Editors Note: This article is originally from from Agrilinks. It was written by Cristina Manfre, TechnoServe Global Gender Director, and Devon Melville, Deputy Chief of Party, BeninCajù.
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Climate change threatens to reshape our world, but its effects will not be distributed equally. The United Nations Climate Change panel found that it “exacerbates existing inequalities between men and women.” Women farmers are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change for a number of reasons. On average, they have less access to extension services, savings, and finance; they have unequal decision-making in households and organizations; and the land that they farm is more likely to be susceptible to natural disasters and climate shocks. Such is the case for rural women in Latin America. Furthermore, the impacts of climate change can “augment unequal household gender dynamics and contribute to resource grabbing and violence as a means to maintain control,” according to a report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
But boosting the resilience of women farmers can help to address these risks. A recent case study about the BeninCajù program — a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and TechnoServe to support livelihoods in Benin’s cashew value chain — highlights some of the ways that we can create more inclusive agricultural systems that support the resilience of women farmers to climate change and other shocks.