Sample Essay on Gendering Climate Change: Geographical Insights

Gendering Climate Change: Geographical Insights

Introduction

            The author introduces the article by narrating the coincidental occurrence of two events during the month of November 2007 that are related to the issue of climate change. The first event was the occurrence of a power cyclone named Sidr that struck the Bay of Bengal, leaving millions of lives and livelihoods along Bangladesh’s coast devastated. The second event was the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) meeting that was being held in Valencia, Spain, in which IPCC scientists were releasing the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report that detailed the effects of climate change that were already observable, and predicting climate change impacts that were likely to be experienced in the future. The introduction points out that the deaths that had occurred along Bangladesh’s coast after Cyclone Sidr struck were actually part of the adverse effects of climate change. The failure by most people to notice relationship between these two coincidental events prompted the academicians and planners to engage in a fierce debate concerning climate change’s processes and impacts in developing countries. The introduction frames the article’s discussion and argument by linking the coincidental occurrence of the two events in November 2007 to an event that took place several weeks later in December 2007, in which activists at the International Conferences of the Parties (COP) conventions in Bali introduced the gender dimension to the climate change debate. The activists’ slogan that climate justice cannot be realized without gender justice provided the discussion about gendered dynamics of climate change significant international attention (Sultana 373). It is on this basis that the article examines climate change’s socio-ecological implications in South Asia, in which it focuses mainly on the gendered consequences that have not been accorded significant attention. Most of the climate change’s policy discourses, debates, and even academic writing are largely ungendered, even though climate change’s impacts are strongly felt along gender lines, and the ability to adapt to climate change is evidently a gendered process.

Argument

            The author argues that majority of the climate change’s policy discourses, debates, and academic writings have failed to adequately take into consideration the gendered ramifications of climate change, despite the fact that the effects of climate of climate change are strongly felt along gender lines, and the ability to adapt to climate change is in reality a gendered process. The author points out that although the credibility of science, data, and predictions of climate change impacts have elicited controversies and politicized debates in recent years, there is general agreement among scholars that the human-induced climate change has varying and not well defined impacts. Scholars have exhibited a tendency of generalizing climate change’s impacts, in which they assume that it affects both genders equally. The author argues that scholars, especially geographers, need to undertake more climate change researches that explore the gendered ramifications of climate change across all sites and scales, considering that such issues have not been given adequate attention in the present literatures. According to the author, only a few scholars have acknowledged or considered gender as being an important factor that influences climate change’s impacts, adaptation, and mitigation measures, although literature on climate change is voluminous. The author stresses that since both genders experience, comprehend, and adapt to climate change differently, it is of paramount importance to comprehend the changes that are presently observable, and those that are likely to occur in the upcoming years from a gendered viewpoint. For instance, it has been evident that are more adversely affected by climate change’s impacts as compared to men. It has also been established that women experience more challenges coping and adapting to climate change because of varying socio-ecological factors. Moreover, the author emphasizes we can have deeper understanding of the impacts of climate by not only viewing women as a homogenous group, but through further examination of the numerous processes that make up gendered subjects, identities, and bodies. For instance, while much focus has been on how climate change impacts women, there is need for greater attention on how gender is connected to other factors such as class, caste, age, ethnicity, education, religion, among others. The outcome of this complex interrelationship is that climate change would impact various groups of women differently, and their coping and adaptation to climatic changes would also tend to differ. Scholars should examine the climate change’s impacts on different genders from all these perspectives and/or dimensions.

Structure of the Paper

            The author has used deductive reasoning to the argument. In this type of reasoning, the author arrives at a conclusion by moving from the general to the specific. For instance, in the article’s introduction, the author starts by establishing a connection between climate change and its observable impacts. The author views the powerful Cyclone Sidr as being an outcome of the anthropogenic climate change. The author then views the activists’ slogan that climate justice cannot be achieved without realizing gender justice” as an acknowledgment that climate change impacts both genders differently (Sultana 373). It is from this point that the author’s article starts examining the socio-ecological ramifications of climate dynamics in South Asia, with greater focus on gendered ramifications. The author admits that the majority of climate change’s policy discourses, debates, and academic writing are largely ungendered, even though it is evidently clear that the climate change’s impacts are being felt along gender lines and that adaptation to climate change in reality a gendered process.

