What is the connection and why is it important?
Climate change has a greater impact on those sections of the population, in all countries, that are most
reliant on natural resources for their livelihoods and/or who have the least capacity to respond to natural
hazards, such as droughts, landslides, floods and hurricanes. Women commonly face higher risks and greater
burdens from the impacts of climate change in situations of poverty, and the majority of the world’s
poor are women. Women’s unequal participation in decision-making processes and labour markets compound
inequalities and often prevent women from fully contributing to climate-related planning, policy-making and
Yet, women can (and do) play a critical role in
response to climate change due to their local knowledge of and leadership in e.g. sustainable resource
management and/or leading sustainable practices at the household and community level. Women’s
participation at the political level has resulted in greater responsiveness to citizen’s needs, often
increasing cooperation across party and ethnic lines and delivering more sustainable peace. At the local
level, women’s inclusion at the leadership level has lead to improved outcomes of climate related
projects and policies. On the contrary, if policies or projects are implemented without women’s
meaningful participation it can increase existing inequalities and decrease effectiveness.