Gender Norms, Technology Access, and Women Farmers’ Vulnerability to Climate Change in Sub-Saharan Africa

Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


The challenges of climate change are defined by biophysical unpredictability and the sociocultural context in which communities adjust to these challenges. Gender norms to which women and men generally conform influence women smallholder farmers’ vulnerability to climate change. Understanding the social context within which an intervention is introduced can therefore greatly influence its transformative capacity. This review addresses the evidence on the influence of gender norms on climate-smart agricultural systems in sub-Saharan Africa through the dual lenses of equitable system productivity and women’s empowerment. It makes a case for inclusive strategies to enhance equitable access to improved seed and other technologies as an adaptation option. We conclude that challenging gender norms around seed systems and extension services in SSA will increase our chance of success in mitigating climate disasters.


Climate-smart agriculture Sub-Saharan Africa Gender norms Seed systems Extension services 



The authors acknowledge the contribution of Dr. Carol Colfer (Cornell University) and Dr. Peace Musiimenta (Makerere University) for their input into the chapter as internal reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Makerere UniversityKampalaUganda
  2. 2.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  3. 3.ICRISATBamakoMali
  4. 4.Bioversity InternationalCotonouBenin

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