not an effective way to make sure marginalized women are treated fairly by their employers.
Image via T. L. Furrer/Shutterstock.