International Women’s Day – empowering female stakeholders in climate protection

Women farmers in Mali
Integration of gender equality in climate action, as in the case of women farmers from Mali, is essential for its success. Photo: Emile Dakouo

The International Climate Initiative, through the NDC Support Programme, promotes the integration of gender equity in NDCs.

While being particularly affected by climate change worldwide, women are underrepresented in climate related decision making processes. Accordingly, their perspectives, experiences and competences are missing in the results. This situation should be changed, enabling climate policy to become more effective, gender inclusive and sustainable.

An example, at the local level, women play a central role for climate protection in the energy and agriculture sectors, since they are often responsible for the daily care of their families. The inclusion of women in the management of these sectors has already demonstrated and led to improved results in climate policy projects and measures.

The Gender Action Plan: Making use of women’s competences

At the Climate Conference 2017 in Bonn (COP 23), the international community adopted the ‘Gender Action Plan’ (GAP), underlining that the perspectives of women must be heard in order to develop and implement a successful climate policy. The GAP was developed within the framework of the Lima Work Programme on Gender, which was later extended for another five years at the Climate Conference in Madrid (COP 25) in 2019.

The aim is to increase the participation of women at all levels in decision-making processes in climate and biodiversity protection. In addition, gender aspects are to be more intensively addressed in the planning and implementation of measures. These include the improved availability of data broken down by gender, the organisation of experts’ group meetings on the topic of gender responsive budgeting and the use of gender responsive technological solutions to cope with climate change. Women and girls are also to be promoted in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and R&D.

Gender mainstreaming: NDC Support Programme provides advice on the implementation

The NDC Support Programme is funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Among other measures, the programme supports its 31 partner countries in the integration of gender equality measures into their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and in the implementation of these measures in practice. This is currently an opportune time for the project, as Member States will have to submit new or updated NDCs during 2020.

Focus on inclusive, gender-responsive and development-oriented climate action

Currently the IKi project is supporting ten countries more in-depth in integrating gender equality in mitigation and adaptation actions through effective governance, inclusive planning, and integrated policy frameworks. Gender mainstreaming during this process will leverage analysis, strengthen institutional mechanisms, gender-responsive climate change actions, and dissemination of best practices to enhance national-level capacities. Main sectors covered by countries are energy, agriculture, waste, transport, forestry, and water.

Women in a meetingMany countries see the NDC updating process as an opportunity to embrace more participatory and inclusive approaches for new NDCs. One of the most common elements to include in the NDC planning and implementation process has been gender-responsive climate action. Gender elements are being integrated into NDC and policy revisions, policies and laws, as well as budget reforms. Peru, for example, developed four gender-responsive sectoral roadmaps in the agriculture, housing, transportation, and forestry sectors, which are being integrated into the revised NDC. In addition, all ten countries under the NDC Support Programme´s gender component undertook a gender analysis for NDC planning and implementation.

Six countries – Ghana, Chile, Ecuador, Kenya, Lebanon, and Uganda – have already completed the analysis. In addition, Cote d’Ivoire and Trinidad and Tobago completed a gender analysis, which was also facilitated by NDC SP. The findings are used to formulate recommendations for policy updates and targeted training to institutionalise gender in all relevant institutions.

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