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Child Under-weight and Agricultural Productivity in India: Implications for Public Provisioning and Women’s Agency

19 Jan 2017 04:10:05 GMT

The well-known pathways that link agriculture to child nutrition are food, quality of food, and care of feeding. Further, agricultural productivity growth contributes significantly to poverty reduction and reduction in child undernutrition. Care of children and feeding practices depend upon women’s knowledge, and hence women’s education and their freedom to act are closely related to child nutrition.

A recent global hunger index indicated a 12 percent decline in child underweight rates. This study attempts an empirical explanation of the factors that influence child underweight rates at the district level.
The aim of the paper is to look at the association of the proportion of underweight children, with the overall agricultural productivity, women’s agency, child and maternal health status, and the available public services across 430 districts in India with the help of linear regressions and quantile regressions.
Agricultural land productivity, share of women educated above the secondary level and participating in work, maternal, and child health seem to contribute to the reduction in child underweight. However government health and water supply facilities turn out to be ineffective.

Vulnerability to climate change and adaptation strategies of local communities in Malawi: experiences of women fish-processing groups in the Lake Chilwa Basin

03 Jan 2017 11:11:51 GMT

In recent years, research on climate change and human security has received much attention among policy makers and academia alike. Communities in the Global South that rely on an intact resource base and struggle with poverty, existing inequalities and historical injustices will especially be affected by predicted changes in temperature and precipitation.

The objective of this article is to better understand under what conditions local communities can adapt to anticipated impacts of climate change. The empirical part of the paper answers the question as to what extent local women engaged in fish processing in the Chilwa Basin in Malawi have experienced climate change and how they are affected by it.
The article assesses an adaptation project designed to make those women more resilient to a warmer and more variable climate. The research results show that marketing and improving fish processing as strategies to adapt to climate change have their limitations. The study concludes that livelihood diversification can be a more effective strategy for Malawian women to adapt to a more variable and unpredictable climate rather than exclusively relying on a resource base that is threatened by climate change.

Gender, livestock and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Costa Rica

03 Jan 2017 04:11:06 GMT

Costa Rica is developing a Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) that will provide climate finance for best livestock management practices that generate climate change mitigation benefits. The LivestockPlus research project, implemented by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and partners, seeks to inform the NAMA by providing scientific evidence for improved pasture and cattle management to sustainably improve yields while also reducing emissions. Women are a target beneficiary of the research, yet the relevance of gender to the project’s aims has been unclear. A scoping exercise to identify opportunities to strengthen the gender component was therefore undertaken in 2015 using a case study in Costa Rica and a literature review.  This exercise identified women’s roles as (1) co-decision-makers with men in the household, (2) users of milk for making cheese (most households) and (3) farmers directly involved in livestock production activities under some circumstances.  Girls, together with boys, frequently played a role in the daily care of animals, which may influence girls’ capacities and willingness to become future farmers. The scoping exercise indicated opportunities for enhancing women’s roles in the cattle value chain and more generally, supporting women’s inclusion in (i) livestock and innovation for climate change mitigation, (ii) gender-responsive implementation of the NAMA, and (iii) capacity development.

The following priority actions are recommended for strengthening gender research in Costa Rica:

  • create an umbrella strategy for all members of the LivestockPlus consortium to develop, coordinate and implement research on gender, livestock and mitigation. The strategy should examine opportunities to empower women in the cattle value chain (e.g., improve their role in participation and access to benefits related to cheese making) and include women in innovation processes, NAMA implementation and capacity building. The strategy should be responsive to the needs of both men and women farmers and stakeholders in the consortium
  • build synergies across the gender component of the project’s research streams.  This should include strengthening the gender component in value chain development, identifying the opportunities and constraints to women’s effective participation in intermediary organizations; and improving among all streams the understanding of men and women’s empowerment, with the aim of improving women’s participation in decision making and access to benefits. Research on intermediary organisations, such as informal farmer organisations, Costa Rica’s Livestock Development Corporation (CORFOGA chapters, community-level organizations, women's groups, and private sector value chain partners  is essential to identify and develop opportunities for women to participate in activities at the farm level and in value chains
  • conduct research on gender and youth on the 98 pilot farms informing Costa Rica’s understanding of production systems and pilot work on NAMAs
  • engage women and youth in capacity development on the 98 pilot farms. Activities should equally include men to support intra-household decision-making processes around farm planning. Consider farmer field schools and household methodologies
  • establish effective and rapid data-sharing mechanisms among key decision makers and implementers to facilitate implementation of lessons learned

Gender dimensions of vulnerability to climate change in China

03 Jan 2017 03:35:43 GMT

China is vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change in various ways, including through disasters such as floods, droughts and typhoons, and is therefore a key player in the global efforts to mitigate climate change.

This publication presents the findings of new research study on how gender equality, climate change and disaster risks intersect in China. The research investigates gender gaps in China’s policy framework, attitudes and gender composition of government institutions, NGOs’ roles as well men and women’s differential vulnerabilities to the adverse impacts of climate change.

The research report also outlines 15 recommendations for the next steps. The report’s data was collected through a policy review, 84 interviews and a survey of over 3400 people in eight counties of Jiangsu, Qinghai and Shaanxi provinces. The research will support evidence-based discussion on how China can integrate gender into climate change action and disaster risk reduction over the coming years.


Listening to women and girls diplaced to urban Afghanistan

20 Dec 2016 03:55:49 GMT

Growing numbers of internally displaced people (IDPs) live  in  informal  settlements  in  major  Afghan  urban  centres. Compared with other Afghans they are more likely to be non-literate, to have lower rates of school enrolment, to live in larger households (but with lower household  incomes),  to  be  unemployed  and  to  be  highly food insecure.

There is insufficient understanding of and response to the needs of youth, and particularly vulnerable females, displaced to urban areas.  This report presents findings of research in three informal settlements in Jalalabad, Kabul and Kandahar which was commissioned by the Norwegian  Refugee  Council  and  researched  by  The  Liaison  Office  (TLO),  an  Afghan  non-governmental  organisation.

The   study   confirmed   earlier   findings   about   the impacts  for  IDPs  of  living  in  poor  urban  settlements,  characterised by inadequate and crowded accommodation,   insufficient   water   and   sanitation facilities,  extreme  food  insecurity  and  inability  to  get education or employment.

The  findings  of  the  research  break  new  ground, confounding   the   common   assumption   that   urban   women and girls should be more able – in a supposedly more secure and progressive urban environment with a  concentration  of  service  providers  –  to  access  services and employment and social opportunities than prior to their displacement.

This   research   found   the   opposite,   showing   that  displacement    places    women    and    children    at    disproportionate  risk,  living  with  fewer  freedoms  and  opportunities  than  those  they  enjoyed  in  their  natal  villages  or  when  living  in  Pakistan  or  Iran.  Evidence  gathered shows that displaced females face significant enhanced    gendered    constraints    to    accessing    education,   health   and   employment   opportunities.   They  have  lost  freedoms,  social  capital  and  networks  they  may  have  previously  enjoyed.  The  controlling  tendencies of their male kin, and their propensity to violence, are enhanced by their own desperation.

Women-led agroforestry and improved cookstoves in Honduras Field evaluation of farmer-led gender-transformative strategies for low emissions agriculture

20 Dec 2016 01:26:53 GMT

This paper outlines the development of a women-led agroforestry and improved cookstoves project in Honduras. Analysis aims to contribute to learning for future projects, especially projects aiming to improve gender relations. The project intended to increase gender equity among smallholder farmers while reducing greenhouse gas emissions through agroforestry and fuel-efficient stoves.

The project was successful due to:

  • participating farmers’ experience with innovation and research
  • engagement of men in women-led activities to enable slow, organic changes in gender relations within the implementing organization, farmers’ organizations and households; and
  • the strong history, knowledge and working relations that the implementing organization had with farmers on the ground

Areas for improvement include harnessing farmers’ knowledge of crop breeding and research to test a wider range of coffee varieties under different conditions, and improving data collection systems. Main technical findings cover topics from micro-catchment to integrated pest management to micro- financing.

This report includes an explanation of the community’s needs; a description of the technical, social, scientific and economic innovations employed in the execution of the project; and a series of recommendations to aid in the development of future projects. 

Gender dynamics in rice-farming households in Vietnam: a literature review

16 Dec 2016 11:04:28 GMT

This literature review is part of the CCAFS program on low emission agriculture flagship of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security. It serves as a background document to better understand gender roles and dynamics in the rice sector in Vietnam, and provides input into research activities on the gender  dimensions of mitigation options such as alternate wetting and drying. An understanding of gender issues helps to both improve effective design and delivery of mitigation technologies and ensure that the benefits of mitigation technologies reach women and men equitably. This will enable mitigation technologies to contribute to livelihood resilience, gender equity, and other development objectives as well as to lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

Freedom, empowerment and opportunities: action plan for women's rights and gender equality in foreign and development policy 2016-2020

16 Dec 2016 06:16:54 GMT

The fundamental aim of Norway’s gender equality efforts is to increase the opportunities available to women and girls, promote their right to self-determination, and further their empowerment. This is crucial if girls, boys, women and men are to have equal rights and equal opportunities. Norway will help to ensure that women gain a stronger position in the family, in the community and in the international arena. Boys and men can be agents of change for gender equality, and will also benefit from gender equality. Our work on women’s rights is based on international human rights obligations, in particular the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

This Action Plan focuses on five thematic priority areas. These have been chosen because they are recognised as crucial for improving the situation of women, and because they are relevant for both foreign and development policy. These are also areas where Norway has particular strengths and can make a difference. The Action Plan brings together and builds on the measures set out in chapter 7 of the white paper on gender equality (Meld. St. 7, 2015-2016 – in Norwegian only), the white papers Education for Development (Meld. St. 25, 2013-2014), Opportunities for All: Human Rights in Norway’s Foreign Policy and Development Cooperation (Meld. St. 10, 2014-2015) and Working together: Private sector development in Norwegian development cooperation (Meld. St. 35, 2014-2015). It also reaffirms the long-standing commitment to promoting gender equality in Norwegian foreign policy.

National action plan. Women, peace and security 2015-2018

16 Dec 2016 06:05:22 GMT

The adoption of UN Security Council resolution 1325 in 2000 was a groundbreaking event. The resolution recognised the disproportionate impact of conflict on women, the need to protect women from violence during conflicts, and the vital importance of women’s participation and the protection of women’s rights for international peace and security. Since 2000, the Security Council has adopted a further six resolutions on women, peace and security. Resolutions adopted by the Security Council are binding on all UN members.The Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security are intended to bridge the gap between theory and practice in this field. The present Action Plan is a tool to help Norway contribute to these efforts. The resolutions establish norms and make recommendations on how to integrate a gender perspective into peace and security efforts. The starting point is that ensuring women’s participation and taking the experience of women into account are of crucial importance in preventing and dealing with conflict, in providing effective protection for women, and for establishing peace processes that result in sustainable peace. The resolutions point to the need to incorporate a gender perspective into international operations, so that the security needs of both men and women are taken into account. They also recognise that humanitarian efforts must address the needs of both women and men in conflict situations. Four of the resolutions deal with sexual violence and recommend ways of preventing and combating such violence. This is the Norwegian authorities’ third national plan on women, peace and security, and represents an important step forward in Norway’s efforts to implement the Security Council resolutions.Norway will continue to contribute to international efforts to achieve sustainable peace on the basis of human rights, the rule of law and democracy. Peace means far more than the absence of war. Norway’s efforts must be designed to meet women’s security and humanitarian needs and uphold women’s rights. The Government’s global health and education efforts, which are targeted particularly at women and girls, tie in with these overall aims. Our goal is to ensure that more children and young people affected by crisis and conflict receive a good-quality education. We will also seek to ensure that education is given higher priority in humanitarian aid work. There is systematic discrimination against women in many countries and in many areas of activity. Armed conflict can exacerbate the situation because women are forced to flee their homes, and also because parties to conflict may deliberately attack or abuse women. The lawlessness that accompanies conflicts can make women vulnerable, for example to sexual violence.It is of crucial importance to improve women’s security and increase their freedom of action and influence. The participation of women is important in itself: everyone has the right to take part in decision-making processes that affect their own future. Men need to be encouraged to become partners in efforts to change the situation. The aim is for women and men to be involved in decision-making processes as equal partners. This will help to ensure that the security needs of the whole population are met, and will strengthen the legitimacy of decisions. Ensuring that such processes are inclusive is also a way of preventing conflict. It is not possible to achieve sustainable peace if half the population is excluded from peace processes and decisions. At the same time, the security institutions themselves must be changed. It is essential to incorporate a gender perspective into all peace and security work, which means that the impact on both women and men must be evaluated during each phase of the work. To achieve the goal of mainstreaming a gender perspective in peace[...]

Integrating gender into climate change adaptation programs: a research and capacity needs assessment for Sub-Saharan Africa

16 Dec 2016 02:52:06 GMT

Research shows that paying attention to gender matters not only for the equity of climate change adaptation programs but also for their efficiency and effectiveness. Many organizations working to increase resilience to climate change with local communities also recognize the importance of gender yet the degree to which gender is integrated in project implementation is unclear.

This study examines the extent to which organizations involved in climate change and resilience work are incorporating gender-sensitive approaches into their programs using data collected through a Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) survey and Key Informant Interviews (KII) targeted at government agencies, local and international NGOs, and other practitioners.

The results show that although organizations have access to research on climate change from various sources, more evidence is needed to inform gender integration into climate change adaptation programs across a range of local contexts. Moreover, large gaps exist in integrating gender into projects, particularly during project design. Lack of staff capacity on gender, lack of funding to support gender integration and socio-cultural constraints were identified as key barriers to gender integration by many respondents, particularly from government agencies. Increasing the capacity of organizations to carry out rigorous research and pay greater to the gender dimensions of their programs is possible through greater collaboration across organizations and more funding for gender-sensitive research.

Advancing gender equality in the post-2020 climate regime

15 Dec 2016 03:03:01 GMT

Research and evidence show that women and men are vulnerable to climate change to varying degrees, and that they experience and respond to it in different ways. Policies and actions that overlook the gendered impacts of and responses to climate change yield inequitable outcomes and exacerbate existing gender inequalities. Actions that are gender-sensitive and gender-responsive — and therefore designed to yield benefits for the whole population — are not only fairer but also more effective. Yet the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has only recently turned its attention to gender equality. The focus, initially, was on enhancing women’s participation in negotiations but gender issues are now beginning to influence decision-making in important thematic areas, with particular progress being made in adaptation, capacity building and finance. As the Parties to the Convention enter the final, critical stage of negotiations for a new, universal and legally binding agreement, they must build on these foundations so that strong provisions for gender equality take their place as an integral part of future global climate policy.
Policy pointers:
  • a commitment to gender equality in the new agreement on climate change to be adopted in Paris in December this year is essential to ensure effective and inclusive climate policy and action post 2020
  • decisions already adopted under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol represent early progress in this direction and should help governments to advance gender equality in the provisions of the Paris agreement
  • parties to the Convention must do more than focus on increasing women’s participation in decision-making, and commit to gender equality as a guiding principle of post-2020 climate policy and action
  • they should also address gender considerations in provisions that crystallise decisions in all the thematic areas of the global climate response: mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, finance, technology development and transfer, capacity
    building and transparency of action and support

CARE gender toolkit

13 Dec 2016 12:17:06 GMT

Gender and power analysis form a foundation from which to contribute toward a just and sustainable impact toward gender equality. This site by CARE International presents options and reflections on the analysis of gender and power. This is no 'how-to' guide, but a toolbox of methods with discussion on tried successes, struggles and lessons on gender analysis.

Featured Sections include:

  • The Women's Empowerment Impact Measurement Initiative (WEIMI) Guide.
  • CARE's Good Practices Framework for Gender Analysis.
  • Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Video Tutorials.

Gender roles in urban climate resilience: lessons from Hue, Vietnam

13 Dec 2016 02:38:50 GMT

There is growing awareness in Southeast Asia about the significance of gender norms and roles in climate resilience. The expectations on, and responsibilities of, men and women differ due to differences in physical characteristics, and local physical, cultural and socio-economic conditions. In this study, it is found that Hue has its own special social and environmental identity that significantly influences its resilience to climate change. Gender roles are particularly important in relation to building that resilience. Women are perceived to make a more significant contribution to human well-being, accruing funds and offering mutual support at household and community level, while men are held responsible for safety, security and other continuity plans in communities. Challenging and changing these gender-based expectations will improve the capacity of both men and women to respond effectively to climate change.
Policy pointers:
  • men and women at a grassroots level have different vulnerabilities and contribute differently to building climate resilience in Hue
  • women play key roles in sustainingand enhancing the health and well-being of people within their community, and accruing funds for households, and communities. Women also organise mutual support for each other during times of disruption.
  • men are more active in activities relating to safety, security and other continuity plans for communities. Men are also more likely to hold management roles
  • to enhance the resilience of the people living in Hue, there are significant opportunities to challenge gender-based conceptions of capacity and responsibility, and to improve the gender sensitivity of decision-making processes and forums

Gender analysis in building climate resilience in Da Nang, Vietnam: challenges and solutions

13 Dec 2016 02:09:25 GMT

Climate resilience is more likely to be achieved when men and women fully participate in planning, decision making and implementation. This study looks at what roles men and women play in climate change planning and action, and to what extent women’s needs and capacity are fully taken into account. It focuses on Da Nang, Vietnam, a city extremely vulnerable to climate change. The three core components of urban climate resilience – systems, institutions and agents – which have been used by the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition (ISET) since 2012, were examined through the gender lens by conducting a series of stakeholder consultations and household interviews.

The results indicate that (i) Da Nang has paid increasing attention to gender equality and the empowerment of women in general  administration, policy making and  implementation; (ii) social norms and gender biases still exist but they are not thought to be especially serious; (iii) both male and female groups are engaged in the process of planning and approving policies, plans and strategies on climate change; and (iv) gender relations have recently been given a positive signal in the form of support from a robust legal system and the formation of women’s associations within the municipal administrative system.
Policy pointers:
  • most major planning and policy decisions about building climate change resilience in Vietnam are taken by men because the involvement of women is restricted by social norms, gender biases and domestic work burdens. This often means that their needs and capacity are not sufficiently taken into account
  • women often have low levels of education in Vietnam, which means they have little awareness of climate change and climate change risk reduction, and this hinders their active involvement in helping to build climate resilience. This can be overcome through formal education and training to raise awareness, as well as helping women to find stable and well-paid jobs, which will give them the confidence to engage in community activities including responding to climate change
  • to enable women to fully participate in planning and decision making associated with climate change, it is crucial to have supportive mechanisms in place – for example, regulations on the minimum number of female members on councils or steering committees
  • gender-sensitive indexes/indicators should be integrated into plans, programs and projects at the city and district/ward levels to guide gendered interventions or actions so that both men and women’s needs, roles and responsibilities are taken into account when reducing vulnerability and enhancing climate resilience

Mainstreaming gender in climate change adaptation in Cirebon, Indonesia

13 Dec 2016 01:58:18 GMT

Climate change has a huge impact on many aspects of Indonesia’s economy, society and environment. The Cirebon area in West Java province is particularly affected by sea level rise, coastal flooding and long-term drought, making its population vulnerable to climate change impacts.

Vulnerability to climate change depends on an individual’s adaptive capacity – and gender inequality can affect this capacity. This briefing assesses the gender dimensions of climate change vulnerability in Cirebon coastal area and explores how gender sensitivity can be mainstreamed into local climate adaptation policies. Other factors which affect adaptive capacity, such as education, livelihoods, culture and the role of government, should also be taken into account when mainstreaming gender effectively into urban climate resilience plans and initiatives.
Policy pointers:
  • gender is an important analytical lens which highlights the different ways in which women and men manage risks and access opportunities, and the implications of this differential access for reducing vulnerability to climate change
  • gender mainstreaming in climate change adaptation is complex, and it must be considered alongside education, economic conditions, cultural norms, and the role of government, to be effectively implemented
  • Indonesian national and local government institutions have started to consider gender mainstreaming in formulating and in implementing climate change adaptation policy and programs – but a key institution with legal authority in decision-making should oversee the process to avoid duplication

Lessons from improving a gender-based climate change vulnerability assessment

13 Dec 2016 01:41:17 GMT

indonesian cities are increasingly invested in efforts to build urban resilience, and finding means of resisting, absorbing and recovering from climate change hazards. Despite growing evidence that women, especially in underserved populations, suffer disproportionately from climate change hazards, there are inadequate data and methods for taking adequate account of women’s perspectives in city-level resiliency initiatives. The indonesian civil society organisation Kota Kita conducted a study to examine its methodology for undertaking Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments (CCVAs). it focused on how its CCVA process could better assess women’s climate vulnerability for urban planning efforts, the importance of using a gender lens for resiliency planning, and observed several key gender-focused resiliency efforts in indonesia.
The study found that women’s perspectives were lacking in city-level resilience planning because few women participate in CCVAs. it also found that any data obtained had limitations in terms of its credibility, availability and accessibility, and that institutional capacity for using it was also limited. finally, it found that
gender and resilience development trends could actually reinforce gender discrimination rather than alleviate it.
Policy pointers
  • Better city provision of public services can decrease poorer communities’ reliance on threatened ecosystem services and improve environmental issues like river pollution. This creates a positive feedback loop of reduced poverty, climate change mitigation, and environmental sustainability
  • Because traditional urban planning is dominated by male perspectives, using a ‘gender lens’ or designing policies through the perspectives of women can illuminate marginalised citizens’ perspectives more generally
  • City-level planning does not have effective gender-focused data collection and implementation methods. While climate change hazards affect everyone, municipal responses must be targeted and specific to differences in gendered experiences
  • Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments (CCVAs) are increasingly common methods among NGOs and other institutions for obtaining data on how climate change hazards affect men and women differently. These CCVAs are often carried out by local community groups, NGOs, and universities in partnership with local governments who can use the data to build more effective mitigation and adaptation responses

A gender-responsive approach to climate-smart agriculture: evidence and guidance for practitioners

09 Dec 2016 12:11:58 GMT

The gender gap in agriculture is a pattern, documented worldwide, in which women in agriculture have less access to productive resources, financial capital and to advisory services compared to men (FAO, 2011). In the context of Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA), this gap means that men and women are not starting off on a level playing field. While gender shapes both men’s and women’s lives, the tendency is for women to have a more disadvantaged position in comparison to men. This can have significant implications for the adoption and sustainability of practices under a CSA approach. Further, there is a risk that, if this gap is not taken into consideration, the development of site-specific CSA options could reinforce existing inequalities.

The aim of this brief is to explain how to take into account the gender gap in agriculture in the development of site-specific CSA-sensitive practices, such as those described in other briefs in this series, through the adoption of a gender-responsive approach. This approach means that the particular needs, priorities, and realities of men and women need to be recognized and adequately addressed in the design and application of CSA so that both men and women can equally benefit.

Key messages:

  • The gender gap in agriculture affects how men and women access and benefit from CSA
  • a gender-responsive approach to CSA addresses this gap by recognizing the specific needs and capabilities of women and men
  • site-specific CSA practices that are also gender-responsive can lead to
    improvements in the lives of smallholder farmers, fishers and foresters, as well as more sustainable results


Gender differences in climate change perception and adaptation strategies: A case study on three provinces in Vietnam's Mekong River Delta

09 Dec 2016 11:32:34 GMT

This brief summarizes the findings of a project output for the Policy Information and Response Platform on Climate Change and Rice in ASEAN and its Member Countries (PIRCCA), being implemented by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). The report focuses on the
results of the survey conducted in the first half of 2015 on climate change perception and adaptation strategies of male and female farmers in three selected provinces across the Mekong River Delta (MRD) region in Vietnam: An Giang, Bac Lieu, and Tra Vihn.

Key messages:

  • all participants in the study have witnessed a change in weather in the last 10 years. Most notably, temperatures have increased and become more variable while precipitation has decreased and become more variable
  • perceptions of climate change in Vietnam do not appear to be individual but rather disaggregated at the household level (at the most finite level) or possibly at the landscape level
  • perceived impacts of stress by male and female respondents are quite similar, which may indicate that stress is managed at the household level rather than at the individual level
  • further gender research in Vietnam should focus on adaptation and coping strategies during climate change stress as it appears that gender differences are most present in this area

To cope with climate change issues, farmers need:

  • rice varieties that are tolerant to stresses such as heat, drought, and salinity
  • pest management training
  • crop production management training

Challenges related to climate change faced by individual households are likely to be the same challenges as their neighbors. Thus, future climate change studies in Vietnam should also include spatial analysis.

A gender approach to understanding the differentiated impact of barriers to adaptation: responses to climate change in rural Ethiopia

01 Dec 2016 02:39:11 GMT

While adaptation has received a fair amount of attention in the climate change debate, barriers to adaptation are the focus of a more specific, recent discussion. In this discussion, such barriers are generally treated as having a uniform, negative impact on all actors. However, this paper argues that the precise nature and impact of such barriers on different actors has so far been largely overlooked.

This study of two drought-prone communities in rural Ethiopia sets out to examine how female- and male-headed households adapt to climate change, particularly focusing on how a variety of barriers influence the choice of adaptation measures to varying extents.

To this purpose, the authors built a conceptual framework based on the Sustainable Livelihood Approach. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with male- and female-headed households, community leaders and local extension workers.

Findings suggest that gender-based differences in the choice of adaptation measures at the household level are driven by cultural, social, financial and institutional barriers. Barriers to adaptation—particularly when interacting—have a differentiated impact upon different actors. This outcome hints at the need for donors and policymakers to develop intervention strategies that are sensitive to this fact.

Displaced women and homelessness

30 Nov 2016 06:40:43 GMT

This report identifies conflicts as a cause of homelessness. Displaced persons, by definition, have to abandon their homes. Many of them have been forced to leave because of targeted discrimination.

NRC´s research shows that this is compounded by the repressive social norms women experience from their communities and families. Those who face discrimination because of their ethnicity, place of origin and gender, are more likely to become homeless and, oncehomeless, are exposed to more serious protection risks.

Women refugees in Lebanon and the consequences of limited legal status on their housing, land and property rights

30 Nov 2016 06:22:21 GMT

Understanding the situation for women refugees in particular, including the protection risks they face, is essential in order to develop and provide appropriate interventions taking their perspective and specific challenges into account.

The aim of this report is to highlight some of the consequences of limited legal status, with a specific focus on the coping mechanisms of refugees to try to maintain their housing each month and what impact such, often negative, coping mechanisms have on women in particular.

Climate change adaptation in agriculture and natural resource management in Tanzania: a gender policy review

29 Nov 2016 02:33:51 GMT

More than twenty years have passed since the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action, where gender mainstreaming was acknowledged as an indispensable global strategy for achieving gender equality. Since then, Tanzania has undoubtedly made efforts in mainstreaming gender in its national policies and strategies.

This Info Note examines the state of gender responsiveness of fourteen agriculture, climate change and natural resource management policy documents and strategy plans in Tanzania. The desk-review focuses on mainland Tanzania, acknowledging that the Zanzibar Archipelago is governed, in some cases, by independent regulations.

Key messages:

  • the inclusion of gender considerations in agriculture and natural resource management policies is of paramount importance if Tanzania is to create sustainable, inclusive and gender-sensitive interventions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. However, the disharmony existing between the different policies and sectors suggests the need for a planning framework that harmonizes and coordinates gender integration in policies and sectoral plans
  • the policy documents remain silent on the role that gender plays in the different sub-sectors and consequently the proposed actions and strategies also remain gender-blind. In addition, gender is equated to women’s issues in most of the documents, presenting a narrow approach to gender and leaving untapped the important role that men could have in closing the gender gap in agriculture and natural resource management
  • several of the reviewed documents relegate the achievement of these gender considerations to the NGO sector. There is need for an enhanced institutional arrangement and to mainstream gender throughout all sections of the policy documents for an improved performance
  • there is a mismatch between the identified gender constraints that the documents present and the suggested policy solutions, and a lack of clear strategies by which the gender goals present in the policies could be achieved
  • the proposed gender policy interventions do not yet have the potential to dramatically change or address current gender gaps. However, there are opportunities to redress the situation. First, three key national policies are under review (i.e. the National Environment Policy, the National Forest Policy and the Land Policy) and could sufficiently integrate gender. Second, planning for CSA offers a great opportunity to holistically integrate gender across implementation levels

Gendered vulnerabilities to climate change: insights from the semi-arid regions of Africa and Asia

25 Nov 2016 01:59:18 GMT

Vulnerabilities to impacts of climate change are gendered. Still, policy approaches aimed at strengthening local communities’ adaptive capacity largely fail to recognise the gendered nature of everyday realities and experiences.

Key points and recommendations:

  • gender is not just about women, but the arrangement of roles, responsibilities and relations between men and women of different social groups, ages, educational and marital statuses. Both perceptions of risks and actual vulnerabilities are shaped by these roles, responsibilities and relations, and hence may vary across place, time and social position/location
  • policies still largely fail to acknowledge the intersection of social relations and identities, which could provide a more exact understanding of adaptive behaviour in semi-arid contexts. To facilitate the inclusion of gender in policies, practices and extension services, gender should form an early focus in dialogue spaces, decision making processes and policy discussions
  • adaptive strategies need to pay attention to the divisions of work between men and women to ensure that women’s everyday lives are not overburdened, and that suitable technologies are put in place to support their performance of everyday tasks (e.g., ensuring water for domestic use in the context of scarcity)
  • adaptive strategies also need to work with social norms (that shape what kind of activities are appropriate for men and women to engage in) which might be restrictive but are not inflexible. Such social norms must be taken into consideration, and sometimes challenged, to promote gender equality and improve or increase women’s rights
  • attention needs to be paid to the growing resource conflicts around the use and management of water and land, and the underlying causes ‒ particularly with the monetisation and commoditisation of these resources posing a threat to the already-precarious survival of some semi-arid communities
  • new forms of diversification and collective action are emerging, especially by women, and trade-offs between short-term coping strategies and longer-term adaptation adaptation are becoming more apparent. All of these changes need to be better understood in terms of how gender works, is arranged and rearranged over time and place. At the same time, by building the capacity of local community ‒ especially women ‒ to access resources and ensure their voices are heard, their adaptive capacity can be increased and their dependency on state welfare can be reduced
  • studies on climate change vulnerability and impacts and identification of adaptation strategies should be done from a gender-sensitive perspective. Further research is needed to understand the potential impacts of the reorganisation of domestic groups and the rise in numbers of female-headed households on their adaptive and coping strategies, particularly in the semi-arid regions in Africa

Gender and finance: coming out of the margins. Climate policy brief

24 Nov 2016 11:01:56 GMT

Climate finance must be managed at the global, regional and national levels to ensure and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women as key actors, both in climate protection and sustainable development efforts. Managing climate change impacts at the household and community levels will undoubtedly add to women’s and girls’ time burden, impacting their overall well-being. Hence, there will be need for more focused attention on climate-induced shifts in time-use patterns in men’s and women’s care activities. Understanding and taking actions to mitigate the most negative impacts will also require en-hanced Time-Use Surveys, requiring data and analysis which will have to be financed.

Key Messages:

  • the two-way inter-linkages between gender equality and women’s empowerment and climate change are now well established: climate change impacts and how they are managed, including financing and capacity building support, can help to foster or hinder gender equality and women’s empowerment goals (women’s and men’s lives, liveli-hoods and well-being) and enhancing gender equality and women’s empowerment goals and processes can help in the successful achievement of climate goals and policies, at national, regional and global levels
  • climate finance is important for tackling areas, including promoting food security, ensuring and enhancing protec-tion from the adverse impacts of extreme weather events, covering losses and damages from storms, droughts and hurricanes, the provision of clean energy for cooking, lighting and agro processing, public transportation, the acces-sibility of individuals, households and businesses and their responsibilities for energy efficiency, waste handling etc.
  • the distribution and flows of billions of dollars of climate finance, as they exist now and in the foreseeable future ($100 billion, per year, up to 2020, including $10.2 billion pledged to the Green Climate Fund) should be amenable to gender equality and women’s empowerment, otherwise, they may impede or otherwise limit women’s abilities to adapt to and to create and maintain climate resilience of individual women, households and communities
  • ultimately, if designed, implemented and evaluated with gender sensitivity and gender responsiveness, climate finance may present new opportunities for promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment
  • gender machineries and gender advocates in developing countries must be empowered and resourced to become (more) proactively engaged with climate change policy, projects and programmes and their financing at local and national levels

Hope dries up? Women and girls coping with drought and climate change

17 Nov 2016 04:55:30 GMT

The current drought in Mozambique has a disproportionate impact on women and girls. Unequal power relations, gender inequalities and discrimination mean that women and girls are often hardest hit during a crisis and will take longer to recover. Women and girls experience vulnerability different to men. During times of crisis women`s access to, or control over, critical resources worsens, and can lead to exclusion from claiming basic services and rights. As a result women’s and girl's vulnerability can increase and under-mine their ability to cope with the impacts of droughts and other disasters.

