Climate change will disproportionately affect women and marginalised groups, and adaptation will reinforce discrimination and inequality unless decisive action is taken, according to a report commissioned by CIAT and the Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA).
Climate Change and Gender, by Valerie Nelson of the National Resources Institute at the UK’s University of Greenwich, compiles a wide range of recent gender and development research into a single document, to assess the threat of climate change to small farmers, in particular women.
According to the report, women are more likely to be involved in climate-sensitive activities, such as agriculture, and will therefore be disproportionately affected by climate change, but existing inequalities mean they have fewer resources to adapt. Women are also poorly represented in local decision making institutions, and largely absent in international climate negotiations.
The report calls for gender issues to become a central focus of climate change adaptation strategies, to ensure they are effective and that they don’t simply galvanise existing inequalities. More research into the possible effects of climate change on women smallholder farmers is also necessary. While gender is the most widespread form of social discrimination, the report also makes clear that there are other vulnerable groups who need to be actively involved in climate change adaptation, including pastoralists and indigenous groups, and those living with HIV/AIDS.
PABRA, which works with millions of female bean producers and numerous marginalised groups across Africa will use the report to ensure its own research takes into account the need for so-called “double mainstreaming” – the dual importance of climate change adaptation and gender equality.
We’ll post a link to the final report when it becomes available, shortly.