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Climate Change Impacts On Women

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We tend not to realize the burden of the social and economic impact of climate change on the day-to-day activities of women; those who work in agriculture, and all other women who by virtue of living in a developing country are affected by social norms and inequalities


I recently read an article about the impact of climate change on women, a topic I had never really thought about in depth.  It made me look at how, over the years, climate change had impacted my own daily routine and spending and I couldn’t help but agree that climate changes have a much greater effect on women in general and women in agriculture. 

According to,  agriculture contributes to 54 % of Ghana’s GDP, and accounts for over 40 % of export earnings, while at the same time providing over 90 % of the food needs of the country In Ghana, about 52 % of the labor force is engaged in agriculture, 29 % of that labor force is in services and 19 % in industry. And approximately, 39 % of the farm labor force is made up of women.  also states that about 80% of crops within Ghana are produced by women.  These figures paint a very clear picture of the contribution of women in an industry that is greatly affected by and vulnerable to climate change. explains that the disproportionate impact of climate change on women magnifies the existing gender inequities which also includes political disenfranchisement and economic marginalization. 

In Ghana, Africa and in many developing countries, gendered social norms and inequalities mean that women often hold positions burdened by environmental change, such as water collection and smallholder farming, which immediately feel impacts of drought or disaster. This even extends in non-farming women to whom the burden falls on to run the home which includes washing, cleaning, cooking, caring for children amongst others, all of which become more time consuming and challenging when climate change affects water and electricity supply, transportation, food supply and sanitation.

This is highlighted by, indicating that when droughts and extreme temperatures dry up sources of water, women must travel longer distances to collect water for cooking, cleaning, and managing gardens. As a result, they have less time to pursue other sources of income, which prevents them from becoming economically independent, which has a chain of negative impacts on quality of life for the whole family and the women themselves. 

The Ghana Climate Innovation Centre is continuously identifying the unique challenges that women entrepreneurs in the green space face, and has positioned itself to address some of the key challenges by developing the Women Entrepreneurs Transformation Program, which amongst other things, creates a supportive ecosystem for women in leadership positions, gives advice on access to finance and helps to overcome many other challenges that women face in running their businesses and in their daily lives. This will contribute to the development of skills and tools for women leaders who can in turn support women in agricultural labor as well as women in the workplace and in general.