Distributional Impacts of Climate Change and Disasters

Distributional Impacts of Climate Change and Disasters

Concepts and Cases

New Horizons in Environmental Economics series

Edited by Matthias Ruth and María E. Ibarrarán

Climate change tends to increase the frequency and intensity of weather-related disasters, which puts many people at risk. Economic, social and environmental impacts further increase vulnerability to disasters and tend to set back development, destroy livelihoods, and increase disparity nationally and worldwide. This book addresses the differential vulnerability of people and places, introducing concepts and methods for analysis and illustrating the impact on local, regional, national, and global scales.

Chapter 5: Gender and Climate Change Vulnerability: What’s the Problem, What’s the Solution?

Anthony G. Patt, Angie Dazé and Pablo Suarez

Subjects: development studies, development studies, economics and finance, environmental economics, regional economics, valuation, environment, disasters, environmental economics, valuation, urban and regional studies, regional economics


Anthony G. Patt, Angie Dazé and Pablo Suarez INTRODUCTION While gender issues are increasingly recognized in the global arena, the policy environment of climate change adaptation initiatives has not kept pace with new findings. The policy environment still fails to recognize fully the gender-specific characteristics of vulnerability and adaptive capacity. Women are usually subject to cultural norms and practices that differentiate them from men, such as poverty and marginality. Gender can play a major role in people’s ability to prepare for, and respond to, climaterelated threats. The Beijing Platform for Action, adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women (1995), and the conclusions reached at the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) (1997/2) call on the United Nations and its member states, international organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) systematically to integrate gender perspectives into all policy areas. These areas include disasters and environmental management. The Millennium Declaration, through its third commitment (or Millennium Development Goal), recognizes the importance of promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment as an effective pathway for combating poverty, hunger and disease, and for stimulating truly sustainable development. Gender equality does not mean the pursuit of identical outcomes for males and females, but rather equality in rights, resources and voice. The World Development Report of 2006 defines gender equality as equal access to the ‘opportunities that allow people to pursue a life of their own choosing and to avoid extreme deprivations in outcomes’ (World Bank 2005). One of the priorities in the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005–15...

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