Climate change has been on the environmental agenda since the mid-1980s and has risen to become a global priority. It is widely accepted that women and men will be differently affected by climate change and it is in that context that debates regarding identification of gender perspectives and the involvement of women in addressing climate change have arisen.

It is believed that men and women will be faced with different vulnerabilities to climate change impacts due to existing inequalities such as their roles and positions in society, access to resources and power relations that may affect the ability to respond to the effects of climate change. It has therefore become important to understand and highlight the interrelations between climate change and gender so as to design effective climate change policies.

The Heinrich Böll Foundation commissioned four case studies to examine the interrelations between climate change and gender so as to make a contribution to the creation of information on the gender differentiated impacts of climate change. It is hoped that these studies will contribute to the ongoing discourse on climate change and underline the urgent need to pay closer attention to the role of gender when responding to climate change.

Gender and Climate Change: South Africa Case Study

The study shows that women in South Africa are very knowledgeable and innovative with regards to coping with the impacts of the changing climate. Lessons can be drawn from their knowledge on how women can be better assisted to adapt to climate change. Results confirm that women play an important role in supporting households and communities to cope and adapt to climate variability.

Gender and Climate Change: Botswana Case Study

The general objective of this report was to analyse differentiated impacts of climate change and climate variability in Botswana. Furthermore, it was to examine the gendered dimension of climate change, its impacts and women and men’s responses. The central research question that the study sought to answer was ‘Are women and men in Botswana affected by climate change differently?’

Gender and Climate Change: Mozambique Case Study

Mozambique is considered one of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa that has been hard hit by climate change due to its geographical location and the weak socioeconomic situation. The major anticipated impacts of climate change are increase in the frequency and severity of floods, droughts and cyclones. Thus, adaptation measures to cope with the impacts of climate change are urgently needed at different levels in the country. These must be gender-sensitive, considering the differentiated role women and men play in rural societies.

Gender and Climate Change: Namibia Case Study

This report focuses on the Namibian case study. Due to the fact that climate change and gender has strong links to poverty, and that the majority of rural poor are women engaged primarily in subsistence agriculture, the research primarily examined rural communities of Namibia. Fieldwork was carried out in Epyeshona village located in northern-central Namibia and Daures Constituency in the Northwestern region.

Read more on all the case studies here