The topic of gender and climate change is far from disappearing off the radar – more and more people around the world are connecting the dots between the issues of gender justice and climate justice.
This newsletter will feature a range of reports and updates from our network and the gender and climate change community at large. From advocacy at the international climate sessions to waste collection initiatives at the local level – GenderCC members and partners are taking action and are pushing for stronger commitment to tackling gender inequality in climate responses at every level.
If you would like your work on gender and climate change to be featured in our next edition, don’t hesitate to get in touch: secretariat(at)gendercc.net
We hope you enjoy this issue!
the GenderCC Secretariat team
Following the successful conclusion of the project GenderNETCLIM in March 2016, the key messages on gender and climate change are now also available in English.
A more extended version, as well as further outcomes of the project GenderNETCLIM, have been published in German.
Learn more about GenderCC's project GenderNETCLIM - Competence Network Equitable Opportunities in Climate Change.
From 29 July – August 2, 2016, the national inception workshop for GenderCC’s Gender into Urban Climate Change Initiative was held in Makassar, Indonesia. Hosted by project partners Aksi! for gender, social and ecological justice and Solidaritas Perempuan, the meeting aimed to build a common understanding of the project, including the objectives, strategies and expected results, as well as to enhance understanding among participants on urban climate policy from a gender perspective.
Following several days of meetings and trainings, on Day 4 participants, including Gotelind Alber from the GenderCC Secretariat, took part in a field trip to two villages in Makassar, Cambaya and Tallo. Fisherwomen were able to share their experiences of climate change and the challenges they face as residents of an urban coastal area subjected to increasingly extreme and unpredictable weather events. The discussion addressed the need to build resilience and improve access to services such as water and waste collection, along with the importance of gender-sensitive participative processes in local government planning to ensure that the needs of all members of communities are addressed. On the final day, the project team met with the Mayor of Makassar to discuss the city’s climate policies and the plans to conduct a gender assessment and develop recommendations to improve future climate responses. The Mayor was very receptive and expressed his commitment to the project, enthusiastically sharing photos of the meeting on social media.
Click here for more information on project activities and photos of the meeting.
The German Environmental ministry (the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety) is hosting a festival in Berlin on 10-11 September to celebrate 30 years of environmental policy-making in Germany.
Along with the women’s organisations genanet – focal point gender, environment, sustainability, Weiberwirtschaft, EcoMujer and Filia a women’s fund based in Germany, GenderCC will host an interactive exhibit with information on a range of gender and climate-related issues and activities. If you are in the area, be sure to come by!
The Women and Gender Constituency (WGC), one of the nine observer groups within UNFCCC, recently elected new focal points for 2016-2017: Kalyani Raj, from All India Women's Conference (AIWC), has been chosen as the new Southern Focal Point and Bridget Burns, from Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), has been re-elected as the Northern Focal Point.
GenderCC congratulates both of the successful candidates and is looking forward to further collaboration between the various organisations represented in the WGC.
After the Paris Agreement was adopted at COP21 in Paris, the hard work is just getting started: the operationalisation and implementation of the agreement. With this goal in mind, the Parties to the UNFCCC came together from May 16-26 for the 44th Meeting of the Subsidiary Bodies (SB44) in Bonn, Germany.
Part of the negotiations concerned the continuation of the Lima Work Programme on Gender. Adopted in 2014 with a planned duration of two years, the Work Programme encouraged Parties to advance gender balance, promote gender sensitivity in developing and implementing climate policy and achieve gender-responsive climate policy in all relevant activities under the UNFCCC. In light of the need for further action, many Parties and observers have begun to advocate for the continuation and enhancement of the programme. Initial recommendations in this respect were put forward during a two-day in-session workshop on gender-responsive climate policy with a focus on adaptation and capacity-building during SB44. The agenda and full presentations of the workshop are available here. Take a look also at the official report by the UNFCCC Secretariat.
Furthermore, Christiana Figueres’ successor was announced in Bonn: Patricia Espinosa, former foreign minister of Mexico, will be the next Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC. Given the high number of women candidates, we are happy to see that the UNFCCC seems to be putting the goal of achieving gender balance into practice, at least in regard to this leadership position.
