Women and Climate Change

Across societies the impacts of climate change affect women and men differently. Despite women being disproportionately affected by climate change, they play a crucial role in climate change adaptation and mitigation. Women have the knowledge and understanding of what is needed to adapt to changing environmental conditions and to come up with practical solutions. But they are still a largely untapped resource. Restricted land rights, lack of access to financial resources, training and technology, and limited access to political decision-making spheres often prevent them from playing a full role in tackling climate change and other environmental challenges. 

This newsletter features readings on the gendered impact of climate change on women, narratives in research on climate and women and interesting initiatives focused on climate change solutions.

Along with our regular sections on jobs and member contributions, this edition contains two new sections: Book Recommendations by WiEP and Research Tips. All book recommendations will be stored on our Goodreads Account so you can comfortably refer back to them later. The research tips section will contain writing tips, information on datasets or open research questions. For this edition, we highlight research gaps in research on gender and climate change.
The above infographic contains definitions, theories, and results curated from published academic papers and policy briefs. The resources used are listed at the end of the newsletter.
The gendered impact of climate change
Women and Climate Change - Impact and Agency in Human Rights, Security, and Economic Development: A comprehensive report published by the  Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. It illustrates various types of gendered impacts of climate change and dives into details of each manifestation and breaks down the process and the impact. Read the report here
Women May Be More Vulnerable To Climate Change But Data Absent: The article summarises ways in which women may be more vulnerable to climate change, and  focuses on the lack of gendered data and targets on climate change. Read the article here
Uncertain predictions, invisible impacts, and the need to mainstream gender in climate change adaptations: Vulnerability to environmental degradation and natural hazards is articulated along social, poverty, and gender lines. Just as gender is not sufficiently mainstreamed in many areas of development policy and practice, so the potential impacts of climate change on gender relations have not been studied, and remain invisible. The article outlines climate change predictions, and explores the effects of long-term climate change on agriculture, ecological systems, and gender relations, since these could be significant. It identifies predicted changes in natural hazard frequency and intensity as a result of climate change, and explores the gendered effects of natural hazards. Finally, it highlights the urgent need to integrate gender analyses into public policy-making, and in adaptation responses to climate change. Read the paper here
Initiatives and Solutions
Project Drawdown traces solutions by reducing sources of emissions, uplifting nature's carbon cycles, and fostering equality. It has interventions across 'Electricity' and 'Health and Education'. The chapters specific to women are (1) Health and Education (2) Sustainable Intensification for Smallholders 
Solar Sister recruits and trains women entrepreneurs to build businesses and invest in clean energy An initiative aimed to focus on women's economic empoowerment as well as sustainability.

View previous editions of the newsletter on our website

Research on Climate Change and Women

Persistent women and environment linkages in climate change and sustainable development agendas: The paper explores why and how women–environment linkages remain seductive and influential, and forwards three arguments for this: first, for gender to muster entry into climate politics, women's identities are projected as fixed, centred, and uniform — and tied to nature; second, the discourse of climate change vulnerability has proven to be a strategic entry point for feminist advocacy; and finally, inertia associated with past environmental projects has reinstated the women–environment discourse in contemporary climate change discussions and possibly, future interventions. Read the paper here
Virtue and vulnerability: Discourses on women, gender and climate change: In the limited literature on gender and climate change, two themes predominate – women as vulnerable or virtuous in relation to the environment. The article traces the lineage of the arguments to the women, environment and development discussions, examining how they recur in new forms in climate debates. Questioning assumptions about women's vulnerability and virtuousness, it highlights how a focus on women's vulnerability or virtuousness can deflect attention from inequalities in decision-making. By reiterating statements about poor women in the South and the pro-environmental women of the North, these assumptions reinforce North–South biases. Generalizations about women's vulnerability and virtuousness can lead to an increase in women's responsibility without corresponding rewards. Read the paper here
Climate for women in climate science: Women scientists and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an authoritative and influential source of reports on climate change. The lead authors of IPCC reports include scientists from around the world, but questions have been raised about the dominance of specific disciplines in the report and the disproportionate number of scholars from the Global North. In this paper, authors analyze the as yet unexamined issue of gender and IPCC authorship, looking at changes in gender balance over time and analyzing women’s views about their experience and barriers to full participation, not only as women but also at the intersection of nationality, race, command of English, and discipline. Read the paper here
Featured photographs have been taken by Cristina Mittermeier, a photographer and marine biologist who for the past 25 years has been working as a writer, conservationist and photographer. You can see more of her photographs on her website

