Strengthening women’s roles as risk and resource managers at the frontline of climate change

Strengthening women’s roles as risk and resource managers at the frontline of climate change

• Research shows that in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) climate variability already influences water availability, ecosystem services, and agricultural production. According to downscaled climate projections, the risks of climate-induced hazards such as floods, landslides, and droughts are projected to increase significantly by 2050.

• To an increasing degree, rural women in the HKH manage the frontline of local agriculture and natural resources, and as such, deal directly with the impacts and risks associated with climate change.

• Women’s livelihood options, adaptive capacities, roles in decision-making, and access to and control over resources are constrained by structural and gendered inequalities, which enhance their vulnerability. Despite high levels of male outmigration for work, women still operate within a system that is highly patriarchal and denies their full participation.

• Remittances from migration have enhanced household finances generally in rural areas, but women often lack the financial literacy necessary for money management, or they are denied power to make decisions regarding this income.

• To increase community and household resilience to climatic and socio-economic changes, it is crucial to invest in strengthening women’s capacities to manage the associated risks through, for example, financial literacy training and skills training on resilient agricultural practices.

• Policy makers and decision makers need to recognize women’s increasing roles and responsibilities in agriculture, food security, and natural resource management to create enabling policies and institutions that acknowledge women as vital agents of change and adaptation.

This brief is developed based on the results of the Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme (HICAP). HICAP is implemented jointly by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), GRID-Arendal, and the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research-Oslo (CICERO), in collaboration with local partners, and is funded by the Governments of Norway and Sweden.

  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.