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Women's Leadership in Resilience

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Changing weather patterns and rising temperatures are increasing the likelihood and severity of natural disasters, while the risks of violent conflict, human and animal epidemics, environmental degradation, and political and economic crises are also growing. We work with poor communities worldwide to support them in building their resilience to disasters, climate change and other shocks and stresses.

The nature of these resilience programmes depends on the local context, but generally includes a combination of approaches such as disaster risk reduction, climate-resilient sustainable agriculture, natural resource management, humanitarian response and recovery, and promoting accountable and inclusive governance. We particularly focus on women’s rights and leadership within these projects.

This publication sets out case studies that demonstrate the courage and skills of women who have taken up leadership roles in resilience-building initiatives across Africa and Asia. The stories illustrate the personal changes these women have experienced, from being confined to the domestic sphere to participating in community decision-making processes and earning an income from different activities. They show the transformative change that women can bring about as individuals and collectively: for example, in Vietnam, women have demanded that local authorities recognise and protect their rights to forest land, leading the design and implementation of sustainable forest-based livelihoods.