As debate on climate responses persists, water levels rise and climate change is causing destruction around the world. Among the most affected are women, as they gather water, fish, or farm land affected by flooding. During pregnancy and motherhood, their health is more at risk. Meanwhile, their voices are often the last to be heard in environmental planning and management. They also have less access to land and productive resources.
Millions of the world’s smallholder women farmers have limited access to farm energy, mechanization and the most basic of agricultural and agri-processing tools.
There are enormous gaps in our knowledge about how gender relations shape the lives of people living in the forests of the Amazon, a new study has found – but on the ground, remarkable changes are happening across the region as women begin to organise and empower themselves.
An increasing number of studies show that, because of varying capacities due to gender inequalities, men and women are affected by, and respond to, climate change in different ways. The authors discuss that therefore there is a need to improve the capacities of vulnerable groups and to take a gender-sensitive approach in activities that address climate change. The paper notes that this has already been recognised as an important guiding principle in the development and implementation of adaption policies and measures (UNFCCC 2011, Preamble, paragraphs 12 and 7).
There seems to be strong political will to do what is needed to end poverty once and for all. But what, concretely, do we need to do? Many things, if we're going to do it right. It is clearly not only a question of growth, although growth, of course, is essential. Through strong – and targeted – growth, China has been able to bring 600 million people out of poverty. Yet at the same time, economic growth is causing pollution and fuelling climate change, and its benefits are not always shared equally, leaving out women and other vulnerable groups.