Many women are empowering themselves and others to cope with the drought by identifying mechanisms to better influence the control of key resources, including water, and to address evolving social norms. This adaptability has crossed into the areas of informal savings and loans mechanisms, water management, outreach and the sharing of critical information. There is also a high interest among women to identify ways to diversify their agricultural production to include drought tolerant crops that can be grown beyond the current 4-month agrarian season.

Activities include:

  • environmental impacts - women and girls effectively supported to develop coping mechanisms that minimize negative environmental impacts while meeting critical income and food requirements at household level
  • food & income shortfalls - adoption of alternative income sources including using village savings and loans mechanisms to start small businesses. Practicing conservation agriculture technologies that help women to plant a range of drought tolerant crops and resume cultivating cashew groves
  • water shortfalls - participation in the management of water resources to ensure access and sustain resource


Climate finance briefing: gender and climate finance

17 Nov 2016 04:09:15 GMT

Women, who form the majority of the world’s 2 billion poorest people, are often disproportionally affected by climate change impacts as a result of persisting gender norms and discriminations. Women and men also contribute to climate change responses in different ways. The Cancun Agreements acknowledge that gender equality and the effective participation of women are important for all aspects of any response to climate change, but especially for adaptation. 

Gender-responsive climate financing instruments and funding allocations are needed. This is a matter of using scarce public funding in an equitable, efficient and effective way. It also acknowledges that climate finance decisions are not made within a normative vacuum, but must be guided by the acknowledgement of women’s rights as unalienable human rights. Many climate funds started out gender-blind, but over the past few years have recognised the need to consider gender retroactively, resulting in important fund structure and policy improvements. In contrast, the Green Climate Fund, which weeks before COP 21 in Paris approved its first projects, started out with a mandate to integrate a gender perspective from the outset into its operational and policy frameworks. It could set new best practice for gender-responsiveness in funding climate actions by addressing not only the way how, but also what it will fund.

This briefing outlines some key principles and actions for making climate-financing instruments more responsive to the needs of men and women as equal participants in decision-making about and as beneficiaries of climate actions.

Gender, youth and urban labour market participation: evidence from the tailoring sector in Kabul, Afghanistan

11 Nov 2016 01:21:46 GMT

The creation of good jobs and decent work in conflict-affected places is widely seen to generate not just better-off households, but also safer societies and more legitimate states. However, so much of the good jobs agenda is dominated by technical approaches more concerned with balancing out supply and demand than with serious analysis of the role of institutions, identity and power in mediating access to opportunities. This study is about understanding how labour markets actually work in insecure and dynamic contexts, with a particular focus on: how young women and men acquire skills and enter the urban labour market in the first place, particularly in light of the highly gendered nature of boundaries between public and private spacewhat the nature, terms and limits of their labour market participation look like; andwhether participation in that urban labour market is working for or against them (in terms of its effects on various dimensions of their wellbeing).More specifically, it looks at young women’s and men’s experiences in Kabul’s tailoring labour market.labour market participation are socially regulated and deeply gendered. Networks matter, and labour market outcomes have a strong relational dimension to them. For example, gaining the support of key male figures (fathers, uncles, husbands) appears important for young women wanting to enter the sector, and, for young men, access to tailoring ‘apprenticeships’ (informal, but widespread) is largely dependent on social connections and the relationship between teachers and students’ parents. Second, the multiple ways in which women’s access to the market is regulated can be understood as a kind of informal tax on women’s livelihoods. The combination of years of unpaid labour, a more limited and lower quality skill-set relative to male tailors, and restricted access to various parts of the physical marketplace works to reduce economic returns for most women (although examples of real success are also apparent, but in far smaller numbers). And third, participation in the tailoring labour market has quite different meanings for young women compared to young men: while for the latter, the acquisition of tailoring skills is often seen as forming an economic safety net when times get tough – a long-term Plan B, as it were – for women, participation is much more about the hard-won outcome of a struggle against institutional bounds on economic activity. In some ways, the very act of being able to operate visibly in the urban labourmarket constitutes if not a major achievement, then at least a symbol of resistance against the (highly patriarchal) social rules of the game. However, the generally poor terms of women’s participation in the urban labour market serve to remind us that there is still a long way to go before we might consider calling this a good news story.These findings suggest that the labour market ultimately functions as a social economy: one’s access and participation are socially regulated not only by one’s networks, but also by institutionalised ideas about what is seen to constitute acceptable behaviour for different social groups. As such, donor programming seeking to create better work for young people in Afghanistan must start with the idea that labour markets both reflect and reinforce existing social inequality, and engage with th[...]

For richer, for poorer: marriage and casualized sex in East African artisanal mining settlements

08 Nov 2016 11:39:15 GMT

Migrants to Tanzania’s artisanal gold mining sites seek mineral wealth, which is accompanied by high risks of occupational hazards, economic failure, AIDS and social censure from their home communities. Male miners in these settlements compete to attract newly arrived young women who are perceived to be diverting male material support from older women and children’s economic survival. This article explores the dynamics of monogamy, polygamy and promiscuity in the context of rapid occupational change. It shows how a wide spectrum of productive and welfare outcomes is generated through sexual experimentation, which calls into question conventional concepts of prostitution, marriage and gender power relations.
Contrary to the view that women are parasitically dependent on miners’ economic support, financial interdependency between miners and their stable female partners is the norm. Most women are self-making in terms of constructing a livelihood combined with searching for a male partner. Viable emotionally and financially supportive sexual partnerships can and do form in a significant proportion of relationships despite miners’ temptation to seek the company of young good-time girls and their financial capability to have many girlfriends and/or marry frequently. Women who are strong, business-diversified, calculating planners with enduring marital relationships are rewarded whereas many others fall on exceptionally hard times, often dislocated from the material and moral support of their extended families.
Thus, men’s luck, skill and willingness to move to new mining strike sites are only part of the story. Many have female partners, be they informal wives or girlfriends, who facilitate their economic success. Reciprocal balance between men’s and women’s ad hoc sexual and economic partnerships is hard to achieve. Miners’ mobility can be enriching for men, but impoverishing for their female partners and the children they father. Nonetheless, women in Tanzanian mining settlements generally do not perceive or portray themselves as victims of sexual oppression. No longer subject to the control of their elders, they have migrated to the mining settlements, engaged in sexual relationships, and pursued productive and reproductive paths of self-making in or out of relationships with men.

Reflections on the formulation and implementation of Integrated Water Resources Management in Southern and Eastern Africa from a gender perspective

08 Nov 2016 04:33:05 GMT

While it is claimed that the founding principles of integrated water resources management are the Dublin Principles this does not appear to be the case for Principle No. 3, which underlines the importance of women in water provision, management and safeguarding. Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe are members of SADC and have signed the SADC Protocol on Women and other international human rights instruments. However, we do not see an incorporation of these instruments and other empowerment frameworks into water policies. We find that Principle No. 3 has been sidelined in the implementation of Integrated Water Resource Manageme nt (IWRM). In examining the gender practices in these four nations of Africa, gender equality remains distant from the concerns of the water sector. We enumerate many of the commonalities among these countries in how they are marginalising women'€™s access to, and use of, water.

The equity impact of participatory women's groups to reduce neonatal mortality in India: secondary analysis of a cluster-randomised trial

03 Nov 2016 02:14:26 GMT

Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been uneven. Inequalities in child health are large and effective interventions rarely reach the most in need. Little is known about how to reduce these inequalities. We describe and explain the equity impact of a women’s group intervention in India that strongly reduced the neonatal mortality rate (NMR) in a cluster-randomised trial. We conducted secondary analyses of the trial data, obtained through prospective surveillance of a population of 228, 186. The intervention effects were estimated separately, through random effects logistic regression, for the most and less socio-economically marginalised groups.

Key messages:

  • the effects of the women’s group intervention on NMR were substantially stronger among the most socio-economically marginalised than among less marginalised groups in the Ekjut trial.
  • socio-economic inequalities in neonatal mortality can be substantially reduced through a low-cost participatory community intervention.
  • universal coverage combined with ‘soft targeting’ of high-risk groups with effective interventions can have very substantial and equitable effects on mortality

Violence against women in the context of urban poverty in Angola

02 Nov 2016 02:13:25 GMT

Violence against women is widespread in Angola. This brief presents the main findings in a recent study of how violence against women is playing out in the context of urban poverty. Faced with day-to-day challenges for survival and social reproduction, women rank violence relatively low in their problem hierarchy. Victims of violence have very few venues for seeking help and support. Cultural norms and the country’s political history seem to “normalize” violence, perpetuating low social awareness about the issue.

This CMI/CEIC Brief emerges from the joint CEIC and CMI research project “Cooperation on Research and Development in Angola”, and is based on qualitative research in two urban poor neighbourhoods (locally known as musseques) in the city capital of Luanda, conducted in February 2016.

The women’s rights champion. Tunisia’s potential for furthering women’s rights.

02 Nov 2016 01:33:07 GMT

Tunisia is a country in the midst of its post-revolutionary transition, and the status and legal position of women since the 2011 “Jasmine Revolution” is central to this transition. This report addresses the prospects for women-friendly family law reform in Tunisia in the aftermath of the 2011 evolution, with a particular focus on the potential impact of the 2014 Tunisian constitution.
In the area of women’s rights, the constitution sets forth a principle of equality that is a departure from the currently applicable family law – the Code du Statut Personnel of 1956 (CSP). A particularly stark example is the case of inheritance law: under the CSP women are only due to inherit one-half the share due to a man, but article 21 of the new constitution states, “All citizens, male and female, have equal rights and duties, and are equal before the law without any discrimination.” Although Tunisia lifted all special reservations to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) after the revolution, it has yet to revise domestic laws to conform to the principle of equality for all citizens that is mandated by the new constitution.
Another central issue in implementing the constitution is the ambiguous nature of the constitutional text itself, which specifies that international treaties are superior to domestic law, but does not specify what weight should be given to sharia law vis-à-vis international treaties. The yet-to-be-established constitutional court will have to settle this ambiguity as well as conflicts between the constitution itself and currently applicable family law. During interviews conducted as part of the fieldwork for this report, activists, politicians, and legal professionals mentioned how Tunisia is facing an “identity crisis.” This report considers this perspective and attempts to make sense of the constitution’s ambiguities. As such, this report does not conclude how the constitutional implementation process will play out, but does shed light on the on-going process and how legal professionals, politicians and activists in Tunisia view the possibilities for change.
The report also analyses the history of women’s status in Tunisia. Although Tunisia is often viewed as a secular country, Islam plays an important role both as the basis of the country’s national identity and also as the source of legal thought and the legal framework. In fact, some people interviewed in preparation of this report consider the Tunisian school of Islamic thought to be central to the liberal gender project in Tunisia. The legacy of former president Habib Bourguiba is central to the development of a post-independence state in which women have revolutionary rights (such as the right to vote, to obtain free abortions, to avoid polygamy, and to divorce).

New knowledge on children and young people: a synthesis of evidence

14 Oct 2016 03:12:58 GMT

This report synthesises insights on children and young people (CYP) from research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research. It identifies the major contributions the scheme has made to knowledge on CYP in low- and middle-income countries and on effective policies for promoting CYP wellbeing. It situates learning from scheme-funded research within the wider field of CYP-oriented international development research and reflects on the ways in which findings relate to contemporary
development policy agendas for CYP. The report is based on a thorough review of all available documentation and outputs related to the 126 grants funded at the start of the review period and on conversations and interviews with current grant-holders.

  • 44 grants (35% of all scheme-funded research) generated insights on children and young people. Of these two-thirds had a strong or moderate focus on CYP. Insights are diverse, with no two grants examining the same issue
  • most new knowledge has been generated on education and health, followed by livelihoods issues, transitions to marriage and sexual relationships and violence against children and young people
  • 55% of grants provide insights into the effectiveness of particular policies and programmes. Many studies address current policy dilemmas; others probe the impact of significant development trends on children and young people
  • there was a strong youth focus in these grants with 73% of grants producing knowledge on young people aged 15 and over, or on key policy issues affecting them
  • a third of research projects had achieved positive impacts on children and young people or are expected to do so



Every last girl: free to live, free to learn, free from harm

11 Oct 2016 10:21:25 GMT

More than 700 million women in the world today were married before their 18th birthday and one in three of those women was married before age 15. Child marriage can trigger a cycle of disadvantage across every part of a girl’s life.

Maternal mortality is the second leading cause of death for adolescent girls aged 15–19 years old (after suicide). An estimated 70,000 adolescent girls die each year from complications during pregnancy or childbirth. Every year 2.5 million girls under 16 give birth.

Aside from child marriage and inadequate sexual and reproductive helath care, this report highlights further barriers to girls' equality, including gender-based violence, trafficking, economic exclusion when household resources are limited and boys are prioritised, education and learning gaps, and gender issues arising from conflict and disasters.

This report identifies the three specific Guarantees to Girls that governments must make - fair finance, equal treatment and accountability - that governments must make to reach excluded children.

Gender dynamics in a changing climate: how gender and adaptive capacity affect resilience

07 Oct 2016 02:29:01 GMT

Gender, climate change and adaptive capacity are intricately linked. Poor and marginalised women and men face multiple and complex challenges. Climate change further exacerbates these challenges and threatens to erode development gains made to date. Unequal distribution of resources and power imbalances are both the root cause of poverty and also impact on a person’s capacity to adapt. Adaptation interventions are often based on the belief that women’s role in the home makes them critical agents of change and, thus, a focus for adaptation interventions. But many women do not have decision-making power within the home or over all household resources, let alone over valued livelihood resources and may not be able to keep or manage their own earnings. Even in some female-headed households, social stigma may prevent many women from being treated as economic or social equals, despite their sole management of their livelihoods. These barriers tend not to be addressed by climate change adaptation programmes, which can inadvertently entrench gender inequality and even increase women’s workloads. This learning brief synthesises lessons drawn from CARE’s Adaptation Learning Programme for Africa (ALP), which has been supporting vulnerable communities in sub-Saharan Africa to adapt to the impacts of climate change since 2010. It is based on evidence and practical experience in implementing community based adaptation (CBA), about gender dynamics and the ways in which CBA can increase adaptive capacity and promote gender equality. It identifies the factors shaping gender dynamics and adaptive capacity and gives examples of how to integrate gender into CBA approaches as well as outlining knowledge gaps and recommendations for policy and practice. Recommendations for policy and practice include:tackle the gender dimensions of livelihoods: they are context-specific and addressing them in appropriate ways demands context-specific action. Gender-sensitive analysis, policy and planning is critical to thisinclude gender equality in climate change policy goals and strategiesnational and sub-national adaptation planning needs to be led by affected communities, and be based on an understanding of the gendered nature of climate change impacts as well as adaptation initiatives themselves so as not to further entrench inequality. Gender-equitable participatory actions will bring more gender balance into initiativesstrengthen interdepartmental work between women’s departments and climate change departmentspower imbalance and access to decision-making in the home, community and country must be recognised and addressed in the global responseapproach efforts to address adaptive capacity and gender equality not as an issue for women alone, but as an issue that is critical for the advancement of everyone in society; it is an indispensable part of achieving social justiceinvest in improving women’s economic empowerment in the face of climate change to address the way resources and labour are distributed and valued in the economyprogrammes need appropriate timeframes and adequate resources in order to influence social[...]

Does international migration help them marry earlier? A hazard model for the case of Egypt

04 Oct 2016 04:22:19 GMT

Marriage represents an important step of entering adulthood in the Egyptian society and its delay often results in tensions and frustration among youth. Considering migration as a predetermined strategy to reach a targeted level of savings, the authors question whether having migrated helps shorten the duration to marriage in the case of Egypt. To the best of their knowledge, the present study will be the first to link the timing of migration to the timing of marriage in the case of Egypt. The paper finds no effect of migration on the timing of marriage, except within the migrant population.

Why is fertility on the rise in Egypt? The role of women’s employment opportunities

04 Oct 2016 04:13:46 GMT

Can declining employment opportunities for women reverse the fertility transition? This paper presents new evidence that the demographic transition has not just stalled, but in fact reversed in Egypt. After falling for decades, fertility rates are increasing. The drivers of rising fertility rates are examined, with a particular focus on the role of declining public sector employment opportunities for women. By using unique data with detailed fertility and employment histories, the effects of public sector employment opportunities on women’s fertility are estimated. Estimates are calculated by examining the effect of public sector employment on the spacing and occurrence of births using discrete-time hazard models, the results of which are then used to simulate total fertility rates. The potential endogeneity of employment is addressed by incorporating woman-specific fixed effects, incorporating local employment opportunities rather than women’s own employment, and using local employment opportunities as an instrument.
Results indicate that the decrease in public sector employment, which is particularly appealing to women, has contributed to the rise in fertility.

