Scientific Publication

Climate change and women's place-based vulnerabilities - a case study from Pakistani highlands


Changes in temperature and hydro-meteorological patterns due to climate change are believed to be impacting farming communities in different ways. From a gender neutral perspective, climate change implications affect members of communities alike. From a gender perspective however, impacts of change vary from place to place, household to household and for individual members of the household due to a multiplicity of factors including expectation of individual members of a household to take additional responsibilities in difficult times. Taking empirical evidence from the hazard affected region of Chitral Pakistan, we argue that climate change vulnerabilities are contextually determined, are place based and impact individual members of households differently. As an unavoidable coping strategy, the affected communities are compelled to send male members away from home in search of alternate sources of livelihoods. This compels women to take additional responsibilities at farm household and the community levels. These responsibilities give birth to new vulnerabilities for women. Female members are forced to contribute to communal tasks traditionally performed by male member. Therefore, differentiated analysis of climate change impacts, based on gender roles and responsibilities, is crucial to understand impacts of climate change on different segments of the society even individual members of the same households.