Identifying Research Gaps

The study of climate change in economics is fairly new, yet we have made astounding progress in this field by developing empirical methods and theoretical models. However, there is much we do not understand as climate change is a complex problem involving multiple actors and varied fields of learning. In this section, we highlight some key areas in which important policy relevant questions remain (as identified by Burke et al, 2016).
1. The Social Cost of Carbon (SCC)
The social cost of carbon, a central concept in climate change economics, is the economic harm from emitting one ton of CO2 into the atmosphere. Its calculation is sensitive to numerous assumptions – economic growth, fossil fuel emissions, population growth, technological change – which makes it prone to criticism. Improving understanding of the variables affecting the SCC is essential to provide refined analyses for policymaking.
  1. Better understanding the likelihood and impact of extreme climatic events (Weitzman, 2011) and the interdependence of calamitous events (Martin and Pindyck, 2015) will help create a more robust measure of SCC
  2. Understanding and inclusion of non-market damages such as health effects, human conflict (Hsiang et al., 2013) and mental well-being
  3. Accounting for heterogeneity in impacts in developing versus developed countries – whether vulnerability to climate change is affected by the stage and rate of development of an economy, ascertaining the burden on low income households
  4. The nature and magnitude of discount rates, as they can affect the stringency of the policy (see Kolstad et al., 2014 for more on this debate).
2. Amending climate policy design
Improving our understanding of climate policy design, both in terms of achieving objectives as well as understanding their impacts. For example, resistance to carbon pricing and the continued implementation of ‘second best’ policies by many countries implies a need to acknowledge infrastructural and fiscal constraints when designing such policies.
  1. Conducting ex-post impact evaluations of policies centred around climate issues is valuable (Greenstone, 2009). This is also useful in credibly predicting the effectiveness of a proposed policy.
  2. Understanding the interactions between the policy and the individuals affected by it.
  3. The role of technological progress in meeting policy targets – accounting for differential diffusion rated between and within countries, predicting future technology and understanding the interaction between climate policies and innovation (Popp et al., 2010).

Book Recommendations by WiEP

This changes everything: Climate Change Vs Capitalism by Naomi Klein

Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth

Choked : Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution by Beth Gardliner

The future we choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis by Christina Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

Everybody loves a Good Drought by P Sainath
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Work by members

Prashansa Srivastava writes about the power dynamics of survey consent (here) and the fun world of user written STATA commands (here). If you're a Stata user and want to invoke joy while stressfully coding, her article consists of a list of user written commands guaranteed to spark joy (some of them written by her).

Aditi Bhowmick helped write this article transforming an important paper on the impact of mineral wealth booms on criminal politician activity. The paper finds that during mining booms, in India's mineral belt, criminal politicians are more likely to be elected & those politicians who are already elected are more likely to engage in criminal activity and amass greater wealth.

Caste, class and gender in determining access to energy: A critical review of LPG adoption in India: Shaily Jha and Sasmita Patnaik use an integrated framework (Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) ) to analyse Government of India's most recent and possibly the largest initiative for the provision of clean cooking energy - Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), and assess the extent to which PMUY is able to enhance use of LPG by overcoming the existing caste, class and gender-based exclusion. Read the paper here.

