Gendered Subjectivities and Climate Change Adaptation Processes in Ghana’s Central Region: Moving Toward More Equitable Adaptation Decision-Making and Outcomes

Ms Alicea Garcia1,2,4, Professor Petra Tschakert1,3

1The University of Western Australia (UWA), Nedlands, Australia,

2Researchers in Agriculture for International Development (RAID), Canberra, Australia,

3United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC), Geneva, Switzerland,

4Political Ecology Network, Lancaster, England


Vulnerabilities to climate change and opportunities to adapt can vary based on social differences that are bound up in complex power dynamics in any given place or context. The gendered dynamics of climate change adaptation are well documented, with scholars and activists calling for in-depth investigations into the socio-political drivers of gendered inequalities that can affect capacities for adaptation. The research presented in this paper utilises intersectionality theory and theories of subjectivities to explore how power dynamics and social norms related to gender in Ghana’s Central Region either empower or inhibit farmers’ capacities to adapt to climate change. The results demonstrate gendered and intersectional subjectivities that may well constitute barriers or limits to adaptation, namely, lack of financial means, lack of influence and choice in household and community decision-making, lack of time and opportunity to engage in adaptive actions, lack of agency, and poor health. Nuanced investigations into the links between power, gender, and barriers and limits to adaptation are crucial for exploring underlying mechanisms that drive gendered inequalities and that result in inequitable adaptation outcomes. Through such investigations, just and effective adaptation initiatives can be envisioned for moving toward more radical and transformational adaptation policy and decision-making.


Alicea Garcia’s current PhD research with The University of Western Australia (UWA) focuses on how gendered dynamics of social inequality affect farmers’ capacities to adapt to climate change in Ghana’s Central Region. Alicea is also currently a Postgraduate Fellow for the Africa Research and Engagement Centre (AfREC), UWA, a Western Australia Representative for Researchers in Agriculture for International Development (RAID), and a Research Node for the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN). Alicea is interested in how advanced feminist frameworks can further research focused on emancipation from inequality and equitable outcomes from transformative policy and decision-making surrounding climate change.


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