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How can climate change initiatives could be designed to address gender inequalities?

The increasing gap of inequalities and frequent attempts to address climate change (such as micro-finance) are sometimes seen as competing. I would like some examples where climate change initiatives have particularly focused on redressing gender imbalances. 

Expert 26 May 2017 12:31

There is a tendency in public policy debates, both at national and international level, to view different goals and policies as competing. This is unfortunate because there is nothing in the nature of either climate change policy or gender policy that is conflictual. At the same time, it is important to realize that it is not the goal of climate change policy to redress gender imbalances just like it is not the goal of gender policy to address climate change. Maintaining this autonomy of each policy is, I think, an equally important component of public policy.

This does not mean that there can be no useful or indeed virtuous interactions. The term 'mainstreaming' (of gender issues into climate policy or of climate policy into gender policy) taps on this option.

In my opinion, the most promising areas for addressing gender and climate change issues in combination are those of food security and safety, including subsistence agriculture, and household economy more generally. For example, agriculture is one of the priority areas for climate change policy and in many developing countries it is women that are mainly involved in subsistence agriculture. By supporting women in this area, we not only help the climate change agenda but also empower women as mothers and heads of their households and as economic actors. Furthermore it is often women in developing countries that are carriers of local knowledge on the environment that needs to be integrated into climate change policy initiatives and food safety policies.



31 May 2017 10:27

Thank you very much!