Institutional Framework

In order to achieve the goals set by climate change and gender policies, establishment of conducive institutional frameworks for implementation is necessary. Gender mainstreaming in climate change adaptation is only possible with strategic collaboration between ministries, NGOs, CSOs, and communities.

In most PICs, the mandate for gender equality falls to the ministry responsible for women’s affairs. These ministries usually have very limited political advocacy, technical capacity and financial resources for policy and programme delivery (SPC 2012). But with effective cross-sectoral coordination, in particular between the gender department and climate change departments of government, policy commitments can be turned into on-the-ground action. As an example, the Solomon Islands Climate Change Policy is supported by specific provisions that articulate the involvement of women in operations and decisions: the MWYC is included in the National Climate Change Council and its thematic working groups are articulated in the Climate Change Policy (Government of Solomon Islands 2012).

Other PICs (e.g. Vanuatu) achieve collaboration through disaster response ‘cluster’ systems. This offers potential for mainstreaming gender policy into climate change more generally by starting with disaster response.

The study also highlighted the critical role of NGOs in putting policy into action. Some NGOs have institutionalised minimum criteria on gender equality as part of their programming practice: e.g. the Red Cross ensures gender parity in all community disaster committees and SADD in risk assessments, and CARE’s programmes are all required to report SADD, attain gender balance for consultations and promote women’s leadership in decision making. Without WUTMI during the 2013 drought in RMI, it would have been impossible to provide disaster relief to remote and widespread communities in a fair and equitable manner.

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