Gender and environment


This page contains literature on gender and environment. Most of the references are official reports, international conventions and agreements, and training material. If the material is publicly accessible on the internet I have provided a link to where it can be found. If there is no link it means that there is a paywall. Where there is a paywall I recommend to look up the article on, often the author can be approached there and one can request the full-text via a private message.

The literature references and abstracts below are in four groups: research; training material; international agreements and conventions on gender and environment and, official reports.


Many people don’t realise that there is a gender dimension to environmental issues such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, land degradation, deforestation etc. Among those who do know about the gender dimension most only know that climate change affect women disproportionally in poor countries. Women are for instance the ones responsible for getting firewood and water so they have to walk further and further to get it due to deforestation and drought, exposing themselves to the risk of sexual assault in the process. Women also provide the majority of agricultural work in many poorer countries while not having the deeds to the land and very little say about how to use it. In fact, only 28 countries give women the same legal rights are men to own and access land. Women work not only in the agricultural sector, they also work in the forestry and fishing sector. Still only 10% of the total aid for agriculture, forestry and fishing goes to women.

Research has found that having a gender perspective to all things environment related helps to better manage natural resources – including agricultural land, forestry and fishing as well as all other resources – and to fight climate change. This applies on all levels, ranging from national level to small communities. For example countries with more women in parliament are more likely to sign and ratify international environmental and climate agreements than countries with mostly men in parliament. Another example is that women living in forest areas have more knowledge about the local plants than the men, thus being more apt in preserving biodiversity.

The literature references below are gathered in four groups:

·       Research

·       Training material

·       International agreements and conventions

·       Official reports


Gender and environment: Literature references


Gender equality and state environmentalism. Noorgaard, K. and York, R. (2005). Gender & Society 19(4): 506-522.

There are several compelling reasons to expect that gender equality may serve to foster state environmentalism. However, most previous research on environmental politics has neglected gender. To help further our understanding of the connection between gender and environmental politics, the authors empirically assess the association between the representation of women in national Parliament and environmental treaty ratification, using a large sample of nations. The findings indicate that nations with higher proportions of women in Parliament are more prone to ratify environmental treaties than are other nations. The results point to the importance of considering the role of gender in analyses of state behaviour and environmental politics and are consistent with the argument of some feminist theorists that the exploitation of nature and the exploitation of women are interconnected.

States and markets: An ecofeminist perspective on international political economy. Tickner, J.A. (1993). International Political Science Review 14(1): 59-69.

This article examines the way in which the interaction between states and markets since the seventeenth century has depended on the exploitation of nature. The accumulation of wealth and power by the early modern state depended on the enlightenment ideology that saw nature as a resource to be exploited for human progress. An expansionary Eurocentric state system imposed this ideology on other cultures through imperialism and the globalization of capitalism. Feminists believe that this attitude toward nature has also been associated with the exploitation of women and other cultures. While environmentalists look to international regulation to solve ecological problems caused by the development of the international system, feminists and social ecologists claim that not until all these forms of exploitation are ended can an ecologically secure future be achieved.

Masculinities: A scale challenge in irrigation governance in Nepal. Liebrand, J. (2010). Paper presented at the 5th seminar of the FMIS Promotion Trust. Dynamics of Farmer Managed Irrigation Systems: Socio-institutional, economic and technical context. March 25-26, 2010. Kathmandu. Nepal.

This paper is inspired by long standing gender concerns in irrigation governance, i.e. the exclusion of women in irrigation decision making. However, rather than focusing on women, this paper is about men’s partaking in irrigation governance. Professional water governance bodies such as irrigation agencies, water NGOs, farmer – and water user associations, and water research institutions, tend to consist only of men and women’s absence and invisibility becomes even more prominent when moving to higher management levels. Irrigation powers, authorities and expertise are mostly vested in men, and successful performance as a water manager is strongly correlated with behavioural characteristics that are associated more with men than with women.

Climate change through an intersectional lens: Gendered vulnerability and resilience in indigenous communities in the United States. Vinyeta, K., Powys Whyte, K. and Lynn, K. (2015). Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-923. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 72 p.

The scientific and policy literature on climate change increasingly recognizes the vulnerabilities of indigenous communities and their capacities for resilience. The role of gender in defining how indigenous peoples experience climate change in the United States is a research area that deserves more attention. Advancing climate change threatens the continuance of many indigenous cultural systems that are based on reciprocal relationships with local plants, animals, and ecosystems. These reciprocal relationships, and the responsibilities associated with them, are gendered in many indigenous communities. American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians experience colonization based on intersecting layers of oppression in which race and gender are major determinants. The coupling of climate change with settler colonialism is the source of unique vulnerabilities. At the same time, gendered knowledge and gender-based activism and initiatives may foster climate change resilience. In this literature synthesis, we cross-reference international literature on gender and climate change, literature on indigenous peoples and cli-mate change, and literature describing gender roles in Native America, in order to build an understanding of how gendered indigeneity may influence climate change vulnerability and resilience in indigenous communities in the United States.

On the relation between social dominance orientation and environmentalism: A 25-nation study. Milfont, T.C. et al. (2017). Social Psychological and Personality Science 9(7): 802-814.

