Gender-specific responses to climate variability in a semi-arid ecosystem in northern Benin
Highly erratic rainfall patterns in northern Benin complicate the ability of rural farmers to engage in subsistence agriculture. This research explores gender-specific responses to climate variability in the context of agrarian Benin through a household survey (n = 260) and an experimental gaming exercise among a subset of the survey respondents. Although men and women from the sample population are equally aware of climate variability and share similar coping strategies, their specific land-use strategies, preferences, and motivations are distinct. Over the long term, these differences would likely lead to dissimilar coping strategies and vulnerability to the effects of climate change. Examination of gender-specific land-use responses to climate change and anticipatory learning can enhance efforts to improve adaptability and resilience among rural subsistence farmers.