Women and girls are key to producing more gender-equitable solutions to climate change globally.

Sector Overview

Climate change is not gender neutral in its impacts. The dire effects of climate change disproportionately affect groups that already experience marginalization because of their gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, class, age, and ability, among other things. Women and girls, on average, are significantly more likely than men to die from natural and climate disasters. Women’s roles within food and water systems, along with their frequently limited access to resources and information, increase their risk exposure and ability to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Compounding these effects, mechanisms for coping with climate stressors often come at the expense of women and girls, such as increased rates of gender-based violence (GBV), including resource constraints leading families to push girls into child, early, and forced marriage. Yet women are also climate leaders in their communities, contributing unique skills, knowledge networks, and community needs. Women are decision-makers, stakeholders, educators, and experts key to producing more equitable and sustainable solutions to climate change. 



It is essential that mitigation activities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions consider women’s important role as leaders of mitigation efforts. This includes ensuring that financing mechanisms, technological developments, and legal frameworks associated with infrastructure development are gender-equitable and reflect women’s priorities and needs.


Empowering women as leaders and including women’s priorities and needs in climate change adaptation measures is key to reducing exposure and vulnerability and building the resilience of all people to the effects of climate change. Robust and meaningful gender integration into adaptation interventions will prevent activities from exacerbating existing inequalities — which risks contributing to increased levels of GBV — and will ensure that the contributions and needs of those most vulnerable to climate change are incorporated into activities. 

Food Security

Women farmers rely more heavily on traditional food sources and subsistence agriculture, which are severely affected by climate change. Yet, women are underrepresented recipients of climate-smart agricultural support. To improve food security for all, it is essential that women farmers gain equal access to resources, information, and risk management tools to lead on food-security solutions. 

The success of climate action requires diverse and substantive women’s leadership, including through direct funding for women-led and gender-equality organizations. Climate interventions must also mitigate the risk of contributing to women’s time poverty. In compliance with the Lima Work Programme on Gender and its Gender Action Plan, governments must integrate a gender lens into their national policies, action plans, and other measures to combat climate change.

Promising Approaches

  1. Integrate a gender lens in climate mitigation and adaptation programs and policies to address women’s vulnerability and advance their important role as leaders of climate mitigation and adaptation solutions. 
  2. Increase financial and technical resources for women-led and gender-equality organizations leading climate action, especially through direct, flexible, and core funding.
  3. Create economic opportunities for women in climate mitigation and adaptation-related industries by supporting an enabling environment for equitable access to jobs in this sector, including through education, training, and capacity building for both the workforce and management.
  4. Support behavioral change programming that addresses harmful gender norms and time poverty, advances gender equality, and increases acceptance of women’s participation in and leadership on climate actions at all levels, including through engagement with men and boys to champion women’s leadership.
  5. Address and mitigate the risks of GBV arising from women’s increased access to land rights, participation in the workforce, management of natural resources, and leadership in environmental protection efforts.
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