In an animated video targeting adolescents, the UNFPA East and Southern Africa addressed the intricate connection between climate change and sexual and reproductive health and rights. The president of the “Climate Club” shared the often-overlooked impacts of climate change on vulnerable communities. Here’s the full story.

The Correlation Between Climate Change and Reproductive Health

The video dived into the unexpected correlation between climate change and sexual and reproductive health.

While these issues might not seem directly related, the video illustrated how human activities, such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation, contribute to increased carbon dioxide levels, subsequently leading to a hotter planet and disruptions in natural earth systems.

Melting ice caps, rising sea levels, and extreme weather events are the visible consequences, causing humanitarian crises that disproportionately affect those who contribute the least to environmental degradation according to the narrator.

The Daily Struggles

The video introduced viewers to the daily struggles of individuals facing the tangible impacts of climate change. For instance, a young girl, shown in the video, had to travel longer distances to fetch firewood due to environmental changes, potentially jeopardizing her education and exposing her to gender-based violence.

The narrative also unfolded on a small-scale farmer grappling with drought, driven by activities across the globe, leaving his family in a dangerous situation.

Through vivid scenarios, the video shared the gender-based impacts of climate change. A young girl unable to attend school and being married off after a tsunami destroyed her village highlighted the broader implications.

Climate Change Worsened Existing Vulnerabilities

The destruction of essential services, including comprehensive sexuality education and reproductive healthcare, left the young girl more vulnerable to gender-based violence, HIV infection, and unintended pregnancies.

The narrator said that climate change worsened existing vulnerabilities, disproportionately affecting marginalized communities, particularly women and girls.

A Domino Effect

The video showed that the consequences of climate change create a domino effect. The narrator shared that from disrupted education to compromised health services and heightened vulnerability, the intricate web of challenges faced by communities was scary.

The young girl’s potential unintended pregnancy was not only a consequence of the destruction of her village but also a catalyst for further health risks, including impacts on maternal health due to extreme weather conditions and inadequate healthcare services.

The Call to Action

The video didn’t just unravel the grim realities; it extended a call to action.

Individuals were urged to reduce their personal impact on the environment and join climate change groups. The youth, in particular, were encouraged to pressure leaders for change, demanding protection and access to sexual and reproductive health services and rights.

In concluding the video, the narrator shared that addressing climate change is a collective responsibility, with everyone playing a vital role.

So what do you think? What innovative approaches can communities adopt to ensure comprehensive and accessible healthcare services for those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change?