Approval of hierarchy and inequality in society indexed by social dominance orientation (SDO) extends to support for human dominance over the natural world. We tested this negative association between SDO and environmentalism and the validity of the new Short Social Dominance Orientation Scale in two cross-cultural samples of students (N = 4,163, k = 25) and the general population (N = 1,237, k = 10). As expected, the higher people were on SDO, the less likely they were to engage in environmental citizenship actions, pro-environmental behaviours and to donate to an environmental organization. Multilevel moderation results showed that the SDO–environmentalism relation was stronger in societies with marked societal inequality, lack of societal development, and environmental standards. The results highlight the interplay between individual psychological orientations and social context, as well as the view of nature subscribed to by those high in SDO.

Gender, responsible citizenship and global climate change. (2015). Salehi, S., Pazuki Nejad, Z., Mahmoudi, H. and Knierim, A. Women’s Studies International Forum 50: 30–36.

Public participation in climate change policy requires a clear understanding of the issues. This is essential if an informed society is to achieve the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. Women, due to the type of activities they perform in the household, may have a prominent and leading role in this sphere and thus constitute a group holding great potential to support policies to deal with adaptation to climate change. The purpose of the present study is to assess gender-related awareness of climate change issues and the engagement of citizens in climate change mitigation based on eco-feminism theory to the socio-cultural features of citizen households in Iran. To this end, 310 residents of Quemshahr in Mazandaran province (Iran) were selected with a random sampling method. The results show that while women’s behavioural engagement in tackling climate change is high, men exhibit a high level of cognitive dimension of engagement in tackling climate change. Furthermore, the results show that the level of citizens’ engagement varies by education and age. Based on the research findings, activities to promote environmental education and understanding of climate change mitigation policies are proposed to increase the level of knowledge of the target group.

Persistent women and environment linkages in climate change and sustainable development agendas. Resurrección, B.P. (2013). Women’s Studies International Forum 40: 33–43.

Since the 1980s, the discourse that women are intrinsically closer to nature, are hardest hit by environmental degradation, and have special knowledge of natural resource systems has influenced development policy circles and intervention programmes globally. Despite criticism being levelled time and again at the discourse’s potential risk of passing on the burden of environmental care onto women while letting men off the hook, the argument still holds strong sway in current climate change debates. Women are once again being singled out as climate victims and ‘powerful agents of change, as they are seen to lead early warning systems and identify water supplies that have saved climate change-affected communities. The paper explores why and how women–environment linkages remain seductive and influential, and forwards three arguments for this: first, for gender to muster entry into climate politics, women’s identities are projected as fixed, centred, and uniform — and tied to nature; second, the discourse of climate change vulnerability has proven to be a strategic entry point for feminist advocacy; and finally, inertia associated with past environmental projects has reinstated the women–environment discourse in contemporary climate change discussions and possibly, future interventions.

Women’s status and carbon dioxide emissions: A quantitative cross-national analysis. Ergas, C. and York, R. (2012). Social Science Research 41: 965-976.

Global climate change is one of the most severe problems facing societies around the world. Very few assessments of the social forces that influence greenhouse gas emissions have examined gender inequality. Empirical research suggests that women are more likely than men to support environmental protection. Various strands of feminist theory suggest that this is due to women’s traditional roles as caregivers, subsistence food producers, water and fuel-wood collectors, and reproducers of human life. Other theorists argue that women’s status and environmental protection are linked because the exploitation of women and the exploitation of nature are interconnected processes. For these theoretical and empirical reasons, we hypothesize that in societies with greater gender equality there will be relatively lower impacts on the environment, controlling for other factors. We test this hypothesis using quantitative analysis of cross-national data, focusing on the connection between women’s political status and CO2 emissions per capita. We find that CO2 emissions per capita are lower in nations where women have higher political status, controlling for GDP per capita, urbanization, industrialization, militarization, world-system position, foreign direct investment, the age dependency ratio, and level of democracy. This finding suggests that efforts to improve gender equality around the world may work synergistically with efforts to curtail global climate change and environmental degradation more generally.

Gender dimensions and women’s vulnerability in disaster situations: A case study of flood prone areas impacting women in Malabon City, Metro Manila. Reyes, D.D. and Lu, J.L. (2017). Journal of International Women’s Studies 18(4): 69-88.

Disasters are common in the Philippines, the effects of which are more adverse in the metropolis, characterized by population crowding and presence of geophysical hazards. Malabon City in Metro Manila is characterized by such risk factors to disasters. The target population of this study were women as they frequently remain at home while their husbands are out for work. The methodologies were both qualitative and quantitative through the use of key expert and subject interviews, and a survey questionnaire respectively. The objectives of the study were to look into the structure of Philippine disaster management, to investigate the role of institutions in the vulnerability of women to local disasters, and to identify the various experiences of disasters among women. The data showed that gender sensitivity was not included in reaching out to victims of disasters and that resilience is associated with reverting back to pre-disaster conditions without any mechanisms for preventing disasters. From the data, it can be surmised too that institutional intervention was not sufficient to mitigate the adverse effects of disasters due to its weak contribution to gendered social protection, the existence of politically induced discrimination, and the inadequacy of the services of the government. The vulnerability of households and communities to disaster occurrence is dependent on the interplay between natural and socioeconomic conditions. In this interplay, the institutional role is vital in responding to mitigating natural disasters and to improve socio-economic conditions both before and after disasters.

