Re-Politicizing the Gender and Climate Change Debate: The Potential of Feminist Political Ecology to Engage with Power in Action in Adaptation Policies and Projects in Nicaragua


Gonda, Noémi. 2019. “Re-Politicizing the Gender and Climate Change Debate: The Potential of Feminist Political Ecology to Engage with Power in Action in Adaptation Policies and Projects in Nicaragua.” Geoforum 106: 87-96.

Author: Noémi Gonda


The time of gender-blind climate change policies and projects has passed. However, while research is increasingly moving away from understanding the relationship between gender and climate change in a linear, technocratic, and instrumental way, gender and climate change policy-makers and project practitioners are having difficulties operationalizing this progress. In the meantime, as climate change effects are increasingly felt worldwide, and because the policy context after the Paris Agreement (2015) is bringing new challenges for gender and equity concerns, (re-)politicizing the climate justice debate in a policy and project-relevant way is more crucial than ever. My aim in this article is to contribute to this endeavor by exploring how a feminist political ecology framework applied to a specific case study in Nicaragua—one of the countries most affected by climate change in the world—can generate new policy and project-relevant lessons and insights from the ground that can in turn strengthen the conceptual debate on gender and climate change adaptation. Based on ethnographic fieldwork carried out in 2013 and 2014, as well as eight years of professional experience as a development worker in Nicaragua, I discuss the workings of power in the feminist political ecology of climate change adaptation; in so doing I raise new questions that will, I hope, lead policy-makers and project practitioners to explore how adaptation processes could open up the conceptual possibility for emancipation, transformation, and new ways of living life in common.

Keywords: power, feminist political ecology, climate change adaptation, gender, Nicaragua

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender Regions: Americas, Central America

Year: 2019

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