From Crisis to Community: Exploring Informal Leadership and Rural Women in Community Resilience and Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change
As climate change continues to threaten the most vulnerable communities, strengthening community resilience and engaging in adaptation methods is critically needed. Developing countries and rural communities are often most susceptible to climatic impacts, and with the increased frequency of natural disasters and unpredictable weather causing concern for agricultural practices and exacerbation of inequalities, community resilience and community-based adaptation plans are of the utmost importance. Informal leaders are members of communities that hold no formal position within institutions or policy-making decisions, yet they hold great responsibility in the success of community capacity and strengthening of social capital. Rural women, more specifically, bring unique experiences and contextualized knowledge that contribute to creating sustainable community-based adaptation methods within rural communities. This research aims to better understand rural women in developing countries and their role as informal leaders for community-based adaptation and responses to global climate change. This paper serves as an introduction to how informal leadership and social capital drives the success of community-based adaptation to climate change within rural communities in developing countries, with an emphasis on women-focused experience and contextualized knowledge.