Tackling gender inequality in a climate-changed world: How agrifood and social protection systems can empower women and girls to build climate resilience

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By Clara Ceravolo, Ilaria Sisto, Lauren Whitehead, Matthew Walsham, Morane Verhoeven, and Shalini Roy

Air pollution, rising temperatures, crop failures, and water shortages are increasing pressures on health and agrifood systems. During these crises, households often reduce food consumption, sell assets, migrate or adjust labor allocation between men and women. Women and children are at greater risk of food insecurity due to lower access to and control of productive resources, services, household decision-making, income allocation, and perceived expendability.

Climate shocks affect women and girls more

Female-headed households lose 8% more income due to heat stress and 3% more due to floods. This causes lower off-farm income and significant reductions in livestock holdings and agricultural expenditures. Women do not have an adequate level of education, have limited access to infrastructure and markets, and perform the biggest share of unpaid care and support work. Resource constraints can limit women’s non-agricultural employment prospects, their ability to adapt and increase their vulnerability. Moderate or severe food insecurity among adult women rose from 27.5% in 2019 to 31.9% in 2021.

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