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Jane Maher

Jane Maher

Postal Address:
Department of Geography
Museum Building
Trinity College Dublin
Dublin 2


A Dublin native, Jane graduated from her primary degree in Environmental Science and Health in Dublin City University (DCU) in 2011. Following that she completed her MSc. in Environment and Development from the School of Natural Science in Trinity College Dublin (TCD). During her MSc. degree, Jane developed a passion for the gendered impacts of climate change, after conducting a research internship on women in agriculture with Concern Worldwide. It is from this passion, Jane decided to commence a PhD in the Geography Department in TCD under the provisional title "Gender mainstreaming in climate change adaptation policies and their implementation in Malawi", funded by the Irish Research Council.

Jane has also held research assistant positions on various research project such as the EU FP 7 funded environmental change project ‘HEALTHY FUTURES’ and the EPA funded sustainable household consumption project ‘CONSENSUS’. Her research on women practicing Conservation Agriculture has contributed to publications for Concern Worldwide and standalone Conservation Agriculture books. 


It is now widely accepted that human actions are causing climate change, through anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (2014) confirms that human activity is forcing climate change and is occurring at a faster rate than previously reported. However, the effects of climate change are spatially and socially differentiated. Recognising these differentiated vulnerabilities and adaptive capacities has led to the development of the multifaceted concept of climate justice.

Climate justice stems from the idea that there is a need amend the unjust nature of climate change. One means through which climate injustices are being addressed is through the provision of climate finance, particularly to fund adaptation to climatic changes. Differentiated vulnerabilities and capabilities are not just visible across geographic territories, they are also visible within communities, even within households relating to age, class and gender. In particular, it is widely argued that women are often more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, especially with regard to agricultural productivity and food security. Academic literature demonstrates that women are underrepresented at all levels of climate change policymaking. However, attention to how increasing flows of climate finance for adaptation affects gender relations is limited.

In response, my research will assess how gender is addressed in climate finance related to agricultural productivity and food security adaptation policies both at the international level and within Malawi. This will be achieved through a phased, multi-method research design including a systematic literature review, documentary analysis of climate finance for adaptation, interviews with key stakeholders and local beneficiaries of climate finance. The case study analysis of the climate change-finance-gender nexus in Malawi is particularly pertinent. Existing research has identified Malawi as a country where climate finance flows from source to a nation based on vulnerability, but it is unclear whether the sub-national distribution of such funds is equally just in terms of gender and vulnerability.


Maher, J., Wagstaff, P., O’Brien, J., (2015), Empowering Women through Conservation Agriculture: Rhetoric or Reality? Evidence from Malawi. In: Chan, C., Fantle-Lepczyk, J. (eds.) Conservation Agriculture in Subsistence Farming. Oxfordshire, UK: CABI 

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Last updated 28 September 2017