Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


International Studies

First Advisor

Lynn Horton, PhD

Second Advisor

Andrea Molle, PhD

Third Advisor

Mackenzie Crigger, PhD


Climate change is one of the greatest challenges our world faces today and will be facing for generations to come, as nature and its ecosystems increasingly experience extreme weather patterns and irreversible environmental damage. Marginalized populations such as women and indigenous peoples have been disproportionately impacted by climate change and offer unique and valuable perspectives and lived experiences of climate change. This paper adopts an intersectional approach. Its comparative case study of Iceland and New Zealand explores how women and indigenous peoples have informally and formally contributed to climate action policies. This research analyzes the relationship between the Global Gender Gap Index and the Environmental Performance Index. It also incorporates a comprehensive literature review to better understand how women and indigenous peoples shape wider socio-cultural understandings, values, and attitudes toward the environment and how they contribute to climate action policies. By exploring how Icelandic and New Zealand groups shape cultural understandings of climate change in both non-technocratic and formal institutionalized channels, this thesis offers insights on how to support these groups while also advancing mitigative and adaptive strategies to climate crisis.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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