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Michigan "Sisters" Act on Climate Change

November 17, 2009

LANSING, Mich. - Some Michigan women are banding together to bring attention to the disproportionate impact global climate change has on women both at home and around the world.

The "Sisters on the Planet" project is being spearheaded in Michigan by the League of Women Voters and the international humanitarian group Oxfam. They say women make up 70 percent of the world's poor, and those women generally depend on rainfall to water crops.

Jessica Reiser is president of the League of Women Voters in Michigan and a "Sisters" ambassador. She says the league is ramping up a campaign to make a difference for these women being affected around the world by the changing climate.

"Here in the United States also, we are working with women that are doing things within their communities to try to adapt and be prepared for the effects of global climate change."

Reiser says women in many parts of the world are typically responsible for providing their households' water, food, and fuel supplies, and they are less likely to have the education, opportunities, and resources needed to adapt to climate change.

Reiser notes that her state has first-hand experience with the effects of such change.

"In Michigan, I think, with our Great Lakes, we know well the impacts and effects on natural resources."

Reiser and 14 other prominent women from around the country serving as "ambassadors" for the Oxfam "Sisters on the Planet" program were recently in Washington to educate policy-makers on the challenges women face as a result of the changing climate.

Glen Gardner, Public News Service - MI