Gender needs and roles in building climate resilience in Hue City, Vietnam

Gender roles in building climate resilience are an emerging issue worldwide – so it is important to understand the drivers of gender-specific vulnerabilities, needs, and capacities with respect to climate change. These include health and social, political and economic contexts, which, when combined with other social changes such as urbanisation, are likely to exacerbate climate change impacts.
This working paper examines gender roles in building climate resilience in Hue City. We conducted participatory research in 12 wards using the City Resilience Framework (Arup, 2014) to engage with local authorities, people and city planners. Hue City has its own special identity that significantly influences its resilience to climate change: health and well-being have been improved by investment in healthcare. The society and economy of Hue are more stable than many other cities. The municipal government has taken some action to improve climate change resilience while the infrastructure and environment have been considerably upgraded, contributing to better resilience.

The team working in Thuan Loc ward, Hue city. (Photo: CSRD)

In relation to gender roles, our study found that men and women at a grassroots level have different vulnerabilities and contribute differently to building climate resilience in Hue City. Women play key roles in sustaining and enhancing the health and well-being of people within their community and accruing funds for households, communities, and society. They also take part in organising mutual support for each other during times of disruption. By comparison, men are more engaged in activities relating to safety, security and other continuity plans within their communities. However, at the management level, we found that women hold only minor roles. There are therefore significant opportunities to challenge gender-based conceptions of capacity and responsibility, and to improve the gender sensitivity of decision-making processes and forums. This could significantly enhance the resilience of the people living in Hue City.
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