Gender and Climate Change

Updated September 2017

Growing evidence suggests that men and women experience climate change differently and have different priorities and ability to respond to negative climate change impacts. In order to enable men and women to meet their own needs and leverage their strengths and contributions, we must pay close attention to gender-based differences and embed them into the design of climate change policies and programs. IFPRI research has contributed to the evidence base on gender and climate change through research on the following issues:

  • How long-term climate change and short-term climate shocks affect men and women differently, particularly in terms of control over assets.
  • The characteristics and causes of gender differentials in adaptive capacity (assets, rights, information, empowerment in decision making).
  • The adaptation options, strategies, and approaches (individual, household, or collective) available to and preferred by men and women.
  • The scope for group-based approaches and joint decision making to improve household resilience to climate change.
  • How gender differences in adaptive capacity and control over adaptation decisions influence development outcomes, such as nutrition and environmental security.
  • How responses to climate influence women's empowerment through changes in decision-making, control over resources, and time use among other factors.
  • Policy innovations, investments, and approaches that support and enable adoption of CSA technologies.

The Gender, Climate Change and Nutrition (GCAN) Integration Initiative supported by USAID's Feed the Future Program works with USAID missions and partners to enhance understanding of the linkages between climate, gender, and nutrition to more effectively address gender inequality, improve nutrition outcomes, and increase climate resilience. The project has developed a conceptual framework to illustrate these linkages, communicate with partners, and to identify and further explore the linkages for which little evidence exists.

A (CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security) CCAFS-funded project, "Increasing Women's Resilience to Confront Climate Change," completed in 2014, examined gender differences in climate change perceptions, impacts, and adaptation and coping strategies within selected sites in Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, and Senegal using gender-disaggregated data collected from these sites. The research was done in collaboration with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), building on their in-depth farm characterization tool, IMPACTLite. An extension activity focused on identifying entry points for integrating research findings on gender and climate change into programs and projects by implementing partners engaged in climate change adaptation projects in Africa south of the Sahara based on a capacity needs assessment.

The project, "Enhancing Women's Assets to Manage Risk under Climate Change: Potential for Group-Based Approaches," funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and completed in 2014, focused on four case study countries in Africa south of the Sahara and South Asia (Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, and Bangladesh). The project catalyzed research on the linkages between gender, assets, climate change, and collective action in order to provide evidence on how climate change may differentially affect men and women, and on how group-based approaches--which are increasingly used in development projects--can improve resilience to climate change. 

These projects have produced a number of publications and other outputs which are listed below.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Working Papers


Policy Notes, Toolkits, Popular Press

Blog Posts and Videos