In Tanzania, because of drought, a girl must walk farther for water than her mother did years before. The extra time means she can’t go to school.

In Mozambique, flooding leaves standing water in which mosquitoes breed. A malaria outbreak follows, in a place where the disease had not been seen before. A mother is more vulnerable to the sickness at the same time she must care for her sick family.

Women in Sesheke, Zambia, receive mosquito nets to prevent the spread of malaria. (© AP Images)

These aren’t imagined scenarios. They’re outcomes of weather patterns associated with climate change. And the U.N. and the World Health Organization say those changes impact women more than men, especially in developing countries.

Women “are among the most vulnerable to climate change,” concludes a  U.N. Population Fund report, “partly because in many countries they make up the larger share of the agricultural workforce and partly because they tend to have access to fewer income-earning opportunities.”

When combined with economic and social discrimination, climate change threatens women’s rights to education, information, water, food, health care and freedom from violence, says Eleanor Blomstrom of the Women’s Environment and Development Organization.

Blomstrom stresses the importance of involving women in the response to climate change — “from the local project level to the international policy level and everywhere in between. “At COP21 in Paris,” she said, “the Women and Gender Constituency is showcasing solutions that are sustainable, women-led, safe, promote women’s participation and do not increase potential for conflict.”