Gender analysis in building climate resilience in Da Nang, Vietnam: challenges and solutions

Gender analysis in building climate resilience in Da Nang, Vietnam: challenges and solutions

Climate resilience is more likely to be achieved when men and women fully participate in planning, decision making and implementation. This study looks at what roles men and women play in climate change planning and action, and to what extent women’s needs and capacity are fully taken into account. It focuses on Da Nang, Vietnam, a city extremely vulnerable to climate change. The three core components of urban climate resilience – systems, institutions and agents – which have been used by the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition (ISET) since 2012, were examined through the gender lens by conducting a series of stakeholder consultations and household interviews.

The results indicate that (i) Da Nang has paid increasing attention to gender equality and the empowerment of women in general  administration, policy making and  implementation; (ii) social norms and gender biases still exist but they are not thought to be especially serious; (iii) both male and female groups are engaged in the process of planning and approving policies, plans and strategies on climate change; and (iv) gender relations have recently been given a positive signal in the form of support from a robust legal system and the formation of women’s associations within the municipal administrative system.
 
Policy pointers:
  • most major planning and policy decisions about building climate change resilience in Vietnam are taken by men because the involvement of women is restricted by social norms, gender biases and domestic work burdens. This often means that their needs and capacity are not sufficiently taken into account
  • women often have low levels of education in Vietnam, which means they have little awareness of climate change and climate change risk reduction, and this hinders their active involvement in helping to build climate resilience. This can be overcome through formal education and training to raise awareness, as well as helping women to find stable and well-paid jobs, which will give them the confidence to engage in community activities including responding to climate change
  • to enable women to fully participate in planning and decision making associated with climate change, it is crucial to have supportive mechanisms in place – for example, regulations on the minimum number of female members on councils or steering committees
  • gender-sensitive indexes/indicators should be integrated into plans, programs and projects at the city and district/ward levels to guide gendered interventions or actions so that both men and women’s needs, roles and responsibilities are taken into account when reducing vulnerability and enhancing climate resilience
 
 
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