Gendered vulnerabilities to climate change: insights from the semi-arid regions of Africa and Asia

Nitya Rao, Elaine T. Lawson, Wapula N. Raditloaneng, Divya Solomon, Margaret N. Angula

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Emerging and on-going research indicates that vulnerabilities to impacts of climate change are gendered. Still, policy approaches aimed at strengthening local communities’ adaptive capacity largely fail to recognize the gendered nature of everyday realities and experiences. This paper interrogates some of the emerging evidence in selected semi-arid countries of Africa and Asia from a gender perspective, using water scarcity as an illustrative example. It emphasizes the importance of moving beyond the counting of numbers of men and women to unpacking relations of power, of inclusion and exclusion in decision-making, and challenging cultural beliefs that have denied equal opportunities and rights to differently positioned people, especially those at the bottom of economic and social hierarchies. Such an approach would make policy and practice more relevant to people’s differentiated needs and responses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-26
Number of pages13
JournalClimate and Development
Issue number1
Early online date8 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • Gender
  • vulnerability
  • semi-arid regions
  • Africa
  • India
  • water scarcity

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