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Scope for Further Research on Gender and Climate Change in Chinese Drylands?

15 Dec 2014




A workshop to discuss the potential for future research on the gendered impacts of climate change in Chinese dryland areas was held on 16 December 2014 in Beijing, China. Organized jointly by UNRISD and the Centre for Chinese Agricultural Policy (part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences), the workshop was based on the results of the UNRISD report Gender Dimensions of Food and Water Security in Dryland Areas: A Scoping Study which was funded by the Ford Foundation’s Beijing Office.

Among the participants were researchers and experts from a variety of research institutions within China, North America and UNRISD. The workshop was designed as a highly participatory process, involving more in-depth discussions than formal presentations to ensure a good level of interactivity and exchange of opinions, drawing on participants’ experience as well as their knowledge of often unrecorded evidence.

The discussion was structured around four key aspects: (i) local knowledge on gendered impacts of environmental/climate change in dryland areas in China, (ii) policy interventions on relevant issues, and (iii) the identification of research and knowledge gaps. Topics addressed included environmental impacts on livelihoods, land and property rights, food and water security, income and labour, health and education, and climate change adaptation.

Participants shared their experiences from working in areas which included Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Tibet, Yunnan and Sichuan.

The lack of both qualitative and quantitative information on gender dimensions of these issues was identified as a particular challenge for influencing policy. While a number of policy interventions exist in areas related to water, land, health, environmental degradation and climate change adaptation, few have explicitly incorporated gender dimensions.
Participants identified research and knowledge gaps and possible entry points for future research. It was argued that a comparative perspective with other countries, especially for policy analysis, will help to show that the issue of gender impacts of environmental change is common across regions.

Workshop Participants
Zongmin LiProgram Officer, Ford Foundation
Linxiu ZhangDeputy Director, Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Sarah CookDirector, UNRISD
Esuna DugarovaResearch Analyst, UNRISD
Fenglian DuInner Mongolia University
Renee GiovarelliLandesa Center for Women’s Land Rights, Seattle
Xiaobei WangGender specialist, Landesa Beijing Representative Office
Yang LiResearch Center for Rural Economy
Yaojiang ShiNorthwest University Shaanxi
Pang XiaopengPeople’s University of China
Li WenjunPeking University
Gao XiaoxianShaanxi Province Women’s Federation
Qi GuboChinese Agricultural University
Huiping ZhangNingxia University
Fang JingCenter for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Du JieInstitute on Women studies, All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF)

Photo by Lijo Jose via Flickr Common Creatives.