Climate Change Adaptation in Four Indian States: The Missing Gender Budgets
Gender budgeting reflects government priorities for the empowerment of women across all sectors. India’s blueprint for climate action, the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), acknowledges that the impacts of climate change on (poor) women will be ‘particularly severe’, worsening the deprivations already faced by women (NAPCC, 2008 pg 12). State-level Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCCs) are largely silent on gender but over 87% of India’s rural women workers (as per the 2011 census one in four women in India is a worker) work as farmers and agricultural labourers on small rainfed farms. They also shoulder the greater burden for collecting water, firewood and fodder for their households and for livestock. The government needs to recognize this and thus make appropriate policy changes to help women adapt to climate vagaries. Gender budgeting is a powerful tool that State governments can use to bring women into adaptation planning and decision-making.