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Climate Change, Women’s Health, Wellbeing and Experiences of Gender Based Violence in Australia

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Research, Action and Policy: Addressing the Gendered Impacts of Climate Change

Abstract

Australian rural women’s health and well being is impacted by declining water availability to agricultural industries and rural communities. Rural women are subject to increasing demands on their time as a consequence of declining water and these demands are significantly impacting on women’s health and well-being. This chapter reports findings from research undertaken in Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin investigating the impacts of declining water on women’s health and well-being. Impacts include being overloaded by work, caring and financial responsibilities and becoming increasingly financially responsible for family sustenance as farm incomes decline. There are increases in work related family separations and marital breakdowns and women report experiencing stress related symptoms such as depression. Findings indicate significant levels of family disruption and increasing incidences of violence against women associated with drought and income related stress. It is important that policy makers recognise these impacts so that specific and appropriate support services are provided in communities affected by declining water availability.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Funded by Monash University

  2. 2.

    Funded by Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

  3. 3.

    Funded by Monash University

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Correspondence to Kerri Whittenbury BA, M.Litt., Ph.D. .

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Whittenbury, K. (2013). Climate Change, Women’s Health, Wellbeing and Experiences of Gender Based Violence in Australia. In: Alston, M., Whittenbury, K. (eds) Research, Action and Policy: Addressing the Gendered Impacts of Climate Change. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-5518-5_15

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