Gender Data and Climate 

Climate Change and Financial Inclusion

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Three Pillars of Financial Inclusion

Women with access to financial services are better equipped to deal with the shocks related to climate risks and to build their own resilience, alongside the resilience of their families and their communities. With nearly one billion women excluded from formal financial services, leveling the financial playing field enables women to survive and thrive in a world characterized by climate-related threats and risks.

The Banker, Oct 2023

As we delve into this vital intersection between climate and gender, it’s crucial to recognize the impact of women’s financial inclusion on addressing climate change. In many cases, women and marginalized communities lack access to financial resources and services, hindering their ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions and participate in sustainable practices.

The three pillars of financial inclusion are based on CGAP’s report on Women’s Climate Resilience:


A central aspect of financial services lies in its capacity to empower people to manage risks and enhance their resilience.


The most evident means of achieving this is through insurance, which shields valuable assets from potential risks and assists individuals in recovering and reconstructing their lives after a crisis.

Access to Credit

This emerges as a critical factor for impoverished populations, enabling them to proactively invest in risk mitigation strategies, such as irrigation, robust seed varieties, or the transition to more climate-resilient livelihoods with diversified income sources.

Financing Climate and Gender

The CIFAR Alliance (Climate Innovation for Adaptation and Resilience Alliance) defines climate finance as “the funding that fuels projects and actions to tackle climate change from the micro to the macro level. Flowing from governments, businesses, and international sources, it supports areas such as providing renewable energy, adapting to climate impacts, and reducing emissions.”

The organization states that “given women’s lesser ownership of assets, and their reduced access to information that can support their responses to climate events, prevailing gender norms, and discrimination, they often have reduced access to climate finance compared to men. A lack of recognition of these distinct barriers impacts the design of climate-smart products, services, and innovations that are designed by and for women and girls.”

Gender-based violence is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world. It knows no social, economic, or national boundaries. Worldwide, an estimated one in three women will experience physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime. Gender-based violence undermines the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims, yet it remains shrouded in a culture of silence.

The CIFAR Alliance further proposes a Gender and a Global Loss and Damage Fund: “A global loss and damage fund is like a shared bank account that countries put money into. This money is then allocated to help places that are hit hardest by climate change disasters, so they can recover and rebuild. This fund should be designed and managed with a strong understanding of gender dynamics to ensure that it empowers women, doesn’t inadvertently reinforce existing gender inequalities, and takes the gendered impact of disasters into account. What this looks like is that funds allocated might be directly designated to benefit women or seek to address the barriers that women face as it relates to their climate resilience.”

Gender-based violence and environmental degradation are interconnected challenges that have profound impacts on societies worldwide. Both GBV and environmental destruction undermine the security and well-being of nations, communities, and individuals, hindering progress across various sectors. Unfortunately, these issues are often addressed separately, despite their interconnectedness.

Environmental degradation and competition for dwindling resources can intensify conflicts, leading to increased violence against women. Women’s lack of access to and control over natural resources can leave them more vulnerable, as they often play key roles in resource-dependent activities such as agriculture and water collection.

Impacts of a Major Disaster on Gender Equity

2010 Haiti Earthquake



On January 12, 2010, a devastating earthquake hit Haiti, causing significant damage and loss of life. The earthquake resulted in an estimated death toll of up to 316,000 people and displaced over a million.

Destruction in the city after a 7.2 earthquake devastated the country in Port Au Prince, Sunday, 17 January 2010 (Picture by Mark Pearson)

Challenges in Post-Earthquake Haiti and Loss of Women’s Movement Leaders

  • Despite efforts to rebuild, Haiti still faced challenges such as high poverty rates, limited access to clean water, and insufficient sanitation and secure housing.
  • Prominent leaders of the Haitian women’s movement, including Myriam Merlet, Magalie Marcelin, and Anne Marie Coriolan, tragically perished in the earthquake. These leaders played a crucial role in rebuilding the women’s movement and advocating for women’s rights in Haiti.

Inequity and Gender-Based Violence

  • Gender-based violence (GBV) increased after the earthquake, particularly in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps.
  • Women were largely excluded from the post-disaster reconstruction efforts in Haiti, with low representation in the judiciary and parliament.

Mobilization of Women’s Organizations

  • Women’s organizations mobilized to provide assistance to vulnerable individuals and combat GBV.
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