Inclusive Adaptation: A Benefit Multiplier for Climate Action and Women, Peace and Security

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Executive Summary

The impacts of climate change are sending shock waves through communities around the world. Scaled-up adaptation efforts that support those most impacted by the climate crisis are urgently needed.

It is well documented that climate change exacerbates conditions that drive insecurity and violent conflict, with disproportionate impacts on women and girls. For this reason, climate change is becoming a critical consideration for the field of women, peace and security (WPS). To date, the field has largely focused on the gendered impacts and vulnerabilities of the climate crisis and paid less attention to the potential for inclusive climate response to address overlapping forms of insecurity. Climate change is widely understood as a risk multiplier, but this report shows how the meaningful inclusion of women in climate adaptation could be a benefit multiplier by strengthening climate response, gender equality, and security.

This report focuses on women’s meaningful participation in local-level climate action within the agriculture and energy sectors, which are two key entry points for climate change adaptation. Through a comprehensive review of available literature, we identified several projects that offer illustrative examples of inclusive adaptation efforts within these sectors. These projects highlight the benefits of inclusive approaches and offer models and practices that could be replicated or scaled up.

The report concludes by identifying five key actions for inclusive adaptation that can increase the potential for interventions to generate positive outcomes for climate resilience, gender equality, and security:

• Address barriers to inclusion to ensure that women have equal access to project participation and resources.

• Increase women’s access to information, education, and technology.

• Provide training and support for women as entrepreneurs and design consultants.

• Address critical gaps in knowledge through additional research and case studies.

• Obtain buy-in and funding for gender-responsive, community-centered climate solutions.

At the report launch, GIWPS experts highlighted key findings from the report and panelists, including grassroots women climate leaders, highlighted how inclusive approaches to local-level climate adaptation can accelerate progress toward gender equality and create a more secure environment for all.

Report Authors

  • Clara Chiu, 2021-2022 Hillary Rodham Clinton Fellow, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security
  • Dr. Jessica M. Smith, Research and Policy Director, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security
  • Lauren Olosky, Analyst, Dalberg and Former Research Assistant, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security