Vol. 7 No. 2 (2023)
Peer Reviewed Articles

How Can Girls’ Education and Family Planning Improve Community Resilience to Climate Change in the Sahel?

Paige Passano
OASIS / University of California, Berkeley
Min Ah Choi
Health Promotion Office Manager/ CME Coordinator University Health Services, University of California, Berkeley
Matt Matusiewicz
University of California, Berkeley

Published 2023-07-19 — Updated on 2023-08-29


  • population,
  • climate change,
  • resilience,
  • adaptation,
  • family planning,
  • girls' education
  • ...More

How to Cite

Passano, Paige, Min Ah Choi, and Matt Matusiewicz. 2023. “How Can Girls’ Education and Family Planning Improve Community Resilience to Climate Change in the Sahel?”. The Journal of Population and Sustainability 7 (2):59-88. https://doi.org/10.3197/JPS.63799953906869.


Population growth and climate change are currently the two greatest threats to food security in the Sahel region of Africa. The population of the countries that make up the Sahel is projected to nearly double by 2050, from 506 million to 912 million. Paired with the expected rise in temperature and increased frequency of extreme climatic events, these numbers could quickly overwhelm relief efforts. Strengthening human capital and economic stability are critical to prevent catastrophic suffering. This article recommends two evidence-based approaches that expand women’s autonomy and support their income-earning potential while building resilience to climate change. The first recommendation, would be greater investments in adolescent girls’ education and autonomy, including efforts to delay marriage and childbearing. The second calls for an improvement in the availability and quality of reproductive health services, with a special focus on voluntary family planning. These interventions can increase incomes, reproductive autonomy and gender equity which build community resilience and adaptability to climate change.


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