GENDER AND CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH IN AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT
CLIMATE CHANGE does not affect everyone in the same way. Men and women are affected differently. Their responses to the impacts of climate change also differ, especially when it comes to safeguarding their food security and livelihoods. Although women are important food producers and providers, they have limited access to and control of resources, on the one hand. On the other hand, because of their central role in agriculture, women are great agents of social change. In fact, the FAO State of Food and Agriculture 2010-11 estimates that more than 100 million people could
be lifted out of poverty if women had the same access to and control of resources as men.Therefore, responses to climate change in agriculture must be gender-specic.
Initiatives need to ensure that women are included in climate change mitigation and adaptation activities and strategies designed to enhance food security and livelihoods. To date, however, there has been little focus on how men and women mitigate risks and adapt to challenges brought about by climate change.
- To meet the challenges of climate change and the increasing global demand for food, agriculture must become ‘climate-smart’.
- Climate-smart agriculture actions must take gender issues into account.
- Little research has been undertaken to understand how men and women are adapting to a changing climate, mitigating emissions and maintaining food security.
Although adaptation and mitigation have been developed as two distinct responses to climate change, the two are often applied in concert. In fact, agriculture strategies that help farmers adapt to climate change may simultaneously reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon. Strategies that achieve both aims are the essence of the concept of climate-smart agriculture.