Outlook on Climate Change Adaptation in the Western Balkan Mountains

Gender issues

According to the publication “UNFCCC Decisions and Conclusions” (Burns and Patouris, 2014), climate change – especially droughts, floods and other extreme weather events – together with food and water insecurity impact men and women differently. Due to high unemployment rates, a high percentage of women in the Balkans tend to stay at home, where they are responsible for the household’s food production and its water and energy supply (Goldstein, 2014). These are the resources most affected by the impacts of climate change (Burns and Patouris, 2014), making women in the Balkans more vulnerable than men to climate change. For this reason, it has become increasingly important in the Balkan countries to involve women and men equally in decision-making processes (ibid). According to the analysis of the available documents, however, the question of gender mainstreaming in policy and strategic documents tends to remain superficial. In order to ensure that both men and women have equal opportunities to participate in the adaptation regime, women need to be proactively engaged in the planning and implementation of adaptation measures. They should be involved in both consultative and decision-making stages, with the aim of facilitating their safety and productivity. For this reason, strategic documents must identify women as a special stakeholder group and include them in action planning.

Woman threshing cereal, Lin, Albania


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