Understanding teenage fertility, cohabitation, and marriage: the case of Peru

29 Sep 2016 10:19:14 GMT

In this study, the authors used data from the Young Lives study, which investigates teenage childbearing, marriage, and cohabitation by tracking a cohort of individuals from the ages of 8 to 19 years. While the present analysis does not intend to establish causality, the longitudinal nature of the data allows us to identify the combination of early circumstances and life changes that induce a higher likelihood of these events. The analysis addresses bias due both to reverse causality and to community characteristics that are usually unobserved and fixed over time, a strategy that is quite unique in studies of developing countries.
About 1 out of 5 females (and 1 out of 20 males) in the sample here had at least one child by the age of 19, and 80 percent of them were married or cohabiting. Early marriage/cohabitation is indeed intrinsically related to early pregnancy and largely predicted by the same factors. For females specifically, girls from poor households with an absent parent for a prolonged period have a higher risk of early childbearing. Similarly, girls whose self-efficacy and educational aspirations decrease over time are more at risk of becoming a mother during adolescence. Conversely, school attendance and better school performance predict a lower risk of early pregnancy; our analysis suggests that this is largely because it postpones the first sexual relationship.

Between hope and a hard place: boys and young men negotiating gender, poverty and social worth in Ethiopia

29 Sep 2016 09:58:54 GMT

In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on adolescence as a key transition to adulthood. Young people are navigating puberty and making life choices around schooling, work, and intimate and family relationships. However, much of the attention has been on girls. This has led to a lack of gendered analysis and has also meant that adolescent boys have been largely left out of the picture.

This paper uses Young Lives research in Ethiopia, carried out over multiple years, to look at boys and young men’s lives, their aspirations, and the obstacles they face as they grow into adults. It examines the diverse strategies they employ to overcome these challenges, and compares their experiences with those of girls and young women of the same age.

  • Education is seen by both parents and children as a route out of poverty.  95 per cent of Young Lives boys and girls were enrolled in school at the age of 12. By age 19, there was a growing ambivalence regarding education, particularly for young men who increasingly oriented their aspirations towards the world of work.
  • Rural/urban contrasts: Young people growing up in rural areas are often seen as having fewer life chances than those in towns. But the least optimistic young men were located in urban areas where they felt disconnected from development opportunities.
  • Livelihoods: Many of the young men had left school and were trying to find work, both as a response to poverty and a vital source of respect in the community. But because they found so few opportunities for gainful employment, some of them were left feeling stuck and hopeless.
  • Marriage Girls: see marriage as one way of improving their lives. But for young men, marriage was impossible until they had adequately paid work, and was therefore a way of entering into adulthood that they could not imagine in the near future.

The paper concludes by drawing out the policy implications of our findings. It calls for stronger gendered evidence on the relationship between gender inequality and childhood poverty, and an approach to gender justice that include boys and young men, as well as girls and young women, so that none are left trapped between hope and a hard place.

[Summary from Younf Lives]

Empowering women for sustainable energy solutions to address climate change: experiences from UN Women and UNDP-UNEP PEI Africa

23 Sep 2016 01:34:21 GMT

Renewable, clean energy and gender equality are preconditions for sustainable development and for tackling climate change, as envisioned by the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030. Women’s knowledge, empowerment and collective action are central  to  finding and building more environmentally sustainable pathways to manage our environment; adapt to climate change; and secure access to sustainable energy.

The experiences documented in this paper provide an overview of lessons learned which can help address bottlenecks and inform the way forward for gender-responsive climate, energy and environment policies and programmes. These can be summarised as follows:
  • women need to be involved in decision making and play a leadership role in promoting decentralized renewable energy access; they also need to benefit from renewable energy for economic empowerment
  • apply a cross-sectoral approach to gender, climate and energy policy and programming
  • promote women’s productive use of renewable energy, and reduce women’s time dedicated to unpaid care and domestic work
  • target policy processes and build capacity to mainstream gender, climate and energy in an integrated manner
  • remove investment barriers and create equal opportunities for women’s entrepreneurship and decent employment and access to technologies
  • influence budget processes to fund the implementation of gender-sensitive energy and climate solutions

Not ready, still waiting: Governments have a long way to go in preparing to address gender inequality and the SDGs

22 Sep 2016 04:37:01 GMT

Governments urgently need to improve their policy readiness if they want to have any chance of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on inequalities. Governments in developing countries do not yet have the laws and policies in place to allow them to achieve SDG 5 on gender equality and SDG 10 on reduced inequality within and among countries.

In ActionAid’s study, only three of ten developing countries had over 65% of key inequality-reducing policies in place.2 To make things worse, rich countries are not adequately supporting developing countries to achieve the SDGs, contrary to SDG 17’s aim to 2revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development". Indeed, some rich countries’ domestic and development policies deepen inequalities globally. Ultimately, governments' failure to address women’s inequalities may jeopardise achievement of all SDGs.

In this report, ActionAid looks at where governments are policy ready and where they are not, identifying where key policies, laws and supportive environments will allow governments to take the first step towards greater economic and gender equality.

To improve their policy readiness to achieve the SDGs, civil society and national governments should:

  • from those who currently hold power and influence, including multilateral institutions, rich-country governments, elite groups, and multinational corporations, and towards developing country governments and their people
  • develop and hold governments accountable to redistributive national plans with policies that support the accomplishment of the SDGs. Such policies would aim to: recognise, redistribute and reduce women’s unpaid care work; improve opportunities for decent work and wages for women and young people; stop violence against women and girls; improve women’s mobility, and their capacity to organise and participate in decision- making at all levels; improve women’s access to education and health, and their access to and control over natural and economic resources

  • put in place appropriate systems, governance, financial support, and monitoring and evaluation programmes so policies can be designed with a genuine “feminist lens” insisting that women’s development potential be at the centre of analysis and decisions. Those systems should be implemented with sufficient information, infrastructure and budget, and rigorously monitored by women and girls who are given the power to hold decision-makers accountable

Gender analysis in building climate resilience in Da Nang: challenges and solutions

22 Sep 2016 03:39:30 GMT

Climate resilience is more likely to be achieved when men and women fully participate in planning, decision making and implementation. This study looks at what roles men and women play in climate change planning and action, and to what extent women’s needs and capacity are fully taken into account. It focuses on Da Nang, Vietnam, a city extremely vulnerable to climate change.

The three core components of urban climate resilience - systems, institutions and agents - which have been used by the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition (ISET) since 2012, were examined through the gender lens by conducting a series of stakeholder consultations and household interviews.

The results indicate that (i) Da Nang has paid increasing attention to gender equality and the empowerment of women in general administration, policy making and implementation; (ii) social norms and gender biases still exist but they are not thought to be especially serious; (iii) both male and female groups are engaged in the process of planning and approving policies, plans and strategies on climate change; and (iv) gender relations have recently been given a positive signal in the form of support from a robust legal system and the formation of women’s associations within the municipal administrative system.

Gender specific vulnerability in climate change and possible sustainable livelihoods of coastal people. a case from Bangladesh

22 Sep 2016 03:29:42 GMT

Gender differences in vulnerability to climate change related disaster is severe in Bangladesh. Like many other developing countries of the world, Bangladeshi women have limited access to resources and decision making power. They carry the major responsibility for household water supply, as well as, energy gathering for cooking and food security. As a result, women face multiple challenges in coastal area because their gendered labour roles are severely affected by climate change.
The paper addresses the gender specific vulnerability of coastal people in climatic hazards in Bangladesh. This study has been conducted by qualitative methods with some qualitative tools i.e. Key Informants Interview (KII) and Focus Group Discussion (FGD) to get the vivid and comprehensive views about gender specific susceptibility of climate induced hazards from social, gender, cultural and behavioral perspectives. The paper explores the gender specific vulnerability of climate change and possible sustainable livelihoods of coastal people in Bangladesh.
This paper finds that climate change is not gender neutral. It affects men and women differently for their roles and responsibilities in the society. Women’s roles are often confined to household labour such as looking after children and ailing people, as well as disaster specific roles such as saving properties from obliteration. These roles make women particularly vulnerable in natural hazards. By contrast, men’s roles often include working outside and so are more likely to escape natural hazards.
The paper also finds that woman’s dependency on natural resources is severely affected by climate change variability which causes vulnerability to women in natural hazards. This paper outlines key considerations of gender and climate change that can helps policy makers improve policy and implementation for the diminution of vulnerability of women in Bangladesh as well as developing countries of the world.

