While the world politicians are struggling with implementing the Paris Agreement, civil society is rising against the lack of activity of world leaders to act properly on climate change. The youngster’s movement Fridays for Future, inspired by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, is one of the leaders in mobilising against climate change. Students from secondary schools are striking every Friday to pressure politicians to act. The movement is getting huge and it shows us that young people can be an example of grassroots activism getting global.
This newsletter offers the latest news on our projects. We organised and attended several meetings in the last few weeks and we would love to share outcomes with you. In addition, there are also two international climate and gender relevant events which took place recently: the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi and the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York.
Last but not least, GenderCC’s International Secretariat has some changes and newbies amongst its staff we would like to update you about, as well as feature new reports on gender and climate change.
We hope you enjoy this issue!
the GenderCC Secretariat team
GenderCC held the international meeting of the “Gender into Urban Climate Change Initiative” (GUCCI) project in Mumbai, India, from 26 to 28 of February 2019. Hosted by the All India Women's Conference (AIWC), the meeting also brought together project partners from Equidad de Género, ciudadanía, trabajo y familia from Mexico, GenderCC Southern Africa - Women For Climate Justice Network from South Africa, Aksi for gender, social and ecological justice and Solidaritas Perempuan from Indonesia and GenderCC’s International Secretariat from Germany. The meeting was marked by an intense exchange of experiences and peer-learning exercises among the participants, who reviewed the implemented activities of the project in Delhi, Mumbai, Jakarta, Makassar, Johannesburg and Tshwane, and looked forward into the next steps, especially focusing on the eight new pilot cities, and the work at the national level. The meeting was also an opportunity to plan future engagements of the project, including the participation in international events such as the 2020 World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi, where the results of the “Gender Assessment and Monitoring of Mitigation and Adaptation” - methodology (GAMMA) are intended to be shared by the project partners based on the experiences in their cities. The meeting concluded with a day-trip to different sites of the megacity, where participants got to know climate-resilient initiatives, such as the solar power plant installed at the rooftop of AIWC’s building in Mumbai. Read more about the international meeting and its unfolding here.
Our Staff Member Gotelind Alber developed a communication toolkit on gender mainstreaming in climate policies. It explains why climate change and gender inequalities are related and gives recommendations for parliamentarians on how to enhance climate justice through gender justice. First steps to achieve both are the equal gender representation and participation in decision-making on climate policies as well as more female expertise in the public sphere. A second step could focus on distributional justice, and include integrating gender into green and just transition approaches towards a low-carbon and sustainable economy. Here, all sectors of the economy, including care work, must be considered. Yet, ultimately, we need an in-depth transformation tackling the root causes of both gender norms and power relations in society, and unsustainable carbon-intensive economies. Gender Analysis and Gender Budgeting are indispensable for these steps. The document also gives some evidence on the gender aspects of climate change in European countries, positive achievements at the EU level, as well as hints on how to communicate gender and climate change. Click here to read the full toolkit.
While the first year of the project focused on capacity building in the UNFCCC arena, in 2018, the "Not without us!" team looked closer at the local struggles that are directly connected to the international arena. For this purpose, workshops with local communities, decision makers and civil society were organised in South Africa, Ecuador and Indonesia. On the one hand, the Not without us! team were multipliers and informed about their experiences at the UNFCCC and demonstrated the linkages of the UN climate negotiations with the current situation on the ground. On the other hand, the workshops offered an interactive space to identify climate justice struggles, formulate local demands, and tell stories about local impacts of climate policies, which were then taken to COP24 in Katowice, Poland in December last year. All workshops took place from July to November 2018! In addition, the Not without us! team made several videos about local gender and climate justice struggles as well as international climate policies during COP. You can find all activities and the video here.
In an internal workshop for the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) staff, GenderCC was asked to give an input about the first experiences we have made with the Gender Assessment and Monitoring of Mitigation and Adaptation-methodology (GAMMA) in South Africa. Together with Romeo Bertolini, NDC Partnership Support Unit, Anna Kühnel, GIZ - NDC Assistant, Fleur Newman, UNFCCC Secretariat, and Anne Barre, Women Engage for a Common Future, we told our story. The workshop reflected the different perspectives on gender mainstreaming in mitigation and adaptation actions. It became clear from the discussion that mainstreaming tools and gender equality checklists as well as gender expertise for all regions exist within the German Development Agency but it is still not easy to identify gender entry points in loss and damage, climate finance or NDCs for the experts in those fields. Often, promoting gender equality becomes an add-on topic instead of being mainstreamed. It was concluded that certain tools such as GAMMA or a Gender responsive Technology Needs Assessment would help identify gender responsive climate actions right from the beginning of a measure. Moreover, applying a holistic approach taking into account intersectional factors and behavioural changes as well as revealing concepts that are lying behind the discourses about solutions and development paths such as “green economy” or “just transition” are key for gender responsive climate action.
