The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its 2007 Assessment Report confirmed that the impacts of climate change will vary depending on gender, age and class, with the poor most likely to suffer. Because of gender inequalities, women and girls are disproportionately vulnerable. Women are also the majority of the world’s poor and are more often responsible for household food production, family health and nutrition, and management of natural resources—sectors that are particularly sensitive to climate change.
But women are not simply victims. They are also agents of change and have unique knowledge and capabilities. Soliciting and encouraging their leadership to address climate change and inform policy is one way to ensure that a gender perspective is included; without this, climate policies could fail to be effective.