GenderCC - Women for Climate Justice
The change we envision is fundamental. GenderCC believes that in order to achieve women’s rights, gender justice and climate justice, fundamental changes are necessary to overcome the existing systems of power, politics, and economics.
The challenges of climate change and gender injustice resemble each other - they require whole system change: not just gender mainstreaming but transforming gender relations and societal structures. Not just technical amendments to reduce emissions, but real mitigation through awareness and change of unsustainable life-styles and the current ideology and practice of unlimited economic growth. Not the perpetuation of the current division of resources and labour but a responsible cooperative approach to achieving sustainable and equitable societies.
We believe that linking women’s rights, gender justice and climate justice is key to achieving these fundamental changes. This is a question of justice and equity as much as a matter of quality and effectiveness of decisions.
The main goal of GenderCC – Women for Climate Justice is integrating gender justice in climate change policy at local, national and international levels. GenderCC is working to achieve gender and climate justice by:
- Raising awareness and building capacity relating to gender and climate issues among decision-makers and others working on climate change in order to achieve improved policies;
- Raising awareness and building capacity relating to gender and climate issues among women (and men) worldwide in order to increase pressure on policy-makers for effective mitigation and adaptation;
- Increasing the global knowledge base on gender and climate issues through research, action learning and frequent knowledge exchange to identify a growing host of options for most effective mitigation and adaptation
- Developing more effective climate protection and adaptation through empowering women and men to make maximum, active contributions to mitigation and adaptation measures, while denouncing the disproportionally negative impacts imposed on women by false solutions;
- Increasing the participation of women in the formal policy making process, including grassroots women;
- Raising awareness and capacity building on gender and climate change issues among youth and children;
- Bridging the gap between local action and decision making by bringing local experiences to the decision making levels through advocacy and lobbying;
- Strengthening the capacity of the GenderCC members to effectively participate in climate change negotiations through training, facilitating sharing of information and experiences;
- Enhancing collaboration and cooperation on gender and climate issues at local, national, regional and international levels.
Given the diversity and different contexts of work within GenderCC, we constantly check who can do what in her respective country and region, and her context of work in policy, research, or implementation, and how we can coordinate for optimum impact. Actions taken at the national and international level, respectively, should interconnect, bearing in mind that acting at the international level is based on the experience at the local and national level and reflects back. The slogan “emissions down, women’s rights up” is central to our advocacy, awareness raising and campaigning. All other demands for structural change, against false solutions, etc. are based on that: unless emissions are reduced, there is no way how women’s rights and the right to development can be fulfilled. The same applies the other way round: there is no climate justice without gender justice. Our diversity of background, expertise and strategies is key to our strength: “We are a forest, we don’t want to be a monoculture tree plantation. We are trees, we are flowers, and our common goal is climate justice.” (Titi Soentoro, 2008)
The network GenderCC - Women for Climate Justice was kickstarted at COP9 in Milan (2003), when some organisations (LIFE, ENERGIA, WECF) invited to an informal meeting to discuss whether the issue 'gender' should be given more attention at climate change negotiations. There was a strong voice for further networking and cooperation in bringing gender into the debates. In order to support cooperation and to introduce the issue to a broader audience the website "genCC" was created (the website is not available any more).
Since then, there were regular side events and meetings at the following COP's, followed by a growing interest in the network and in the issue gender and climate change.
A milestone was reached at COP13 in Bali, when the network published several position papers articulating the women’s and gender perspectives on the most pressing issues under negotiation. They were met with interest, increasing awareness, and increased expression of commitment to gender justice from a number of stakeholders.