GenderCC was invited by the UNFCCC Secretariat Gender Team to a knowledge exchange workshop to foster the gender perspective in all technology related activities under the UNFCCC. Notably, GenderCC is now applying for a membership to the CTCN (Climate Technology Centre and Network) network.
GenderCC attended COP24 in Katowice (Poland), with an inspiring delegation of women coming from several continents! The Women and Gender Constituency awarded for the fourth time women and men offering Gender Just Climate Solutions, and the Not without us! Project team organised a workshop at the civil society space during the conference. Read more about GenderCC’s activities during COP24 here. Moreover, many workshops and events put the gender perspective into the spotlight. Check out the detailed report and this video produced by the UNFCCC where several gender advocates share their perspectives!
GenderCC Southern Africa put out an elaborate analysis of the outcomes of COP24. The report mentions the implementation of the Gender Action Plan positively while heavily criticising the lack of financial commitments by the industrialised countries towards “Loss and Damage”. It points out the missing integration of human rights into climate politics and that most solutions were thought of in the Global North and that this makes them impossible to implement.
The analysis concludes in a powerful statement: “The Katowice Climate package is supposed to bring Paris Agreement to life and not leave anyone behind, however most countries in the Global South are left behind in the outcomes especially Africa. We need real systemic change to tackle the current problems and attain global peace and equity. Urgent, rights-based climate action is critical to ensure that the most vulnerable and future generations do not experience catastrophic climate change. Also connecting local climate efforts with international developments is very critical at this stage as local communities are agents of change.”
Read the full analysis here.
As part of her volunteer work in Tunisia, Olfa Jelassi, from GenderCC's Steering Committee, conducted trainings for young people from InnoPeace Association, innovators for peace. The trainings were focused on environment, sustainable development, the SDGs, civic education, peace, climate change and women's empowerment. Olfa was also recently invited by the Green Fondation of the Netherlands to speak at a national conference about environmental policies in the political transition period in Tunisia. If you want to know more about Olfa's work, do not hesitate to send us a message so we can put you in contact.
The fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) was held from 11-15 March 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. Under the motto “Innovative Solutions for Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Consumption and Production”, UNEA-4 addressed environmental challenges related to poverty and natural resources management, including sustainable food systems, food security and halting biodiversity loss, life-cycle approaches to resource efficiency, energy, chemicals and waste management and innovative sustainable business development at a time of rapid technological change. For the first time ever, there was also a resolution draft debated on gender and environment, submitted by Costa Rica. With the support of GenderCC, Anna Holthaus from the MSP Institute’s project on Gender&Chemicals, followed the negotiations and advocated for the integration of gender in international policies on chemicals and waste management.
The Women Engage for a Common Future network released a Gender Impact Assessment and Monitoring Tool (GIM) with the aim to help women and gender civil society organisations to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The tool was developed within the Women2030 Programme and gives special attention to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It provides tools on how to assess gender issues within local, regional and national contexts. The adopted gender-responsive monitoring approach allows to measure gender sensitive indicators for each SDG. Read more here.
On the Africa Environment Day (3rd of March) the “Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security” (CCAFS) promoted efforts to mainstream gender equality into climate-smart agriculture. They showcased projects in Ethiopia, Mali, Rwanda and Senegal. Check out the article for more info!
On the 15th of March, climate strikes all over the world synchronised and GenderCC attended the one in Berlin. The “Fridays for Future” movement is inspired by the three-week school strike done by Greta Thunberg on August 2018 and has now became a global phenomenon. Pupils and students go on strike against the inaction of their governments regarding climate change.
Carolina Schmidt, the environment minister of Chile, will be the president of COP25 in Santiago. Schmidt intends to put a strong emphasis on women’s issues at the conference. In a video message, she states that “the most vulnerable, including women and children, are disproportionally affected by climate change, thus gender mainstreaming is essential to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal on climate action”. Chile will host the COP after Brazil’s far-right president-elect Jair Bolsonaro pushed to withdraw Brazil’s candidature.
We have a new student assistant since January. Malu Tello just started her master's in Latin American Studies at Freie Universität Berlin, focusing on the profile Gender Studies, and is especially interested in indigenous land rights as well as food sovereignty in Colombia and Latin America. She is also engaged in anticolonial and intersectional feminist issues linked above all to climate and land justice. Malu co-organises feminist meetings with a focus on dancing and body feeling. She is very excited to support the secretariat and the whole network and looks forward to helping as well as learning a lot from GenderCC!