In the section “(En)gendering Climate Change Research in Geography,” stresses that scholars are generally in agreement that the human-induced climate change has uneven and uncertain ramifications. The author stresses that although there is increasing research climate change’s impacts of climate change; geographers need to pay to the gendered ramifications of changes in climatic conditions  across locations and scales, as the issue has been scantly covered in the current literatures. The author points out that men and women experience, comprehend, and adapt to climate change differently, hence the need to understand the changes presently taking place, and those expected in the upcoming years, from a gendered point of view. In addition, scholars should shift from viewing women as a homogenous group, and starts focusing more on how climate change impacts different groups of women as gender is affected by other factors such as class, ethnicity, age, education, and caste, among others, for instance, poor women appear to be more vulnerable to effects of climate change.

The “A Feminist Analysis of Climate Change in South Asia,” section examines the different realities that women in South Asian societies experience. According to the author, the South Asia societies are presently facing two remarkable transformations. These include socio-ecological transformations arising from climate change, and challenges facing historical societies in the form of gendered power structures. Since access, control, utilization, and knowledge of resources are gendered, they have made any variation in the natural resources attributed to climate change have appeared to occur in a variety of ways, impacting the livelihoods of men and women differently in any context. For example, women undertake most productive and reproductive roles that relate to water, which often go unaffected during crisis. The feminized tasks such as fetching water for domestic use would worsen women’s burden of procuring water if climate change alters water quantity, quality, and availability and seasonality. Lack of water would adversely affect reproductive and care provision duties performed by women. Since women do not often own or inherit land, they lack property rights and resources that can help them cope and adapt to climate changes. During disasters caused by climate change, women often face more difficulties coping with the situation. In short, gender inequalities and norms existing in most parts of South Asia normally expose women and girls to more physical and social risks as compared to their male counterparts.

The “Gendering Climate Change Adaptation,” stresses that the gendered experiences in knowledge and subjected realities with natural resources significantly affects how people prioritize adaptation strategies, and even the perceptions they can have regarding socio-ecological changes. Therefore, examining gender relations in terms of unequal power relations is critical to fully comprehending how vulnerabilities and adaptations occur.

In the “Conclusion” section, the author insists that policy discourses, feminist activism, and ground realities, all show the interrelatedness and significance of gendered breakdown and intervention strategies in debates concerning climate change. Therefore, gendered perspectives are important in assessing climate change’s impacts, as well as the results of adaptation strategies chosen to address the impacts and further improve the situation. The author concludes that geographers have the responsibility to demonstrate how gender and other social dimensions of differences can limit and modify adaptive capacities, and ways in which vulnerabilities can be transformed and experienced in dynamic climatic conditions.

Literatures

            The author situates the work from the feminist theoretical perspective and realities of climate change as experienced in South Asia societies. The author mainly cites scholarly researches about climate change, in which he/she demonstrates the perspective taken by other authors. The author also cites the perspectives that scholars held while discussing climate change’s impacts in conferences and forums. The author notices that few scholars have paid great attention examining the gendered ramifications of climate change. It is the discovery of such a gap in literatures that the author bases her article, in which he/she asks scholars not to entirely assume that climate change impacts women uniformly as a homogenous group, but focus more on how socio-ecological factors connected to gender, such as class, age, ethnicity, education, among others, interact to influence how different groups of women are impacted by climate change, and how it affects their coping and adaptation strategies.

Methodology

The author collected information supporting her argument from books, journal articles, and reports. Most of the information supporting the argument is drawn from secondary sources. The author achieves this by analyzing documents and scholarly works by other people, and presents their various perspectives regarding climate change and its varying impact on men and women, and even between groups of women. The information and data is presented in a descriptive form, as it is women into the text of the article. The information clearly supports the argument as it provides various perspectives on how the ramifications of climate change are gendered. It achieves this by demonstrating how the various groups of women are experiencing climate change’s impacts in South Asia.

Conclusion

The author summarizes her argument by insisting that policy discourses, feminist activism, and ground realities, all show the interrelatedness and significance of gendered scrutiny and intervention strategies in debates concerning climate change. She argues that gender perspective is very important in the assessment of climate change impacts, as well as outcomes of adaptation strategies preferred in addressing the impacts, and the further transformations that would follow. The author concludes by asking geographers and other scholars to do more research across an array of scales and issues to demonstrate how gender and other social dimensions of differences can limit and change the adaptive capacities, and ways through which vulnerabilities can be transformed and experienced in the constantly changing climates.

Bibliography

The article has cited 70 sources. These types of sources include books, research articles, and reports. The article has cited 16 books, 52 research articles from journals, and 2 reports. The article has not cited any internet source.

 

Works Cited

Sultana, Farhana. “Gendering Climate Change: Geographical Insights.” Professional Geographer 66.3 (2014): 372-381.