The Smokescreen Effect: Rethinking the Gender Dimension of Climate, Migration and Security


Resurrección, Bernadette P., and Edsel E. Sajor. 2012. “The Smokescreen Effect: Rethinking the Gender Dimension of Climate, Migration and Security.” In Climate Change, Migration and Human Security in Southeast Asia, edited by Lorraine Elliott, 60-73. Singapore: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

Authors: Bernadette P. Resurrección, Edsel E. Sajor


“The starting point for this chapter, as with others in the volume, is that people may adapt to the negative effects of climate change by migrating. Their choice may be constrained, and at the same time influenced, by gender-related vulnerabilities embedded in norms and relations of power. Yet, one of the big silences in the discourse on the securitization of climate change-induced migration is the gender dimensions of such migration. At the same time, the rapidly growing literature on gender and climate change has largely ignored migration issues. It appears that scholars who work on issues related to gender and the environment do not also work on gender and migration issues. In general terms, gender-blind research neglects the fundamental ways in which climate change-induced migration and its impacts will differ for women and men. The focus of this chapter then is to shed light on the complex workings of gender in climate change-induced migration. It takes the view that there is much to learn from the literature on gender and disaster, where displacement and resettlement figure as responses to hazards and extreme events. First, the chapter argues that there should be more sustained focus on the gender-related vulnerabilities that may influence and constrain migration as an adaptation option. These vulnerabilities may lead to adverse ways and outcomes of migration, with attendant implications for the human security of women migrants. Second, it is emphasised that vulnerability is not intrinsic to, nor does it derive from, any one factor such as “being a woman” or “being a migrant”. Instead, some groups and persons are more vulnerable than others because of the specific configuration of practices, processes and power relations embedded in particular societies. Finally, the chapter signposts possible pathways for enhancing people’s human security by addressing gender-related vulnerabilities when migration is employed as an option for climate change adaptation” (Resurreccion & Edsel 2012, 60-1).

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Migration, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Security, Human Security

Year: 2012

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