Policy Brief: Gendered Impacts of Heat Waves and Drought in Asia and the Pacific: A Review in the Context of El Niño


The cyclical reoccurrence of El Niño every two to seven years exacerbates climatic challenges faced by countries in the Asia and the Pacific region, intensifying heat waves and drought episodes. These extreme weather events have significant effects on food security, health, and economic productivity, among others. These impacts are gendered due to discriminatory gender norms, power relations, and structural inequalities which increase risks for women, girls, and people from other marginalised groups. Therefore, it is crucial to address the gendered effects of these recurring cycles of extreme heat and water scarcity.

This policy brief examines the impacts of heat waves and drought on women’s food security, economic productivity, and care work, and highlights the alarming occurrence of gender-based and sexual violence during climate-induced challenges. It provides a set of proactive and gender-transformative recommendations for humanitarian and disaster risk reduction practitioners to improve preparedness efforts.

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Bibliographic information

Geographic coverage: Asia and the Pacific
Resource type(s): Briefs Policy papers
Publication year
Number of pages