Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version


Introduction: Gender, Development, and the Climate Crisis


Dankelman, Irene, and Kavita Naidu. 2020. “Introduction: Gender, Development, and the Climate Crisis.” Gender & Development 28 (3): 447–57.

Authors: Irene Dankelman, Kavita Naidu


"In this Introduction, and the articles in this issue, we will illustrate the context in which the climate agenda is developing, including the increasing levels of change in our climate, deepening social inequalities, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will also recall the thinking about gender and climate change issues over the past decades, and the role that G&D has played in that respect. This issue describes some of the gendered effects of climatic changes and related policies, and also looks into systemic issues (such as debts, finances, and the economy)" (Dankelman and Naidu 2020, 447).

Topics: Development, Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Health

Year: 2020

Overcoming Gender Inequality for Climate Resilient Development


Andrijevic, Marina, Jesus Crespo Cuaresma, Tabea Lissner, Adelle Thomas, and Carl-Friedrich Schleussner. 2020. “Overcoming Gender Inequality for Climate Resilient Development.” Nature Communications 11 (1).

Authors: Marina Andrijevic, Jesus Crespo Cuaresma, Tabea Lissner, Adelle Thomas, Carl-Friedrich Schleussner


Gender inequalities are reflected in differential vulnerability, and exposure to the hazards posed by climate change and addressing them is key to increase the adaptive capacities of societies. We provide trajectories of the Gender Inequality Index (GII) alongside the Shared-Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs), a scenario framework widely used in climate science. Here we find that rapid improvements in gender inequality are possible under a sustainable development scenario already in the near-term. The share of girls growing up in countries with the highest gender inequality could be reduced to about 24% in 2030 compared to about 70% today. Largely overcoming gender inequality as assessed in the GII would be within reach by mid-century. Under less optimistic scenarios, gender inequality may persist throughout the 21st century. Our results highlight the importance of incorporating gender in scenarios assessing future climate impacts and underscore the relevance of addressing gender inequalities in policies aiming to foster climate resilient development.

Topics: Development, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Girls, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality

Year: 2020

Gender and Natural Resource Management: Livelihoods, Mobility and Interventions


Resurrección, Bernadette P., and Rebecca Elmhirst. 2012. Gender and Natural Resource Management: Livelihoods, Mobility and Interventions. Abingdon: Routledge.

Authors: Bernadette P. Resurrección, Rebecca Elmhirst


This book is about the gender dimensions of natural resource exploitation and management, with a focus on Asia. It explores the uneasy negotiations between theory, policy and practice that are often evident within the realm of gender, environment and natural resource management, especially where gender is understood as a political, negotiated and contested element of social relationships. It offers a critical feminist perspective on gender relations and natural resource management in the context of contemporary policy concerns: decentralized governance, the elimination of poverty and the mainstreaming of gender. Through a combination of strong conceptual argument and empirical material from a variety of political economic and ecological contexts (including Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam), the book examines gender-environment linkages within shifting configurations of resource access and control. The book will serve as a core resource for students of gender studies and natural resource management, and as supplementary reading for a wide range of disciplines including geography, environmental studies, sociology and development. It also provides a stimulating collection of ideas for professionals looking to incorporate gender issues within their practice in sustainable development. Published with IDRC. (Summary from Routledge)

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Feminisms, Gender Regions: Asia Countries: Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam

Year: 2012

Bright as Night: Illuminating the Antinomies of ‘Gender Positive’ Solar Development


Stock, Ryan. 2021. “Bright as Night: Illuminating the Antinomies of ‘Gender Positive’ Solar Development.” World Development 138. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.105196.

Author: Ryan Stock


India is undergoing a rapid transition to renewable energy; the Gujarat Solar Park typifies this transition. In addition to mitigating climate change, the Gujarat Solar Park boasts female empowerment through social development schemes. This manuscript is inspired by the following research question: To what extent are ‘gender positive’ processes and projects associated with solar development in India realized on the ground? Utilizing mixed methods fieldwork and drawing on literature from feminist political ecology, this paper demonstrates how the modalities of solar park development represent an antinomy of a nature-society relation. New configurations of labor under the political economy of solar have produced a gendered surplus population of landless peasants who are not absorbed into wage-labor employment in the solar park. Further, associated social development schemes actually disempower women, despite mandates of ‘gender positive’ outcomes by UN-based climate treaties to which this project is beholden. The opportunity to participate in one such scheme for female empowerment was reserved for only women of middle-to-high class status and those of dominant castes, thereby reproducing class and caste-based social power asymmetries. Female (dis)empowerment eclipses ‘gender positive’ guarantees of the solar park. This study highlights some unintended consequences of sustainable energy transitions in the Global South at the local scale. Designing development interventions related to climate change mitigation that boast ‘gender positive’ outcomes must be careful not to exacerbate gender disparities and economic exclusion in rural areas.

