Gender and climate change adaptation in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh

Climate changes are affecting India’s households and responsibility for adaptation is falling on women’s shoulders

Authors:
R. Øvstegård; K. R. Kakumanu; A. Lakshmanan; ClimaRice
Publisher:
Bioforsk, 2010

Full text of document
This report outlines important gender issues in climate change adaptation and agriculture, presenting preliminary findings of an analysis carried out in India.
General findings include:

  • women’s traditional role as the primary users and managers of natural resources mean that they are involved in and dependent on resources that are put most at risk by climate change
  • women lack rights and access to resources and information vital to overcoming challenges posed by climate change; therefore, they are likely to be disproportionately affected by the adverse impacts of these change
  • nevertheless, women possess valuable knowledge of natural resources and when given the opportunity, they can give valuable inputs to adaptation strategies

Concerning India, findings are that:

  • women’s involvement in agricultural work is most common in India
  • responsibility for adaptation is likely to fall on women’s shoulders, including finding alternative ways to feed their family 
  • climate changes are affecting women's labour as they go without employment for longer periodsand in some years are forced to migrate to nearby cities for employment
change in cropping patterns due to climate changes is altering the roles and responsibilities of women farmers; the degree of change differs depending upon the new patterns