Date and time: 9:30 – 11:00 AM on November 14, 2022 (breakfast is provided)
Location: Global Environment Facility Pavilion
Co-hosts: IUCN, GEF, UNCCD, USAID, Indigenous Information Network, FONAFIFO, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of the Government of Guatemala, Binghamton University, 1 Million Women, Generation Equality
Format: High-Level Roundtable
With over 104 decisions under the auspices of UNFCCC that include gender mandates, the Parties to UNFCCC have agreed that gender equality considerations and women’s participation are essential to climate solutions. Likewise, for the first time, the Commission on the Status of Women, in its sixty-sixth session (CSW66), addressed an environmental topic as its priority theme in 2022, bringing UN Members States together with civil society and UN entities to focus on “Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programs.”
The agreed conclusions of CSW66 were negotiated by all UN Member States, reaffirming that the UNFCCC is “the primary international, intergovernmental forum for addressing the global response to climate change” and that “the capacities of women and girls to take action and build resilience depend on closing the gender gaps, removing existing structural barriers” by “strengthening women’s access to education, knowledge, universal social protection, finance, technology, mobility and other assets as well as ownership of and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance.” It also recognizes that “women’s full, equal, effective and meaningful participation and leadership at all levels of decision-making are critical for making climate change and environmental actions and disaster risk reduction and recovery efforts more effective.”
Across these global instruments and agreements, implementing these commitments is now crucial.
Despite this international framework, there is still a long way to go to ensure that gender equality considerations are mainstreamed in public policy instruments and programmes to implement effective climate change response that harnesses the contributions of women and girls. Discussions on climate change have too often focused on economic and environmental aspects without necessarily considering human rights, the situation of women and girls, nor gender inequalities.
Additionally, many attempts to incorporate gender equality in climate change responses have been confined to simplistic, specific and short-term interventions. When these have been applied, they have failed to dismantle unequal power structures or to exert a structural impact on closing gender gaps. As a result, gender inequalities hinder sustainable development and climate outcomes.
COP 27 is taking place in a context of growing urgency and demands at the global level to face the climate crisis and the loss of biodiversity and environmental degradation. It also takes place during a time where rollbacks in gender equality driven by the COVID-19 pandemic have worsened the position of women and girls in all spheres of life. These calls to action are being raised in a context of profound inequalities, where persistent gender inequality has long been a structural hallmark worldwide.
In addition, last year, as the globe met to reflect on the Beijing Platform for Action through the Generation Equality Forum, a Feminist Action for Climate Justice action coalition was formed. This event also features FACJ commitment makers and leaders to help inform and promote inclusive and participatory approaches to climate action.
Within this context, this side event will spotlight progress, including IUCN’s uniquely positioned membership organization as a catalyst of action, and global partners across conventions, civil society, and Indigenous women towards reducing the structural nodes of gender inequality: socioeconomic inequality and poverty in the context of exclusionary growth; patriarchal, discriminatory, and violent cultural patterns; the sexual division of labor and the unfair social organization of care; and the concentration of power and hierarchical relations in the public sphere. It will likewise look at the leadership of financial mechanisms including the Global Environment Facility in driving gender-responsive programming in making a difference in women’s and girls’ lives on the ground.