Gender and Climate Change

empowering women

Across Asia and the Pacific, climate change and disasters undermine human well being and basic human rights to life, health, food, education and employment. In turn, deep rooted inequalities further expose many populations to the ravages of climate change. Women and girls in the region, who constitute 80 per cent of all those living under USD 2 per day, are often on the frontiers of the fight against climate change. Rural women earn their livelihoods from climate-sensitive sectors, such as agriculture, fisheries, livestock, thereby increasing their vulnerability. Beyond loss of life and assets, disasters also bring conflict, violence and displacement that have far-reaching and longlasting impacts on women and marginalized groups. While women enjoy fewer rights than men in many countries, they continue to bear the brunt of negative impacts of climate change and disasters.

Ongoing climate plans, policies and investments, however, do not adequately account for these distinct impacts on most vulnerable populations. Additionally, institutions often lack the capacity, resources and the will to ensure that climate change and disaster risk reduction actions are truly inclusive and gender-sensitive. Climate action will not be effective and complete without adequately tackling diversity and inclusion. The solution lies in engaging women and marginalized groups in meaningful dialogues and decisions on climate action.


The ΣmPower: Empowering Women to Secure Climate-resilient Societies is a 5 year project (2018-2022) implemented jointly by UN Women and UN Environment in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Viet Nam andregionally in Asia and the Pacific, with the support of the Swedish International Development Agency. The project envisions women and marginalized groups in Asia and the Pacific becoming more resilient to the adverse impacts of climate change and disasters. The project aims to strengthen gender equality and human rights in climate change and disaster risk actions in the Asia and the Pacific region.


The project bridges governments, regional fora, academia to women’s groups, marginalized communities and civil society working for climate action and disaster risk reduction in order to:

  • WOMEN PARTICIPATE IN DECISION MAKING - Encourage women and marginalized groups to participate in climate decisions
  • GENDER DISAGGREGATED DATA - Generate, analyse and use sex, age and diversity disaggregated data to inform policy
  • GENDER RESPONSIVE POLICIES AND FINANCE - Transform climate and disaster risk reduction policies and financing to be more gender and human rights responsive
  • ACCESS TO RENEWABLE ENERGY - Enable women to access and use renewable energy and, through it, economic resources for resilient livelihoods
  • REGIONAL KNOWLEDGE SHARING  - Improve regional mechanisms, processes and knowledge on climate change and disaster risk reduction to include gender and human rights

The ΣmPower: Empowering Women to Secure Climate-resilient Societies project contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals:

Gender Equality  
affordable and clean energy  
climate action  
partnership for the goals  








For more information, contact:

Inkar Kadyrzhanova | UN Women

Annette Wallgren | UN Environment