Linking Data and Actions: connections between IPCC AR5 data, gender differentiated data and climate

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Connections between IPCC AR5 data, gender differentiated data and climate change actions

How to read this factsheet: Women and men are integral to international and national decision making on climate change policy, as well as to community and national leadership on climate change mitigation and adaptation actions. This factsheet highlights links between the data presented in the recent IPCCC AR5 report on climate change, gender data and some actions proposed by countries to mitigate or adapt to climate change*. The actions take into account gender differentiated needs, preferences and roles and contribute to promoting women’s rights and transforming gender relations. *Data from IPCC AR5 and gender data have been copied directly from reports and articles. Country actions have been edited to compile and summarize information

Table of Contents ADAPTATION









Sea level rise and

Reduction in land use

salinization 

Extreme weather events



change 

Changes in consumption patterns

Credits Elaborated by Andrea Quesada-Aguilar, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) in collaboration with Lorena Aguilar and Margaux Granat, Global Gender Office International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Eleanor Blomstrom (WEDO) and Cara Beasley and Nathalie Eddy, Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA). Factsheet designed by Bridget Burns (WEDO).

Photos by Andrea Quesada-Aguilar (WEDO).


ADAPTATION Water Effect of Climate Change The contrast in precipitation between wet and dry regions and between wet and dry seasons will increase [1].

Gender Data When water is not available on the premises, women are more often responsible for water collection than men. In both rural and urban areas in sub- Saharan Africa and Asia the percentage of households where an adult woman (15 years or over) is the person responsible for water collection is much larger than the percentage of households where an adult man is the person responsible [2]. In Mexico, women who live in houses without water pipelines invest 15% more time in their domestic chores; when these women have to fetch water the time increase in their domestic chores is of 40% [3].

Gender Responsive Action to address changes in rain patterns and water availability

Develop infrastructure for water supply in urban, peri-urban, and rural areas that recognizes and addresses the needs of women, such as technology for harvesting rainwater and collecting and recycling household water. The government of Nepal is committed to build the capacity of women to provide technical and maintenance support and to monitor and control water quality [4].


Oceans Effect of Climate Change The pH of ocean surface water has decreased by 0.1 since the beginning of the industrial era (high confidence) [1]. Studies predict that increases in ocean acidification due to increase in uptake of C02 will cause changes in the behavior of fish larvae, which has a negative effect on the replenishment of fish populations [5].

Gender Data About three times as many people (especially women) work in pre- and post-capture and farming activities than work in the actual capture and farming of fish [6].

Gender Responsive Action to address salt concentration increases in drinking water

In Mozambique, women are the main processors of fish post-harvest, as regulators of species type, size, and catch. Funds have been allocated to promote inland fishing and aquaculture activities; train women in more efficient processing techniques; and marketchain analyses to increase their access to credit, markets, and technology for improved storage as an adaptation strategy for climate change that provides alternative sources of income and nutrition [7]

Extreme weather events Effect of Climate Change Extreme precipitation events over most of the mid-latitude land masses and over wet tropical regions will very likely become more intense and more frequent by the end of this century, as global mean surface temperature increases [1].

Gender Data In a sample of 141 countries over the period 1981–2002, it was found that gender differences in deaths from natural disasters are directly linked to women’s economic and social rights. In inequitable societies, more women than men die from disaster [11].

Gender Responsive Action to prepare for extreme weather events Liberia is proposing to train women environmental whistleblowers on the coast who assist the government in the collection of meteorological data to forecast the weather, act as an early-warning system for storms, and identify and report environmental offences [12].


Sea level rise & salinization Effect of Climate Change Over the period 1901–2010, global mean sea level rose by 0.19 [0.17 to 0.21] m[1]. Surface salinity changes suggest that a change in the global water cycle has occurred, where fresh areas have become fresher and salty areas saltier [8].

Gender Data Pregnant women in coastal areas in Bangladesh may be consuming 5–16 g/day sodium in drinking water alone during the dry season, depending on their drinking water source (recommended dietary intake of sodium is 2 g/day). High salt intake is associated with increases in blood pressure that leads to hypertension, which poses various risks for the mother and baby, including decreased blood flow to the placenta, placental abruption, premature delivery, preeclampsia and gestational high blood pressure [9].

Gender Responsive Action to address salt concentration increases in drinking water

In Bangladesh, it was proposed that government and health institutions should conduct more studies and data collection to understand the links between climate change induced salinization and maternal health, in order to better understand effects and risks this might have on pregnant women living in coastal ecosystems in South and Southeast Asia[10].

Health Effect of Climate Change Many of the major diseases such as diarrheal diseases, malnutrition, malaria and dengue are highly climate-sensitive and are expected to worsen as the climate changes [13].

