I blog about environmental and social justice issues because I am very concerned about the health of the interdependent web of life of which we are a part.

Melting Arctic ice.......beautiful and frightening!

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Maternal Health


A leaked draft of the final communiqué for the upcoming G8 summit suggests Canada has dodged a bullet on the thorny issues of abortion and climate change....  There is no agreement yet on specific funding for the maternal initiative, climate change, food security or aid to developing countries, despite strong words urging concrete measures....  On the environment, the only thing G8 negotiators have apparently agreed to is that fighting climate change shouldn't hurt countries' economies — a position the Harper government has been pushing.
The G8 summit at Huntsville rolls over into the the G20 summit in downtown Toronto.  However touching any declaration of concern for maternal health may look, why are the leaders of the world bothering to state that maternal and child health is of great interest  to them if they are not prepared to take meaningful steps on climate change?  They could do more for the health and safety of women if they implemented meaningful measures to prevent / mitigate climate change as that is ALREADY impacting women in a disproportionate and negative manner.

Women are particularly affected by climate change because they generally do not have secure, affordable access to and control over land, water, livestock and trees; thus, they are forced to make do with limited resources and alternatives when their subsistence needs and livelihoods are threatened. Elderly women, disabled women, women widows and indigenous women often face the most acute challenges related to climate change whilst having fewer resources to compensate for and adjust to changes.
Why not plow the $ 11 billion Canada is spending on security for the G20 summit on preventing climate change?  Could it be that maternal health is a "feel good" isssue only - and that no one attending the G20 summit  desires to improve maternal health in reality?

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