In Tonga, illuminating the connections between gender and the environment


Gender plays a crucial role in mediating the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation, with unequal resource distribution, discriminatory social norms and other gender imbalances leaving women particularly vulnerable. But a scarcity of data on the issue has made it difficult to address—or even fully understand. 

Amidst worsening environmental fallout, UN Women and partners designed a specialized gender and environment survey to help National Statistics Offices close these crucial data gaps. In Tonga, where inhabitants face threats like acid rain, cyclones and significant sea level rise, the survey was rolled out between 31 October and 24 December 2022, reaching 2,541 households with two respondents per household. Remarkable efforts were made to reach respondents from the most marginalized households across the country's many islands.

In collaboration with the Tonga Statistics Department, UN Women produced a documentary on the survey's administration, detailing how complex operations were managed to reach all of the country’s ecological areas and sample 99 per cent of the population. It shows enumerators traveling to all parts of the country, even the most remote islands, and speaking with women and men in Tonga about their interactions with the environment, the effects of climate change, and the impact of disasters. 

This Earth Day, learn more about the collection of gender-environment data and how it can help to improve lives: