Women’s Economic Empowerment and Climate Change



The Center for Women’s Economic Empowerment (CWEE) at CIPE advances gender equality in emerging markets to build more inclusive, thriving economies and democracies that deliver for all citizens. This two-page briefer outlines how CIPE approaches the intersection of women’s economic empowerment (WEE) and climate change. This briefer lists some examples of CIPE programming and presents areas of interest for future research, project, and policy exploration.


Climate change poses a formidable threat to humanity, and could soon become irreversible without appropriate adaptation and mitigation measures.1 Policy makers, the international community and the private sector all have a role to play in responding to climate change. Climate change affects the business community, specifically women entrepreneurs, acutely. The impact of climate change on business opens up a space for women businesses and the private sector as a whole to innovate on climate-responsive policies, advocacy, and action. 

Similarly to other marginalized groups, climate change disproportionately affects women, and as an extension, women businesses.2 In the aftermath of natural disasters, underlying socioeconomic, political, and legal barriers limit women’s choices.3 4 Women often lead community development efforts; have more care responsibilities for children and the elderly; lack access to finance, capital and technology; and face backlash from other discriminatory laws.5 Taken together, these factors undermine women’s economic empowerment while precluding climate innovation by women in business.

Published Date: April 27, 2022