The complex ties that bind: Gendered agency and expectations in conflict and climate change-related migration. Myrttinen, H. (2017). Global Policy Vol 8(1): 48-54.

For the past decade, western public discourse and the policy world have become increasingly concerned about ‘irregular’ migration and, to a slightly lesser extent perhaps, what driving role conflict and climate change play in triggering it. Addressing the causes and effects requires having a better understanding of the impacts that climate change has on multi-dimensional crises and the knock-on effect this has on migration. A key factor in understanding how these processes affect different women, girls, men, boys and other gender identities is gender. Much of the analysis, however, has tended to be based on relatively simplistic teleological models and gender stereotypes. Based on case studies, this article argues for more nuanced understandings of how gender and other societal markers affect people differently in different contexts of crisis and climate change-related migration to better formulate policy responses.

Beijing, gender and environment – Challenges for ecological sustainability, development and justice? Stock, A. (2015). IDS Bulletin 46(4): 54-58.

Twenty years ago the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was adopted to ‘… advance the goals of equality, development and peace for all women everywhere…’ (Beijing Declaration, 1995, paragraph 3). Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Chapter K (of the Beijing Platform for Action) on ‘women and the environment’ laid down three strategic objectives, inter alia, with objective 2 being to ‘integrate gender concerns and perspectives in policies and programmes for sustainable development’. This article demonstrates the importance of the implementation of this objective – on the one hand for progress on gender equality, and on the other hand for an ecologically sustainable development.

Gendered rights in the post-2015 development and disasters agendas. Bradshaw, S. (2015). IDS Bulletin Volume 46(4):59-65.

This article explores how, 20 years after the Beijing conference, women’s rights are being discussed within processes to develop a post-2015 sustainable development agenda and the parallel international disaster risk reduction framework. It is based on analysis of documents produced to date from the various processes, and also personal experience of seeking to influence both the post-2015 development and disaster agendas. It highlights how attempts to marry the environmental and development agendas reveal a continued problematic conceptualisation of sexual and reproductive rights. It suggests that in gender terms, while the post-2015 development agenda and the related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are over-ambitious to the point of being mere rhetoric, gender rhetoric is yet to enter the international disaster risk reduction discourse. This, the article argues, coupled with the continued conceptualisation of disasters as outside mainstream development, has further negative implications for the recognition and fulfilment of women’s rights.

Evaluating Climate Migration, Detraz, N. and Windsor, L. (2014). International Feminist Journal of Politics, 16(1): 127-146.

Climate change will negatively impact human communities and ecosystems, including driving increased food insecurity, increased exposure to disease, loss of livelihood and worsening poverty. Recent climate debates have focused attention on climate migrants, people who are displaced by the ecological stresses caused by climate change. To date, these debates have focused a great deal of attention on state security issues and have left the gender implications largely unexplored. In this article we examine the securitization of climate migration debates through gender lenses. We find that gender helps reveal and focus attention on the human security implications of climate migration and offers a useful discourse for climate policymaking.

The (In)Visibility of Gender in Scandinavian Climate Policy-Making. Magnusdottir, G.L. & Kronsell, A. (2015) International Feminist Journal of Politics, 17(2): 308-326.

This article explores the link between gender representation and climate policy-making in Scandinavia. We ask to what extent equal descriptive representation (critical mass) results in substantive representation (critical acts). Our study shows that women and men are equally represented in administrative and political units involved in climate policymaking, and in some units, women are in the majority. However, a text analysis of the outcomes, that is, the Scandinavian climate strategies, reveals a silence regarding gender, further confirmed through interviews. Accordingly, a critical mass of women does not automatically result in gender-sensitive climate policy-making, recognizing established gender differences in material conditions and in attitudes toward climate issues. In interviews, we also note that policy-makers are largely unaware of gender differences on climate issues in the Scandinavian context. We discuss why a critical mass of women in climate policy-making has not led to critical acts and offer alternative explanations informed by feminist IR theory. For example, post-structural feminism claims that masculine norms are deeply institutionalized in climate institutions; hence, policy-makers adapt their actions to the masculinized institutional environment. Thus, substantive representation should be understood in relation to gendered institutional processes.

Disposable waste, lands and bodies under Canada’s gendered nuclear colonialism. Sisson Runyan, A. (2018). International Feminist Journal of Politics, 20(1): 24-38.

Nuclear colonialism, or the exploitation of Indigenous lands and peoples to sustain the nuclear fuel cycle from uranium mining and refining to nuclear energy and weapons production and the dumping of the resulting nuclear waste, occurs in many parts of the world and has generated considerable protest. This article focuses on a contemporary and ongoing case of nuclear colonialism in Canada: attempts to site two national deep geological repositories (DGRs) for nuclear waste on traditional First Nations land in Southwestern Ontario near the world’s largest operational nuclear power plant. Through histories of the rise of nuclear power and nuclear waste policy-making and their relationship to settler colonialism in Canada, as well as actions taken by the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) and white settler antinuclear waste movements, the article explores how gender is at work in nuclear colonialism and anti-nuclear waste struggles. Gender is explored here in terms of the patriarchal nuclear imperative, the appropriation of Aboriginal land through undermining Aboriginal women’s status and the problematic relationship between First Nations and white settler women-led movements in resistance to nuclear waste burial from a feminist decolonial perspective.

