December 2023

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introductionL As one of the most water-scarce countries in the world, Jordan is particularly vulnerable to water-related hazards, such as floods, and climate change

The close interaction between water and climate change continues to exacerbate the challenge of reduced water for agriculture, cities, businesses and social systems, and to have negative impacts on the country and its people, who have weathered a series of shocks, including regional crises and conflicts, which is creating significant challenges for agricultural production, food security, sustainable livelihoods and social cohesion.

The impacts of climate change are wide ranging, including effects on Jordan’s import-dependent economy, environmental security and people’s human security. These impacts on the communities’ resilience and social fabric vary based on gender, age, economic status, location (rural, urban), lifestyle and profession. Women in Jordan are particularly impacted by climate change, given their specific roles, responsibilities, differential access to natural resources and socio-economic opportunities, and risk factors. Women face disproportionate economic, social and cultural challenges, and exposure to climate-related social tensions. Furthermore, through increasing poverty, dependence on scarce natural resources and an imbalance of power relations, women and girls can be at increased risk of gender-based violence (GBV). Despite these compound challenges, women play a critical role in climate action. Although they may have had limited exposure to theoretical concepts, they have practical experience and applied knowledge of the impacts of climate change and water scarcity, and have networks to mobilise and address issues at a local level.

This research paper examines the links between climate change and social cohesion and human security in Jordan through examples of approaches to local development, agriculture and management of natural resources that integrate an understanding of the gendered impacts of climate change on human security and social cohesion in Jordan.