Toward gender sensitivity: women and climate change policies in China

Authored by: Yuan Zhou and Xiaoyan Sun

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Climate and Environment, Democratization and Political Participation
Country: China
Region: East Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2020
Citation: Zhou, Yuan, and Xiaoyan Sun. “Toward Gender Sensitivity: Women and Climate Change Policies in China.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 22, no. 1 (January 2020): 127–49.

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Climate change and environmental protection have become increasingly important in China. The country has formulated and strictly enforced a series of policies to address climate change directly. This article argues for the importance of studying China’s climate change policies from a gender perspective, particularly given the speed and import of action. It does so in three steps. First, it examines gendered differences in perceptions of climate change and in the impacts of climate change policies. Second, it examines the environment-related content in China’s gender policies and the gender-related content in its climate change policies. Through the comparison between these two, the authors argue that it is easier to include climate change in gender policies in China than to include gender in climate change policies and that the integration of these two is anything but robust. Third, the authors analyze the multiple and varied roles played by women in climate change policy making, as well as women’s conspicuous absence from some key high-level political conversations. The article concludes that gender awareness in Chinese climate change policy needs to be supplemented by gender sensitivity and we suggest some measures to move toward this goal.