A lot of people are understandably concerned about the spread of the Zika virus. But the environmentalists at the Sierra Club want to make sure we know what all this is really about…
[Climate change and] poor sex education. Don’t forget about that!
“Climate disruption hits women the hardest — of the 26 million people displaced by climate disruption in 2010, 20 million were women. With a possibility of increasing the scope of the outbreak, the Zika virus is another reminder of the unpredictable and disproportionate risks that climate disruption can pose for women.
“Governments who are telling women not to get pregnant, while offering no basic sex education in schools are acting unjustly. Access to voluntary contraception and reproductive rights are a first line of defense for women against the climate crisis. Comprehensive reproductive health services are a vital way to help women plan their future and move toward full social equity. That self-determination and right to health is critical to adapting to the climate crisis, and to realizing their potential as leaders of climate solutions. Unfortunately, those most affected by Zika lack vital reproductive rights.
“Public health emergencies like the Zika virus have the potential to become more common and unpredictable as the climate crisis deepens. It is imperative that those who must deal with climate change’s potential unpredictable consequences have the tools they need to adapt and survive, and reproductive rights are one of those tools.