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Call for Expression of Interest for Research on Climate & Gender

Terms of Reference for the Research on Climate & Gender

Title (draft):
From a Fossil Crisis to Feminist Solutions
How to solve the climate violence against women?


The climate crisis is the most pressing problem facing the world. It is very visible for the rich and those residing in OECD countries, but it is affecting LLMICs more heavily and in particular, deprived communities and women much more than men.

The climate crisis is very much patriarchal in nature with the main drivers, the extraction and burning of fossil fuels and industrial agriculture largely dominated by male dominated corporations and shareholders. On the contrary the prime victims, both deadly victims and those impacted badly in other ways, are women and girls.

The latest IPCC report states that over 3 billion people are very vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. It goes on to state, on several occasions, that women and other marginalized groups are more vulnerable to these impacts. The statistics that are commonly used to support this claim in public arena are UNDP statistics from 2016 or older. It is time that they get updated.  Since 2016 there have been many human induced climate disasters like, more frequent and severe droughts, extreme cyclones and storms, flash floods and floodings, rising sea level, and salination of coastal areas and ground water. These disasters and their severity are not captured in the older data. New and evermore gendered research is being done and reveals how the climate crisis is severely impacting women.

ActionAid is a feminist organization that stives to improve the position of women and other marginalized groups. To do so we work with local communities across the globe to draw attention to their struggle, learn from them, and facilitate them to get their rightful place at the decision and negotiation table and support them with tools to stand up for their rights. Through this ActionAid has grown increasingly involved in climate work and together with women is piloting and scaling feminist (women centered) alternatives for climate change adaptation, mitigation and resilience, which can help combat climate change and its impacts.

Before policy makers embrace such alternatives, they must first understand the gendered dimensions of climate change and the climate crisis. Who was and is causing climate change? Who is being affected?  And what (potential) feminist solutions should be as part of a feminist just transition?

Goal of the research

It is our aim to highlight the patriarchal roots and drivers of the climate crisis as well as the scourge for women and how this can be reverted by putting women central to the solutions being promoted.

We would like to do research on the gender dimensions of the Cause, Consequences and Solutions of the Climate Crisis.

The main aim of this research is to illustrate statistically how climate change affects women more and differently than men. With the publication of the IPCC sixth assessment working group 2 report, that came out on February 28th , a new rich resource has been produced that should provide a foundation for an updated statistical picture. The intention is to use this report amongst others to increase the general public’s understanding of the relationship between climate change and gender.

Secondly this report should show clearly who is responsible for climate change, by identifying the companies most responsible for the climate crisis and giving a gendered breakdown of their leadership (directors and board). To supplement this, the research should show what happens to decision making in these spaces when those most effected by climate change are given the opportunity to make decisions.

Finally, the paper should give clear recommendations based on the findings of the report. Where relevant linking to the feminist alternatives that the IPCC and ActionAid provide to help combat climate change and its impacts. This can be drawn from the IPCC report and AA reports that have been published as well as those that are in development.

The published report will be used to support our climate campaign on the gender dimensions of loss and damage and feminist solutions in the run up to COP27.

Research method

A report based on desk research, bringing together peer-reviewed and/or solid research that has already been done in a newly packaged report that shows how the patriarchal system lies at the root of the climate crisis, the inequality of the impact of this crisis, namely women are affected disproportionally and the way out of this through feminist solution and a gender-responsive climate approach.

Central question:

Looking at the Cause, Consequences and Solutions of the Climate Crisis with a gender lens

What are the impacts of climate change on women based on the most recently available data?

What statistics are available?

What evidence can be found on less tangible dimensions of the climate impact on women? Think about the deadly victims, climate refugees, impacts on unpaid care work burden of women, sexual and other gender-based violence and the physical and psychological long-term impacts on women and girls. Other questions based on our research goals:

  • What are the top 10 Dutch companies contributing (emissions or financially) to climate change? And what is their contribution on a global perspective?
  • What are the feminist alternatives (IPCC/ActionAid) to combat climate change?
  • Which recommendations can be made for companies, governments and international organizations (COP?) to combat climate change impacts on women based on feminist alternatives?


Preferably the research is completed before COP17 (7-18 Nov) as the aim is to do publication within the framework of the Climate campaign that ActionAid is running in the lead up to COP27. Prior to publication ActionAid will develop supporting campaign materials to ensure a strong launch of the report.
Starting date in consultation.

Paper structure/research questions:

Part One
Consequences: how and why women are hit hardest by the climate crisis

Bringing together and summarizing research that has been done about the effects of climate change on women (primarily in the global south) and how they are disproportionally affected. For this the IPCC sixth assessment working group 2 should prove fruitful.

There have been different pieces of research and reports about how women are harder hit by climate change by different organizations, institutions etc. We’d like to bring these efforts together in a neat summary so that a comprehensive statistical picture emerges.

Possible statistics of interest are:

  • increase in GBV because of climate change
  • malnutrition in women vs men due to climate change
  • Increase unpaid care work due to climate change
  • Education impacts of climate change on women
  • Access to land due to climate change
  • Likelihood of death in a climate disaster

Part Two
Cause of Climate Change: which companies and who is responsible at leadership level

What are the patriarchal dimensions of the origin, continuation and increasing severity of the climate crisis?

  1. a) We would like to get clarity on the 5 most climate destructive/relevant companies worldwide as well as the 10 most climate destructive/relevant companies in the Netherlands and the gender balance in their boards and at executive level (CEO). You identify the most climate polluting/relevant companies based on other research and supplement this with an overview of the number of men, women sitting in the board and at executive level. We suspect the gender balance will be heavily male dominated.

These companies most probably will all or mostly be from the oil & gas sector, though if it is possible and of interest to cover other sectors, such as big industrial agriculture, including palm oil, soy, sugarcane and (related) biofuel production, livestock & dairy factory farming and agribusiness input suppliers like the fertilizer industry.

  1. b) We would like to get clarity on the impact these Dutch companies have at a global scale.

Third part
Feminist Solutions

In this part examples are given of feminist alternatives that can help combat climate change and its impacts. Examples include gender-sensitive Climate Finance, Climate Action, Agroecology and local renewable energy systems.

If space and time allows also examining loss and damage finance briefly.

This part can largely be based on the reports that ActionAid already have out as well as a report being developed currently by ActionAid UK.

Budget indication:

Research: Plus/minus €15,000 incl VAT/GST

Expressions of interest can be sent till 28th June 2022 to
Nils Mollema, Policy Advisor Climate Justice Nils, nils.mollema [at] actionaid.org
In case of questions, kindly send them to the above email address as well.