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

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.

Overview: Gender-mainstreaming in NDCs, policies and plans

Ecuador - Gender equality has been incorporated in the NDC, as well as in the Bylaw of the National Environmental Law, the National Strategy for Climate Change and in the procedures of the Interinstitutional Committee on Climate Change. Incorporation of gender in the NDC focused particularly on actions in the energy sector. The Ministry of Environment and the National Council for Gender Equality have signed an Memorandum of Understanding to build on the institutional arrangements and a permanent advisory to the Undersecretary of Climate Change on gender analysis and inclusion in public policies, plans, programs and projects has been established. The NDC SP project is in the process of developing a national gender methodology for climate change which will be piloted in a key NDC sector. The project is also developing a gender-sensitive approach for the climate finance tracking methodology of public budgets.

Viet Nam - Coherent gender-language is integrated into its NDC Enhancement. The project supported the formation of an UN-NGO Climate Change Working Group on Gender (UN-CCWWG) in 2018 to contribute to the NDC revision process, which is expected to be completed early 2020. The group is providing coordinated policy advocacy messages on gender responsive NDC development and sharing of best practices on gender and climate change. The UN-CCWWG on Gender includes NGOs and Viet Nam Women’s Union. Gender considerations will be included in the NDC revision process and there is enhanced institutional capacities and coordination, with the participation of non-state actors and women’s institutions who are not ordinarily involved in these processes.

Bhutan - Gender-responsive climate action is integrated into Bhutan’s Climate Change Policy and NDC sectors. The draft Climate Change Policy has integrated gender-responsive climate action with efforts from National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC), the National Environment Commission (NEC), and UNDP and is waiting for approval by the Gross National Happiness Commission. Bhutan is also in the process of conducting a gender analysis for key NDC sectors such as waste, energy and agriculture. The National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC) and UNDP are developing a training manual for gender mainstreaming and a toolkit for select NDC sectors. The manual is being developed in collaboration with gender focal points, representatives from waste, energy, agriculture, planning, finance and policy including NCWC, NEC and UNDP.

Kenya - A gender-sensitive National Climate Change Action Plan for 2018-2022 which serves as an NDC implementation plan has been developed. The National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) has seven priority interventions areas cutting across mitigation and adaptation to be implemented by government (both national and counties), private sector and other stakeholders. The plan enhances sustainability while prioritizing adaptation and enhanced climate resilience for vulnerable groups including women, youth, and persons with disabilities and marginalized and minority communities. Kenya was successful in making the NCCAP gender-responsive through a combination of analyses and consultations. The plan now outlines specific actions on gender integration for NDC implementation.

Kenya - Gender-balanced technical working groups to undertake an in-depth gender analysis for NDC implementation and to develop a training manual on climate change budget coding and climate finance tracking have been created. Through the gender analysis process, the Ministry of Environment & Forestry has established a Technical Working Group (TWG), with representation from key government ministries/departments (with gender and climate change experts), CSO, private sector and academia. The TWG on gender analysis will be transformed to TWG to coordinate climate change and gender matters moving forward. There is also increased participation of the State Department of Gender Affairs and the National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) in climate change matters. Finally, four officers of the Climate Change Directorate received training on gender mainstreaming in climate action planning and implementation. Going forward, the project will also support targeted capacity building on different topics to promote gender equality in the NDC.

Peru – Gender-responsive elements have been integrated into the development of four sectoral roadmaps for the agriculture, housing, transportation and forestry sectors.  All measures benefited from the support of a gender specialist and the Ministry in charge of gender during their design, and two in particular have a very strong gender component: "Electricity supply with renewable energy resources in off-grid areas" and "Management of livestock production systems in high Andean natural pastures for GHG reduction".

Colombia - Gender-responsive elements are integrated in three sectoral policies and institutional capacities. As part of the work on Colombia’s 2050 Strategy, gender inputs have been developed through collaboration under the inter-institutional coordination mechanism. The project has secured the engagement of all sectoral ministries on gender issues. As a result, mainstreaming of gender in climate change plans is underway in at least three ministries. A capacity building programme on gender and climate change has been designed and will be implemented with sectoral ministries.

Thailand - Inclusive, gender-responsive Climate Change Benefit Analysis work has been launched. The analysis will create a platform for coordination and discussion for climate project development with social dimension and gender consideration. The work on the Climate Change Benefit Analysis is expected to lay the foundation for links between NDC and SDG implementation as well as assess expansion of the impacts in addressing issues on the ground. The analysis is expected to contribute to fostering trust between government officials and local communities. A working group has been established at the first project board meeting in June 2019 to oversee the work on Inclusive, gender-responsive Climate Change Benefit Analysis

Philippines - Gender-responsiveness is integrated throughout the NDC SP project and UNDP country office. The project document was subjected to a thorough assessment using a Gender Monitoring and Evaluation Tool, during a Gender Capacity Training that was conducted by the Climate Change Commission in July 2018. The project document, scoring 17 out of 20 points, was found to be designed in a gender-responsive manner. The score serves as a baseline for project design reflecting the gender mainstreaming of plans, activities and programs in the NDC process.

Guatemala - A conceptual model and theory of change for the gender mainstreaming strategy has been developed. The strategy will help Guatemala integrate gender in the institutional governance for NDC implementation.


Overview: Gender analysis

Ghana - A gender analysis for the key NDC sectors energy and agriculture has been completed and gender mainstreaming in the sectors and processes has been started. The project supported an in-depth gender analysis in the two key NDC sectors energy and agriculture. The analysis revealed common gaps and challenges faced by government institutions. Ghana is currently in the process of developing a gender mainstreaming toolkit/ manual, one of the recommendations of the gender analysis, which will have smart indicators to facilitate the mainstreaming of gender into NDC relevant sectors (water, health, agriculture, waste, energy, transport and disaster risk and climate service). It will also help establish targeted capacity building for key staff in related sectors.  Ghana is also in the process of operationalising the establishment of a gender and climate change sub-committee under the National Climate Change Steering Committee to facilitate the coordination of a gender sensitive implementation of the NDCs. View “Ghana Gender Analysis – Executive Summary”.

Chile - An assessment to incorporate a gender-responsive approach into climate change policies and governance has been prepared. The NDC SP supported an in-depth gender analysis to incorporate a gender-responsive approach into climate change policies and governance. The recommendations are also being considered for inclusion in the new climate change law. As a result of the inclusion of gender institutions in formal decision-making spaces such as the Inter-Ministerial Technical Team on Climate Change, better coordination and capacities of government representatives can be achieved to strengthen gender considerations within their climate actions. Around 42 professionals, including members of the Inter-ministerial Technical Team on Climate Change also received training on gender integration in climate change policies.

Lebanon - A gender analysis is being finalised and findings are being integrated into the enhanced NDC. Standard operating procedures (SOPs) to mainstream gender-responsive climate action across ministries and UNDP programming in Lebanon have been completed. UNDP developed the SOPs in collaboration with the National Commission for Lebanese Women, which is located in President’s office and is strategically the best placed to introduce those guidelines to the ministries. The second set of SOPs will ensure gender mainstreaming in all projects, including BURs, National Communications, Development Plans and will help UNDP Lebanon prepare for the gender seal. A series of trainings with the National Commission on Women and the gender and SDG focal points of all ministries will be conducted. The first workshop on gender-mainstreaming will take place for the solid waste sector in October 2019.

A gender analysis for Uganda’s NDC has been completed. The analysis assessed the gender gaps in climate policies and strategies, developed a gender action plan for integration of gender in NDC implementation and building capacity for institutions to integrate gender into the different sectors of the NDC implementation. Uganda has already formed a gender and climate change technical team that comprises of Government, CSO, Private Sector, Academia and UN Agencies to strengthen the process of mainstreaming gender into Uganda's NDCs. The gender analysis report has been finalised and submitted to project partners including the Ministry of Water and Environment.

Cote d’Ivoire - A Baseline Study on Gender Integration in Climate Change Policies and Programmes has been completed. The study “Genre et changement climatique en Cote d'Ivoire” was coordinated by NDC SP, and was conducted with support from the NDC Helpdesk, LEDS GP and the Clean Energy Solution Center. The gender-sensitive criteria and indicators will be integrated into the enhanced NDC. Both, NDC and gender-sensitive criteria and indicators will also be integrated into the next National Development Plan, which will by developed next year by the Ministry of Planning.

Trinidad & Tobago - A draft for an in-depth gender analysis was completed in June 2019.It is currently being finalised.  It identifies gaps in policy, planning frameworks, institutional mechanisms and capacities for incorporating gender equality considerations in climate change initiatives, including mitigation actions. It also explores enabling factors and opportunities for addressing these gaps. The gender analysis addresses policy and regulatory frameworks, particularly in the public and key NDC sectors – industry, transportation and power generation, and specifies gaps and recommendations for the NDC planning process.

Philippines - A gender analysis on the NDC process and a Gender Action Plan for the energy and transport sectors are in development. A national stakeholder validation workshop was already held in August 2019. A Gender Scoping Study was conducted during the National Business Climate Action Summit to contribute to the Gender Analysis on the NDC process. The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) is a member of the Project’s National Steering Committee to ensure that gender is mainstreamed in the NDC Process and that the activities and plans are gender-responsive.