Dear Friends and Colleagues

Policy Shifts Needed to Enable Rural Women’s and Young People’s Livelihoods and Climate Justice

Rural women, and young women and girls, face widespread discrimination and lack equal access to land, other natural resources, education, healthcare, rural extension and other public services. Their unpaid care and domestic work is excessively heavy, and violence against women is rife. Rural women disproportionately experience poverty, exclusion and the effects of climate change, while patriarchy and social norms mean women are systematically excluded from policies, governance spaces and policy-making processes.

Community lands and forests are particularly vital resources for rural women and indigenous peoples. Women play a particularly crucial role in agroforestry, especially when it comes to non-timber forest products, yet women are virtually invisible in formal forestry, particularly in decision making. There is an unprecedented threat to biodiversity from ecosystem loss, driven primarily by intensive agriculture, forestry and urbanisation. Such biodiversity is vital for the livelihoods of rural women and is crucial in the fight against climate change.

A discussion paper by ActionAid identifies key policies that hinder and enable rural women and young people’s livelihoods and climate justice. It seeks a major paradigm shift to tackle the global climate emergency and gender equality crisis. It urges support for public policies that put women and young people at the heart of policies and policy making; policies that are human rights-based and youth-focused, and that draw on intersectional feminism. Such public policies should increase women’s and local communities’ access to and control of land, the commons and natural resources and should promote food sovereignty and agroecology.

The paper, ‘Public Policies that Advance or Hinder Rural Women’s and Young People’s Livelihoods and Climate Justice for All’, is available here:

With best wishes,

Third World Network
131 Jalan Macalister
10400 Penang
To subscribe to other TWN information services: