Gender and Climate Change
Responses to climate change tend to focus on scientific and economic solutions rather than addressing the vitally significant human and gender dimensions. For climate change responses to be effective thinking must move beyond these limited approaches to become people-focused, and focus on the challenges and opportunities that climate change presents in the struggle for gender equality. This cutting edge pack advocates for a transformative approach in which:
- women and men have an equal voice in decision-making on climate change and broader governance processes;
- are given equal access to the resources necessary to respond to the negative effects of climate change;
- both women’s and men’s needs and knowledge are taken into account and climate change policymaking institutions and processes at all levels are not biased towards men or women;
- the broad social constraints that limit women’s access to strategic and practical resources no longer exist.
This Cutting Edge Pack hopes to inspire thinking and action. The Overview Report offering a comprehensive gendered analysis of climate change which demystifies many of the complexities in this area and suggests recommendations for researchers, NGOSs and donors as well as policymakers at national and international level. The Supporting Resources Collection (SRC) provides summaries of key texts, conceptual papers, tools, case studies and contacts of organisations in this field, whilst a Gender and Development In Brief newsletter contains three articles including two case studies outlining innovative local led solutions.
Climate change is increasingly being recognised as a global crisis, but responses to it have so far been overly focused on scientific and economic solutions. How then do we move towards more people-centred, gender-aware climate change policies and processes? How do we both respond to the different needs and concerns of women and men and challenge the gender inequalities that mean women are more likely to lose out than men in the face of climate change? This report sets out why it is vital to address the gender dimensions of climate change. It identifies key gender impacts of climate change and clearly maps the global and national policy architecture that dominates climate change responses.
The report maps pathways for making climate change responses more gender aware and – potentially –
transformative, arguing that gender transformation should be both a potential end goal and an important
condition of effective climate change responses and poverty reduction.
The report provides inspiring examples of locally relevant, gender-aware innovations from diverse global
regions and contexts. Recommendations include:
- Take into account the multiple dimensions of gender inequality and women’s and men’s experiences of climate change on the ground, and invest in research to enable this.
- Move beyond simple assumptions about women’s vulnerability to highlight women’s agency in adapting to and mitigating climate change. This will involve integrating women’s valuable knowledge and practical experience into policymaking processes.
- Learn from people-focused, gender-transformative approaches at the local level and apply these lessons to national and international policy.
- Promote a rights-based approach to climate change and ensure that all future climate change policies and processes draw on human rights frameworks such as the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
- Find alternatives to market-based approaches where possible, but when they are used to address climate change mitigation, ensure they benefit women equally and do not exclude or further disadvantage women.
- Address the underlying causes of gender inequality, tackling issues such as unequal land rights through legislative reforms and awareness-raising, as well as through the implementation of CEDAW and other relevant frameworks.
This Supporting Resources Collection - part of the BRIDGE Cutting Edge Pack on Gender and Climate Change- showcases existing work on gender and climate change. It presents summaries of a mix of conceptual and research papers, policy briefings, advocacy documents, case study material and practical tools from diverse regions. Examining why a focus on gender and climate change is important, the resources look at the human and gender impacts of climate change, the global and national responses to climate change and locally relevant gender aware responses to climate change. They seek to address a wide range of questions including:
- How do gender inequalities affect the ways that women and men are affected by climate change and constrain the choices women?
- How can we ensure human rights are at the centre of climate change responses?
- How can we ensure women play an equal role in decision-making around climate change?
The collection also provides information on international frameworks and conventions relating to climate change, and as well as mitigation mechanisms and key climate funds. Finally, this collection contains a 'networking and contacts’ section, which gives details of the organisations featured in the Cutting Edge Pack. Details of how to obtain copies or download the full texts of all featured resources are provided with each summary.
Climate change is increasingly being recognised as a global crisis, but responses to it have so far been overly focused on scientific and economic solutions. How then do we move towards more people-centred, gender-aware climate change policies and processes? How do we respond to the different needs and concerns of women and men, and also challenge the gender inequalities that mean women are more likely to lose out than men in the face of climate change? This In Brief sets out why it is vital to address the gender dimensions of climate change. It maps pathways for making climate change responses more gender aware and – potentially – transformative and suggests promoting a rights based approach to climate change. This is to ensure that climate change policies and processes draw on human rights frameworks as well as finding alternatives to market-based approaches. When market-based approaches are used to address climate change mitigation they should benefit women equally and not exclude or further disadvantage them. Another recommendation suggests learning from people focused gender – transformative approaches at the local level and apply these lessons to national and international policy. In this respect, the In Brief includes inspiring examples of local, gender-aware innovations in Colombia and India. The case studies have been produced collaboratively through participatory workshops, semi-structured interviews and site visits with FUNDAEXPRESIÓN in Colombia and the Community Awareness Centre (CAC) in India. FUNDAEXPRESIÓN plays a key role in promoting strong local networks to create resilience to climate change and CAC engages women and men in developing relevant solutions that empower women.