While it is common knowledge that the impacts of climate change will significantly alter lives and livelihoods across continents, vulnerable societies and individuals are expected to suffer disproportionately from impact of climate change. Women and their livelihood systems are expected to be hardest hit by climate change impacts largely due to culturally-imposed limits on women's ownership and control of resources including land, labour and capital, and imbalance in power relations across communities.
With hydro meteorological disasters including floods and droughts projected to intensify, livelihood systems dependent on these climatic factors will be negatively impacted. Agriculture which remains the major employer of rural labour in Ghana will be significantly exposed to the impact of climate change with women largely depend on rain-fed agriculture suffering disproportionately.
Improving adaptive capacities of communities and vulnerable populations through policy and investment to strengthen resilience remains the only feasible path to giving climate vulnerable populations a fighting chance. This report, Climate Change and Women Empowerment in Ghana takes a closer look at efforts to build climate resilience and improve adaptive capacities of smallholder farmers through policy and investment. The report reviews key national climate change response policy documents─ the National Climate Change Policy and the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy with a gender lens.
An important feature of this report that makes it relevant for policy and development discourse is the effort to unpack key national climate response policies and presenting these policies within the contexts of livelihoods and people. The report starts with a review of national climate policies and related charters, examines progress and challenges in the implementation of the policies and provides important insights into the funding infrastructure for climate mitigation and adaptation. The report pays particular attention to the disproportionate impact of climate change on women especially in the northern parts of Ghana and provides pointers on how to make national climate policies and interventions work for women smallholder farmers.
The challenges existing approaches by asking whether farm-level measures such as switching crop varieties would be enough to offset expected losses or whether there was the need for sustained investments in crop breeding and irrigation. There are numerous documents, policy briefs and reports on climate change policies and programmes in
Ghana. What makes this report worthwhile and important for development practitioners is the simple language and user-friendly nature.