Weathering the storm: adolescent girls and climate change

Weathering the storm: adolescent girls and climate change

The disproportionate effects of climate change on adolescent girls in Bangladesh and Ethiopia

Analysing how and why climate change disproportionately affects adolescent girls, this report seeks to inform decision-makers and policy analysts in countries facing the pressures of climate change about the way forward.

Using evidence collected from Ethiopia and Bangladesh, the report demonstrates that climate change is exposing a growing number of girls and young women to very specific risks. They are dying during disasters, enduring early and forced marriages, being exposed to sexual violence, and dropping out of school.

The report highlights two key priorities and gives the following recommendations for Ethiopian and Bangladeshi girls:

1. Prescribe gender-sensitive strategies for climate change adaptation. International donors should:

  • ensure that national and global financing mechanisms address the specific needs and rights of girls in relation to the impact of climate change on them
  • facilitate integration between climate change adaptation, disaster risk management, and poverty reduction efforts by providing funding mechanisms for the delivery of quality education for girls and boys to increase climate change knowledge.
National governments should:
  • revise National Adaptation Strategies and Programmes of Action to take into account the effects of climate change on adolescent girls
  • ensure national climate change policies and programmes are aligned with government commitments on gender by adopting national climate change policies that include gender- and age-sensitive programming
  • ensure adolescent girls have improved access to education, training and awareness-raising on climate change adaptation
  • recognise and promote the role of adolescent girls as transformative agents for community resilience by funding CSOs to undertake programmes to support this work
  • ensure effective mechanisms are in place for girls and boys to learn from their elders’ indigenous knowledge on adaptation and science.
2. Address gender inequality as a root cause of vulnerability to climate change.
    Policy-makers determining national and international adaptation policy should:
    • ensure climate adaptation work builds on existing efforts by women’s rights organisations in partnership with men and boys
    • ensure adolescent girls are able to participate in decision-making and political processes that affect them.
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