COP24: From Policy to Action: Integrating Gender into National Climate Actions in Africa

This blog was originally posted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) here.

Katowice, Poland, 10 December, 2018 – “Women’s voice is critical, from local to the national, in planning and implementation.  We must ensure women are given the skills tools and finance to address the climate change challenge,”  Mafalda Duarte, Head of the  Climate Investment Funds, urged attendees  Monday, at a side-event  at the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24).

The event, titled ‘From Policy to Action: Integrating Gender into Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Climate Actions in Africa,’ was held at the African Development Bank Pavilion at COP24 taking place in Katowice, Poland.

As the continent’s premier development partner, the Bank is helping African countries fast track green, inclusive and sustainable development and deliver on their goals for climate action. Several interventions have been implemented to increase inclusivity and ensure sustainable development in line with the Ten-Year Strategy, High 5 Priority Areas, Gender Strategy and Second Climate Change Action Plan.

The side event brought together stakeholders to dialogue on progress made, opportunities and challenges faced when integrating gender considerations into African NDCs. Participants shared best practices on how gender-responsive climate policy and actions that can enhance climate resilience and provide economic benefits to communities – especially for the most disadvantaged, women and girls.

Entry points and best approaches for integrating gender equality into NDCs and other relevant national planning and budgeting processes were explored. The event provided an opportunity to identify partnership opportunities with other development partners for investment and technical assistance and best approaches for implementing gender sensitive actions to enhance climate resilience and provide socio-economic benefits to communities.

Many African countries are grappling with the process of gender mainstreaming, and lack guidance at the national level on how to do so. This a challenge for Africa, and must be addressed through policy dialogue so that NDCs and other climate actions are designed and implemented in a gender-responsive process.

Effective implementation of gender-responsive climate change initiatives rests on an inclusive approach taking into account the needs, interests and vulnerabilities of women, men and youth from the conceptual phase, through to program design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

In 2015, the international community adopted two major Agendas: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Paris Agreement. Gender equality and women’s concerns are embedded in both agreements. A multi-pronged approach is required for effective implementation of the Paris Agreement and the NDCs in order to achieve transformational change in countries – and low-emission, climate resilient, inclusive, and sustainable development. George Wamukoya of African Working Group on Gender and Climate Change (AWGGCC) suggested “the year 2020 provides ample opportunity for African countries to update their NDCs and mainstream gender”.

The side-event was organized by the African Development Bank Gender, Women and Civil Society Department, in partnership with: African Working Group on Gender and Climate Change (AWGGCC); CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). Other co-organisers included Women in Global Science and Technology (WISAT); World University Service of Canada (WUSC); International Development Research Centre (IDRC); and International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Global Gender Office (GGO).