The Impact of Climate Change on Gender Inequality in the Labour Market: A Case Study of South Africa

Nicholas Ngepah, Regina Conselho Mwiinga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


South Africa has been exposed to climate change and has been experiencing associated extreme climatic events such as droughts, floods, and heat waves. These have impacted water and fuel sources, habitats, human health, and economic productivity. Poorer populations and particularly females are more affected. The main objective of this study is therefore to assess gender inequalities in employment resultant from the effects of climate change and extreme climatic events. The study employs binary, ordered, and multinomial logistic models to analyse the effects on employment, intensity of employment and the effects in economic sectors, respectively. The study computes temperature deviations from its long-run mean as climate change variable and uses the Keetch–Byram Drought Index and number of heatwave days per year as proxies for extreme climatic events. Data for the work are from the South African Weather Services database and the National Income Dynamic Survey. The findings suggest that climate change reduces the probability of being employed more for males than females, but extreme events have more negative effects on female employment than males. We suggest that while climate change mitigations and adaptation measures geared towards the labour market should take priority in general, when extreme climate events occur, labour market support measures should weigh more towards females.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13131
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • climate change
  • climate shock
  • gender inequality
  • labour market
  • unemployment
  • vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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