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16 Apr 2019 | Blog

Women: the hidden face of effective emissions mitigation?

Mona Sharma

3 mins Read

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Women are vulnerable to prolonged smoke exposure from cooking using biomass (Photo: Jitendra Bajracharya)

Women as researchers as well as the vital subject

Household-level combustion accounts for a significant percentage of air pollution in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. Sociocultural norms that dictate women’s household responsibilities place women at the frontline of smoke exposure, primarily from cooking indoors using solid biomass, thereby exacerbating physical vulnerabilities. Rapid increases in air pollution in the HKH have far-reaching and hazardous consequences on environmental and human health and the livelihoods of the poorest. ICIMOD has responded to this situation by generating highly technical air pollution-related data in a historically data-scare region. ICIMOD’s Atmosphere Initiative prioritizes women’s engagement in this critical process on both sides of the spectrum – as researchers as well as the vital subject – to produce unique knowledge pertinent to air pollution research in general and indoor air pollution and its impacts on women and children in particular. Relevant stakeholders can use this vital knowledge to develop mitigation actions that can impact the health of millions.

Indoor air pollution comes together as outdoor haze in villages, gradually affecting entire regions (Photo: Arnico Panday)

Generating evidence of air pollution’s impacts on health

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