Gender, Equity and Social Issues

© FAO/22953/J. Koelen

Climate change poses new challenges to already-vulnerable populations. FAO recognises that it is essential to develop an understanding of how men and women are differently vulnerable to, and able to cope with climate change impacts. FAO works to integrate this knowledge into climate change policy in order to make it more effective and able to reach its goal of helping the poor to adapt. Rural men and women’s ability to protect themselves from climatic changes threatening their food security at household and community levels depends on the resources they have; by addressing the inequality between men and women’s access to resources, FAO’s work in fisheries, forestry and agriculture can contribute to better adaptation practices and more sustainable livelihood coping strategies.

Glossary of key gender terms


Talking to Farmers

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and local Indian institutions in Andhra Pradesh are currently addressing the gender aspects of coping with climate variability and longterm change within the project Gender-sensitive Strategies for Adaptation to Climate Change: Drawing on Indian Farmers’ Experiences.

The project captures how men and women farmers in drought-prone and flood-prone districts perceive  and respond to inter-annual climatic variability and long term changes in climate through participatory  focus group discussions and a quantitative survey. These accounts, combined with institutional analysis and meteorological analysis, are used to characterize the climate risks men and women farmers are  facing and their coping strategies for food security.

Visit the project webpage.
Download a Summary of Project Findings. [missing document label] 


FAO proposes mainstreaming a gender perspective into the policy design process to achieve the goals of eliminating hunger and poverty. By understanding men’s and women’s activities, responsibilities and resources and by using participatory approaches drawing on local knowledge, policy makers can develop more effective strategies to address the hardships created by climate change.

See related publications below.

Public Awareness

FAO brings together diverse stakeholders to promote awareness of the ways in which men and women are differently affected by a changing climate. FAO also aims to facilitate wider understanding of the different contributions men and women can make to address this global challenge by organising open events such as International Women’s Day or World Food Day.

See related web story.


last updated:  Wednesday, December 5, 2012