The Women of Sarawak and Mindoro : The Invisible Battle of Climate Change

February 11, 2016 The Women of Sarawak and Mindoro _ The Invisible Battle of Climate Change

Two of our partners working on the interlinkages of climate change and SRHR – PATH Foundation in the Philippines and Penita Initiative in Malaysia – have released three short films to highlight the voices of women living in the climate change frontlines. The videos were produced by Inshallah Montero from the Philippines.

The Women of Sarawak and Mindoro : The Invisible Battle of Climate Change

In the Philippines, the film focuses on the fishing communities in Oriental Mindoro whose livelihoods as well as food supplies depend on coastal resources which makes them very vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Large families, often due to the lack of access to contraception, in these communities show a clear need for awareness on SRHR. As coastal resources recede, these families have less income and are unable to provide for the children’s needs including education. This results in children ending up with the same hardships as their parents, a continuous vicious cycle that wouldn’t be sustainable in the future.

In Malaysia, the lived realities of women in the Penan and Kayan tribes in Sarawak are highlighted. Deforestation along with heavy rainfall result in severe flooding in these areas and with men traveling to other parts of the state and country for work, it is women who face and tackle the threats from climate change to livelihoods, health and safety. In addition to impacts on their health, women in Penan also face violations to their sexual rights due to the actions of workers from logging companies who carry out deforestation in their villages.

The film asserts that SRHR is an important priority for climate change action and dialogue and recommends that recognizing women’s voices through policies and through gender responsive approaches can make communities stronger and more resilient and prepared for a continuously changing world.


Women of the Forests: The Hidden Burdens of Climate Change

This video further explores the situation of indigenous women in Sarawak Malaysia as they navigate the daily and long-term challenges deforestation of the Borneo rainforest along with increasing rainfall causes.

Women of the Shore

The Verde Island Passage marine ecosystem in the Philippines is a very important resource especially for the fishing communities of Oriental Mindoro. The women in these communities share how climate change add burden to their daily life, their families and the marine resources where they rely for food and livelihood. Their stories highlight the need to support practical and integrated population health and environment solutions that addresses the unmet need for sexual and reproductive health and rights, poor health, loss of biodiversity and climate change. All of which undermine a health body and a healthy environment – critical elements to climate change resilient communities and a better future for their children.