Members of GenderCC who attended SB44 in Bonn shared the following insights with us:
Wiebke Witt, Berlin: “’The Paris honeymoon is over’. This comment by one delegate fits well to describe the atmosphere at the Bonn climate talks: the realisation that Paris could at best be seen as the starting point for climate action but that most of the work is still ahead. While people all over the world were taking action to break free from fossil fuels, the climate talks in Bonn proceeded as usual - with the same old conflicts along the lines of power and wealth.
Alongside the formal negotiations, resourceful ideas were exchanged and policies discussed which steer away from the many ‘false solutions’ promoted by some in the wake of Paris. The best part for me however was to meet like-minded feminists advocating for climate justice and a just transition – strong people from all over the world who keep on trying to make the negotiations more inclusive, transparent and fair.”
Olfa Jelassi, Tunisia: “After having followed the UNFCCC process already for years, this year I had the opportunity to attend the SB44 sessions in Bonn. The Women and Gender Constituency (WGC) was following the different informal consultations about agenda item 16, gender and climate change, sharing our views on different topics such as the prolongation of the Lima work programme on gender. We were observing the negotiations and advocated for gender equality across the APA, SBI and SBSTA meetings.
Representing the WGC, I participated in an inter-constituency meeting that drew attention to the links between human rights and climate change. I also participated in a meeting with the president of the scientific board of COP22 where we discussed options for collaboration for an ambitious gender agenda for COP22 in Marrakech.
I was honoured to deliver a statement on behalf of the WGC in the APA closing plenary, the Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement. I took the opportunity to demand from all Parties that when developing their NDCs to include gender-disaggregated data and gender responsive indicators as well as information on how human rights, gender equality, the rights of indigenous peoples, ecosystem integrity, just transition of the work force and intergenerational equity are integrated in all climate actions. The SB44 meeting was a great opportunity to meet colleagues, gender experts and advocators working for more just and sustainable societies.“
Pratibha Singh, India: “'Capacity for Change': The networking event organised by WEDO and other partners served as an ideal platform for people and organisations to come together and unite efforts for a stronger participation of women in the climate change related decision-making process. Patience Dampty was lauded for her exemplary contribution to strengthening women’s voices and participation in the corridors of UNFCCC negotiations. Simultaneously, Christiana Figueres was honoured for her contribution in promoting the issue of gender into climate change in her capacity as the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC. Participants of the Women Delegates Fund showcased their progress and new developments while at the same time encouraged others to tread the path that advances women’s contribution in the realm of climate change. The discussion stressed upon concerted efforts towards increasing women’s participation in the decision-making process as well as capacity and resilience building activities. Summing up, this event was one amongst many efforts that reflect the spirit and fervour of climate activists to ensure gender and climate justice through active outreach and advocacy.”
Patricia Bohland, Germany: “During the first week in Bonn the UNFCCC Secretariat organised its second in-session gender workshop. It was part of the Lima Work Programme on Gender (LWPG) and focused on gender-responsive policies in adaptation and capacity-building. The first day featured a fully packed schedule covering conclusions from the Secretariat and UN Women as well as experiences and best practice examples from activists, countries and transnational organisations. Both the Secretariat and the facilitator, George Wamukoya from Kenya, emphasised the gaps and challenges still ahead of us, including the ongoing task of translating gender issues into different areas to showcase their relevance.
As the Lima Work Programme will come to an end this year there is still a lot of work to be done and new perspectives to be developed on how to continue. In particular, the focus should be on implementing concrete actions and defining clear goals for governments. Ms Verona Collantes-Lebale from UN Women gave an overview on the state of play. She explained that gender is a cross-cutting issue that has found recognition in more than 50 UNFCCC decisions. However, she also emphasised the slow progress in achieving gender balance and a lack of common understanding of gender terms. The following speakers went on to illustrate their activities, projects and ongoing struggles in the Philippines, Kenya and Georgia. They presented examples and best practices from various sectors such as adaptation support for agriculture and livestock, improving access to basic infrastructure and services for the urban poor, and successful lobbying for mainstreaming gender into NAMAs.
