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Type: Theses
Title: Gender vulnerability to climate change and livelihood security in urban slum communities in Accra, Ghana
Author: Owusu, Mensah
Issue Date: 2017
School/Discipline: School of Social Sciences
Abstract: Climate change remains a major development challenge for cities in the developing world due to their limited capacity to prepare for and to cope with its impacts. It is recognised that the impact of this phenomenon will be distributed differently among regions, ages, income groups and women and men living in cities. In Ghana, the marginalised majority, particularly women living in slums or marginalised communities bear the brunt of the climate change impacts. In spite of this, adaptation research in Ghana has focussed on the livelihoods of rural women to the detriment of poor women living in hazardous urban spaces. Yet, the challenge posed by climate change to urban residents in Ghana cannot be adequately met without understanding its gender dimensions. This study explored the role of gender in shaping men’s and women’s vulnerabilities to climate change in three urban slum or marginalised communities in Accra, Ghana. A mixed methods design was used to collect quantitative and qualitative data which included 350 survey respondents, 7 key informant interviews and a number of focus groups. The findings of this study showed that climate change poses serious environmental hazards to residents of slum communities in Accra. However, in spite of their exposure to similar hazards, results showed that respondent perceptions regarding the causes and impacts of these hazards are gendered. Women in comparison to men showed a low level of awareness about climate change, even though it impacted negatively on their livelihoods. Women tended to more vulnerable because of the vulnerable location of their livelihood activities, limited access to productive resources, poor conditions of housing, low participation in localised adaptation decision making, as well as the heavy domestic responsibilities placed on them. The findings also demonstrated that men and women had different capabilities for coping with climate change which have resulted in different adaptive capacities. Although a number of local institutions were involved in building the adaptive capacities of slum residents, there were weak collaborative partnerships among these institutions to ensure effective gender mainstreaming in adaptation policy planning and management. This study concludes that it is imperative for adaptation policy makers to consider the important role of gender in determining different levels of vulnerabilities among slum residents in order to develop appropriate adaptive strategies that address gender-differentiated vulnerabilities.
Advisor: Nursey-Bray, Melissa Jane
Rudd, Dianne M.
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Social Sciences, 2017.
Keywords: gender
climate change
urban slum
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
DOI: 10.4225/55/5926224c50cd8
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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