Women and Gender Constituency in the UNFCCC

The last decade has seen an increase in the presence and engagement of women's and gender organisations in the UNFCCC process. Although small in number, they are representing a huge array of women's organisations worldwide, having a growing impact in the debates.

The History

At COP11 in Montreal, Canada in 2005, a daily women’s caucus was held for the first time. These meetings were open to anybody who was interested in women, gender and climate change. It was at COP13 when the women’s caucus started to discuss to apply for its own constituency, at COP14 in Poznan the women’s caucus mandated GenderCC to submit an application for a gender / women’s NGO constituency under the UNFCCC. Accepting the application, the UNFCCC secretariat has made the decision to provisionally recognize women and gender NGOs as official constituency in their own right as of November 2009. In November 2011, just in time for COP17 in Durban, the UNFCCC Secretariat has officially recognized the Women and Gender Constituency.

Members of the Constituency

A number of active groups including GenderCC, LIFE, Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF), Women’s Environment and Development Organisation (WEDO), Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development, ETC Foundation, ENERGIA, The Huairou Commission, ICAE are members of the constituency. A report about their common acitivities in 2011 is available in the download box.

Constituency Charter

The charter of the Women and Gender Constituency states: “The goal of the Women’s and Gender Constituency is to formalise the voice of the women’s and gender civil society organisations present and regularly active in UNFCCC processes, and to debate, streamline and strengthen the positions which these organisations put forth. The Constituency draws upon global commitments to gender equality and women’s rights, especially as they relate to climate change, and toward the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and related commitments and Conventions. The Constituency works to ensure human rights and a gender perspective is incorporated into UNFCCC negotiations, plans and actions.”

Focal Point of the Constituency

Gotelind Alber, GenderCC, and Andrea Quesada, WEDO, are the acting focal points of the constituency. Find out more about Gotelind. Send an email to the focal point.