Here’s some good news: 2015 saw all the big international policy venues—from the Sustainable Development Goals to the Paris Agreement to the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction—commit to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment for more effective, just and inclusive climate and development policies.
The SBI in-session workshop on gender-responsive climate policy, with a focus on adaptation and capacity building, offers an opportunity to translate these principles into domestic climate actions. It is essential that a wide range of Parties and other stakeholders contribute.
To help set the direction, ECO has a few pointers on what Parties could focus on. To start, it is essential to address the discrimination women face in accessing decision-making processes and financial instruments, as well as improving their access to and control of natural resources.
Good planning and budgeting for climate action must be based on an analysis of gender and power dynamics. Parties must also broaden their understanding of what a gender-responsive approach is. It can contribute to tackling different types of inequalities—not only between women and men—and has the potential to benefit all aspects of society, both in developing and developed countries.
The outcomes from this workshop should inspire Parties to support a new decision that ensures the continuation of the Lima Work Programme on Gender after COP22. But let’s not stop there. Parties could even go further and start outlining potential priorities and activities for the next phase of the work programme, and organising workshops to review the implementation of mandates under various bodies and mechanisms? Another opportunity is creating additional capacity building and technical support on gender responsive initiatives in the design, planning and implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plans.
The French and Moroccan Presidencies have both demonstrated their interest in advancing gender equality under the UNFCCC. Now let’s walk the talk.