Gender and Climate Change Linkages in the Semi-Arid Region of Ghana

Citation:

Mensah, Michael, Paul L. G. Vlek, Benedicta Y. Fosu-Mensah. 2020. “Gender and Climate Change Linkages in the Semi-Arid Region of Ghana.” GeoJournal. doi.org/10.1007/s10708-020-10261-w.

Authors: Michael Mensah, Paul L. G. Vlek, Benedicta Y. Fosu-Mensah

Abstract:

Climate change is projected to have a serious impact on all sectors of the world. The agriculture sector is one of the most vulnerable sectors with implications for smallholder farmers in semi-arid regions of Africa in terms of poverty and food security. Several researches have been carried out on perception and adaptation with a little investigation to unpack the gender differences and how this influence adaptation strategies. This research investigates gender difference and gender-specific adaptation strategies to climate change and variability. A household survey was conducted from August to December 2014 using a pre-tested questionnaire where 150 males and 150 female farmers were randomly sampled from 14 communities within the Bolgatanga Municipality and Bongo district. Results show the existence of gender differences in the adaptation strategies. Both gender groups perceived climatic change and variability but only 49% male and 40% female headed household (HH) have adopted strategies to cope with increasing temperatures while 56% male and 49% female have adapted to decreasing precipitation. On the other hand, 62% male and 60% female HH have adapted to increasing drought spells. The main differences between male and female adaptation strategies are that males prefer to migrate and seek employment in other parts of the country whereas females prefer to engage in off-farm jobs such as trading, basketry and shea-butter processing. The age of farmers, access to extension services, credit, perceived loss of soil fertility, among other factors influenced farmers adaptation strategies. Policy decisions to promote adaptation to climate change and variability should take these factors into consideration.

Keywords: climate change, adaptation, household, gender, Perception

Topics: Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Households, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2020

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