Gender Mainstreaming for the Adaptation to Weather and Climate Extremes in African Cities

Oluoko-Odingo, A. Alice

Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Nairobi,

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(Received 30 June 2018, received in revised form 30 July 2018, Accepted 14 January 2019)


Although women constitute one-half of the human population and provide most labour in farming, they remain poor and most vulnerable to weather and climate extremes due to inequalities in ownership and decision-making on most important livelihood resources like land, assets and cash.  Peri-urban farming offers an important adaptation strategy to weather and climate extremes and through gender mainstreaming, can become a vital tool for sustainable livelihoods and sustainable development. The paper points out that although well-planned cities offer better services to urban communities and their hinterlands, the African cities, particularly, those in Sub-Saharan Africa have been accompanied by myriads of developmental and environmental challenges, which continue to perpetuate inequalities, discrimination and under-development. For instance, the low-income communities live in risky areas without access to important services which increase their vulnerability to weather and climate induced hazards and disasters. The Paper discusses the links between gender mainstreaming, peri-urban farming, weather and climate extremes and sustainable development in Africa, where literature review is supported by fieldwork results for better policy formulations.  This was an invited paper to the conference and is supported by a research gap on the need for gender mainstreaming in peri-urban farming to enhance equity and equality for sustainable development. The study was carried out in peri-urban areas of Nairobi (Machakos and Kajiado Counties) in Kenya.  The results provide hope as these peri-urban areas seem to have some form of spontaneous gender mainstreaming that when positively supported would yield good results.  The Article underscores the fact that a number of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could be achieved by simply targeting the attainment of SDG 5 on gender equality and women empowerment, including SDG 13 on adaptation to climate change.

Key words: Gender mainstreaming, Weather and Climate extremes, peri-urban farming, Sub Saharan Africa, Cities

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