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Gender, Environment, Conflict - Special Issue Newsletter, Civilian Crisis Prevention - Environment and Natural Resources 2008

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S. Fleischli
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The linkages between gender, environment and conflict have so far not been studied in detail. Environmental changes and conflicts impact men and women differently because of their gender roles and socio-cultural situation. More often than not, environmental degradation and the consequences of climate change or natural disasters reinforce existing gender inequalities. Gender therefore needs to be systematically mainstreamed to achieve effective conflict prevention. This newsletter contains articles that explore the links between gender, environment and conflict or peace. The first outlines gender relations against the backdrop of growing resource scarcity and differential gender-related access to these resources in conflict and post conflict situations. The second article goes on to establish how natural disasters and resource scarcity induced by climate change are related to negative gender inequalities. The key conclusions of both articles are examined in greater detail in the subsequent case studies on the Cauvery river water dispute in India and the aftermath of the earthquake in northern Pakistan. Both articles highlight how rigid traditional gender roles cause women to be most severely affected in conflict and post conflict situations as well as in the aftermath of natural disasters. At the same time, women are systematically by-passed in decision-making during the post conflict or conflict prevention phase. The newsletter also contains information on initiatives and publications to facilitate more in-depth study and involvement in these areas.

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