Gender And Climate Change: The Climate Crisis has a Greater Impact on Women

Climate change is driving a double threat against women. The spotlight on climate change and women continues to be a hot issue because its phenomenal implications are still occurring.

Climate change is driving a double threat against women. The spotlight on climate change and women continues to be a hot issue because its phenomenal implications are still occurring. The climate crisis is one of the challenges that poses a threat to women’s way of life because they work in the non-formal sector. Women have a disproportionate responsibility for obtaining and securing food, water, and fuel. This becomes an even greater burden during the long dry season due to the uncertain climate. Agriculture is the most important sector for women in low- and lower-middle-income countries, or a number of developing and least-developed countries.

Climate change has an impact on women, especially in the agricultural sector. The impact of climate change on women causes many women to experience negative impacts, especially in developing and non-developing countries. There are many women in developing and undeveloped countries working in the agricultural sector, so massive climate threats will reduce their agricultural productivity. Meanwhile, climate change has the greatest impact on groups of people in all countries who are most dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods. Women in general face greater risks and burdens due to the impacts of climate change in situations of poverty. In several non-developing countries, women’s participation is unequal in the decision-making process, whereas in practice, women are the main actors who receive the impacts of climate change. The impacts of climate change perpetuate structural inequalities.

The climate crisis is a humanitarian and development challenge whose impact on women is very large. Unequal distribution of power between women and men, gaps in access to education and employment opportunities where women continue to work in the non-formal sector, and the burden of unpaid work. Therefore, the prevalence of gender-based violence is becoming more entrenched due to the push of climate change. Women play an important role in the agricultural production sector but often do not have the same access as men to resources and domestic agricultural policy-making. Women always accept and bear additional burdens to help in the household, thus inhibiting women’s involvement due to unpaid responsibilities.

In several agricultural sectors in Indonesia, women’s involvement in the agricultural sector is very large, but in financing and policy making efforts they always prioritize and act on behalf of men. In some assistance in the agricultural sector, balancing the involvement of women with men is still being sought. This indicates that women’s involvement is still not a priority, while women must continue to think about the availability of family nutrition. However, access to policy making due to climate change which has an impact on the agricultural sector is still very small. Women are still in the empowerment stage, which shows that women are still other actors in development and climate mitigation. On the other hand, women’s position in policy making is still a second actor. Therefore, development and climate mitigation in Indonesia, especially in the agricultural sector, must be a main concern, especially in funding towards gender-responsive climate action. Indonesia needs a ministerial coordination mechanism with a focus on increasing institutional capacity for gender-responsive climate axes, especially the Ministry of Finance does not treat women as micro actors. In the financial sector, women are still empowered to become micro entrepreneurs. The large population and role of women as the backbone of Indonesia’s economic growth and stability are still considered as micro actors, of course they are still far from acting on gender equality.

The government must realize that climate change has a major impact on the economic and social sectors. Women are very responsible for managing finances and managing nutrition in the household, so women should be the actors most involved in climate mitigation efforts. Furthermore, women’s involvement in the technology sector is still very small so they are still trapped in the gender digital gaps situation. Women are placed at the micro level because they have sufficient ability to operate technology. Women tend to be in more vulnerable jobs due to gender inequalities in the labor market, including underrepresentation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. This shows that women are still left behind in many sectors and are trapped in the non-formal sector.

Thus, climate change requires gender equality efforts to ensure women’s involvement in decision making that can encourage climate change policy mitigation and ensure climate change policies are pro-women’s needs. Gender equality can encourage synergy between gender equality in achieving deep transformation in overcoming climate and ensuring social justice. Gender equality is the right solution for climate adaptation. Women are not grouped into marginalized groups and encourage women’s representation in policy making. In addition, women should not be placed as micro actors in policy making and ensure responsive policies and women’s representation to lead to stringent climate measures.

Ica Cahayani
Ica Cahayani
Ica Cahayani is a graduate student in International Relation Studies at Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia. Her research interests include practices and policies in international cooperation and development covering the realms of global political economy, security, gender, global value chains and diplomacy. Other research interests Commentries focus on the Indopacific region, ASEAN and Europe. Her actively writes in various domestic and foreign media regarding the latest international relations issues, such as the issue of the ukraine conflict, the phenomenon of world food oil scarcity, the presidency of the G20 Indonesia and its challenges and cultural diplomacy.