Keywords: energy transition, solar park, antinomy, feminist political ecology, gender, intersectionality

Topics: Caste, Class, Development, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2021

Gender, Energy, and Inequalities: A Capabilities Approach Analysis of Renewable Electrification Projects in Peru


Fernández-Baldor, Álvaro, Pau Lillo, and Alejandra Boni. 2015. “Gender, Energy, and Inequalities: A Capabilities Approach Analysis of Renewable Electrification Projects in Peru.” In Sustainable Access to Energy in the Global South: Essential Technologies and Implementation Approaches, edited by Silvia Hostettler, Ashok Gadgil, and Eileen Hazboun, 193-204. Cham: Springer.

Authors: Álvaro Fernández-Baldor, Pau Lillo, Alejandra Boni


Technology, despite being very important, is not the only factor that ensures the success of an intervention. There are many different elements to take into account when planning projects, especially in complex environments such as the least-developed areas of the world. However, development aid interventions have generally been focused on supplying a technological goods or services instead of focusing on people, thus missing out on the project’s potential for social transformation. This paper analyzes four renewable energy-based electrification projects implemented by the nongovernmental organization Practical Action in the rural area of Cajamarca, Peru. Using the Capabilities Approach, the research examines the effect of the projects on the things people value. It confirms that projects provide different benefits to the communities (reducing air pollution caused by candles and kerosene, improving access to communication through television and radio, providing the possibility of night study under appropriate light, etc.), but also detects an expansion of the capabilities in other areas not considered by the nongovernmental organization such as those related to religion, leisure, or community participation. However, the expansion of capabilities is different for men and women. The study reveals the limitations of interventions designed to supply technology, electrification in this particular case, which do not take into account certain elements that can cause the use of technology to contribute unequally to the expansion of people’s capabilities. The research concludes that technological projects can generate inequalities and some recommendations are presented in order to address these issues when planning interventions.

Keywords: real option, gender inequality, Capability Approach, supervisory board, practical action

Topics: Development, Gender, Infrastructure, Energy, NGOs Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Peru

Year: 2015

Impact of a Rural Solar Electrification Project on the Level and Structure of Women's Empowerment


Burney, Jennifer, Halimatou Alaofè, Rosamond Naylor, and Douglas Taren. 2017. “Impact of a Rural Solar Electrification Project on the Level and Structure of Women's Empowerment.” Environmental Research Letters 12 (9). doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aa7f38.

Authors: Jennifer Burney, Halimatou Alaofè, Rosamond Naylor, Douglas Taren


Although development organizations agree that reliable access to energy and energy services—one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals—is likely to have profound and perhaps disproportionate impacts on women, few studies have directly empirically estimated the impact of energy access on women's empowerment. This is a result of both a relative dearth of energy access evaluations in general and a lack of clarity on how to quantify gender impacts of development projects. Here we present an evaluation of the impacts of the Solar Market Garden—a distributed photovoltaic irrigation project—on the level and structure of women's empowerment in Benin, West Africa. We use a quasi-experimental design (matched-pair villages) to estimate changes in empowerment for project beneficiaries after one year of Solar Market Garden production relative to non-beneficiaries in both treatment and comparison villages (n = 771). To create an empowerment metric, we constructed a set of general questions based on existing theories of empowerment, and then used latent variable analysis to understand the underlying structure of empowerment locally. We repeated this analysis at follow-up to understand whether the structure of empowerment had changed over time, and then measured changes in both the levels and likelihood of empowerment over time. We show that the Solar Market Garden significantly positively impacted women's empowerment, particularly through the domain of economic independence. In addition to providing rigorous evidence for the impact of a rural renewable energy project on women's empowerment, our work lays out a methodology that can be used in the future to benchmark the gender impacts of energy projects.

Topics: Development, Economies, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Benin

Year: 2017

Gains for Women from Farmland Redistribution in South Africa and Sustainable Pathways out of Poverty – Insights from Recent Evidence


Motala, Shirin, Stewart Ngandu, and Aubrey Mpungose. 2016. “Gains for Women from Farmland Redistribution in South Africa and Sustainable Pathways out of Poverty – Insights from Recent Evidence.” Agenda 30 (4): 85-98.  

Authors: Shirin Motala, Stewart Ngandu, Aubrey Mpungose


Equitable access to land and other natural resources aimed at significant rural poverty reduction are at the forefront of ambitious goals entrenched in post-1994 land and agrarian policies. Among other targets, redistributive land policies promise that women should make up at least one-third of all land reform beneficiaries. After two decades of farmland redistribution, disputes persist as to whether these outcomes have been achieved.

This focus piece systematically reviews evidence from a micro-level study based on blended information gathering strategies in three provinces that vary in terms of their agrarian structures and agro-ecology. The study uniquely overlays farmland transfer data with provisioning of agricultural development support information.

