Policy brief: gender equality in climate change adaptation and disaster resilience in Vietnam

Policy brief: gender equality in climate change adaptation and disaster resilience in Vietnam

Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) are vital to Vietnam’s sustainable development and long-term resilience. The country’s low-lying deltas, long coastline and highlands make it extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Climate change further exacerbates natural hazards resulting in more frequent, less-predictable and intense disasters, such as the 2015/2016 drought and saltwater intrusion caused by El Nino. At its peak, the drought affected 2.3 million people with water, food and livelihood insecurity resulting in negative impacts on health and nutrition. The poor and vulnerable, particularly women, children and elderly, experience disproportionate impacts of climate change.

The Government of Vietnam has shown its commitment to gender equality in climate change and disaster risk reduction through the development of various policies, plans and in their efforts to implement them. However, awareness, understanding and application vary among stakeholders at various levels highlighting that gender mainstreaming in climate change and disaster risk reduction still needs further strengthening.

The relationship between gender and climate change and disasters in Vietnam is an area which requires further exploration. Collection and analysis of sex, age and ethnic group disaggregated data, and application of gender analysis is paramount when developing policies and plans necessary for effective CCA and DRR.

Although women are disproportionately affected by climate change and disasters, they are major players in DRR and CCA making it essential to ensure their meaningful participation and leadership in decision-making processes on CCA and DRR. To raise awareness and highlight the importance of gender equality in climate and disaster resilience in the context of the post-2015 development agenda, SNV Vietnam jointly initiated and developed a policy brief together with UN Women, UNDP, CARE and Oxfam in Vietnam.  In November 2017, SNV introduced the policy brief at COP23 in Bonn, Germany, to highlight the important intersection of climate change, disaster resilience and gender at the global platform.

The policy brief addresses on key issues of gender inequality in CCA and DRR with the intention of strengthening gender equality in policies and plans and their implementation. It draws on the lessons learnt through studies and practical experience of various organisations in Vietnam. Recommendations in the policy brief are forward-looking on how to enhance the participation and leadership of women and strengthen gender mainstreaming/responsiveness in CCA and DRR in the context of the post-2015 development agenda.