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Is Climate Change a Gender Issue?

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J. Duddy
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Many would say that global warming is the most serious environmental issue of the twenty first century. As a result of climate change, women have seen their workload increase in many activities which have traditionally been women's responsibilities. For instance, fishing has been made more difficult by the intrusion of salted water in fresh water systems. Fetching clean water and fuel has also become more difficult. In times of climate disasters, like hurricanes, floods and landslides, a lot of pressure is put on women whose responsibility is still that of keeping families together and feeding them. Up until now, a gender perspective has been mainly lacking from the international debate on climate change. But the different ways in which women and men treat the environment and are affected by its changes must be taken into account in order for effective and sustainable climate change programmes to be designed and implemented. The author presents the case of the Inuit people of Canada, and describes how women and men are differently affected by the devastation of global warming. The document is available in English, French and Spanish.