Delegates who attended the workshop were particularly interested in tools and advice for integrating gender into national policies. Ms Carmen Arias from Peru explained how COP20 and the start of the Lima work programme was a window of opportunity to put gender on the agenda at the national level and to facilitate the national plan on gender equality and climate change. The Cambodian example presented by Ms Ratha Chhan explained how the government cooperated with civil society organisations as well as funding bodies to mainstream gender into their master plan of gender and climate change and partly also in their NAPA. Due to a lack of time the last speakers could only briefly present their topics and perspectives including Amanda Wheat from US Aid, Ms. Aira Kalela, from Finland, representing the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA), Ms. Pepetua Latasi from Tuvalu telling about the work of the Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG) as well as Mr Rawleston Moore, a representative from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
The second day gave the chance to discuss gender-responsive policies in adaptation and capacity-building in more detail. Four groups made up of delegates, representatives of financial institutions, UNFCCC secretariat and UN system as well as implementing agencies and civil society.”
The Women and Gender Constituency is very pleased to invite you to participate in the Gender Just Climate Solutions Awards initiative for the upcoming UN climate negotiations (COP22) in Marrakesh!
The Women and Gender Constituency of the UNFCCC and other women, gender and human rights advocates have been actively pushing world leaders to ensure a just outcome, one which works for people and the planet, and which responds to injustice among and within countries in relation to climate impacts and resilience. We know the solutions to a more sustainable future already exist- and it’s time to showcase them far and wide, and demand change. After the Paris Agreement and as world leaders meet at COP22 this November, we must act to highlight the importance of gender equality, women rights and women’s contribution to climate solutions. The Gender Just Climate Solutions Award will make gender responsive and equitable solutions visible at COP22 in Marrakesh and central to just climate action all over the world.
We are asking you to describe your women and gender initiative for climate solutions in one of three categories:
The 3 award winners, each per category, will receive 1000 euros and be showcased at the Gender Just Climate Solutions Exhibition at COP22 in Marrakesh. Additionally, the winners will benefit from a 1-year-mentoring programme of the Women and Gender Constituency. 10 nominees per category will be published in the Gender Just Climate Solutions Publication.
Are you looking for or would you like to share information related to gender and climate? At the SB-sessions in Bonn the UNFCCC Secretariat introduced their new gender and climate change page which will provide more transparent and coherent information on programmes and decisions related to gender. Moreover, you can find statistics, news as well as a calendar.
The UNFCCC Secretariat wants to provide a platform and collaboration site for resources and knowledge on gender and climate change. No matter if you are looking for or would like to share materials like tools, case studies, articles and similar you can contact the Secretariat via e-mail at gender-team(at)unfccc.int
The idea for this network of young feminists advocating for climate justice was born at COP21 in Paris. In the midst of the negotiations a young feminist panel emerged as a safe space for sharing collective experiences on what it means to advocate for climate justice facing sexism, ageism and other power dynamics. To continue this powerful exchange, the network was created. It is open to any young feminist interested in joining a collaborative, colourful, intersectional and autonomous project for mutual learning and support.
The first project of the network is a teaching tool – an introduction to climate justice by young feminists. We want to share our stories and insights by creating a tool for change, which will help us to address the common roots of climate change and gender injustice.
Written by Wiebke Witt, climate activist and former GenderCC intern
Habitat III, a major global summit on urbanisation, is set to take place in Quito, Ecuador on 17-20 October 2016. Formally known as the United Nation’s Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, the conference is the third in a series that began in 1976 with the aim of “reinvigorating” the global political commitment to the sustainable development of towns, cities and other human settlements. The New Urban Agenda will be the outcome document agreed upon at the conference. It is expected to guide the efforts around urbanisation of a wide range of actors — nation states, city and regional leaders, international development funders, United Nations programmes and civil society — for the next 20 years.
