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.
Authors and Publishers
BRIDGE is a research and information programme located within IDS Knowledge Services. We are part of a global movement whose vision is a world where gender equality, dignity and social justice prevail, where poverty is eliminated and where human rights – including women’s rights - are realised.