Contributors are invited to write on the topic above from either a research or an activism perspective. Abstracts and contributions must be written in English and in a style accessible to a wide audience. Please submit abstracts to admin@agenda.org.za

No later than 3rd December 2013

GUEST EDITORS: Dr. Agnes A Babugura and Prof. Urmilla Bob


ABOUT AGENDA
Agenda has been at the forefront of feminist publishing in South Africa for the past 25 years and raises debate around women’s rights and gender issues. The journal is designed to promote critical thinking and debate and aims to strengthen the capacity of both men and women to challenge gender discrimination and injustice. The Agenda journal is an IBSS/SAPSE accredited and peer reviewed journal.

Conceptual Rationale:

Climate change has engendered considerable international debates that have dominated the environmental agenda since the mid-1980s. Due to its predicted impacts on national and global economies, livelihoods and biodiversity, addressing the threat of climate change has become a global priority. While climate change is viewed as a global challenge, its impacts are not expected to be globally homogeneous but rather differentiated across regions, generations, age classes, income groups, occupations and between women and men. Climate change and variation are expected to have devastating impacts on poorer countries and communities (where women and children remain the most vulnerable) where coping, mitigation and adaptive capacity remain limited and constrained as a result of institutional, financial and technological challenges. Research has also demonstrated that perspectives, impacts and responses (including adaptation and mitigation) linked to natural disaster events (which increase in the context of climate change) are also linked to differential social and economic responsibilities, decision-making powers, access to information and rights to assets among and between men and women. It is in this context that debates regarding the identification of gender perspectives in the climate change discourse arise which underscore that climate change impacts will not be uniform and will not be gender neutral.

There is a well-established body of knowledge that underscores the importance of examining gender relations and dynamics when understanding environmental change generally. The environmental impacts of climate change are also important to consider in contexts, which are prominent in many developing countries, where women are the primary natural resource managers and users. Thus, the impacts of environmental degradation associated with climate change are highly gendered and women unduly bear the negative impacts. Additionally, climate sensitive sectors (such as water, agriculture and food security, and energy) are known to be characterised by gender dimensions. Furthermore, a growing body of literature reveals that when a climatic event occurs (as with natural and social disasters and stressors more generally), women tend to be disproportionately impacted as a result of social inequalities and roles. This has increasingly been recognised by international organisations focusing on climate change issues such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The international significance resulted in the formation of the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA) which was publicly launched at the 13th Conference of the Parties (COP) held in Bali. However, it is worth noting that in spite of the various declarations to promote gender equality, women remain under-represented in climate change decision-making bodies with very low effective and meaningful participation.

Understanding and integrating gender into climate change has become imperative for the development of effective climate change interventions, as adaptation and mitigation measures cannot be gender neutral. Addressing climate change from a gender perspective is concerned with engaging both men and women to ensure that their perceptions, interests, needs and priorities are considered in planning and decision-making processes in the context of unequal power dynamics and impacts. Despite the gender dynamics outlined, there is also growing recognition that women are key agents, leaders and champions of climate change adaptation and mitigation. This is often due to their deep understanding of the environment linked to experiences in using and managing natural resources (such as water, forests, biodiversity and soil) and their active role in climate-sensitive activities (such as farming, forestry and fisheries).

Various examples demonstrate that empowering women to exercise leadership within their communities contributes to climate resilience, ranging from disaster preparedness in Bangladesh and Indonesia, to better forest governance in India and Nepal, to coping with drought in the Horn of Africa. Given their untapped potential, women are seen to have a central role to play in combatting climate change and yet they are often excluded in decision-making processes. Having acknowledged that climate change impacts are not gender neutral, a gender perspective needs to be taken into account when developing resource mobilisation strategies, applying climate finance instruments, and ensuring equal participation of men and women in the deployment of financial resources, particularly at the local level.

As a contribution to the wider effort to integrate and promote gender considerations in relation to climate change interventions (adaptation, mitigation, development of policies, strategies and action plans) this Journal will contribute to the growing body of knowledge on gender and climate change and the status of gender in climate policies at global, regional, national and local levels. It is essential that policy and decision-makers, climate change actors and practitioners and various climate change stakeholders are continuously equipped with up to date knowledge to inform and support climate change agendas and initiatives that integrate gender issues.

