The UNFCCC negotiations at COP18 in Doha failed again to deliver an adequate response on the climate challenge. However, often unnoticed by the public, small steps are being taken to improve the international climate regime. Among others, a decision on gender balance was adopted in Doha to improve the participation of women.
However welcome this decision, we expressed our deep disappointment at the watering down of the wording, from the initial insistence on gender equality to its present position on gender balance. Gender balance, though important from an equity and human rights perspective, falls far short of the substantial gender equality needed to accomplish fundamental changes in human behaviour. Gender equality moves us beyond the numbers to deal with issues of substantive equality. Substantive equality would require us to begin to rephrase both climate science and climate politics from a gendered perspective, making true empowerment of women an issue.
Women and Gender NGOs at COP18 representing hundreds of women's organizations and women environmental leaders around the world were demanding real action from the Global North in the UN Climate Talks.
The open letter "Not in my name" decried the lack of sincere and effective actions on the part of the countries from the Global North and said that the COP had no legitimacy to speak on behalf of the people of the world unless they make real progress.
The letter stated: "So far, your lack of urgency to work towards the common goal of saving people and the planet has left us angered and dismayed. (…) Countries, when you commit to take actions, you commit to the fierce urgency and ambition needed not only for our lives and well-being but the well-being and livelihoods of all the generations to come. Only then can you truly speak for us."
GenderCC, GGCA, LIFE e.V. and WEDO in collaboration with the Women and Gender Constituency invited to a joint event at the Gender Day of COP18 on November 27 titled "Gender and Climate Innovation: Breakthrough changes for gender equality".
Read our own report and an article by ENB on the side event.
Postponed - Due to constant postponement of the informal plenary of the Ad Hoc Working Group of the Durban Platform (ADP), the intervention by Sabine Bock (WECF) could not be delivered. It was planned to request social equity not to be just a co-benefit, but really a core element of mitigation actions. This is fundamental in order to achieve the profound transformation of our societies towards equitable low-risk and low-carbon societies.
7 December - In her intervention, Andrea Quesada (WEDO) summarized the demands of the Women and Gender Constituency presented in previous interventions and thanked Parties for their support to gender equality. She urged Parties to continue on this track and commit to further gender-sensitive policies and propose actions to fully and effectively implement them.
1 December - A decision was adopted by the SBI on increasing the participation of women in climate change decision making. Bridget Burns (WEDO) made an intervention welcoming this decision, but arguing for more actions which encompass not just gender balance, but the principles of gender equality and women's empowerment.
27 November - Rachel Harris (WEDO) made an intervention in the LCA-opening on behalf of the Women and Gender Consituency. She asked for equity to be at the heart of the climate regime and that we need to transform how we think about mitigation and adaptation to make the responses to climate change equitable, socially just and environmentally sound.
27 November - An intervention was made by Angelique Kipulu on behalf of Trade Unions and the Women and Gender Constituency. She stated that the work programme on loss and damage must place specific attention on poor working families, and especially women.
26 November - Ulrike Röhr (LIFE e.V) made an intervention on behalf of the Women and Gender Constituency in the COP 18 Opening Plenary. She drew attention to the need to 'close the gaps' on climate change - the gigatonne gap, the gap between words and action, and of course, the gender gap.