Gendered Impacts: Adaptation
As predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), climate change impacts will be distributed differently among different regions, generations, age classes, income groups, occupations and genders. The impacts will fall disproportionately upon developing countries and the poor within all countries, and thereby exacerbate inequities, hamper development and harm human living conditions. Climate change impacts women’s lives differently than men’s. Consequently, adaptation policies and measures need to be gender sensitive.
Most negative consequences of climate change are strongly connected to gender equality issues. Decreased availability of clean water, decreased agricultural productivity and increased risks of famine are examples of impacts that disproportionately impact women who have been “resisting, mitigating and even reversing the impacts of climate change, primarily at the local level. Moreover, not only do women tend to care for the environment, but they do so in a way that reflects how it is connected to the economy and livelihoods, health and social well-being” (AWID).
The effects of Climate Change on gender equality are not limited to immediate impacts but also lead to long-range changes in gender relations. Shortfall of resources like water and fuelwood or care-giving demands in post-disaster-situations may increase women’s workloads. Spending more time on domestic tasks re-enforces traditional work roles and limits opportunities for women to assume other roles or take up non-traditional activities.