Gender Data The care economy is highly feminized, particularly in the domestic, health and education sectors. Patterns show that both unpaid and paid work in these sectors is done mainly by women. For example, data for Latin America shows that in 2010 women represented 85.9% of the all of the paid health care providers (definition of health care providers includes nurses, auxiliary nurses, non-professional nurses, workers that take care/attend individuals, nannies and childcare supporters) [14]

Gender Responsive Action to reduce health care burden In Mozambique, there is a proposal to use the traditional medicinal knowledge of women to establish “Climate change health kits” that, for example, include plants that reduce disease vectors (e.g. citronella), improve water quality (e.g. moringa), or are used for skin care (e.g. aloe). Health kits will increase community resilience to climate change impacts by increasing their capacity to respond to health issues [7]. 5

MITIGATION Agriculture Emissions that contribute to climate change It is likely that N2O emissions from soils will increase due to the increased demand for feed/ food and the reliance of agriculture on nitrogen fertilizers [8].

Gender Data If women had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase yields on their farms by 20–30 percent. This could raise total agricultural output in developing countries by 2.5–4 percent, which could in turn reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12–17 percent [15].

Gender Responsive Action to improve agricultural practices to reduce emissions, increase yields and climate resilience

Sustainable Intensification of Rice Production (SIR) in Vietnam is a program that promotes community-led agricultural development, while managing soil and water resources more efficiently and sustainably. In 2011, 1 million farmers have increased their yields by 9-15% and used 70-75% less seed, 20- 25% less nitrogen fertilizer, and 33% less water (which resulted in an extra income of US$ 95-260 per ha). The success of the SIR program is due, in part, to inclusion of women in the Farmer Field Schools (FFS). Women farmers, who made up 70% of participants in FFS, proved to be better trainers than men, as after participating in an FFS, each woman helped between five to eight other farmers adopt SIR principles, while every FFS male participant helped only one to three [16].


REDD+ Emissions that contribute to climate change From 1750 to 2011, deforestation and other land use changes are estimated to have released 180 [100 to 260] GtC [1].

Gender Data In Nepal, plots given to all-women groups had greater canopy cover due to improved protection, rule compliance and traditional knowledge of species [17].

Gender Responsive Action to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation

Identify activities carried out by women that could contribute to the data collection needed in the Monitoring Reporting and Verification (MRV) of deforestation and forest degradation; conduct capacity building sessions for women on MRV methodologies and tools; identify good practices that lead to the inclusion of women in MRV and promote their implementation at a broader scale [18].

Reduction in land use change Emissions that contribute to climate change Most of the land use change originates from Central and South America, Africa and Tropical Asia since the 1980s [8].

Gender Data Direct participation of women in decision-making and forest protection increased forest regeneration and control over illegal grazing and felling [19].

Gender Responsive Action to reduce land use change In Cameroon, climate change strategies should include actions that provide equal access and control to women and men over tools, equipment, technology and resources needed to engage in activities such as sustainable forest management, agricultural techniques with low impact on the environment, afforestation, forestry certification, agroforestry techniques, and Non Traditional Forest Products (NTFP) processing [20].


Changes in consumption patterns Emissions that contribute to climate change Concentrations of CO2, CH4, and N2O now substantially exceed the highest concentrations recorded in ice cores during the past 800,000 years. The mean rates of increase in atmospheric concentrations over the past century are, with very high confidence, unprecedented in the last 22,000 years [1].

Gender Data In Sweden, nearly 80% of women and 65% of men say it is important to take action against climate change. As to the question of who should take action, men more often think that it is up to governments, industry and companies to change behavior. Women predominantly believe in changing individual behavior in order to help combat climate change [21]. Women are willing to reduce their emissions and purchase products, even at a higher price, from companies and producers that support climate change initiatives or offer organic products [22].

Gender Responsive Action to change consumption patterns In 2009 in Australia, the 1 Million Women campaign was launched as a strategy to support women in changing their consumption patterns and decisions in order to mitigate climate change. The initiative highlights the collective impact of many women acting together, and it engages members in practical action that will lead to long�term behavior change in their own lives and influence those around them i.e. lifestyle adaptations that lead to mitigation. 83,000 women have joined the 1 Million Women campaign, and together they have committed to cut more than 100,000 tons of carbon pollution. Since 2009, 1 Million Women has grown to become Australia’s largest women’s environmental organization that aims to reduce overconsumption[23].


UNFCCC Participation Contribution to climate change solutions Women’s involvement in decision-making contributes directly to transformative climate change solutions. A study of 130 countries found that countries with higher female parliamentary representation are more prone to ratify international environmental treaties [24].

Gender Data From 2008 to 2012 the average percentage of women on national delegations in the UNFCCC was 30%. During this period the average number of women as heads of delegations was 19% (highest number was in 2012 with 23% women as head of delegation) [25].

