Today more than ever, there is growing evidence that the world is experiencing climate change, which will have a profound impact on people and the planet. Adaptation and mitigation strategies to address global climate change will also need to address deep-seated inequities and inequalities to be effective and meet the needs of those most at risk from climate change’s negative impact. Currently, there exists very limited evidence and studies on the critical relationship between sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and climate change. The relationship may seem indirect, but as the impacts of climate change are more regularly and intensely felt, the lack of attention to SRHR in the context of climate change may present greater challenges to poor and marginalised people in the Asia-Pacific region.
The aim of this scoping study is provide an important basis and guidance for addressing gender equality and SRHR in the context of climate change. The findings of this scoping study reveal that gender equality objectives are being mainstreamed and incorporated in national level adaptation plans and policies, particularly in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and the Philippines. However, the degree to which these gender equality objectives are being operationalised, through appropriate and sustained allocation of human and financial resources along with political leadership and commitment, remains uncertain.
In our study, we recommend the following:
• Continue building the evidence and collect necessary data to inform and improve policy making and programs aimed at addressing the challenges to women’s universal access to SRHR in the context of climate change;
• Build on the progress that has been made to date and deliver on existing gender equality and sexual and reproductive health commitments, as a measure to support the resilience and adaptive capacity of women and girls; and
• Support and engage women and organisations seeking sexual and reproductive health and equality in climate change adaptation and mitigation at the national, regional, and international levels.