Women-led action research

Description of the project: The FPAR project was led by 9 grassroots women’s organizations from from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Vietnam, Philippines and Thailand to conduct research in their communities to document the impacts of climate change on their lives and to take actions to build a local climate justice movement. The participants are not objects of research but rather the subjects who participate in research process, and control the use of the outcomes. The research found that rising sea level, warming temperatures, erratic rainfall, extreme typhoons and false climate solutions like REDD+, are some of the major climate impacts in the Asia Pacific region.

Climate Impact: The implementation of FPAR in these Asia Pacific countries has increased the collective capacity and knowledge of women to take climate action. They have become the agent of change in their local community to fight climate change. This has not only contributed to dismantle traditional gender inequalities but has also introduced new techniques and skills to adapt and mitigate climate change. For example women in the Asia Pacific region have participated and led the implementation of adaptation and mitigation measures like livelihood diversification program, new cropping technique, disaster risk reduction programs, rain-water harvesting and garbage collections. The FPAR has proved that women play a central role in adaptation and mitigation to climate change and has helped them to become a leader of climate solution in their community.

Gender Impact: The FPAR project helped to raise women’s voices across the Asia Pacific region by strengthening women’s collective action in the targeted communities. FPAR is fostering change inside and outside of the communities.Through FPAR activities women developed their capacity to act as agent of climate solutions in local community. FPAR has helped the women of Asia Pacific to come together with collective intention of breaking the oppressive power structure of climate change; FPAR gave them the strength and the knowledge to demand climate justice. For example, women have been succeed in being included in local decision making bodies, local disaster risk reduction team and climate policy reviewing processes. These roles were traditionally considered exclusively for man.

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Climate Justice – Feminist Participatory Action Research (CJ-FPAR)

Description of the project: APWLD believes that empowering women’s local movements is essential to achieving gender equality and shaping effective, just responses to climate change. APWLD supports grassroots organisations to conduct evidence-based community research on the impacts of climate change, design solutions and advocate for relevant policy and resource changes. APWLD uses a Feminist Participatory Action Research (FPAR) framework to develop the capacity or rural, indigenous, migrant and urban poor women, so they are able to collectively understand, document the impacts of climate change and develop community solutions in response.

Climate Impact: Women play a critical role in coping with the impacts of climate change, yet they are too often excluded from decision-making processes at all levels. The programme aims to improve climate actions by providing women with knowledge and experience so they can participate in policy dialogue, and advocate for their own needs and solutions to be included into climate policies at the local, national and international levels. In 2017, the Climate Justice FPAR programme will focus on climate displacement.

Gender Impact: The Climate Justice FPAR empowers grassroots women particularly through improving their political leadership skills which allows them to address their own issues in relevant decision-making processes. The FPAR gives voice to women as the experts of their own lives and enables them to shape policy decisions. The FPAR process strategically identifies the researchers and experts of their community issues and promotes them into policy dialogue.

Scalability / replicability: APWLD is documenting the processes of its FPAR programme in training which will be shared with its member and partner organisations interested in undertaking similar community-led research. FPAR is versatile as methodology and can be adapted for documenting other community issues apart from climate change. For instance, APWLD has used FPAR for implementing community-led research and advocacy on issues of violence against women and land and labour rights in the past.

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