. Higher temperatures eventually reduce yields of desirable crops while encouraging proliferation of weeds and pests. Changes in precipitation patterns increase the likelihood of short-run crop failures and long-run production declines (Nelson, et al., 2009).
Uttarakhand is very vulnerable to climate change and climate reliability especially hill region of the state is more vulnerable to disasters due to a combination of climate and geographic factors and socio-economic structure. The state Uttarakhand is mountain locked state situated in the North Western part of the Himalayas. The land use systems in the Uttarakhand are in the process of transformation due to rapid changes in the socio-economic status of farmer’s industrialization and climate change as well as government policies. Climate change has gender specific implications in terms of both vulnerability and adaptive capacity (Dankelman, 2002) because of women’s roles in society, production and domestic life. Women are the backbone of hill agriculture and play a significant role in management of natural resources. They work harder for longer hour than men and have a vital role in conservation and management of sustainable ecosystem (Chandra et al., 2009). In Himalayan region, a pair of bullock works for 1064 hours, a man 212 hrs and a women works 3485 hrs. per year on one hectare land (Tripathi, 2004). It is very unfortunate that the actual and potential role of women in bringing about sustainable development have been ignored.
Poor women and vulnerable groups “bear the brunt” of climate change in various part of India (International Water Management, 2014). It argues that vulnerability to climate change is “intricately linked” to social structures such as gender, class, caste and ethnicity. Since women in the hills of Uttarakhand the majority of agricultural labor, growing environmental challenges are likely to increase their work load. Women and men adhere to culturally established and differentiated gender roles including with regards to the division of labour. Such differentiation is associated with the traditional ‘Pahari’ (i.e. mountain) identity of the Kumauni people (Pokhriyal 1994, Badola and Hussain.2003, Mehta 2008, Ogra 2008), which place women at the centre of agricultural system, while men are expected to participate in the cash economy mainly related to off-farm income generation. Furthermore, in this region Kumauni people are an ethnic group with a traditional caste system that is still prevalent. In 2012, the Uttarakhand action plan for climate change (UAPCC) recognized the increased feminization of agriculture and consequent vulnerability of women in the context of climate change, especially those small holders that belong to the lowest caste and implemented a specific Women and Child Welfare Development. However, climate change is likely to magnify the existing, pattern of gender disadvantage. For instance, there is a gap in disaster mortality between women and men, which has shown to be linked to the gaps in fulfillments of economic and social rights for women and men (Neumayer and Pluemper, 2007). In developing countries, the women are expected to be disproportionately affected by climate change. There is huge literature available on different dimension of climate change in different region. The concept of climate change related vulnerability has been comprehensively reviewed by many authors (O’Brien et. al., 2007, Eriksen and Kelly, 2007).