Eco/Feminism on the Edge, Mortimer-Sandilands, C. (2008). International Feminist Journal of Politics, 10(3): 305-313.

In this commentary I extend and converse with Niamh Moore’s account of ecofeminist politics at Clayoquot Sound during the 1993 peace camp. In agreeing with her argument that such activist moments are more complex than the charges of maternalism and essentialism that have been thrown at them, I support her genealogical approach to understanding the particular gender relations that unfolded during the protest. In addition, I suggest that an understanding of the wider gender politics of the region, in addition to further consideration of other ecofeminist problematiques, would extend and enrich such analyses of ecofeminist activisms.

Women, equity and participatory water management in Brazil, Moraes, A. & Perkins, P.E. (2007). International Feminist Journal of Politics, 9(4): 485-493.

Public participation in resource management is regarded as a central pillar of sustainable development. Water management is a foremost example, and women globally are prime users and protectors of water. Yet the effectiveness of participatory water management practices is seldom examined from a feminist perspective. This article establishes a methodological framework for such an inquiry, drawing on ecofeminist theory and the Brazilian concept of ‘feminist transformative leadership’ to consider gender, race and class aspects of participatory water management in Brazil.

Water, Water Everywhere, But Not a Drop to Drink: Pani Politics (Water Politics) in Rural Bangladesh. Sultana, F. (2007). International Feminist Journal of Politics, 9(4): 494-502.

This article looks at the nature of water politics (pani politics) in the context of arsenic contamination of drinking water in rural Bangladesh. Pani politics is found to be a product of intersecting similarities and differences among women and men, where water comes to have material and symbolic power that people can exercise, which can lead to conflicts, marginalization and suffering vis-a`-vis water. Gendered location makes a difference in arsenic contaminated areas, where gender differentiated impacts are being observed, in terms of water access, control and ramifications of water poisoning. However, gender has to be understood as intersecting with other axes of differentiation such as social class, age and geographical location, to understand the nuances and multiple ways that arsenic poisoning and water hardship affect lives of men and women in different ways. Attention to such differences highlights the variations in gendered hardships, labour, rights and resources vis-a`-vis water, and the way that everyday politics comes to play a role in the ways that people negotiate their lives around water and arsenic in landscapes of social inequality and heterogeneity of arsenic contamination.

Does the gender composition of forest and fishery management groups affect resource governance and conservation outcomes? A systematic map. Leisher et al. (2016). Environmental Evidence 5(6): 1-10.

Background: Women often use natural resources differently than men yet frequently have minimal influence on how local resources are managed. An emerging hypothesis is that empowering more women in local resource decision-making may lead to better resource governance and conservation. Here we focus on the forestry and fisheries sectors to answer the question: What is the evidence that the gender composition of forest and fisheries management groups affects resource governance and conservation outcomes? We present a systematic map detailing the geographic and thematic extent of the evidence base and assessing the quality of the evidence, as per a published a priori protocol.

Counting (gendered) water use at home: Feminist approaches in practice. Lahiri-Dutt, K. (2015). ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies 14(3), 652-672.

In recent years, international policy-making bodies, including UN agencies and major donors, have been vocal in demanding gender-disaggregated water-use data, a requirement that is also receiving attention in academic research. Although the data sought is presumably macro-scale official statistics of sectoral water consumption divided into male/female categories, the structure of such data and the means of collecting them remain unclear. The demand for gender-disaggregated data has arisen at a time when feminists have urged researchers to exercise caution in how they generate data, what might be considered as data, and what that information signifies to the users. Feminist scholars also caution against the “knowledge effect” produced by numerical data: an overwhelming conversion of complicated and contextually variable phenomena into unambiguous, clear, and impersonal measurements. Heeding their concerns, I argue in this article that the generation of official statistics cannot be the aim; in order to understand gendered water use, particularly at the microscopic scale of the household, tools must be consistent with broad feminist goals and ideologies. This would necessitate not merely the aggregation of statistical data – referred to here as “counting” – but also consideration of the circumstances in which it occurs and its envisioned purpose and authorship, typified by questions such as “where does the counting take place?”, “who counts?” and “what purpose is the counting for?”. This research reflexivity and transparency is crucial, lest the numbers subsume decades of hydro-feminist insights by reducing gender equity to simplistic and replicable technologies. To substantiate my argument, I give examples of two recent “counting exercises” undertaken in India and Australia that were based in feminist philosophy and practice.

Who reaps what is sown? A feminist inquiry into climate change adaptation in two Mexican Ejidos. Bee, B. (2013). ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies 12(1), 131-154.

