Women’s leadership and gender equality in climate action and disaster risk reduction in Africa – A call for action

In the last decade, climate and weather-related disasters and extreme events have risen disproportionately in both incidence and gravity in Africa, making it one of the most vulnerable continents to climate change. The impacts on food security and levels of poverty are expected to be significant, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where the majority of the population still relies on agriculture and natural resources for their livelihoods. Gender equality is critical to ensuring inclusive and socially just climate action and DRR. Gender-blind climate change and DRR-related interventions can further exacerbate structural gender inequalities that put women and girls’ rights and agency at risk by limiting their access to resources and opportunities and agency, and creating new types of exclusions. In order to unlock women’s leadership and gender equality in climate action and DRR, policies and programmes will need to address, at minimum, the crucial barriers such as access to services, resources and technology, decision-making and leadership, education and policies that support gender equality. This policy brief uses the latest research to guide policymakers and practitioners on how to identify and overcome these barriers.

This brief builds on the recommendations from the webinar jointly organized by FAO, ARC and WFP on “Advancing Women’s Leadership in Climate Action and Governance” in March 2021. It was prepared by FAO Regional Office for Africa Gender and Climate Change teams, in collaboration with the Africa Risk Capacity Gender Team.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Regional Office for Africa, Africa Risk Capacity