ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is one of the top ten countries badly affected by the adverse impacts of climate change. Talking to APP, Muhammad Saleem, spokesperson for the Ministry of Climate Change said that being highly vulnerable population groups of the society, women, and children were particularly affected by the impacts of climate change. Women and children disproportionately and with a greater frequency and intensity are affected by heatwaves, droughts, floods, air pollution, food scarcity, disease, and disasters. He said that climate change was a planetary phenomenon that would impact all countries, but its effects were being shaped by pervasive and entrenched gender inequality. “It is because of these impacts that women and children are more likely to live in poverty than men, have less access to basic human rights like the ability to freely move and acquire land, and face systematic violence that escalates during periods of instability,” he added. Muhammad Saleem highlighted that the future environment was extremely challenging, though not entirely grim, because, women and children are demonstrating extraordinary resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change all over the world. Besides, they’re spearheading global climate action movements, championing clean sources of energy, and building alternative models of community that focus on resilience, sustainability, and cooperation. He further said that given the heightened vulnerability to the climate change impacts, the government has focused on the overall health and sustainability of the planet for the benefit of children, women, and all future generations with a key focus on enhancing access for children and women to sustained access to clean drinking water, safe sanitation, education, and health facilities. However, protecting these segments of the society from exacerbating fallout of the climate crisis is inevitable for their sustained contribution to the socio-economic development of the country, the ministry official said. “Gender inequality hampers women’s capacity and potential to be actors of climate action. These gender inequalities that also involve access to and control over resources, access to education and information, and equal rights and access to decision-making processes, outline what women and men can do and cannot do in a particular context of climate change,” the climate change ministry official added.