Is climate change gender neutral? This article argues that it is not. Gender roles and relations interact with the causes and impacts of climate change in five key areas:- gender-specific resource-use and management patterns that can degrade the environment such as men's higher car and fuel purchasing from male-dominated industries- gender-specific effects of climate change such as the extra time women need to spend collecting water during droughts- gendered aspects of climate change mitigation and adaptation such as women's valuable indigenous knowledge and practice of environment management- gender and decision-making on climate change such as the limited role women are playing as producers in the energy sector and in energy policymaking- human capacity inequalities such as women's lower access to education, training and technologyWhile there is a tendency to talk about gender aspects of climate change as if women are only victims, this article redresses this balance by highlighting the range of successful women-initiated actions. It concludes that it is essential for women to also be involved in official processes such as the multi-stakeholder dialogues in the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and that cooperation between women in official delegations can be very helpful.
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