Introspecting Climate Change from the Lens of Feminism


Kalinga, Kirti. 2019. "Introspecting Climate Change from the Lens of Feminism." Journal of Energy Research and Environmental Technology 6 (3): 264-8.

Author: Kirti Kalinga


Climate change is a widespread problem whose ramifications are felt across sectors, economies and geo-spatial location. But the degree to which one will be affected depends on the power relations, social positioning and the cultural milieu. Though, there are limited studies exploring the nexus between climate change and gender but it is not difficult to discern that the ravaging effects of climate change will have disproportionate impact on women increasing their burden, hardship and vulnerability which will ultimately exacerbate gender inequalities. Therefore, climate justice is nothing without gender justice and feminist epistemologies and standpoint theories help to unravel the layers of climate injustice. Many studies have been conducted at the micro level that explores climate change related vulnerability. But they have been limited to either community level vulnerability or household level. This implies that there is a dearth of gender segregated data that will elucidate the gender specific impacts of climate change. The present paper looks at the vulnerabilities of women in climate change hotspot Satavaya village in Rajnagar block of Kendrapara district in Odisha. Satavaya is under constant threat of coastal erosion due to sea level rise. The research findings reflect that climate change has aggravated livelihood insecurity, thus, inducing a male dominated mass labour migration. As they leave behind their family, the entire responsibility of running the household remains with the women, who have to carry the “double burden” of care and earning responsibilities. Health risks, especially reproductive problems are very high for women in Satavaya. They are also confronted with water and food insecurities. Climate change induced extreme events further trap them in cycle of poverty and amplifies their vulnerabilities. There is a need to develop women centric coping and adaptation strategies. 

Keywords: climate change, gender inequality, vulnerability, Satavaya, feminism, migration

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Reproductive Health, Households, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2019

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