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. The effects of climate change and disaster risks do not affect all individuals and groups in the same way but are shaped by intersecting vulnerabilities and social differences in socio-economic status, sex, gender identity, age, ethnicity and dis(ability), among others. 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, barriers such as the lack of women’s access to resources, education, decision-making and leadership. This policy brief addresses these barriers and provides recommendations to policymakers.

Type of Publication
Working Paper & Policy Brief
Agriculture, Climate & Disaster Risk Reduction/Management, Climate Policy, Financial Inclusion
Global, Sub-Saharan Africa
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 (FAO) Regional Office for Africa, Africa Risk Capacity (ARC)