Himanshi Bahl writes about regional disparities in development in India. Read the article here 

Urban Growth In India: Horizontal, Chaotic, and Informal: 
Harshita Agrawal (and co-authors) delve deeper into the haphazard and informal growth of urban cities and analyses how urban expansion can be better planned and governed. Read the paper here. They further write about how the pandemic sounds an alarm about the consequences of inefficient planning and management of cities and poses an opportunity to rethink and rebuild the areas that are most important to the country’s growth in this article. They analyse the implications of Mumbai's seroprevalence results on urban reform in this article.

Kelly Joy has put together an Issue Brief on disclosure "hacks" to provide insights to help tackle the common concern arising from municipal issuers during the pandemic about responsibilities related to disclosure of their financial condition to current or potential
investors. Read the brief here


Note: These are jobs shared by members over WhatsApp over the last 2 weeks. Please check if positions are still open before applying. If you are thinking about applying to one of these, you can also drop a message on the WhatsApp group or on the google group  to connect with members currently working in these organisations.
1. There are multiple positions (at locations across various countries) open at the following organisations: 
  1. Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD): Open positions in India, Nepal, Cambridge (MA) etc
  2. United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
  3. Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) based in the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Cambridge, MA)
  4. Sattva: Vacancies in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi offices
  5. Unicef 
2. Fellowships: 
  1. Pre-doctoral and Post-doctoral fellowships at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
  2. GEM (Global Education Monitoring) Report Fellowship
  3. Public Policy Fellowship - Twitter (based out of Delhi, India)
3.  Internships:
  1. Asian Development Bank (ADB) Internship Program : candidates must be enrolled in a Master's- or PhD-level program at a school in one of the ADB member nations, both prior to and after the internship assignment
  2. Research Intern- Invest India
4. An Academy Scholar from the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies is hiring Program Managers for 3-4 months to look after a remote project with Mukhiyas in Bihar from December-February. More details here.

5. Policy Associate, JPAL-Global:  open to all international candidates with the possibility of remote work, but with a preference for candidates to be based in Cambridge, MA at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or one of J-PAL's Regional Offices in Africa (Cape Town, South Africa), Europe (Paris, France), Latin America & the Caribbean (Santiago, Chile), the Middle East and North Africa (Cairo, Egypt), South Asia (Delhi, India), or Southeast Asia (Jakarta, Indonesia)

6. The University of Chicago Center in Delhi seeks an Executive Director, based in Delhi, to work closely with the University of Chicago academic and administrative leaders, and to support the University of Chicago initiatives in India and South Asia. More information here

7. Centre for Social and Economic Progress (previously Brookings India) is looking to hire an Associate Fellow (Growth, Finance and Development), and Researchers to join their Economics, Environment, and Climate Change team.

8. Central Square Foundation (CSF) is looking for an Assessment  & data-driven-learning specialist. More details here

9. The World Bank is hiring a consultant to supervise qualitative research on constraints to women’s economic empowerment in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. More details here.

10. WRI  (World Resources Institute) India seeks a consultant for coordinating landscape implementation work housed in the Sustainable Landscapes and Restoration program in India. More information here.
References used for the infographic: : (1) Wong, S. (2016). Can climate finance contribute to gender equity in developing countries?. Journal of International Development (2) OECD DAC Network on Gender Equality (GENDERNET)  (2015). Making climate finance work for women: Overview of the integration of gender equality in aid to climate change. The Development Assistance Committee: Enabling Effective Development. (3) Schalatek, L. (2009). Gender and climate finance: double mainstreaming for sustainable development. Heinrich Böll Foundation. (4) Alam, M., Bhatia, R., Mawby, B., & Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security. (2015). Women and Climate Change. Impact and Agency in Human Rights, Security, and Economic Development. Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. (5) Pelz, S., Chindarkar, N., & Urpelainen, J. (2020). Energy access for marginalized communities: Evidence from rural North India, 2015–2018. World Development, 137, 105204. (6) Can Climate Finance Contribute to Gender Equity in Developing Countries?, Sam Wong (2016)
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