Practical Action: Climate Change and Poverty Increases Gender Based Violence

Podcast Interview

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This conversation looks into the escalating challenge – that climate change and poverty increase gender based violence. Three experienced civil society, gender empowerment practitioners from leading NGO Practical Action join the Social Impact Pioneers’ podcast to share the wealth of worrying insights and what we can do about it.

Mariette Utamuvuna, Berthille Kampire and George Williams each bring first-hand experience of working with women, and men, in tough places. Be ready to learn about the impacts of living in refugee camps on the incidence of gender based and domestic violence. Our conversation opens with a powerful exploration of gender-based violence (GBV) as a fundamental human rights issue. We discuss the intricate ways in which gender inequality fuels poverty and injustice, emphasising the need for gender mainstreaming and transformative change. This conversation is not just about identifying problems but also about championing practical actions and strategies to empower women and engage men in the fight against GBV.

Mariette, Berthille and George together also share inspiring stories from the field, highlighting successful interventions in refugee camps and communities affected by climate change. These stories illustrate the power of community involvement and the importance of addressing gender inequality in all aspects of development work.

Join us as we explore the intersections of gender-based violence, climate resilience, and practical action. Whether you’re a professional in the field, an interested listener, or someone looking for ways to make a difference, this episode offers valuable perspectives and solutions for a more equitable and sustainable world.

If you have found any of this worrying or you would like direct support with regards to GBV – the NO MORE directory can support you:

A Summary of the Key Questions Discussed in this Podcast

How does poverty and climate change impact gender based violence?

Poverty and climate change exacerbate gender-based violence (GBV). In regions affected by climate crises, such as extreme heat or natural disasters exacerbate poverty especially for women and girls. Poverty-stricken areas see higher instances of GBV, partly due to heightened tensions and stressors, including resource scarcity and economic struggles.

How can business address gender based violence and gender inequality?

To address gender-based violence and inequality, businesses can integrate climate resilience with gender mainstreaming and transformative change. Businesses should consider violence against women a grave human rights violation; participate in campaigns against gender-based violence; and challenge harmful social norms. Recognising gender inequality as a driver of poverty, businesses can work to empower women and engage men in their programs, understanding that gender-based violence is not only a women’s issue.

How do the experts in gender inclusion tackle gender based violence?

Experts in gender inclusion tackle gender-based violence by addressing underlying gender inequalities and deeply understanding the impacts of wider social and environmental impacts – such as poverty and climate change. Experts recognise gender-based violence as a violation of human rights and a barrier to development. By integrating gender mainstreaming and striving for gender transformative change, they aim to empower women and involve men in challenging harmful norms. This approach includes economic empowerment programs and community involvement to reduce violence and promote equality.

Read more on Gender and Business


Climate Change and Domestic Violence in South Asia – (2023). Climate change linked to increase in domestic violence in South Asia, study finds.

Gender Transformative Change – Practical Action – Gender Transformative Change. 

Gender-Based Violence – UNHCR – Gender-based violence.  Available here

Violence Against Women and Girls – World Bank Gender Data Portal – Violence against women and girls – what the data tell us.

Share of women who suffered intimate partner physical and/or sexual violence in 2020, by region – Statista

Climate crisis linked to rising domestic violence in south Asia, study finds – The Guardian

The night a refugee camp became a city – Practical Action (2022)

Does access to electricity change poor people’s lives? – Practical Action (2019)

Gender Transformative Early Warning Systems – Practical Action Info Hub

Gender and Age Inequality of Disaster Risk – Practical Action Info Hub

Gender_Transformative_Change_Updated_Feb_2023.pdf – Practical Action (2023)

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