Our Husbands Migrate to Other Places and Never Come Back: Gender Dimension of Climate Change in Tanzania
Observed and projected climate variability and change appears to have different effects on women and men, exacerbating poverty and existing economic, political and social inequalities. While various studies have examined climate change impacts and adaptation opportunities in Africa, few have focused on gender differentiated impacts of climate change. This article aims at exploring gender differentiated impacts of climate change in agricultural, pastoral and fishery-based communities in Tanzania using a mixture of data collection techniques, including household survey, in-depth interviews and informal discussions. The findings show that women and men are affected differently by climate related change and variability. Women’s limited access to resources, differentiated roles in communities, limited mobility and muted voice in decision-making processes make them highly vulnerable to climate change. Further, male outmigration is reported to be increasing, undermining family relationships and increasing pressure on women who have to spend extra time for productive work in detriment of reproductive jobs and time spent with children. It is concluded from this study that locally gender sensitive analysis of vulnerability to climate change is needed to design and implement context-relevant gender sensitive coping and adaptation strategies.