Women and Climate Change Vulnerability: The Indian Scenario

Anu Unny


Climate change is a significant challenge that affects the existence of people all around the world. India is one of the countries which is highly vulnerable to climate change and experiences the impacts of climate change at different levels. It is a fact that the effects of climate change are more on women and children than on men. Women’s inadequate access to natural resources, lack of financial and technological resources, less mobility and restrained freedom, make them more vulnerable to climate disasters. Women who are from socially and economically deprived backgrounds are doubly disadvantaged in comparison to men who belong to the same category. Though the National Action Plan on Climate Change was framed in 2008 in India to address the climate change problem, the aspect of gender had not been given any focus in the plan. Women’s basic rights and agency had been side-lined in climate change policy framework. This Article attempts to look at the impacts of climate change on women and the root causes behind their marginalisation in climate policy making. The methodology adopted for this study is purely qualitative. The study is descriptive and analytical in nature based on the socio-cultural setting of the country. The study concludes that unless and until the climate policy in the country becomes inclusive in nature, acknowledging the norms of equity and justice, finding a reasonable solution to this problem would be extremely difficult. It is important that women’s capacity and capability to combat climate change is strengthened when looking at the issue of climate change more holistically.


Keywords: climate change, India, NAPCC, vulnerability of women