Activities and instruments

Women, climate change, disaster risk management and sustainable development

Women wash clothes in the flood-waters in southern Somalia, December 2006.

The social consequences of climate change are not gender-neutral. Men and women are impacted differently by climate change. For instance, natural disasters claim many female victims when warnings do not reach them or they have never learned survival techniques such as swimming. Also, climatic phenomena such as water scarcity and the degradation of cropland mean that women need to invest increasing amounts of time and energy in their work. As a result of adverse legal conditions and a lack of funds, women often do not have the opportunity to take up an alternative occupation when agricultural problems increase.

Men and women also play different roles when adapting to climate change. Women have great potential in many areas to react to climate change and develop alternative strategies of food security. Their specific knowledge and their experience, however, often remain untapped.

For this reason, Germany supports measures in its partner countries which help to make better use of women’s potential in these areas and which allow women better access to information (and early warning systems). Germany’s development policy aims to ensure that all measures which target climate change adaptation and environmental/resource protection are gender-sensitive.

Detailed information about Germany’s commitment to mitigate climate change and its impacts can be found here.

BMZ glossary

Close window


Share page