Women and climate change in the Sahel
The purpose of this paper is to explore the gendered impacts of climate change in the Sahel. In particular, it explores the ways in which gender inequality is a critical factor in understanding vulnerability and resilience efforts concerning climate change. It shows that the current climate crisis is affecting livelihoods throughout the Sahel in pronounced ways. In a region highly dependent upon subsistence agriculture and pastoralist livelihoods, climate variability and environmental degradation have made such livelihoods difficult to sustain, the effects of which have broad ranging impacts on social and economic systems. Consequently, migration, livelihood adaptation, social unrest, and political instability emerge from the ecological challenges the Sahel is facing. Those with the resources to respond to and prepare for future climate events will be better equipped to navigate the climate crisis. Unfortunately, those resources are rarely equally distributed at the household, community, and state levels. In particular, gender inequalities within the Sahel pose a very real challenge for adaptation and resilience strategies as states and global institutions make interventions to support at risk populations. The paper then explores what development and state institutions are doing to resolve gender inequity through climate resilience policy, and where these efforts are falling short. The paper concludes with some strategies to improve opportunities for gender equity and climate resilience based on field research within the Sahel.
Published on March 09, 2020
West African Papers
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