Mensah Owusu

Mensah Owusu

School of Social Sciences

Faculty of Arts


I am a doctoral research student in the Department of Geography, Environment and Population(GEP), University of Adelaide. My PhD research interests lie in field of climate change with a specific focus on gender, vulnerability to climate change and livelihood security in marginalized urban communities in the Global South.

Overall, my research focuses on the interlinkages between gender and vulnerability to climate change and its consequential impacts on the livelihoods of men and women living in informal settlements in the developing world, specifically Ghana.

My research aims at contributing a new perspective from the urban context of the developing world to the literature on social vulnerability thereby enriching the discourse on social vulnerability to climate change.

Title of Thesis: Gender vulnerability to climate change and livelihood security in marginalised communities in Accra, Ghana.

Climate change is recognised as one of the greatest development challenges that confronts  humanity in the 21st century.   It is widely recognised that the impacts of this phenomenon will fall heavily on cities in the developing world due to their limited capacities to prepare for and to cope with its effects.  However, there is limited understanding regarding how the impacts of climate change will be differently felt by men and women living in urban slums and marginalised communities in the developing world. While the impacts of climate change are increasingly felt by everyone in the city, it is acknowledged that poor women usually bear the brunt of the effects. Did you know that about 90% of 140,000 people killed in cyclone disasters in Bangladesh in 1991 were women? The above case raises an important question: Is there a gender dimension to climate change? In other words, is the impact of climate change gender-neutral?

The above is the overarching question that my research seeks to answer. Drawing on social vulnerability and feminist political ecology theories my research examines the interconnections  between gender and vulnerability to climate change and its consequential impacts on livelihoods of men and women living in three urban slums in Accra, Ghana.

My research will offer both theoretical and practical contributions. Theoretically, the findings of the study will contribute a new perspective from the urban context to the literature on social vulnerability thereby enriching the discourse on social vulnerability to climate change.

In terms of practice, my research will make a significant contribution to the on-going gender mainstreaming and climate change policy development process of developing countries, particularly Ghana by enabling practitioners and researchers to have a better understanding of how men and women living in low-income settlements in cities  are affected by climate change and what kind of capacity and support is needed to address these impacts.  
 

1.Adelaide Scholarships International (ASI)

2.The Charles and Frank Fenner Postgraduate Research Grant

1. Research Assistant(Part-time): University of Adelaide, August 2015-December 2015.

Responsibilities:

1. Conducting a literature review on climate change adaptation and Indigenous Peoples
2. Giving guest lecture in environmental ethics
3. Marking  students' essays
4. Doing other research work as required.

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  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2015 - ongoing Representative Gender, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee(GEDI) The University of Adelaide Australia

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