Climate Change, Women and Gender

Climate change is one of the most urgent challenges facing today’s world. Hardly a day goes by that the media does not report on the devastating impacts of climate change in many parts of the world. Research shows that climate change does not impact everyone equally. The impacts of climate change disproportionately affect developing countries and the poor. And the poorest of the poor in many countries are women.

Many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are realizing that climate change exacerbates gender inequalities. Women and men are impacted differently by climate change, and have different abilities to adapt and cope. Some of the research is, quite frankly, alarming.

On this page, we hope to bring this very important issue to the forefront, and to provide BPW members with information and resources that may help them get involved. BPW International is passionately involved in this priority issue.  

You can watch a 2014 video on Women and Water Partnership Here to understand BPW's involvement in this area.  A powerpoint presentation can also be downloaded Here.  

Check here to see how UN women is providing solutions with solar lamp kits in India, green cook stoves in Ghana, training to respond to natural disasters in Vietnam, as well as recycling and waste management projects in Nepal. 

***

Doubling the Damage: World Bank Climate Investment Funds Undermine Climate and Gender Justice by Anna Rooke (2009).  This paper is a first-look examining how the new World Bank-administered Climate Investment Funds to impact both climate and gender justice.

***

Gender and Climate Change – Why Climate Change is a Women's Issue (2008)
By Kellie Tranter, Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Legislation for BPW International.

“The recent spate of 'natural' (or nowadays probably more correctly, 'climate related') disasters all over the world caused me to wonder whether their effects are evenly spread between the sexes. Logically, human beings of both sexes should react in much the same way to environmental threats, and in the absence of social factors, any differences in the effect of disasters between the sexes should be fairly small. I was interested to turn up some research that has already been done. I was appalled at what it showed...” Read the Full Report (pdf).

***

CARE Canada implemented a gender-climate change initiative in Bangladesh, a country with very high levels of poverty and a deeply engrained patriarchal social structure, a country where the majority of female-headed households live in poverty. Click to browse their web site.

***

OXFAM-Canada suggests that climate change will have a massive impact on development and women’s rights. Click to browse their web site.

***

gendercc – women for climate justice is the global network of women and gender activists, and gender experts from all world regions working for gender and climate justice. Click to browse their website.

***

Women’s Environment Development Organization (WEDO) has completed a groundbreaking study for the Human Security Network (commissioned by the Greek Chairmanship of the Network for 2007-2008) entitled Gender, Climate Change and Human Security. Click to browse their web site.

***

Lesha Witmer is the Chair of BPW International’s Standing Committee on
Environment & Sustainable development.
She can be contacted at:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Email BPW Canada