Addressing Gender Concerns in Global Policy Documents

As noted earlier, the clear linkages between gender equality and climate change have so far not been recognized in any global policies on climate change, including under the UNFCCC. Over the past years, however, concerted efforts have been made by gender advocates and parties to the Convention to integrate gender language into the negotiations for a post-Kyoto Protocol. The work of the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA), a collaborative mechanism between over 38 UN and civil society organizations, has been particularly effective in this regard. Starting from no references in 2007, gender issues have been tabled by several parties and strong statements have been made in support of integrating gender language into these agreements, resulting in several references in the negotiation text to gender, women, and CEDAW.

During the Conference of the Parties (COP 14) UNFCCC that took place in Poznan, Poland, in December 2008, representatives of the GGCA and other civil society organizations met with the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC and began to work together to incorporate gender considerations into the outcome of the December 2009 Conference of Parties in Copenhagen, in line with existing agreements on gender equality. However, although gender language remains included in the text of the outcome document of Copenhagen, little concrete progress has been made in implementing policies and programs that will actively address gender concerns (UNDP, 2009). Strong gender language in global policy is important as it will inform implementation mechanisms and policy at regional and national level that will be further worked out in the years to come (see Box 8.1).

Box 8.1 Addressing gender concerns in climate change policy documents

Gender advocates will continue to work to make sure the following are included

at the global level:

  • • Concrete steps to include gender in policies and decision making with the explicit goal of supporting and complying with existing mandates and conventions on gender equity and human rights frameworks.
  • • Actions to ensure that financing mechanisms for mitigation and adaptation take into account the different needs of poor women and men.
  • • Commitments to develop global, regional, and local capacity to design and implement policies and programs to address climate change that take into account gender-differentiated needs and impacts.
  • • The participation and voice of women leaders, gender experts, women from local and indigenous communities, and women’s affairs ministries in climate change and related decision-making processes, programs, and projects at community, national, regional, and international levels, including the Conference of Parties and subsidiary bodies of the UNFCCC.
  • • Sufficient resources to enhance the capacity of women at all levels, especially the poorest and most disadvantaged, to incorporate their contributions to mitigation and adaptation activities and foster their resilience to climate change and disasters.
  • • Gender disaggregation of data collected by governments, international organizations, and financial institutions in relevant sectors related to climate change, and its availability to all stakeholders.
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