Gender Approaches in Climate Compatible Development: Lessons from India
Climate change is increasingly recognized as a global crisis, but solutions have so far focused on scientific and economic options, rather than on the human and gender dimensions. Despite the fact that marginalized and poor people, including women, are affected first and hardest by climate change, evidence indicates that women’s views, needs and participation are excluded from the design and planning of climate change responses, including major policies. Moreover, women are often perceived primarily as victims, and not as equal contributors of knowledge and skills in disaster risk, adaptation and mitigation strategies.
Most research into gender and climate change has been carried out in rural contexts. Significant knowledge gaps exist on the relationship between these two issues in urban settings. With the aim of contributing new evidence to this arena, the current study explores the advantages and challenges of integrating gender dimensions into climate compatible development strategies. It focuses on a project launched by the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) in India. This particular initiative was implemented over seven years by the Gorakhpur Environment Action Group (GEAG) in Mahewa ward, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh. Although it was not designed to have an explicit gender-based approach,
the ACCCRN project integrated a gender perspective during planning and implementation through the establishment of committees, participatory vulnerability analysis and interventions in resilience planning, water and sanitation, climate-resilient agriculture, health, climate-resilient buildings and promotion of livelihood activities for women.