Climate Change Vulnerability and Women's Land Rights: The Case of Arua District
Climate change presents one of the most challenging threats to sustainable development for all categories of individuals and communities. In respect to gender, women and girls constitute one of the most vulnerable categories of populations. However, the vulnerability of women is context-specific because the impacts of climate change vary with location, household and for individual members of a given community due to a multiplicity of factors. One of the key factors for women’s vulnerability to shocks and stresses is marginalisation entrenched in social norms and practices. Aspects of marginalisation against women in Uganda among others include inequitable access to physical, social, political and financial resources. Women particularly have far less access to, ownership of and control over land asset, yet most of their livelihoods predominantly depend on it. The marginalisation coupled with inherent vulnerability of women and girls to climate shocks and stresses makes it of paramount consideration for policy making and implementation of programmes and projects to solve these challenges. For adaptation and resilience building interventions to be effective, there is need for gender specific vulnerability assessments to generate contextualised evidence and understanding of prevailing drivers of climate susceptibility and risk. Without such evidence, it is not easy to promote the use of gender as a criterion for targeting anti-vulnerability policy, programme and project interventions. Lack of targeted efforts to address gender disaggregated vulnerabilities will not only perpetuate existing gender inequalities but also reduce their already limited access to physical, social, political and financial resources. In view of the aforementioned, an action-oriented study was conducted in Arua district with an overall objective of examining the climate change vulnerabilities for women and girls and the contribution of limited access, ownership and control over land to these vulnerabilities.