Climate change poses global risks (World Economic Forum, 2016, IPCC, 2014). These risks adversely affect women in developing countries because of their little capacity to adapt (Brody et al, 2008). Previous studies show that women are more vulnerable to climate change than men for a variety of reasons, including illiteracy, low socioeconomic skills, inadequate access to assets, and social isolation, among others (Ahmad and Fajber, 2009; Archer 2003; UNISDR, 2008; Neumayer and Plumper, 2007). Thus, if empowered, women can contribute significantly to climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Limited understanding exists on climate change gender impact disparity in South Sudan. Using literature and empirical data, we find that in South Sudan:
- Women are at the lower rung of social hierarchy, which produces imbalances that highly expose them to climate change disasters,
- Women have less resilience assets, rely more on natural resources, have high rate of illiteracy, low skills and low access to professional employment, which make them more vulnerable to climate change calamities than men, and
- Households headed by females are more vulnerable to disasters such as famine.
We recommend to the government and partners to:
- Prioritize technical capacity building within key government institutions to be able to mainstream climate change and gender equality measures.
- Design policies that equally empower women and men to become resilient to climate change impacts.
- Build climate data infrastructure to inform gender equality and climate change policies and plans.