Climate Change Adaptation and Gender Inequality: Insights from Rural Vietnam
Summary, in English
Vietnam is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change impacts, especially from extreme weather events such as storms and floods. Thus, climate change adaptation is crucial, especially for natural resource-dependent farmers. Based on a qualitative research approach using a feminist political ecology lens, this article investigates gendered patterns of rural agrarian livelihoods and climate adaptation in the province of Thái Bình. In doing so, we identify differentiated rights and responsibilities between female and male farmers, leading to unequal opportunities and immobility for females, making them more vulnerable to climate impacts and threatening to reduce their capacity to adapt. This research also shows that demands on farmers to contribute to perpetual increases in agricultural output by the state poses a challenge, since farming livelihoods in Vietnam are increasingly becoming feminised, as a result of urbanisation and devaluation of farming. Past and present national strategies and provincial implementation plans linked to climate change do not consider the burden affecting rural female farmers, instead the focus lies on addressing technical solutions to adaptation. With little attention being paid to an increasingly female workforce, existing gender inequalities may be exacerbated, threatening the future existence of rural livelihoods and the viability of Vietnam’s expansion into global markets.