Children, Young People, and Climate Change: A Gender Perspective

Reference work entry
Part of the Geographies of Children and Young People book series (GCYP, volume 8)


While climate change is widely acknowledged as a defining challenge of this generation, there is also a general consensus that harmonizing human development and efforts to address climate change will minimize the anticipated threats. However, in formulating any climate change interventions, it must be noted that, while climate change is viewed as a global challenge, its impacts are not expected to be globally homogeneous but rather differentiated across regions, generations, age groups, classes, income groups, occupational groups, and between women and men. This chapter draws attention to gender disparities, which are often overlooked and yet key to the formulation and implementation of climate change interventions.

Literature shows that climate change impacts, vulnerabilities, and responses tend to be gender differentiated. These differentiations are attributed to socially constructed roles of male and female, which often result in gender-based disparities that disadvantage girls and women. Climate change is expected to exacerbate gender-based disparities. Despite this being the case, most climate change policies, strategies, action plans, projects, and programs are known to be gender blind. They are often developed without considering the gendered situations which oblige girls, boys, young men, and young women to acquire different capacities and knowledge and to have different needs and interests. As a result, options for girls and young women to become agents of change in response to climate change are often limited. If gender is not given due consideration in climate change interventions, it will be impossible to effectively deal with its challenges. It is against this backdrop that this chapter seeks to contribute to the body of knowledge needed to promote and make a case for the integration of children and young people’s gendered concerns into climate change interventions.


Climate change Gendered youth vulnerability Adaptation Climate risk exposure Response 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social Science – Geography and Environmental ScienceMonash South AfricaJohannesburgSouth Africa

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