Women are critical in responding to climate change. Women, with their local knowledge, can lead their community in the management of natural resources, food production and water governance. Their participation in decision-making, representation and leadership in community and political levels, results in greater adaptive capability and responsiveness to threat.

Lessons Learned

  • It is important to recognize the existence of barriers to women's participation and leadership, and understand and assess the nature of these barriers (e.g. time poverty, illiteracy, restrictions on mobility, social norms against women taking up responsibility in the public sphere). The identified barriers should be taken into consideration when designing projects.

  • Gender specialists and sociologists can help identify the barriers preventing participation across different categories of women (e.g. women in male-headed households, women in female-headed households, women of different age groups).

  • Supporting women’s collective groups.

Measures for promoting women’s participation and leadership in mixed groups

The only way for women to exert influence over decision-making and to contribute substantially to adaptation action is through participating actively in the groups formed at local or regional levels. Supporting women's participation in groups is a long-term investment. Over the years, as women learn to play an active role in village committees or community management groups, they are more likely to take up new roles in the political arena.

Successful Examples

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Women’s participation in collective action groups leads to empowerment

In many countries, technical committees or local governments report that when women are more active in groups, or when they act as group leaders, there is a stronger sense of commitment, less corruption and more transparent decision-making. Further, having the ability to get local authorities to take responsibility for gender-responsive adaptation is critical. This can enhanced through access to information, legal advice, knowledge about human rights, negotiation skills and other means.

Successful Examples