Generations of women fighting climate change


Across the world, women are using generations of traditional knowledge to combat the effects of climate change.

Precious local knowledge passed down from mother to daughter, help families and communities survive when times are hard.

“We learnt how to farm from our mothers… what to plant depending on availability of water, how to tie rice stalks and harvesting. But this is changing.” – Woman farmer in Cambodia

Often this valuable traditional knowledge is ignored – both by Governments and male community leaders. Women are shut out of preparing for climate disasters like droughts or floods or responding once they happen due to patriarchal attitudes.

At the same time, women are denied opportunities to learn modern scientific techniques which can complement their traditional knowledge. Men are chosen over women for training programs in climate resilient agriculture, either for cultural reasons or because women’s domestic duties prevent them taking part.

In partnership with Monash University, ActionAid documented the experiences of women in Cambodia, Kenya and Vanuatu in order to drive improved responses to gender and climate change.

The Gender Responsive Alternatives for Climate Change report, echoes what we see every day in our work with women around the world. When women gain the opportunity to take part in disaster preparedness and response, they have unique skills and experiences to bring to the table.

The GRACC report found that women’s collective action and leadership enables flexible, cohesive responses to crises at the community level. Women’s networks are proving to be training grounds for sustained participation, recognising women’s authority before, during and after crisis. 

“The men came to me and said, ‘Wow, you women can do many things!’ ‘Yes’, I said to them, ‘And we need your support!” – Focus group participant in Vanuatu

Your donations play a valuable role in our global efforts to support women on the frontlines of the climate change, enabling them to stand up for their rights and be at the forefront of ensuring communities are prepared.



Women around the world are on the frontlines of one of the greatest global health emergencies the world has ever faced. Will you donate today to support ActionAid to scale up our work with women leaders on the frontlines of the response?

Read more from ActionAid’s Autumn Newsletter