Women have made greater changes to their personal habits to tackle climate change than men have, according to a survey released Monday by the Women’s Forum.
The barometer on gender equity, which surveyed nearly 10,000 people across the G20 countries, found that women — more often than men — have changed their behavior to decrease their carbon dioxide emissions by recycling, buying local, and reducing water and meat consumption.
Women are also more easily motivated than men to decrease their CO2 emissions, the Women’s Forum concluded — including because it will improve the planet and because of the knock-on benefits for future generations.
When it comes to other gender disparities on climate change, the report notes that the highest-ranking civil servants in ministries dealing with climate change — energy, transport and environment — are largely male in Germany (79 percent), France (71 percent), Italy (78 percent) and the U.K. (61 percent).
Researchers compiling the report received 9,500 responses to their questionnaire, comprising 500 interviews in each of the 19 countries that make up the G20.
The issue of ongoing global gender inequality struck a chord with respondents, both men and women. While 84 percent of respondents said closing the gender gap and an inclusive economic recovery should be an important priority, one in three said they do not believe that full equality will ever be achieved in their own country.
The report also documented the far-reaching effects of the coronavirus pandemic on mental health — with the impacts being particularly negative for women.
In the survey, 69 percent of women reported feeling burnout, anxiety or depression as a result of the pandemic, 11 percentage points higher than for men.
Because of the pandemic, nearly 80 percent of women say they are “afraid of the future.” Two in three mothers also experienced an increase in workload they found hard to cope with.