Gender links in agriculture and climate change
Publication Date: Jan 2009
What is the impact of climate change on women in agriculture? Women farmers are among those most drastically affected by changing climate patterns because of their multiple roles in food production. As well as working in the fields, women farmers are responsible for providing meals for their families. So they bear a large burden when changing or unpredictable weather patterns impact upon harvests and family income. They are also disproportionately affected when climate patterns increase the spread of disease and limit access to drinking water. This report considers the experiences of women farmers in Asia, and stresses their active role in responding to climate change by diversifying agricultural practices and protecting common resources through reforestation programmes. Considering women’s human rights when addressing climate change is vital: both to protect women from the impact of changing weather patterns and to make sure women farmers’ knowledge and expertise can be utilised. Recommendations include: allocate resources for climate change mitigation and adaptation measures for women in agriculture; create community projects to help farmers improve food production in a sustainable way while coping with climate change problems; and provide sanitation and health care facilities to lessen vulnerability to disease resulting from extreme weather conditions.