This report explores why targeted investments in women are crucial to increase resilience to climate change and disasters and to achieve broader sustainable development. Such investments include human resource development, institutional strengthening, financial literacy, the promotion of women’s voices and representation, and learning and skills development.
This report aims to (i) reinforce the dialogue on the importance of women-focused investments in climate and disaster resilience, (ii) identify key characteristics of such investments, and (iii) discuss the wider enabling environment that can make such investments effective. The report primarily aims to inform senior officials from sector ministries and their counterparts in ministries of planning and finance in Southeast Asian developing member countries (DMCs) of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). According to this report, investments in women’s resilience to natural hazards and climate change should consider the following core principles (p. 27):
- Investments must address structural inequalities between men and women that lead to the persistence of women’s chronic vulnerabilities;
- Investments should recognize and promote women’s existing capacities and build their resilience by strengthening their capacity to adapt to, anticipate, and absorb the impacts of natural hazards, including those influenced by climate change and variability;
- Investments must benefit women, not just co-benefits or unwanted burdens;
- Investments should be designed and implemented by women, who should be the primary beneficiaries and/or users;
- Investments should seek to generate financial returns where possible;
- Investments should seek to create transformational change.
This report also indicates several enabling factors that could help different ministries make progress in delivering women-focused investments in climate and disaster resilience (p. 27):
- An ensemble of good policies, regulations, and investment plans;
- Solid implementation;
- Available and high-quality evidence and data for programming;
- Horizontal and vertical coordination among ministries, different levels of government, and development partners; and
- Risk-informed and inclusive governance that leverage existing women’s groups and institutions and provide processes for women’s participation.