Climate Change, Gender Inequality and Migration in East Africa


Abebe, Medhanit A. 2014. "Climate Change, Gender Inequality and Migration in East Africa." Washington Journal of Environmental Law & Policy 4 (1): 104-140.

Author: Medhanit A. Abebe


East Africa, one of the most volatile regions in Africa, has been suffering from enormous problems caused by population growth, weak governance, war, and famine. Recently, the advent of climate change has exacerbated these pre-existing problems. These impacts are not felt equally across populations, and, according to various studies, disproportionately affect women. Despite reforms, rural East African women still struggle to access resources or participate in decision-making processes. As a result, they have a weaker ability to adapt to climate change than men. This weaker adaptive capacity influences migration patterns between the genders, and creates its own set of problems. Indeed, migration influenced by climate change forces women to take greater roles at home and confront increased violence. While not fully understood, there is growing evidence of the connection between climate change, migration, and gender disparities. Addressing these issues in isolation cannot bring a sustainable solution, but this article will explore the legal and policy measures needed to solve the complex societal and ecological problems facing the region. Through international collaboration, East Africa can take action to improve the lives of women, limit violence, and fight back against the rapidly changing climate.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Climate Displacement, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Africa, East Africa

Year: 2014

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