It is important to consider within-gender differences in needs and interests as between-gender differences. Family, tribe, class and age differences commonly override gender similarities. Men and women respond differently to climate change and variability. Within genders, other characteristics such as class, race, caste, culture, wealth, age and ethnicity influence responses and affect the impact of climate variability and change on livelihoods. Womens responses include coping in the short term, diversifying in the medium term and planning for the long term. In the short term this may heighten their vulnerability but in the long term their responses may help them gain more influence and power. The knowledge and insights that women could contribute to decisions on adapting to and mitigating climate variability and change are often neglected. This renders forest-dependent societies less adaptive. Women face many obstacles in making their voices heard and participating in making decisions on forest issues. Women are more likely to bring about policies and practices that address womens needs and priorities by advocating for womens interests and taking part in on-going policy processes than by focusing on gender equity in elected bodies or representation. Devising policies and processes to speed these changes in different situations will be complex and needs to draw on the needs, interests and knowledge of both men and women
Topic: gender, tenure, climate change, CIFOR, forests
Series: CIFOR Infobrief no. 48
Publisher: Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor, Indonesia
Publication Year: 2012Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.