Supporting women farmes in a changing climate: five policy lessons

Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security CCAFS

The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) produced together with the International Social Science Council (ISSC) and Future Earth five key policy recommendations for supporting women farmers in a changing climate.

Teaser: Supporting women farmes in a changing climate: five policy lessons

Climate change demands new approaches to agriculture: farmers’ practices will need to change in order to adapt to and mitigate changing conditions. Gender is central to this change. Agriculture is a fundamental part of women’s livelihoods globally, most markedly in least developed countries, where four-fifths of economically active women report agriculture as their primary economic activity. More women are moving into agriculture as men move out to seasonal or paid labour elsewhere. At the same time women farmers have less access to productive inputs and resources to improve returns from their farming activities and to meet the challenges of climate change.
Policies, institutions and services to help farmers develop new approaches to deal with climate change will need to produce results for women farmers as well as men. This brief provides five policy lessons to support this process, based on evidence from research in low- and middle-income countries and offers guidelines for crafting gender-responsive climate policies at global and national levels.

Key recommendations

  • New technologies and practices for climate change will be adopted more successfully when they are appropriate to women’s interests, resources and demands;
  • Extension and climate information services need to serve women and men;
  • Institutions need to take into account women’s priorities and support their adaptive capacity;
  • Women’s capacity as farmers and innovators needs to be recognized and supported; and
  • Climate policy processes should go beyond numerical representation of women to create active mechanisms to express opinions, take initiatives, and influence decisions.


Huyer, Sophia et. al (2015): Supporting women farmers in a changing climate: five policy lessons. CCAFS Policy Brief no. 10.

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