Open Collective
Open Collective
In the High Himalayas, Sherpa Women Bear the Disproportionate Effects of Climate Change
Published on January 21, 2023 by Alex Ip

A woman sells cold drinks on the way to Namche Bazaar of the Khumbu region. (Courtesy of Gobinda Pokharel)

At 39 years old, Dawa Sherpa has many roles to juggle. 

She’s an entrepreneur running a guest house for international and domestic trekkers making their way up Mount Everest in Namche, Nepal. While her husband owns a separate business in Kathmandu, their son and daughter are busy with their studies. Dawa is so preoccupied with managing the household that she barely has time to work in their small plot where she used to grow potatoes and other green vegetables. With the changing climate in the Himalayas, her problems continue to exacerbate. “While the mountains used to be snow-white 10-15 years ago, we now see increasing black spots in the mountains. In the last two years, potatoes were heavily destroyed due to the burial of mud in excessive snow”, said Sherpa. 
The impact of climate change is uneven along the lines of class, caste, gender, and ethnicity. Read more by Kushal Pokharel about the growing impact of climate change and increasing livelihood challenges in the Himalayas and its disproportionate harm to women.