In order to ensure that gender equality is firmly on the agenda for Habitat III, women’s groups and gender advocates from around the world have been actively involved in the preparatory process on the road to Quito. In November 2015, an Urban Thinkers Campus was held on gender in Mexico. As one of 28 thematic meetings which accompanied the drafting of the new urban agenda, it was organised by the Federation of Women Municipalists of Latin America and the Caribbean (FEMUM in Spanish) under the auspices of the Huairou Commission. As Citiscope reports, the event addressed the issue of gender equality in cities and focused particularly on the need to create safer public spaces for women.
Jan Peterson, chair of the Coordinating Council of the Huairou Commission, pointed out in an article that the Habitat conferences have a strong tradition of addressing gender issues, thanks to the involvement of women’s activists: “The Habitat II conference saw unprecedented attention given to women, all because of the efforts of the grassroots women’s super-coalition. In addition to 133 references to women written into the outcome document, 55 workshops were held on gender-related themes, a women’s caucus emerged and daily debriefings were held to track intergovernmental negotiations. Even childcare was available”.
Key issues for the New Urban Agenda, such as housing, infrastructure, and public services, have clear climate and gender dimensions – as GenderCC’s current work on gender-responsive urban climate policy highlights. Beyond women’s safety, the integration of women and girls in all aspects of economic, social, political and cultural life in cities must be a central issue at Habitat III in October. Although non-binding, the outcome document represents an opportunity for gender dimensions to be addressed comprehensively and for gender equality to be fully acknowledged as a crucial component of a necessary paradigm shift – a regard in which the Paris Agreement clearly falls short.
Prior to Quito, important discussions around gender issues and contemporary challenges to the urban environment will take place at ‘Engendering Habitat III’, an international conference in Madrid from 5-6 October 2016. For more information, click here.
This article sheds light on the ethical dimensions of climate change while appreciating the ways in which women and men are differently impacted. It advocates for an “intersectional lens” to climate change impacts which means being attentive not only to gender but also other dimensions such as class, age, ethnicity, disability and race.
The online magazine Motherboard published an article on how climate change-induced violence which is on the rise around the world. Although the effects of climate-related catastrophe are likely to be increasingly felt in everyone’s lives in the coming decades, there is one group that is poised to bear the brunt of this violent fallout: Women, particularly those in the developing world.
Women are on the frontlines of climate change, both as those affected by it, and as the first responders to the crisis. This holds across the region, as women in Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh struggle to deal with the crisis of water. Chandrika Banarjee who is the director of a local non government organisation called Nakshikantha Women’s Upliftment Organisation speaks about this water crisis in an interview with thethirdpole.net
Sex-disaggregated data and gender-sensitive information specific to the environment sector could prove to be vital. Such data can be a powerful tool to advocate for gender equality and women’s empowerment in sustainable development. Read more
Gender-sensitive strategies are essential to respond to the environmental and humanitarian crises caused by climate change. If effectively trained, the women of Pakistan are resilient enough to adapt to changing environmental realities, and can contribute to the cause of climate change adaptation and mitigation. Read more
In Africa, women are emerging as change agents by switching to climate friendly solar energy. Read more
Patricia Bohland, finance officer
Patricia joined the GenderCC Secretariat team in April 2016. She is mainly dealing with the finances of the GUCCI project but also supporting her colleagues with content-related and other work. She got to know GenderCC already in 2012 when she was still a student and conducted an internship at the Secretariat. Since then she is following our work as a member and supported us during the climate negotiations in Bonn as well as at the COPs in Warsaw and Paris. She is especially interested in gender responsive mitigation actions. At the moment she acquaints herself with the topic of gender responsive urban climate policy. For testing the local reality she plans to look into the recently passed Berlin law aiming at a climate neutral city by 2050.
Pratibha Singh, intern
Pratibha pursued her Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Erfurt on DAAD Scholarship. She firmly believes in gender equality and has continued to analyse developmental issues through a gendered lens in her research and writing. She interned with Gender CC for a period of two and half months to gain a more in depth understanding of the confluence between gender and climate change. She also wrote a short article on how women in Delhi slums are combating the impact of climate change. She can be reached at pratibha.997(at)gmail.com
In the previous newsletter we introduced to you two of GenderCC’s newest members. In this issue we will continue by presenting you the South Asian Forum for Environment (SAFE) that joined the GenderCC network in May 2016.
