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Gender and Climate Change –Challenges and way forward
Author: Abdou Rahman
Executive Director BAJ Gambia
substantially limit women’s access to control over and use of services and
productive resources. As a result, natural hazards have different impact on men
and women. These inequalities make the effect more devastating for women. With
equal gender opportunities, a new environmentally friendly perspective needs to
be developed that makes men and women equally accountable for their personal
consumption and renders them responsible for the impact they have on the
Urgent actions are
needed to combat climate change but lack of information on gender and climate
change has slowed our reactions. Today, there is inadequate information on
gender issues relating to climate change. Further research is therefore needed
in several aspects to establish the linkages between gender and climate change.
One key challenge is the
small proportion of women in relevant professions and position of authority.
International climate change process would be achieve sustainably we need to espouse
the principles of gender in all stages of the process from research, through
analysis, agenda formation, negotiation and decision making, regime
The issue is not just
that women should participate in a quantitative sense, but of more importance
is the effectiveness and efficacy of their participation and that their voices
are heard while their views are integrated into a strategy more acceptable
equitable to all.
individual capacity must be built to effectively mainstream gender issues into
policy formation and programme development.
gender-specific data is another major constraint. More gender disaggregated
research is required in order to shed more light on levels of vulnerability and
coping mechanisms of different social groups.
The findings of such
research should then feed into the climate negotiating process to enable
decision makers have a better understanding of how different people are
affected and what kind of capacity and support is needed to facilitate
mainstreaming of gender into national polices, and action plans. Today, such
important data is not available. The first action to be taken in gender
mainstreaming for policy formation and advocacy is to identify relevant
stakeholders in different sectors, determine the knowledge gaps as well as
their sphere of influence and areas of interest.
An important strategy
is the provision of evidence-based massages. Due to inadequate public
awareness, extension services need to fully involve the people at the
grassroots level through participatory approaches in development intervention.
Relevant and understandable messages that are based on findings and good
practices to enhance climate change adaptation need to be developed and
disseminated in effective ways.
The government must
create awareness and training activities. As part of formulating strategies and
ensuring that development workers are properly knowledgeable about
participatory and gender-sensitive strategies, capacity building is often
required. NGOs have an important role to play in the enlightenment and gender sensitization
of policy makers and programme planners.
Coalition building is
also essential in achieving effective implementation of initiatives. At all
levels different organizations have different mandates and capacities on
climate change and gender, but it is important that stakeholders work together
to promote gender-sensitive and effective development effects. Already,
existing networks and coalitions on gender and climate change should be
encouraged and expanded.
often runs the risk of tackling one problem without consideration of other
issues that are closely related and many affect the success or failure of
interventions. It is important to develop linkages among related development
concerns. To plan for adaptation to climate change effects will require an
understanding of the inter-related nature of development concerns and need to
link issues such as the socio economic concerns with the developmental quality
An important issue
for designing effective strategies for gender and climate change advocacy is
the benefit derived from promoting international cooperation. Due consideration
must be given to differences among countries. Gender strategies ultimately must
be built on a country basis, especially since country ownership is critical for
the success of any action.