Climate change and women in South Asia: A review and future policy implications

Document Type

Article (peer-reviewed)

Publication Date



Purpose: South Asian region is a focal point owing to its vulnerabilities to climate-sensitive diseases, dependence on climate-sensitive livelihoods, projected levels of crop decline in the region, and high rates of poverty and malnutrition. Women are particularly vulnerable to climate change and this affects women disproportionately during different extreme events. The purpose of this paper is to understand the issue of climate change and its impact, and climate resilience among women in South Asia. Further, it also identifies the gaps and suggests future policy implications. Design/methodology/approach: Climate change is increasingly being recognised as an alarming issue and the present review is important when South Asian countries are facing the brunt of climate change impacts. This paper tries to understand the issue by review of the literature and conceptual framework methodology. To understand women’s vulnerability due to climate change and its aftermath, the authors conducted both offline and online desk reviews for this study. Findings: The findings of this study show a clear linkage between climate change and women’s vulnerabilities in South Asia. Climate change has significant socio-economic impacts on women, and it affects them disproportionately in various domains of agriculture, livelihood, food security, both physical and mental health, water and sanitation in the South Asia region. Practical implications: The paper also highlights that the programmes that aim at combating the effects of climate change require a gender-sensitive approach so that climate change does not obstruct the development and reduction of poverty in the region. Social implications: The findings of this paper will add value in helping families to come out of poverty by undertaking adaptive measures with proactive assistance from the government and grassroots level organisations. Originality/value: The present study also advocates for more gender- and climate-sensitive measures from governments, and implementation of intervention- and evidence-based research in the South Asian countries.






Population, Environmental Risks, and the Climate Crisis (PERCC)