Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Why effective climate policy needs women – and vice versa

Aira Kalela in Responding to Climate Change:  Integrating a gender approach in the new climate agreement will be vital to provide the legal base for promoting gender responsive climate action both at international and national level.

That will be necessary for the improvement of effectiveness of climate policies and its implementation, as both women and men can make considerable contributions to adaptation and mitigation and because climate change impacts women and men differently. Climate change would actually increase the inequalities if no counter measures will be taken.

In developing countries women are in majority in the agriculture labor force, to name one example. They produce up to 70% of the staple food. Estimates from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) suggest that if women had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase yields on their farms by 20–30%.

Adaptation to climate change will require strengthening of enabling conditions and practical efforts in agriculture, coastal areas and water management. In most developing countries, women and girls are the primary providers of water for domestic consumption.

Agriculture can, together with sustainable forest management, also provide a considerable mitigation tool, which is readily available with relatively modest investments compared with the energy or transport sector...

Women harvesting rice in Tamil Nadu, India, shot by McKay Savage, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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