This paper highlights the ways in which relations of power, specifically those of gender, shape knowledge production, resource distribution, decision-making and thus, adaptation to climate change. I utilize feminist standpoint theory and geographic conceptualizations of social reproduction to argue that policies and programs that seek to enhance adaptation to climate change must understand how gender affects differential access to resources and decision-making in the context of climate variability. Specifically, I argue that situated knowledge and social reproduction are useful conceptual tools for analysing how women’s daily activities and social locations shape what they know and how they respond to social and environmental stressors like drought. In making this argument, I present the results of fieldwork conducted in two rural communities in Mexico’s semi-arid highlands to empirically explore the significance of gender in the production of knowledge, provisioning of resources, and the different ways that households adapt to climate change. This kind of critical engagement between feminist and adaptive capacity approaches opens up a conceptual space for reflection and encounters that move the debates closer toward addressing the challenges that climate change presents.

A literature review of the gender-differentiated impacts of climate change on women’s and men’s assets and well-being in developing countries. Goh, A.H.X. (2012). CAPRI Working Paper No. 106. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute

Climate change increasingly affects the livelihoods of people, and poor people experience especially negative impacts given their lack of capacity to prepare for and cope with the effects of a changing climate. Among poor people, women and men may experience these impacts differently. This review presents and tests two hypotheses on the gender-differentiated impacts of climate change on women and men in developing countries. The first hypothesis is that climate-related events affect men’s and women’s well-being and assets differently. The second hypothesis is that climate-related shocks affect women more negatively than men. With limited evidence from developing countries, this review shows that climate change affects women’s and men’s assets and well-being differently in six impact areas: (i) impacts related to agricultural production, (ii) food security, (iii) health, (iv) water and energy resources, (v) climate-induced migration and conflict, and (vi) climate-related natural disasters. In the literature reviewed, women seem to suffer more negative impacts of climate change in terms of their assets and well-being because of social and cultural norms regarding gender roles and their lack of access to and control of assets, although there are some exceptions. Empirical evidence in this area is limited, patchy, varied, and highly contextual in nature, which makes it difficult to draw strong conclusions. Findings here are indicative of the complexities in the field of gender and climate change, and signal that multidisciplinary research is needed to further enhance the knowledge base on the differential climate impacts on women’s and men’s assets and well-being in agricultural and rural settings, and to understand what mechanisms work best to help women and men in poor communities become more climate resilient.

Training material

TRAINING MODULE 1. Overview of linkages between gender and climate change. GGCA and UNDP.

As the United Nations lead development agency with extensive field experience, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has implemented numerous innovative initiatives that support national-level work on gender equality and women empowerment. UNDP’s work on gender is guided by the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA), Convention on the Elimination of All Forms Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and frameworks provided by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

UNDP Gender Team presents updated versions of 10 training modules and policy briefs on gender dimensions of climate change covering a range of themes and sectors. An additional set of knowledge products has also been added covering the gender and REDD+ interface. These knowledge products are designed to build capacity in member countries with respect to gender and climate change within the context of sustainable development. Their preparation has been made possible by contributions from the Government of Finland.

This first module in the series deals with gender dimensions of climate change. The other modules can be found on the same website.

Gender, climate change and community-based adaptation. A guidebook for designing and implementing gender-sensitive community-based adaptation programmes and projects. UNDP.

The guidebook is structured as follows:

Section 1 is an introduction.

Section 2 introduces the gender approach to development and affirms the goal of promoting gender equality.

Section 3 examines the need for adaptation, focusing in particular on CBA.

Section 4 links the concepts of gender and vulnerability to climate change, highlighting how gender affects the vulnerability of men and women in the face of incremental climate change and extreme events, and thus why it is critical to take a gendered approach to adaptation.

Section 5 establishes the relationship between gender and climate change adaptation, highlighting the need to mainstream gender into adaptation initiatives, and then focuses on the use of gender analysis as a tool throughout the project cycle to achieve this aim.

Section 6 presents some preliminary lessons learned from UNDP-GEF CBA projects to date.

Section 7 provides a conclusion.

Guide on gender mainstreaming. Environmental management projects. UNIDO Gender.

The Guide is intended to help UNIDO’s staff involved in environmental management interventions to apply a gender perspective to their work and, more specifically, to mainstream gender throughout the project cycle. The Guide can also be useful for national and local counter-parts, agencies, international and private-sector partners, and individual experts who work closely with the UNIDO on environmental management.

Framework for conducting gender responsive analysis. IUCN.

A gender-based analysis team must:

• Be aware of the fact that gender construction, and thus, the relations established between women and men, have a historical-cultural character, and are specified through processes associated to particular territories, such as the systems related to production and symbolic and daily appropriation of nature and the environment.

• Conduct the analysis with a clear understanding and expectation of working from a gender perspective from a strategic, collective, and individual point of view. This implies visualization about existing differences between women and men regarding the access, information, control, and distribution of the benefits derived from the resources, based on their own perceptions and assessments about prevailing differences and inequalities. It also implies making visible and recognizing, within a given community, who does what type of work, the levels of participation, existing social systems, the patterns about the use of time, and power relations.

• Obtain accurate information about the social, cultural, environmental, and productive conditions. This information should be acquired through participatory observation techniques, to learn about the working context. The ideal participants would be people with working experience in the region.

• Ensure the adequate time and space needed to conduct the analysis. It is extremely hard to become acquainted with a community’s realities in a short period of time. Moreover, the availability and pace of the participating women and men should also be identified and considered.

