Chapter 7: Gender equality and climate change in plural legal contexts: A critical analysis of Kenya's law and policy framework
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Although Kenya has elaborate gender equality and climate change legal and policy frameworks, these laws and policies continue to side-line women and face implementation challenges because they are characterized by incongruences between the so-called formal and informal legal contexts and norms. As a threat multiplier, climate change impacts both women’s livelihoods and their participation in decision-making, limiting their freedoms and options in mitigation and adaptation measures. Assessing risks and threat levels relating to climate change and ensuring gender equality requires considering location-specific patterns. This chapter argues that efforts to adapt to and mitigate against climate change cannot exclusively centre on formal laws and policies but must also engage informal legal systems. These are the legal systems in which many women live their lives. In Kenya, all its legal systems - formal, informal, living customary, and religious - must engage in climate justice and do so to contribute to women’s equality and empowerment and mitigate climate change.