Climate change, changing lives - Nepal - Laxmi's story

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Gender issues in mountains

Women and men play key roles with respect to environmental protection and social and economic development in mountain areas.
Women are often the primary managers of mountain resources, guardians of biodiversity and the main actors in terms of agriculture, animal husbandry and other small scale economic activities. In mountain communities, women  are keepers of traditional knowledge, custodians of local culture and experts in traditional medicine.

However, women mountain dwellers are often invisible and their voices go unheard. They rarely participate in decisions affecting the management and use of local resources; they often lack basic rights, have little access to ownership and land tenure rights, education, health services and training. Since women and girls have less access to household resources, they are at a greater risk of hunger and malnutrition.

As men migrate to lowlands areas or abroad in search of better income, women are left to manage the farm and household and participate in small trade and income-earning activities. Yet lack of access to credit hampers efforts to improve or expand their farm activities and earn cash incomes.Inaccessibility shapes the lives of mountain communities. Further, the challenges men and women face in mountain regions is intensified by altitude, steep terrain and isolation.


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