Climate change and Gender

Climate change disproportionately impacts vulnerable populations. It has a greater impact on those who rely most on natural resources for their livelihood. People living in poverty are also more likely to be affected, and women comprise the majority of the world’s poor. Vulnerable populations face higher risks from natural hazards and their aftermath. The impacts of climate change are felt differently depending on region, age, class, occupation, gender, etc. Cisgender women, non-binary people, and transgender people are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Different genders will experience the impacts of climate change as well as policies that address it differently, and as such, allclimate change related action (i.e. mitigation, adaptation, policy development, decision making) should include a gender perspective. 

Women are unequally represented in decision-making processes as well as the labour market, and are therefore prevented from contributing to climate planning, policy, and action. In addition, a large portion of care work is undertaken by women. Women also have unequal access to land and other resources. 

All genders must be equally involved in decision-making processes and the development and implementation of gender-responsive climate policies and processes. 

Women can and do play crucial roles in responding to climate change. They often have deep local knowledge and leadership within their households and communities. When women are included at the leadership level, climate action tends to be more responsive, inclusive, and successful. Conversely, climate action that doesn’t include women as key participants can exacerbate vulnerability and inequalities.