Global Resources

Climate Change: Learning from Gender Analysis and Women's Experiences of Organising for Sustainable Development

Author: I. Dankalman
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Group
Publication Date: Jul 2002
Is climate change gender neutral? This article argues that it is not. Gender roles and relations interact with the causes and impacts of climate change in five key areas:
- gender-specific resource-use and management patterns that can degrade the environment such as men's higher car and fuel purchasing from male-dominated industries
- gender-specific effects of climate change such as the extra time women need to spend collecting water during droughts
- gendered aspects of climate change mitigation and adaptation such as women's valuable indigenous knowledge and practice of environment management
- gender and decision-making on climate change such as the limited role women are playing as producers in the energy sector and in energy policymaking
- human capacity inequalities such as women's lower access to education, training and technology

While there is a tendency to talk about gender aspects of climate change as if women are only victims, this article redresses this balance by highlighting the range of successful women-initiated actions. It concludes that it is essential for women to also be involved in official processes such as the multi-stakeholder dialogues in the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and that cooperation between women in official delegations can be very helpful.