Policy Brief for Asia Pacific: Overview of linkages between gender and climate change
The degree to which people are affected by climate change impacts is partly a function of their social status, gender, poverty, power and access to and control over resources. Despite the international community’s increasing acknowledgement of the differential experiences and skills women and men bring to development and environmental sustainability efforts, women still have lesser economic, political and legal clout and are hence less able to cope with—and are more exposed to—the adverse effects of the changing climate. Drawing on women’s experiences, knowledge and skills and supporting their empowerment will make climate change responses more effective. However, the impacts of gender inequalities and women’s recurrent socio-economic disadvantages continue to be ignored and remain a critical challenge to adaptation efforts. As the world continues to grapple with what a post-Kyoto climate regime should look like, it is crucial that mitigation and adaptation efforts integrate gender issues at all levels. This will minimize risks to women and children and ensure greater success of efforts to address climate change.