Guidance to advance gender equality in GEF projects and programs. Global Environment Facility.

GEF Council approved a new GEF Policy on Gender Equality (GEF, 2017c) in November 2017. The Policy marks GEF’s increased ambition to ensure gender equality and promote women’s empowerment across its operations. The new Policy responds to the recommendations of the Independent Evaluation Office’s Evaluation of Gender Mainstreaming in the GEF (GEF, 2017a), which was endorsed by GEF Council in May 2017, which found that “there has only been a limited increase in the percentage of projects rated gender sensitive or gender mainstreamed”. The Policy also responds to the increased attention to gender equality and women’s empowerment (GEWE) by the conferences of the parties to the Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEA) that the GEF serves. With the objective to support the effective implementation of the Policy, this guidance provides detail on the practical steps and required actions to implement the principles and mandatory requirements specified in the Policy with a focus on gender-responsive design, implementation, and monitoring of GEF programs and projects.

Pacific gender and climate change toolkit: Tools for practitioners.

Gender equality is central to achieving a sustainable and resilient future for   Pacific islands. This toolkit is designed to support climate change practitioners working in national governments, non-governmental organisations, regional and international organisations, integrate gender into all aspects of policy, programming and project work.

International agreements and conventions

United Nations Framework Convention Climate Change. FCCC/CP/2016/10/Add.2. Report of the Conference of the Parties on its twenty-second session, held in Marrakech from 7 to 18 November 2016 Addendum. Part two: Action taken by the Conference of the Parties at its twenty-second session. 31 January 2017.

See decision 21/CP.22 on gender and climate change.

United Nations Framework Convention Climate Change. FCCC/CP/2017/11/Add.1. Report of the Conference of the Parties on its twenty-third session, held in Bonn from 6 to 18 November 2017. 8 February 2018.

See decision 3/CP.23 on the establishment of a gender action plan.

Transforming our world: The 2030 agenda for sustainable development. United Nations.

See specifically goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. See also article 20 in the declaration on the systematic mainstreaming of a gender perspective in the implementation of the Agenda being crucial.

Official reports

Making local water planning gender and socially inclusive towards gender inclusive water sector development. ICIMOD Issue Brief July 2017.

A crucial natural resource, water plays a multi-faceted role in the lives of rural residents in Nepal. However, climate change threatens to disturb that relationship as variations in temperature, rainfall, and rainfall patterns are affecting water availability. Thus, water scarcity has become an increasingly challenging issue, oftentimes leading to conflict, which leads to excess workloads for everyone. In situations like these, power differentials between men and women as well as different social groups can unduly influence decision-making processes around water.

Gender inequality is a key obstacle in the quest for sustainable development in Nepal and beyond as it disempowers and increases livelihood insecurity – for both women and men. Water-related decisions are important not only to access water, but also to obtain and multiply the gains that come with accessing water, which are often in the hands of local elite, particularly elite men. In the changing demography of Nepal, most water responsibilities are in women’s hands due to male migration for off-farm employment. For these reasons, water planning calls for gender and social inclusiveness.

Water-related programs or policies have implications for gender and social equality and empowerment of women, the poor, and disadvantaged groups as these groups are frequently excluded from meaningful participation in decision-making processes. Their needs and concerns are seldom taken into account in the development of water resource management programs. The need for gender and social inclusive water planning is crucial to ensure the basic human right of individuals to access drinking water, and the equitable benefits of productive water use for farming.

Men, masculinities & climate change: A discussion paper. The Men Engage Alliance.

“Men, Masculinities and Climate Change: A Discussion Paper” aims to establish a rationale for understanding boys’ and men’s multiple roles in climate change by conducting an analysis of masculinities (characteristics associated with what it means to be a man) in patriarchal systems that play a contributing role in perpetuating climate change and by presenting key areas for further exploration. The purpose of such an analysis is to identify opportunities to engage men and boys as agents of positive change, alongside women and girls, and further strengthen the call for social, economic and environmental justice for all.

Gender and climate change: Gender and sustainable energy. GGCA and UNDP.

The new Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to end poverty and promote well-being and prosperity while safeguarding ecological systems of the planet by 2030, has placed a much-needed emphasis on energy access and gender equality, elevating them as stand-alone sustainable development goals (SDGs). Similarly, there is now an increasing appreciation in international development discourses of the role of energy as a conduit for redressing historic gender inequities. Yet, energy poverty is still pervasive – one in five people in Africa and South Asia do not have access to electricity, and close to 3 billion people (40 percent of the global population) burn solid fuels such as wood, charcoal, animal waste or crop residues in open fires or inefficient stoves for their daily cooking and heating. As we transition into the post-2015 global development agenda, serious effort is needed to move beyond understanding the importance of both energy access and gender equality to viewing both as central to questions of sustainability, efficiency and effectiveness in the energy sector.

Gender and climate change: Gender, adaptation and disaster risk reduction. GGCA and UNDP.