Understanding gender in community-based adaptation: practitioner brief

22 Sep 2016 02:41:28 GMT

Accessing weather forecasts, having control over land, being able to influence decision-making processes, being backed by a community group, or being literate and educated are examples of the human and material resources through which people can act on the consequences of climate change. They are also strongly influenced by what makes up people’s social and economic position in society – for example gender, age, ethnicity or religion. In other words, the degree to which a person, family or community suffers from – or thrives in – climatic shocks, weather extremes and uncertainty, or changes in the environment and economy, strongly depend on these and other social factors. People’s social and economic roles and positions in society shift and change over time and for many reasons – media and communication technologies, transportation and urbanisation trends, changing markets, and last but not least shifts in the climate and environment, etc. are all having impacts on them.
Gender is an important part of these shifting social factors, and as such continuously shapes vulnerability to climate change and people’s capacity to adapt. Gender inequality continues to be one of the most persistent and widespread forms of social inequality across the world. And yet, while its importance is increasingly recognised by policy makers and practitioners working to address climate change, its role in adapting to climate change is often poorly understood, or simply misunderstood.
Integrating gender into community-based adaptation:
  • is essential for practitioners and communities to ground the adaptation process in a good understanding of the context, existing vulnerabilities and capacities
  • is essential for communities to ensure the processes and actions they choose are relevant to both men and women in different social settings
  • helps practitioners and communities understand why and how gender groups can be vulnerable to climate change in different ways, and how this changes over time
  • helps to ensure decision-making power is more equally distributed between different social groups affected by climatic changes
  • is required for community-based adaptation to contribute to the transformation of long-standing, deeply rooted barriers to developmen

Gender analysis in building climate resilience in Da Nang: challenges and solutions

08 Sep 2016 10:42:46 GMT

Although the legal framework for gender equality exists in Vietnam, gender mainstreaming in climate change planning and action have not yet been fully realised and addressed by local actors. In Da Nang, a gendered view to climate resilience building was also a new approach for the city and local authorities and vulnerable communities. This study examines the gender issue through the climate resilience lens within the context of Da Nang to see how gender and its link to climate change was locally perceived and at what level(s) gender equality and women's role were appreciated and incorporated into climate change planning and action.

The study applied the Resilience Framework provided by the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition (ISET) to examine the linkages of gender and climate change resilience building. Three key components of this Framework, Agent , Institution and System , were then used to analyse the data collected from the stakeholder consultations and field survey.

The key research findings include:

  • in Da Nang, gender relations have recently been given a positive signal
  • the lack of specific instructions on gendered relations is likely to cause local actors to underestimate the importance of gendered interventions in practice; and
  • the greater vulnerability of women is not merely due to social or gender biases but also because of their own physical weaknesses.

Three important policy implications generated from the study are:

  • the necessity of improving women’s capacity to address their vulnerability
  • the necessity of having supportive mechanisms to enable full participation of women in planning and decision making
  • the necessity of integrating gender-sensitive indicators into plans and strategies to guide gendered interventions in practice.

Supporting women farmers in a changing climate: five policy lessons

02 Sep 2016 12:52:05 GMT

Recent research presented at a seminar in Paris co-organized by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), the International Social Science Council (ISSC) and Future Earth produced five key policy recommendations for supporting women farmers in a changing climate.

Key recommendations:

  • new technologies and practices for climate change will be adopted more successfully when they are appropriate to women’s interests, resources and demands
  • extension and climate information services need to serve women and men
  • institutions need to take into account women’s priorities and support their adaptive capacity
  • women's capacity as farmers and innovators needs to be recognized and supported; and
  • climate policy processes should go beyond numerical representation of women to create active mechanisms to express opinions, take initiatives, and influence decisions

Gender-responsive climate policies and programmes include:

  • a gender component as a qualifying criterion to access international funding
  • design that is informed by needs assessments that distinguish women's and men's needs and priorities.
  • monitoring and assessment indicators of real change in gender and social inclusion

Seeds of adaptation Climate change, crop diversification and the role of women farmers

02 Sep 2016 12:43:30 GMT

Farmers’ own seed systems are at the heart of food security. These systems are currently under stress due to political, social, economic and environmental changes. Women farmers play key roles in these systems. However, they are often overlooked by researchers and development personnel, policies and programshe examples of Bhutan and South Africa illustrate the key role of women farmers in local climate change adaptation efforts and how these efforts in turn are changing local agro-ecological and socioeconomic landscapes. Yet, research and development programs and projects pay insufficient attention to the successes and challenges of such farmers’ efforts.
The examples of Bhutan and South Africa illustrate the key role of women farmers in local climate change adaptation efforts and how these efforts in turn are changing local agro-ecological and socioeconomic landscapes. Yet, research and development programs and projects pay insufficient attention to the successes and challenges of such farmers’ efforts.
More attention and support is needed to:
  • encourage the safeguarding and improvement of local plant species and varieties maintained by smallholder farmers and their communities, recognizing the central role of women
  • value and reward farmers’ collective efforts to safeguard and improve agricultural biodiversity and associated cultural values and knowledge
  • support farmers technically and financially to organize themselves and strengthen their organizational capacity, taking into consideration the leadership role of women


Interlinkages between climate change and sexual and reproductive health

02 Sep 2016 01:41:33 GMT

Reviewing the Nepalese government's climate change policy showed that the government do not have any policies addressing the linkages between climate change and sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR). There are separate policies on climate change which is looked after by the Ministry of Environment Sciences and Technologies, and the policies on sexual and reproductive health which are looked upon by the Ministry of health. As climate change and SRHR issues are interrelated, impacting women's health and livelihoods. Hence, it is important to have policy coordination and integrated response to the field realities from government's side.

The analysis of the data in this study showed that the women and girls are the ones mostly affected by adverse impact of climate change. The major reason behind this is increased frequency of natural disasters which increase the work burden on women, This increased physical and mental stress on women have directly impacted their sexual and reproductive health and the impact of climate change on agriculture has triggered the situation of food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition.

Voices from the field: using Photovoice to explore impacts of climate change on mental health in Nepal

02 Sep 2016 01:24:20 GMT

Photovoice is a participatory research method that uses photos as a tool for deconstructing problems and questions raised by community members, with the goal of generating actionable solutions. The method enhances and builds community by allowing members to identify, reflect on, and address their own needs.

“The photovoice method involves participants in the research process as much as possible and , as a result, is a very collaborative and community -enhancing process,” said Libby King MacFarlane, who used the technique in Nepal to address issues of climate change and mental health. “Using images as a point of contact to start discussing complex community topics allows people to unpack issues slowly and organically until they arrive at an actionable solution,” she explained.
It was evident in the exit interviews that the women recognised the benefits of sharing environmental best practices and the importance of building community capacity to adapt to and mitigate environmental issues in the community. They also reported feeling more confident and recognized the importance of sharing stories to ease pain. After the photovoice sessions , the women showed significant improvements in depression, anxiety, and resilience scores compared to before the sessions, further supporting the positive mental health outcomes reported by the women.

Gender and international climate policy: an analysis of progress in gender equality at COP21

02 Sep 2016 01:06:37 GMT

While women play an important role in agriculture, environmental and natural resource management, they have greater financial or resource constraints, and lower levels of access to information and extension services than men. Because of these gender inequalities, women appear to be less able to adapt to climate change.

Key message:

  • gender is not well integrated into climate change policy in relation to agriculture
  • policy makers need to t ak e into account the differential vuln erabilities of men and women farmers to climate change
  • in spite of their vulnerabilities to climate change, rural women can be important agents of change and innovators. This potential can be best tapped into by co-designing climate-smart technologies and practices with women
  • gender receives attention in about 40% of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) submitted ahead of COP21, none from Annex 1 countries
  • gender references are confined mostly to impacts of climate change on women and women as "€œvulnerable populations", with less emphasis on supporting women to actively address and participate in adaptation and mitigation actions
  • the use of the term "€gender-responsive"€ in the Paris Agreement is a big step forward, however the Agreement fails to move beyond the attitude of women as victims of climate change in need of capacity building
  • stronger steps need to be taken for real gender equality in climate policies, including better monitoring and evaluation of the progress