Marius is studying “Global Change Management” at the “Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development”. He just started writing his master thesis on the topic “Masculinities and Climate Change” focusing on patriarchal structures promoting false solutions to climate change. He is involved with the climate justice and the degrowth movement in Germany and seeks to put feminist and critical masculinities perspectives into the spotlight within these movements. He was thrilled to work with likeminded people in the secretariat and curious for an inside look to climate action!
Elisa just arrived from France as a new intern for 4 months! She is very excited to be concretely immersed in the field she is passionate about. Elisa is currently completing a master's degree in Policies and practices of international organisations at Sciences Po Grenoble with a strong focus on environment. After a year in Costa Rica for a university exchange, where she discovered the links between climate change and gender, she has done her bachelor thesis on a case study of a Moroccan women's cooperative exploring how the ecological transition has to be a way of empowerment. Now she is gaining professional experience with us. She looks forward to supporting the team in its NGOs work!
Linda Ederberg, who has worked for almost two years for GenderCC and mainly on the Gender Into Urban Climate Change Initiative, will leave the team at the end of March 2019. She will continue to be a member of GenderCC and thus be in touch. Read her personal words: “Thank you for your great support throughout the last years. It has been a great pleasure to work with GenderCC and I am grateful to have met and learnt from you. I wish you all the best for your future and hope to keep in touch.” If you would like to get in touch with her, please let us know.
In this recent article, feminist scholar Kathryn Moeller shares her insight about incorrect statistics on women in the Global South. The “ghost” statistics state that poor women would spend 90% of their income on their family with men just deploying 30%-40%”. Moeller states that many big organisations like the World Bank, the World Economic Forum or the Gates Foundation base their spending on this notion. The only problem is that the sources for such data are uncertain. This goes to show that there is a big gap in evidence-based research, making it easier to proliferate ghost statistics, which are often the base of gender programmes that actually “shift the burden of development onto poor girls and women, who are expected to solve a laundry list of problems”. More
Women4Climate is an initiative by C40 which aims to empower women climate leaders. Their newly released report analyses how city planning is gender and climate unfriendly and which measures have to be taken in order to create sustainable cities. The report states that women’s knowledge, experiences, expertise and leadership are indispensable towards inclusive and climate sensitive cities to achieve the SDGs. Among other approaches, it highlights also GenderCC’s assessment methodology GAMMA. More
This report focuses on how “Loss and Damage” can be addressed by proper financing, mainly in developing countries. It states that a gender and climate just financing to address climate change should be mobilised and managed in a fair and transparent way, which means that the most polluting countries should pay more, and the affected people should be in decision-making positions. The money should also empower these vulnerable people facing deep climate impacts. The report analyses if the options for Loss and Damage Finance meet climate and gender-just criteria and pronounces recommendations for policy makers. More
The BASIC countries (Brazil, South Africa, India, China) took a leadership role in the renewable energy transition in the developing world. This report analyses how the countries have incorporated gender and energy issues in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in order to implement the Paris Agreement. It also offers a summary of the energy challenges of each country and the linkages to gender inequalities. More
Through a list of 18 gender-environment indicators across four priority areas (right to land, natural resources and biodiversity; access to food, energy, water and sanitation; climate change, sustainable production and consumption, and health and well-being; women in environmental decision making at all levels), the UN Environment and IUCN have recently launched the publication "Gender and environment statistics: Unlocking information for action and measuring the SDGs". It seeks to address the gaps in current international data frameworks and is targeted at supporting national statistics systems and the international community of stakeholders working to advance the use of data in understanding the gender-environment nexus. More
This policy brief examines some useful strategies to promote the inclusion of women in climate change mitigation, adaptation, and negotiation to ensure their voices are heard. It explains how climate change specifically affects girls and women and recommends some approaches to solve these problems. It also points the benefits of investment in gender and climate justice. More
11-22 March 2019, New York, USA: sixty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 63)
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. Priority themes that were discussed this year were social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Additionally, women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development (agreed conclusions of the sixtieth session) were reviewed. More information on the event can be found here. As GenderCC is a ECOSOC accredited organsation, we were happy to nominate some of our members to attend CSW 63 as part of the GenderCC delegation.
17-27 June 2019, Bonn, Germany: 50th SB Session
The 50th session of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies (SB50) will take place from 17 to 27 June 2019, in Bonn, Germany. This is the second and final year of the implementation of the Gender Action Plan (GAP). For its promotion, the UNFCCC put out an article with “Five reasons why climate action needs women” #ActontheGap.
9-18 July 2019, New York, USA: High Level Political Forum under the Auspices of ECOSOC
The High Level Political Forum is the UN central platform for the review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It examines the implementation of the Agenda by the countries. This year’s meeting focuses on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 4, 8, 10, 13, 16 and 17. The theme will be “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”. 51 countries will present their voluntary reviews on the forum.