extreme weather events are the new norm for the region. The consequences of the global phenomenon of climate change are especially acute in the Arab world. While the region has been adapting to changes in rainfall and temperature for thousands of years, the speed with which the climate is now changing has, in many cases, outstripped traditional coping mechanisms.
. . .
The report draws on extensive regional knowledge and expertise for a comprehensive analysis of the potential impact of climate change. Temperatures are projected to reach new highs, and in most places there will be less rainfall. Water availability will be reduced, and with a growing population, the already water-scarce region may not have sufficient supplies to irrigate crops, support industry, or provide drinking water.
This will put the livelihoods of men and women at potential risk from climate change. Each has different vulnerabilities largely based on their respective roles in society. Men in rural areas are likely to follow current trends of moving to cities to seek paid employment, as their traditional livelihoods become unsustainable. Rural women will face the double challenge of having to devote more time to daily activities, such as fetching scarce water, while assuming the farming and community responsibilities of the absent men.
. . .
Left unaddressed, these changes in the family structure have the potential of becoming significant sources of stress. Actions taken to help both men and women understand and adapt to these changes at the household level are an important part of the possible policy responses. Women especially, with their pivotal role in societies, can be a major influence on the attitudes and behavior needed to accommodate new forms of livelihood and social organization.