Where women in agri-food systems are at highest climate risk: A methodology for mapping climate–agriculture–gender inequality hotspots

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Climate change compromises gender equality. Gender inequalities and structural constraints to equality in society tend to exacerbate negative impacts by limiting women’s coping and adaptive capacities. It is essential to ensure that women can take climate action and seize coping and adaptation opportunities as agri-food systems transform against the background of climate change because they play a crucial role in agri-food systems as agents of food and nutritional security, smallholder farmers and livestock keepers, and managers of natural resources.

Climate change can undermine global efforts to transform food systems such that they enable the provision of affordable and nutritious food for all in environmentally sustainable ways. Agri-food systems—including cropping, livestock, forestry, fishery, and aquaculture sectors—face direct stress from climate change through increases in temperature, variations in precipitation patterns and weather anomalies, and the intensified frequency of extreme weather events. Agricultural production is projected to experience reduced crop suitability and yields, crop failure, and pest and disease outbreaks.

Livestock production and pastoralism are projected to experience lower pasture and animal productivity, damaged reproductive function, and biodiversity loss. Globally, over one billion people rely on agri-food systems to sustain their livelihoods. Climate change affects everyone engaged in agri-food systems. Smallholder farmers in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) who mainly depend on agriculture for food, income, and livelihoods are at particular risk, especially those in tropical and subtropical regions where climate change is pronounced and acute.

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