Using a 9-country dataset from sub-Saharan Africa, and integrating quantitative household-level analyses with qualitative work, the paper shows that gender relations affect agricultural practices and adaptation. The women farmers in our sample control less land than men, the land they control is often of poorer quality, and their tenure is insecure. Women, more than men, are dependent on internal village groups, as opposed to organizations operating at regional or national levels. Hence, women have less access to extension and input services, and are less likely than men to use improved seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides. The adaptive capacity of individuals and communities depends on their differential access to resources, economic assets and social capital, which are mediated by their socially defined rights and responsibilities. Highlights include: • Vulnerability and adaptation to climate change depend on opportunities governed by the varied and complex interplay of social relations, institutions, organizations, and policies. • Climate is one of many influences that affect the producers’ coping and adaptation strategies. • Women and men incorporate a wide range of technology and production management adjustments. • The producers’ most frequently cited reasons for adjustments include decrease in productivity, fluctuation in prices, market opportunities, and frequency of drought.