The law as shelter: The interface between women and climate change adaptation responses in Africa

Authors Michael Addaney

ISSN: 2521-2605
Affiliations: Senior Research Assistant, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani, Ghana
Source: Journal of Comparative Law in Africa, Volume 5 Issue 2, p. 117 – 148


Climate change is widely recognised as a key factor in sustainable development policymaking at international, regional and national levels. Indeed, there is increased recognition of climate change as a hurdle to realising the inclusive development objectives of developing regions and emerging economies. However, there is a dearth of policies and research on integration of gender perspectives into climate change programming. It is against this backdrop that this article examines the African Union Agenda 2063 and other relevant regional mechanisms to ascertain how they respond to the needs of women in coping with the adverse effects of climate change. Based largely on literature review, this paper examines the interface between women’s needs in climate change adaptation and the extent to which Agenda 2063 and associated AU laws and policies on gender and the environment meet these needs. It is argued that the inclusion of women’s needs in climate change interventions is crucial for the effective implementation of Agenda 2063 and associated policies. Firstly, women play a critical role in sustainable development in the Global South because of their prominence in agricultural and related activities. On account of this, their inclusion in sustainable development planning remains crucial, with a view to ensuring that climate change interventions are reflective of women’s agency in the environmental and socio-political affairs of emerging economies. It is concluded that the AU, African governments and civil society should accord due regard to the voice of women in all decisions having a bearing on climate change adaptation. The increased involvement of women will enhance environmental and productivity gains to create mutual benefits and higher returns across the SDGs, and the Strategic Aspirations of the Agenda 2063 in Africa.