Global climate efforts have been gradually shifting towards a more balanced approach on adaptation and mitigation. Thus the Paris Agreement on Climate Change seeks to limit the global temperature rise to 2˚C (and strives towards a rise of 1.5˚C), but it also puts adaptation on par with mitigation, among other issues, by establishing a global goal on, and cycles for, improvement on adaptation. Similarly, the Sendai Framework has adopted a disaster risk management approach that aims to broadly strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters, emphasizing the need for dovetailing climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction (DRR) efforts. In both domains (adaptation and DRR), there is increasing recognition of the need for gender-responsive action in response to climatic and disaster risk. Gender equality and women’s empowerment are key to the success of all post-2015 multilateral agendas, including 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework, and all future actions on reducing climatic and disaster risk.

Gender in Mitigation Actions. EGI Brief April 2016 Edition.

To effectively, efficiently and equitably respond to climate change, countries must develop gender-responsive mitigation and adaptation strategies—not least because women are among those disproportionately and adversely affected by climate change and are seldom included in relevant decision-making processes to identify and implement solutions. Mitigation actions are measures undertaken to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and harnessing the experiences, expertise and ideas of women and men alike is essential for full mitigation power. Governments, institutions and agencies have been slow to consider ways in which women and gender considerations can be well integrated in mitigation planning –but the trend may be improving, as this Brief discusses.

UN-REDD methodological brief on gender.

This Methodological Brief on Gender defines the approach of the UN-REDD Programme (UNREDD) on gender equality and women’s empowerment, aiming particularly at the UN-REDD 2016-2020 Strategic Framework. It can also assist partner countries to realize the gender equality provisions contained in international agreements on REDD+, including on safeguards, as well as contribute to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #5 on gender equality.

Building on UN-REDD’s experiences, good practices and lessons learned, and complimenting UN-REDD’s existing guidance and tools on gender, this Methodological Brief is an action-oriented reference tool. It aims to provide guidance and entry points to UN-REDD partner countries and their support teams on how the Gender Approach detailed in the 2016-2020 UN-REDD Strategic Framework can be effectively operationalized and monitored.

This Brief also intends to harmonize the work of the three UN-REDD Agencies (UNDP, UNEP and FAO) on promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in REDD+ related work; thus, consolidating the approach on gender under UN-REDD. It is a living document, which can be adapted and modified for future use, as needed.

Roots for the future. The landscape and way forward on gender and climate change. IUCN and GGCA.

This new publication is a valuable tool to help increase the capacity of policy and decision makers to develop gender-responsive climate change policies and strategies that ensure women are engaged at all levels of the decision-making process.

Mainstreaming gender in Green Climate Fund projects. A practical manual to support the integration of gender equality in climate change interventions and climate finance. Green Climate Fund and UN Women.

At the Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh (COP22), Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reiterated their commitment to mainstreaming gender in climate action and the UNFCCC process, providing substantial instructions in a stand-alone decision on gender. Parties gave specific guidance, including to the GCF as an operating entity of the Convention’s Financial Mechanism, to enhance reporting on how gender considerations are integrated in all aspects of activities. This is a positive development that will further the momentum for tracking progress on gender and climate action.

As countries begin to turn their commitments under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change into actions, the GCF is focused on ensuring that a gender-responsive approach is fully integrated into the design and implementation of all projects and programmes. This manual is an important first step, one that will support in-country partners to enhance their capacity to address gender concerns in the climate change space – not only to achieve greater and more sustainable climate change results, but also to contribute to gender equality globally.

Fact sheet: Women, gender equality and climate change. UN WomenWatch.

Detrimental effects of climate change can be felt in the short-term through natural hazards, such as landslides, floods and hurricanes; and in the long-term, through more gradual degradation of the environment. The adverse effects of these events are already felt in many areas, including in relation to, inter alia, agriculture and food security; biodiversity and ecosystems; water resources; human health; human settlements and migration patterns; and energy, transport and industry.

In many of these contexts, women are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than men—primarily as they constitute the majority of the world’s poor and are more dependent for their livelihood on natural resources that are threatened by climate change. Furthermore, they face social, economic and political barriers that limit their coping capacity. Women and men in rural areas in developing countries are especially vulnerable when they are highly dependent on local natural resources for their livelihood. Those charged with the responsibility to secure water, food and fuel for cooking and heating face the greatest challenges. Secondly, when coupled with unequal access to resources and to decision-making processes, limited mobility places women in rural areas in a position where they are disproportionately affected by climate change. It is thus important to identify gender-sensitive strategies to respond to the environmental and humanitarian crises caused by climate change.

Understanding impacts of women’s engagement in the improved cookstove value chain in Kenya. Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.

In this study, we examine the relative impacts of engaging women entrepreneurs in the clean cooking value chain and its association with overall improved cookstove (ICS) sales and adoption. This was a collaborative effort between the Center for Global Clean Air at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, ESVAK Kenya, and Envirofit International. The overall objectives were to understand the impacts that women can have on sales of ICS when engaged as entrepreneurs and to compare the relative business capacities of newly trained male and female entrepreneurs who received either basic entrepreneurial training or a novel agency-based empowerment training.

Advancing gender in the environment: Making the case for women in the energy sector. USAID and IUCN.

