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Gender issue in climate change discourse: theory versus reality

February 2010

Mohammed Abdul Baten , Niaz Ahmed Khan


This article outlines how, in the developing world, women are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. This is because they are heavily involved in activities that are dependent on natural resources, and cultural factors sometimes prevent women from migrating to seek shelter during natural disasters or to be more likely to risk their own safety in order to help others in such events. Limited access to education also limits women’s access to information about early warning signs and resources during disasters, as well as restricts their ability to share their voice. However, due to their closeness to resource management, women also have the capability to mitigate many of the effects of climate change.

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Policy Implications

Recognizing the role of women in climate change policy would have benefits for both gender equality and for the environment. Action could be taken to make women less vulnerable, and the women familiar with the environment could help provide insight into what things could be done to protect it and to be sustainable. Additionally, by providing women with knowledge and resources about natural disasters, they can help to protect themselves and their children.

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