Silence on gender

Another issue that the ACIA leaves largely out of the assessment is gender, i.e. to what extent women and men are impacted differently by climate change or have different adaptive capacities. There are a few mentions of the fact that impacts may be different on different groups in society, including men and women, but very limited analysis of how and why that may be the case. Words like gender, women and men are used very sparingly. It is only the health chapter, in a discussion on rapid change and psychosocial health, which has more than an occasional mention. One explanation could be that gender analysis is not very well established in Arctic studies and thus not part of the scien

62 Oran R. Young, "The Internationalization of the Circumpolar North: Charting a Course for the 21st Century," Stefansson Arctic Institute, www.thearctic.is; Keskitalo, Negotiating the Arctic. The Construction of an International Region, chapter 4.

63 AHDR, Arctic Human Development Report.

tific consciousness among the experts involved in the assessment. The lack of strong norms to discuss gender came out very clearly during preparation of the Arctic Human Development Report, where a chapter on gender issues discusses several, sometime conflicting, views of the usefulness of such a lens instead of making a comprehensive assessment. This quote from its introduction can serve as an illustration to the status of the gender discourse in the Arctic: "In Arctic research, gender is still an emerging topic, and there is not a fully developed body of literature available for assessment."64 The silence on gender in the ACIA can be compared to the high awareness about indigenous perspectives and how they appear in many chapters and as a framing for the assessment as a whole. Based on simple counts of the words gender, women, and men, gender issues do not appear to be a major issue in IPCC's assessments either. There was thus hardly any impetus from the global climate change discourse that could have encouraged more discussion of gender in the Arctic context.

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