Gender, climate, environment

Does climate change impact women more than men? Who profits more from digitalization? The sociologist Professor Martina Padmanabhan and the Development Economist Professor Michael Grimm have founded a European network of excellence on Feminist Political Ecology that carefully examines gender relations in the responses to environmental challenges.

In a nutshell:

  • Feminist Political Ecology (FPE) is a specification of Political Ecology, which is interested in power relations, in environmental and social processes, says Professor Padmanabhan. FPE sees gender as a critical concept shaping resource access and control, interacting with class, caste, race, culture and ethnicity.
  • Climate change impacts women more than men, says Professor Grimm. “Men and women have different access to resources to land titles, to technology, they also have a different ability, capacity to respond to a shock that comes from the outside and that’s exactly what climate change is.”
  • Gender is not the only dimension that decides who profits from digitalization. “We need to differentiate a bit more beyond gender relations – class, race, ethnicity plays into how men and women or people have access to digital services and also how these services are shaped”, says Professor Padmanabhan.
  • Men and women have different environmental concerns. “Men would be more oriented towards making profit, and women more oriented towards ensuring that there’s good and safe nutrition at home”, says Professor Grimm.

About the project WEGO and the Passau researchers

The Passau sociologist Professor Martina Padmanabhan and the Passau Development Economist Professor Michael Grimm initiate a network that brings together some of the most prominent internationally known feminist political ecologists. Universities in Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden and Italy participate at the WEGO-network – WEGO standing for ‘Wellbeing, Ecoology, Gender and cOmmunity’.

The researchers investigate, how gender is reproduced in and through practices, policies and actions associated with our changing environment. The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 764908.

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