A gendered lens to self-evaluated and actual climate change knowledge

Abstract

Gender-sensitive and gender-responsive approaches are important to increase adaptive capacity in a changing climate given the gendered nature of exposure levels to climate shocks. Nonetheless, knowledge and perception of the public to climate change influence behavioural intention to adapt. While literature is replete with public perception and adaptation strategies to climate change, there is a dearth of information exploring the influence of gender on climate change knowledge. This paper employs quantitative and qualitative data to examine the influence of gender on knowledge in climate trends in Beitbridge Rural District, Zimbabwe, using questionnaire surveys. This survey tool consisted of demographic questions on gender and other variables. Our results indicate that compared to women, actual knowledge of trends in selected variables of climate change was higher among men. Furthermore, male respondents had higher self-evaluated knowledge on climate trends compared to female participants. We recommend gender disaggregated data in the vulnerability and adaptation assessments and the education, training and awareness sections of the National Communications to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change.

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Data are available upon request.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Mr. Tadiwanashe Mugandani for proofreading the manuscript.

Funding

We thank Midlands State University’s Research Board for providing financial resources and support in executing this study.

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Contributions

Dr. Raymond Mugandani, Mr. Tavengwa Chitata, Mr. Elvis Mupfga and Mr. Batanai Sammie designed the research under the guidance of Dr. Mugandani and Mr. Chitata. Dr. Raymond Mugandani, Mr. Elvis Mupfga and Mr. Batanai Sammie collected the data. Mr. Sammie cleaned and recorded the data. Dr. Mugandani, Mr. Chitata and Mr. Liboster Mwadzingeni designed the analysis procedure. Dr. Mugandani, Mr. Chitata and Mr. Mwadzingeni analysed the data. All the authors worked on the flow, clarity, organizational structure, discussions and conclusions under the guidance of Dr. Mugandani and Mr. Chitata. Dr. Mugandani and Mr. Chitata took the lead in writing the manuscript, and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Raymond Mugandani.

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Sammie, B., Mupfiga, E., Mwadzingeni, L. et al. A gendered lens to self-evaluated and actual climate change knowledge. J Environ Stud Sci 11, 65–75 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13412-020-00641-6

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Keywords

  • Gender
  • Beitbridge
  • Zimbabwe
  • Vulnerability
  • Adaptation