The current situation of women, children, youth and the elderly in southern Africa is variable and improving in some areas but remains generally poor. Women continue to suffer disproportionately from lack of access to education, health care and job opportunities (the majority being poor subsistence and small scale farmers), malnutrition, and weak economic and political participation.

The differential roles, duties and responsibilities assigned to women and men vary widely in detail across southern Africa, depending on sociocultural systems and norms. While women are mainly concerned with family feeding, health care and care of children and the elderly, they are also the main producers of staple crops, providing around 80% of household food needs (Brody et al., 2008).

This publication should be cited as follows: Midgley, S.J.E. and Antzoylatos, A., 2012. Gender- and age-responsive adaptation to climate change in southern Africa: The case for inclusive policy. Policy Brief No. 4, Regional Climate Change Programme for Southern Africa (RCCP), UK Department for International Development. OneWorld Sustainable Investments, Cape Town.

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