Family Farming Knowledge Platform

Uncovering the intersection of women’s empowerment and gender equality for climate adaptive capacities in climate hotspots in Zambia

Women in agrifood systems in low- and middle-income countries are more likely than men
to be adversely affected by climate change. They also have more limited climate-adaptive
capacities due to socioeconomic and cultural factors, such as restricted access to resources,
information and technology, discriminatory gender norms, and limited decision-making
power. This study examines the extent to which women’s empowerment in the household is
associated with intrahousehold gender equality for climate-adaptive capacities and practices
in places experiencing significant climate change hazards and stressors. It also explores the
strength of the association of different dimensions of women’s empowerment with gender
equality in climate-adaptive capacities. The study concentrates on the Luapula and North-
Western provinces in Zambia, where women face high climate change risks. The study uses
gender-disaggregated intrahousehold data that captures information about access to, and
knowledge and adoption of, practices that support climate-adaptive capacities, women’s
empowerment and perceived climate change. This data was collected from 199 households
headed by a married or partnered couple, and regression analysis was applied to the data
to test two hypotheses. The results support the first hypothesis of a positive correlation
between women’s empowerment and intrahousehold gender equality to climate-adaptive
capacities and, more specifically, access to technical advice on climate-smart agricultural
practices. The results also support the second hypothesis that various dimensions of
women’s empowerment—attitudes toward violence (norms), intrinsic agency, instrumental
agency and collective agency—are associated with intrahousehold gender equality in
climate-adaptive capacities in varying ways. The study’s findings highlight the complexity of
the relationships between women’s empowerment and gender equality to climate-adaptive
capacities in climate change hotspots, and emphasize the need for context-specific
analyses and solutions.

Author: Esther Kihoro
Other authors: Els Lecoutere, Avni Mishra
Organization: CGIAR
Other organizations: International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
Year: 2023
Country/ies: Zambia
Geographical coverage: Africa
Type: Working paper
Content language: English

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