Migration has globally become a hot topic in political agendas over the decades. International Organisation for Migration (IOM), as of 2020, note > 270 million international migrants, the majority of whom left their countries for better social and economic opportunities, also increasing due to water crisis and climate shocks. Migration and forced displacements are results of stressed resource systems and socio-economic uncertainties. Migration has been a long-standing adaptation measure in various marginal and vulnerable communities; it is often linked to water and climate episodes. Recent reports show > 50% of total forced displacement is related to climate and water-related dimensions. The gender impacts of such episodes are mostly underreported. Additionally, a gender-sensitive approach in framing, design, and deployment, covering both the acknowledgment and structural changes in research and knowledge concerning the water- and crisis and migration challenges, is a persisting need. These challenges call for an in-depth investigation to address the direct and indirect impacts of water-related stressors on human migration and related gender inequities.
The effects of climate change and water crisis on human migration resources are increasingly documented both in academic literature and development reports. Water- and climate triggers are regarded as a significant “push” or “pull” factor shaping the migration phenomena. For example, frequent floods or persistent droughts may displace people or shape people’s decisions to leave their homes (push people to migrate) voluntarily. The interlinkages of water- and climate crisis and how that triggers migration are complex. Examining the processes that the scientific community is undertaking, much remains to be investigated. For instance, pastoral communities may prioritize the availability of water resources when deciding on their destination (attract/pull people).
With the increasing presence of climate change in national and global agendas, the terms such as “environmental migration” and “climate refugees” have frequently appeared in national and global policy circles since the late 1980s. However, an enhanced understanding of complex causes and consequences of water-related displacement, specifically on women and girls, remain crucial while addressing water- and climate-related migration processes and crises. The temporal and spatial variation between a ‘country’s’ ability to manage a women’s unique needs in migration and settings (such as refugee camps) remains a gap area.
The communities and people living in vulnerable settings face social, political, and technical challenges in managing multiple and diverse impacts of water and climate crises. Water-related disasters, such as droughts, floods, hurricanes, typhoons, and tropical cyclones, are responsible for internally displacing large numbers of people within and beyond their state territories. There is inadequate information on the connecting path from water crisis and climate change, migration and displacement, and gender complexities that operate in such settings. For example, women face historical disadvantages, including limited decision-making rights and access to economic assets, which exacerbates the development-related challenges, including migration-related decisions. The gender agenda in sustainable development planning has been in mainstream discussion for the past 25 years. As stated in the 4th World Conference on Women, the Beijing Declaration called to advance gender equality and gender-sensitive development goals. Towards recognizing women’s voices everywhere and taking note of women’s diversity and their roles and circumstances- the notion needs to translate into the water, climate and migration assessment, planning, and policies.
The Research Topic invites new and innovative research towards the production of knowledge relevant to the Water-Gender-Migration Nexus- reflecting, but not limited to the below-listed aspects
• Scripts that present narratives elaborating the socioeconomic and political economy of this nexus
• Addressing scientific and technical assessment of aspects relevant to this nexus, assessment methods can include -conceptual, quantitative, qualitative, or case study based.
• Application of indicators for various interlinkages applicable to this nexus and including water- and climate crisis as a direct and indirect trigger to migration and gender disparities that apply.
• Synthesis articles that reflect on gaps and needs in migration policy in particular aspects of water and climate crisis triggered migration
• Review/commentary/empirical analysis of on gender sensitiveness of existing water management and climate change adaption planning and policies, particularly in migration settings.
• Water and climate-related migration intersection with UN Sustainable Development Goal(s) agenda mainly: SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation, SDG 5: Gender Equality and SDG 16: Institutions and Policies and SDG17: Partnership models.
• The integrated framework that assesses the impact of the water crisis and climate change on human displacement
• Mixed tool methodology approach – primary and secondary data, qualitative and quantitative indicators, and indexes explained by applying case study
• How hydroclimatic variability and climate change dynamics influence gender-segregated migration trends at the national, regional, and global levels.
Keywords: water, gender, migration, nexus, drivers, sustainability
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.
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