Listed below are the various themes for consideration
GENDERED DIMENSIONS OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN AFRICA
• Linking gender and climate change
• Gender differentiated impacts and vulnerabilities to climate change
• Gender, climate change, agriculture and food security
• Gender, climate change and water
• Gender, climate change and energy
• Gender climate change and biodiversity

GENDER, CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION AND MITIGATION
• Gender differentiated perceptions of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies at national and local level
• Gender differentiated coping and adaptation measures
• Gender mainstreaming in climate change adaptation and mitigation programmes

GENDER AND CLIMATE CHANGE INTERVENTIONS/GENDER RESPONSIVE CLIMATE CHANGE INTERVENTIONS
• Gendering climate change policies, strategies and action plans (Adaptation and Mitigation)
• Local and national strategies/ interventions to combat climate change impacts and the implications for women
• Climate change policy critiques from a gender perspective
• Participation of women in climate change adaptation programmes
• Implications for not gendering climate change policies, strategies and action plans
• Gendering climate change negotiation processes

GENDER AND CLIMATE FINANCE
• The status of gender and climate finance
• Gender dimensions of climate financing
• Gender-responsive climate financing
• Gender aspects of financing climate change adaptation and mitigation
• Engendering climate finance to work for women
Submission Guidelines for Agenda Journal
The following guidelines are intended to assist authors in preparing their contributions.

General
Agenda invites contributions from feminist and gender scholars, activists, researchers, policy makers, professionals, educators, community workers, students and members of women’s organisations and organisations interested in and concerned with gender issues.

Submissions should contribute to developing new thinking and fresh debate on women’s rights and gender equality in Africa and other developing countries.

Writers need to:
• Write in an accessible and understandable style;
• Inform, educate or raise debate;
• Try to pin down reasons for contradictions and point out differences of opinion;
• Provide an analysis and an argument;
• Be logical;
• Be sensitive to but not uncritical of how gender, class and race affect the reporting of an event;
• Ensure the introduction encapsulates the contents of the piece and that it attracts the reader’s attention by either making a controversial statement, providing a thought-provoking or new insight into the subject;
• Utilise a gender or feminist lens.

We publish articles in various formats, which range from 6,000 words for more theorised articles, which form the main reference pieces in an issue, to shorter pieces with a minimum of 1,500 words.

Formats of Contributions

  • Article (6 000 words max) should be based on new research and contain analysis and argument.
  • Briefing is an adaptable format for writers to write on a wide range of subjects (2 500 – 4 000 words)
  • Focus examines an aspect of a chosen theme in detail (4 500 words max)
  • Profile looks in detail at an organisation, project or legislation, or a person (2 500 – 3 500 words)
  • Report-back covers reports on meetings, conferences workshops etc
  • (1 500 – 4 000 words)
  • Review typically reviews books or films (1 500 – 3 000 words)
  • Interview can record a conversation among a group of people or a one-on-one interview in which the writer asks the interviewee/s questions on a subject (1 500 – 3 000 words)
  • Open Forum is a vehicle for debate and argument, or pieces which deal with argument and difference of opinion on a subject/issue (2 500 – 4 000 words)
  • Perspective is an adaptable format in which writers are able to use a more personal reflective, narrative style (1 500 – 3 000 words)

Contributions should be submitted in the following format:
File type: Microsoft Word
Font: Arial
Size: 10 pt
Line spacing: single
Justification: left
Referencing: Harvard style

All submissions should have the following:
Abstract: 200 – 300 words
Keywords: approx 5 keywords
Bio: 100 – word author biography, including email address
Bio picture: head-and-shoulders photo in 300 dpi jpeg format
Contributors are encouraged to provide photos and/or graphics to illustrate their submission

Selection and Editing Process
All submissions are peer reviewed. Articles, briefing and focus pieces go through a double blind peer review process, while all other contributions are reviewed by at least one member of Agenda’s Editorial Advisory Group.

Reviewers comment on the suitability of a text for publication in the Agenda journal, as well as provide comments to help develop the piece further for publication if required. Contributors will be asked to rework the paper accordingly.

On resubmission, the piece will be assessed by the Agenda editor and a final decision made regarding its publication in the journal.

Please note that Agenda reserves the right to edit contributions with regard to length and accessibility or reject contributions that are not suitable or of poor standard.

Agenda also invites the submission of poems on the topic of women’s rights and gender.

Please note, as per Agenda’s policy, writers who have published in the journal within the last two years WILL NOT BE ALLOWED to publish – to allow new writers to publish in Agenda.