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How does climate change impact on gender equality?

Onsdag 21 april 2021 13:30 - 14:00 Globala scenen

Utställare: Diakonia

A 6-country comparison on how climate change and disaster impact on gender equality and the effectiveness of interventions. It is evident from the aggregated findings that due to patriarchy and women’s greater vulnerabilities; women suffer more severe impacts of climate change than men. 

Examples of some of the reasons why women were more affected by climate change than men may include:

i.          Women are not able to move away when climate change hazard strike because they must care for the children and elder people and therefore remain in the affected areas.

ii.         Women have less social and economic power, are less involved in decision making and have less access to information and other resources that can help them cope and adapt.

iii.        Women have less skills and limited opportunity for developing skills therefore making them more vulnerable to climate change hazards.

iv.        More women work in sectors which are adversely affected by climate change such as agriculture.

Though the impact of climate change, environmental degradation and disasters accentuate gender inequalities, in a few instances, climate change has disrupted traditional social norms, behaviours and roles to the point where women and men are adapting to share previously gender prescribed roles, particularly amongst youth. 

Interventions that are gender blind or have a disconnect between gender equality ambitions and climate change ambitions, can reinforce inequalities, and limit the effectiveness of interventions. The interventions most at risk of being gender blind are those run by the state.

The  Somalian report provides a good example of the numerous climate and environmental policies and interventions being undertaken at the different levels of government, and the disconnect between gender equality ambitions and climate change ambitions with many climate policies being gender-blind. A review of Kenya’s NDCs shows no deliberate effort towards gender mainstreaming and empowerment of women and girls in mitigation and adaption approaches and the gender action plans haven’t been very strong in any of the national and local level interventions on climate change. 

Some examples of  a gender-blind intervention include:

  • A disaster communication system that informs the community of weather conditions via written notices where there are high rates of illiteracy amongst women and girls. 
  • DRM meetings are held during hours that women are preparing meals for the family or are held far from the family home.
  • Encouraging market access for destocking livestock that financially benefits only men.
  • Disaster shelters that are not appropriate, for example no specific toilets for women and no separate rooms for pregnant women or lactating women.
  • Thus effective climate interventions will work to address, both practical and strategic needs. That is offering gender sensitive solutions, often self-identified by women in the target groups, but also acknowledging that due to repressive socialisation limiting women’s active input and voice, strategic interventions need to address underlying patriarchal structures that limit women’s full enjoyment of life, livelihoods, freedoms, rights, capacity and resilience. 




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Studenter vid högskola/universitet, Civilsamhälle, Intresserad allmänhet



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