The analysis embeds the gender equity-land reform puzzle in the traditional poverty-land reform nexus. Its main question explores the extent to which land and agrarian reform interventions have produced an altered livelihood dynamic for land reform beneficiaries and more importantly to measure how this has translated into gendered sustainable livelihood impacts at household level. The study draws on the sustainable livelihoods framework as the lens for making sense of gender inequalities in the countryside and the extent to which there has been equitable redress in the interests of rural women.

The findings summarise trends in respect of access, ownership and control of land assets and the related livelihood outcomes by gender. Evidence suggests that shrinking numbers of black farmers gain ownership of land and enjoy access to Government-financed support for on-farm production and participation in agricultural value chains beyond the farm gate. This finding is more pronounced for women farmers. More importantly, it points to important design features of such interventions which can and do impact on promoting sustainable livelihoods, particularly for female headed households.

Keywords: land and agrarian reform, gender, gender inequality, sustainable livelihoods, pro-poor development, farmland transfer, land ownership

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Households, Land Tenure, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2016

Women in Agriculture: Four Myths


Doss, Cheryl, Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Agnes Quisumbing, and Sophie Theis. 2018. “Women in Agriculture: Four Myths.” Global Food Security 16: 69–74.

Authors: Cheryl Doss, Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Agnes Quisumbing, Sophie Theis


Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG) on gender equality and women’s rights and at least 11 of the 17 SDGs require indicators related to gender dynamics. Despite the need for reliable indicators, stylized facts on women, agriculture, and the environment persist. This paper analyzes four gender myths: 1) 70% of the world’s poor are women; 2) Women produce 60 to 80% of the world’s food; 3) Women own 1% of the world’s land; and 4) Women are better stewards of the environment. After reviewing the conceptual and empirical literature, the paper presents the kernel of truth underlying each myth, questions its underlying assumptions and implications, and examines how it hinders us from developing effective food security policies.

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Food Security, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Year: 2018

Legal Establishments and Gendered Access to Land in Patriarchal Societies of North-Western Ghana


Doghle, Kizito, Rudith Sylvana King, and Paul Bniface Akaabre. 2018. “Legal Establishments and Gendered Access to Land in Patriarchal Societies of North-Western Ghana.” African Journal on Land Policy and Geospatial Sciences 2: 77–99.

Authors: Kizito Doghle, Rudith Sylvana King, Paul Bniface Akaabre


Denial of women in land entitlements especially in patriarchal societies has been a major development concern in Ghana, resulting in promulgation of legal establishments that seek to enhance equality in access to land. This paper examines the underlying factors for gender inequality in land access and usage despite laws established to bridge the gap. Interviews with land custodians and households in North-Western Ghana revealed the desire to preserve cultural heritage as the primary reason for non-inclusion of women in access rights. The interpretation of these laws also tend to look at all other things except access to land. Further, limited knowledge about the existence of legal establishments that seek to ensure gender equality accounts for the persisting exclusion of women in access to land. Consequently, legal establishments need not only strict enforcement but also sensitization programs if the persisting gender inequality gap in patriarchal societies is to be bridged.

Keywords: land, gender, ownership and access, patriarchal societies, rights and interests, legal establishments, Nandom District, North-Western Ghana

Topics: Development, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Patriarchy, Households, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2018

Addressing Gender in Agricultural Research for Development in the Face of a Changing Climate: Where Are We and Where Should We Be Going?


Kristjanson, Patricia, Elizabeth Bryan, Quinn Bernier, Jennifer Twyman, Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Caitlin Kieran, Claudia Ringler, Christine Jost, and Cheryl Doss. 2017. “Addressing Gender in Agricultural Research for Development in the Face of a Changing Climate: Where Are We and Where Should We Be Going?” International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 15 (5): 482–500.

Authors: Patricia Kristjanson, Elizabeth Bryan, Quinn Bernier, Jennifer Twyman, Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Caitlin Kieran, Claudia Ringler, Christine Jost, Cheryl Doss


Agricultural development efforts that do not address persistent gender gaps miss opportunities for greater impact. This synthesis reflects on key findings from integrated quantitative and qualitative analyses at the nexus of gender, agricultural development, and climate change. Linked farm household-, intrahousehold-, community-, and institutional-level data highlight significant and nuanced gender differences in adaptive capacity of individuals and communities to respond to climate change. The gender gap is also substantial in exposure to climate change and its impacts, and uptake of new practices that lower vulnerability. Women in agriculture will remain largely neglected by information and service providers unless their differing needs, access to, and control over resources are considered at policy and project design stage. Yet clear guidelines for addressing the needs of both men and women in different environments and agricultural systems are still lacking. Participatory ‘action research’ approaches with a focus on co-learning, and using innovative cell phone or social media-based approaches offer exciting new opportunities. Agricultural development decision-makers and project designers need to ‘design with gender in mind’. Equipping them with tools and knowledge of innovative gender-transformative practices and intervention options and creating accountability for serving women and men will be key.

Keywords: gender gap, agricultural development, climate change, development, adaptive capacity, resilience, vulnerability

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality

Year: 2017


© 2021 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at

Subscribe to RSS - Development