It is widely recognised that climate change does not affect people equally. The related disasters and impacts often intensify existing inequalities, vulnerabilities, economic poverty and unequal power relations (Brody et al., 2008; IPCC, 2007). Differently positioned women and men perceive and experience climate change in diverse ways because of their distinct socially constructed gender roles, responsibilities, status and identities, which result in varied coping strategies and responses (Lambrou and Nelson, 2010; FAO, 2010a).
Often, women are more vulnerable to climate change than men. This is because they make up the majority of the world’s economically poor, do most of the agricultural work, bear unequal responsibility for household food security, carry a disproportionate burden for harvesting water and fuel for everyday survival, and rely on threatened natural resources for their livelihoods (UN Women Watch, 2009; Terry, 2009; Mitchell et al., 2007). Moreover, they have unequal access, control and ownership to these natural resources, and are
often excluded from important decision and policy-making forums and institutions that govern them.
At the same time, women are active agents of adaptation in rapidly changing contexts who negotiate, strategise, contest and resist relations, discourses and policies that disadvantage them. They actively interpret, give meaning to and adapt to global changes in local contexts in ways that are appropriate, sustainable and culturally specific (Verma, 2001; Ferguson and Gupta, 1997; Moore, 1993).