This brief provides an overview of the role of women in the formal energy sector. It presents evidence that women’s equal participation in the sector will result in measurable benefits, including increased returns on investments and stronger development outcomes. Additionally, the brief identifies ways in which women are driving the growth of the renewable energy sector and presents a global overview of best practices and solutions that remove barriers to participation. A list of recommendations with links to resources for stakeholders, including policymakers and practitioners, is provided at the end.

Gender and climate change: A closer look at existing evidence. GGCA.

Perceiving a gap in the resources available to individuals and organizations concerned about the gendered experiences of climate change, GGCA commissioned this literature review in early 2016 in order to provide the most up-to date assessment of the current evidence base illustrating how vulnerability to climate change and climate adaptation decisions vary by gender. This is designed to serve as a resource highlighting literature addressing a broad array of gender and climate issues affecting vulnerability and adaptation capacity. While this document contains hundreds of references, due to space limitations, it is not able to provide a comprehensive assessment of every topic covered. Readers are directed to the literature reviews cited below for additional sources, as well as subject-specific references that are contained in many sections of the review, which often contain information on additional research.

It is GGCA’s hope that this review provides insights for advocates, policymakers, scholars, and members of the public who seek to understand and address gender-differentiated climate experiences. Although the search was comprehensive, a select number of sources were chosen, providing a diverse array of evidence to support the advocacy and policymaking work of GGCA members. This includes evidence on gendered experiences in different geographic areas, using a variety of research methods, and produced by scholars from the Global South as well as the Global North. Readers are encouraged to use this as a resource for their advocacy, policymaking, and research activities.

Energizing equality: The importance of integrating gender equality principles in national energy policies and frameworks. IUCN.

From a sample of 192 national energy frameworks from 137 countries, nearly one-third of the frameworks include gender considerations to some extent. Of those that include gender keywords, context analysis reveals that women are characterized as potential stakeholders or beneficiaries, but seldom as agents of change.

Of the frameworks that include gender considerations, cross-cutting gender issues related to time poverty, lack of electrification in rural areas, women’s health and well-being and under-representation in employment and decision making across the energy sector are the most prominently found themes.

Of the frameworks that include gender considerations, 57 frameworks (93%) come from developing countries, particularly from sub-Saharan Africa (32 frameworks, or 56%).

Energy frameworks from developing countries tend to reflect more diverse opportunities to advance a gender-responsive approach, including by addressing time poverty, energy poverty in rural and urban areas and women’s health and well-being.

Energy frameworks from developed countries, which are generally less likely to include gender considerations, tend to put forward a gender-responsive approach through designing opportunities for women in energy technology and innovation. All gender keyword mentions in OECD countries’ frameworks fell under this theme.

Fourteen energy frameworks identify women’s ministries and organizations (or equivalents) as implementing partners, tasked with specific activities or actions. This analysis includes 33 renewable energy frameworks. Although half of the renewable energy frameworks are from OECD countries, only one renewable energy document from an OECD country includes gender keywords.

Women’s participation and gender considerations in country representation, planning and reporting to the BRS Conventions. EGI Report.

The Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions cooperate to protect human health and the environment from the negative effects of hazardous pollutants. This Environment and Gender Information (EGI) platform analysis explores how women are represented as delegates to the Conferences of the Parties (COPs), members and observers of Conventions’ Subsidiary Bodies, and national focal points. It investigates how gender equality considerations are included in Parties’ reporting mechanisms to the BRS Conventions, including initial National Implementation Plans (NIPs) to the Stockholm Convention and the most recent National Reports to the Basel and Stockholm Conventions. This study also explores how gender considerations are included in the Rotterdam Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Circular.

As key stakeholders reflect upon the progress being made toward meeting the objectives of the BRS Gender Action Plan (BRS-GAP), the results of this study are encouraging, particularly with respect to women’s participation in key decision-making processes and the inclusion of gender considerations within initial NIPs. A staggering number of initial NIPs (91%) contain at least one women and/or gender keyword—indicating recognition to some extent of gender considerations and, most commonly, to the differentiated impacts of chemicals and pollutants on women and men. This study finds that there are many available entry points for enhancing gender mainstreaming to achieve the objectives of the BRS-GAP. However, Parties are not yet fully integrating or mainstreaming gender considerations within their planning and reporting documents.

Gender and climate change. Overview report. Skinner, E. (2011). Bridge development – gender.

Climate change is increasingly being recognised as a global crisis, but responses to it have so far been overly focused on scientific and economic solutions, rather than on the significant human and gender dimensions. This report highlights the need to put people at the centre of climate change responses, paying particular attention to the challenges and opportunities that climate change presents in the struggle for gender equality.

It advocates for an approach in which women and men have an equal voice in decision-making on climate change and broader governance processes and are given equal access to the resources necessary to respond to the negative effects of climate change; where both women’s and men’s needs and knowledge are taken into account and climate change policymaking institutions and processes at all levels are not biased towards men or women; and where the broad social constraints that limit women’s access to strategic and practical resources no longer exist.

The report shows that there is much to learn from innovative, gender-aware approaches to climate change that are already happening at the local level, led by non-governmental organisations, communities and individuals, which are leading to transformations in gender and social inequalities in some cases. National, regional and international initiatives are also playing a key role in promoting the need to integrate gender dimensions into all climate change policy and practice.