We’ve asked Somasree Basu, Communication Officer for the South Asian Forum for Environment a couple of questions.
What is the South Asian Forum for Environment (SAFE) and what issues are you working on?
SAFE is a registered civil society organization working at science-society interface towards sustainable environment development and poverty alleviation in the Indian ecoregion of South Asia since 2004. SAFE addresses environmental issues especially with reference to water energy and food security, it aims to inculcate community based conservation initiatives assuring alternative livelihood, gender focussed capacity building with innovation and green technology cooperation in both rural and urban sector along with health & sanitation for the poor.
In what way are you working on the nexus of gender equality and climate change?
SAFE has the mandate to ensure gender equity and mainstreaming in all interventions including capacity building and financial inclusions. SAFE is promoting women farmers clubs, joint liability groups; self help groups, and women federations for encouraging entrepreneurial leadership and inclusive growth of women who are facing the brunt of climate change. In 2014 you won the UNFCCC Light House Activity Award for your project "Resolve Trash2Cash".
What is this project about?
Resolve Trash2Cash is an urban climate initiative of SAFE for resolving the municipal solid waste of the city to an alternative livelihood for city’s women rag-pickers and unemployed slum dwelling women, who are ostracized as the citizens of dirt. The program has developed a women led micro-enterprise, trained to recycle wastes to make micro-utility products.
Why did you join GenderCC - Women for Climate Justice?
Climate justice to women is a freedom from the vulnerability of being left unheard in the face of climate change and to suffocate in the poverty trap. Our interventions in communities and initiatives in climate change are often taken aback in this disparity of gender and dearth of justice. We conjoin our voices with GenderCC for environmental equity, we align our actions worldwide through this empowering window. To us, GenderCC is one such global window that can reach out to empower all, without compromising with the degree of empowerment in the milieu of climate change.
Tran Tuan Anh, Tran Van Giai Phong, Nguyen Thi Kim Ha, Dinh Quang Cuong (2016): Gender analysis in building climate resilience in Da Nang: challenges and solutions
This case study examines the city of Da Nang, Vietnam in order to showcase the gender dimensions of climate resilience building. It looks at how gender aspects and their relation to climate change are locally perceived and incorporated into climate related planning and actions by local authorities.
Elaine Enarson, Bob Pease (ed.) (2016): Men, Masculinities and Disaster
This book takes a look at gender as a driving force in disasters. It points out the high costs paid by many men in disasters and the consequences of dominant masculinity practices for women and marginalized men. It concludes by examining how disaster risk can be reduced through men's diverse efforts to challenge hierarchies around gender, sexuality, disability, age and culture.
19 September – 14 October 2016, Wageningen, the Netherlands: PhD course Gender & Diversity in Sustainable Development
This PhD course takes a close look at the linkages between gender and diversity and sustainable development in a contemporary globalising world.
5-6 October 2016, Madrid, Spain: Engendering Habitat III: Facing the Global Challenge in Cities, Climate Change and Transport
This conference will continue to build knowledge, experience, and networks, on the topics of gender and women in cities, planning, transportation, climate change, and structural change of institutions to promote gender equality in technological fields, with a focus on architecture and planning.
12-13 November, Marrakech, Morocco: Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA) Innovation Forum: Alliance Building, Advocacy and Action on Gender and Climate Change
The Forum will bring together grassroots leaders and gender experts from GGCA's diverse and powerful network, alongside students, practitioners and decision-makers, to reflect on milestones in achieving gender-responsive climate policy and learn valuable skills and best practice for implementation.
23-25 November 2016, Linköping, Sweden: Swedish Gender Research Conference g16: Boundaries, Mobility and Mobilization
This conference relates to current societal challenges, locally as well as globally, and discusses how gender research can contribute to analyse and integrate with major events and processes summarized under the broad terms boundaries, mobility and mobilization.
1-3 February 2017, New Delhi, India: Symposium on Climate Change Adaptation in Asia
The symposium aims to showcase experiences from research, field projects and best practice in climate change adaptation in Asian countries, which may be replicated in other countries in the continent. It is co-hosted by GenderCC member Sejuti Basu from the organization Pragya India.