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Climate Change and Gender: Economic Empowerment of Women through Climate Mitigation and Adaptation?

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S. Bathge
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How is women’s economic empowerment linked to successful climate mitigation and adaptation? Womenare particularly susceptible to climate change and poverty and often lack financial assets and decisionmaking power. For example, in order to adopt or develop climate-related work, women must be able to own land as well as have access to capital and new technologies. This paper discusses various approaches to women’s economic empowerment that reduce GHG emissions.One strategy outlined is to compensate women for their work conserving natural resources. Women can also participate in reforestation and afforestation efforts both by planting trees and through agro-forestry. Another approach is the promotion of sustainable energy, such as energy-efficient stoves and ovens, which reduce time-consuming fuel collection and unsustainable use of biomass. Other areas in which women can attain economic empowerment and adapt to climate change are through agricultural production, conservation of soil and water resources and environmental services. Each of these is described in detail, and examples of projects are provided. Among the conclusions is that an integrated approach is required to seize the opportunities and address the challenges associated with climate mitigation and adaptation. This must also be accompanied by institutional and political structures that foster sustainable economic empowerment.