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Gender and climate change

The impacts of climate change are not the same for everyone, and are often worse for women, particularly those working in vulnerable sectors such as agriculture, or lacking access to resources, information or participation. Gender must therefore be at the heart of effective climate responses at every level, local to global. 


Climate impacts are not the same for all

  • Climate change affects men and women, but its adverse effects are often worse for women, especially poor, rural and indigenous women. 

  • Women’s care-taking role, access to resources and information, and level of participation increases risks from storms, floods, and droughts. 

  • They are more dependent on agriculture and informal sectors, which are particularly vulnerable. 

  • Resource conflicts predispose women to both domestic and community violence. 


Existing climate approaches may worsen women’s vulnerability

  • Current approaches to climate change may intensify the effects of pre-existing gender gaps.

  • For example, it may exacerbate different treatment of men and women in access to credit and finance. 

  • Having different information about early warning and preparedness for climate impacts are a matter of life and death. 

  • Gender inequalities in socio-economic, political and cultural norms and practices must be addressed as part of the overall response to climate change. 


Gender must be considered in all areas of climate responses

  • Adaptation strategies and policies must be supportive of women’s interests in all areas.

  • Gender-friendly actions to reduce emissions should stress provision of decentralized renewable energy and promote natural resources management practices of women and indigenous peoples. 

  • Technology funding and projects must remove barriers to entry (i.e. credit, information gaps) and enable the adoption of appropriate technology by women. 

  • Climate financing must include gender equality, women’s empowerment and social equity as key drivers. 


Action is required at the local, national and international level

  • Global, regional, and national climate financing policies and projects must ensure positive synergies between adaptation, mitigation, technology transfer, and gender and social equity. 

  • Gender analysis, gender perspective and women’s effective participation must be assured at all levels of the climate policy and climate change financing architecture. 

  • Climate change policy and financing must seek to promote sustainable development as the grounding for gender equality, women’s empowerment and poverty eradication.


For more information see:
Paris Climate Justice Briefs, Gender & Climate Change

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