Activities and instruments

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 to varying degrees 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. The risk that women and children will die of the consequences of natural disasters is up to 14 times higher than the risk faced by men.

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 and give them better access to information (and early warning systems). Germany’s development policy aims to ensure that all projects which target climate change adaptation and environmental/resource protection are gender-sensitive.

Detailed information about German activities in regard to mitigating climate change and its impacts can be found here.

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