Gender Responsive Action to increase women’s participation in UNFCCC Offer capacity building on the UNFCCC process and the negotiations to new women delegates. In the submissions on Decision23/CP.18, 10 parties recognized the importance of increasing the number of women delegates to UNFCCC and its bodies; additionally, most of the party submissions recognized that women delegates would benefit from capacity building in order to more fully engage in the negotiations.


Gender sensitive policies Contribution to climate change solutions Climate change activities will require combined efforts from different sectors and stakeholders. Therefore, there is a need to develop a common understanding on key gender considerations associated with climate change [26].

Gender Data In 2001, Decision 28/CP.7 was the first decision to include a gender sensitive policy, stating that the preparation of NAPAs should be guided by gender equality. In 2010, the Cancun Agreements included five gender sensitive policies, recommending the consideration of gender issues in long-term cooperative action, action on adaptation, REDD+, response measures, and capacity building. The Durban Outcomes in 2011 included more gender sensitive policies: in the mandate of the Least Developed Countries Expert Group, implementation of New Delhi work program, response measures, capacity building, Terms of Reference of the Climate Technology Centre and Network, Green Climate Fund, National adaptation plans (NAPs), Nairobi Work Program, and systems for providing information on REDD+ safeguards. The 2012 Doha Climate Gateway included gender sensitive policies regarding loss and damage, NAPs, Climate Technology Centre and Network, and work programme on Article 6.

Gender Responsive Action to develop and implement gender sensitive climate change policies

11 of the 16 Parties that presented submissions on Decisions 23/CP.18 requested the UNFCCC to facilitate processes that will encourage countries to provide data and design tools, research, strategies, and monitoring systems that focus on the implementation of gender sensitive climate change policies.



IPCC, Working Group I Contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis Summary for Policymakers, 2013.


United Nations, The World's Women 2010: Trends and Statistics, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Editor 2010: New York.


PROIGUALDAD, PROGRAMA Nacional para la Igualdad de Oportunidades y no Discriminación contra las Mujeres 2013-2018, 2013: Mexico.


Aguilar, L. and F. Rogers, Climate Change Gender Action Plan for Nepal, 2012, IUCN and Ministry Of Environmet Governmet of Nepal.


Munday, P.L., et al., Replenishment of fish populations is threatened by ocean acidification. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2010. 107(29): p. 12930-12934.


FAO, State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture, 2012.


Aguilar, L., C. Owren, and M. Granat, Climate Change Gender Action Plan for Mozambique, 2013, IUCN.


IPCC, Working Group I contribution to the IPCC 5th Assessment Report "Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, 2013.


Khan, A.E., et al., Drinking Water Salinity and Maternal Health in Coastal Bangladesh: Implications of Climate Change. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2011. 119(9): p. 1328-1332.


Aguilar, L. and F. Rogers, Climate Change and Gender Action Plan for Bangladesh, 2013, IUCN and Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.


Neumayer, E. and T. Plümper, The Gendered Nature of Natural Disasters: The Impact of Catastrophic Events on the Gender Gap in Life Expectancy, 1981–2002. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 2007. 97(3): p. 551–566.


Aguilar, L. and F. Rogers, Climate Change Gender Action Plan for Liberia, 2012, IUCN, Ministry of Gender and Development (MOGD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Government of Liberia.


WHO, Climate change and health. Factsheet, 2012.


CEPAL and UNFPA, Panorama Social de América Latina, 2013, United Nations: New York.


FAO, The State of Food and Agriculture 2010—Women in Agriculture, 2010: Rome.


Cooper, P.J.M., et al., Large-scale implementation of adaptation and mitigation actions in agriculture. CCAFS Working Paper no. 50, 2013, CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS),.


Agarwal, B., Gender and forest conservation: The impact of women's participation in community forest governance. Ecological Economics, 2009. 68(11): p. 2785-2799.


IUCN and WEDO, Gender and REDD+ Roadmap for Uganda. 2011.


Agrawal, A., et al., Decentralization and Environmental Conservation: Gender Effects from Participation in Joint Forest Management, in "Gender and Collective Action"2006, CAPRi: Chiang Mai, Thailand.


IUCN and WEDO, Gender and REDD+ Roadmap for Cameroon. 2011.


Naturvårdsverket 2009 cited in European Institute for Gender Equality, Review of the Implementation in the EU of area K of the Beijing Platform for Action: Women and the Environment Gender Equality and Climate Change, 2012, Publications Office of the European Union: Luxembourg.


Nordic Council of Ministers 2009 cited in European Institute for Gender Equality, Review of the Implementation in the EU of area K of the Beijing Platform for Action: Women and the Environment Gender Equality and Climate Change, 2012, Publications Office of the European Union: Luxembourg.


1 Million Women Campagain Australia. website


Norgaard, K. and R. York, Gender Equality and State Environmentalism. Gender and Society, 2005. 19: p. 506-522.


Burns, B., Women’s Participation in UN Climate Negotiations, 2012, WEDO.


Jordan, Submission on Decision 23/CP.18. 11

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