Welcome to the GenderCC September Newsletter.
In this issue, you will find updates on current work at GenderCC and the broader gender and climate change community, summaries of new findings on gender and climate change, and information about upcoming events related to gender and climate change.
Here at GenderCC we are in a period of transition and are working to identify a more focused strategy in our mandate to work towards climate and gender justice. As such, this will be an unusually short newsletter.
We hope you enjoy this issue!
for the GenderCC team in Berlin
Activities of the Gender and Climate Change Community
News on Gender and Climate Change
Gender CC is pleased to announce the recent publication of a collection of case studies on gender and climate change at the national scale. The case studies are drawn from Kenya, the Pacific Islands, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and South Africa, and are diverse in their conceptual frameworks, but all focus on the importance, and difficulties of, gender mainstreaming at a national level.
Many author’s track national climate actions plans as they relate to gender sensitivity. In the case of Kenya, Eunice Warue analyses the inclusion of gender in the Kenyan National Climate Change Response Strategy, and suggests strategies for the implementation of the policy. Sharmind Neelormi looks at the negligence of a gendered perspective in the 2009 Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action plan. She goes on to outline possible ways that gender could be incorporated into the strategy and the work of her organization, the Centre for Global Change, in advocating for these changes. Maria Zahur charts how the National Climate Policy in Pakistan moved from gender-blindness to the incorporation of a section on gender because of extensive grassroots lobbying.
From the perspective of the Secretariat of Pacific Communities, Kuini Rabo emphasizes the importance of gender sensitivity and the inclusion of local organizations in adaptation and mitigation projects. Usha Nair of the All Indian Women’s Conference focuses on gender-sensitivity at the grassroot level. Usha focuses on two campaigns surrounding climate change - one in a coastal community and one an urban centre.
Both Yvette Abrahams and Dorah Marema write from a South African perspective. Dorah reflects on the experience of GenderCC Southern African and GenderCC in influencing national climate policy in the wake of the UNFCCC COP17 in Durban. Yvette analyses patriarchy and capitalism as constitutive of the knowledge system that has lead to climate change, and advocates for the possibilities of alternative knowledge systems, such as ecofeminism.
All of the cases emphasize the importance of gender sensitivity within civil-society actors at the national level, and the potential impacts of grassroots women and movements in working towards gender justice and ameliorating the most harmful effects of climate change.
To access the publication, you can find a PDF version available for download on the GenderCC website, here.
In a forthcoming publication Gotelind Alber draws attention to challenges and possibilities in urban climate change responses through an exploration of case studies and conceptual tools useful in working towards gender-sensitive climate policy. While much has been written about gender and climate change at the international level, this handbook attempts to address a gap in literature and focus on gender and climate change in cities.
The handbook was written with a focus on middle and low-income countries and should prove useful to organizations advocating for gender-sensitivity in urban climate policy and policy makers working at the city-level towards climate and gender justice.
To access the guidebook, watch for updates on the GenderCC website.
GenderCC is still active on Facebook and is posting more regular updates on activities and news from the network, and the broader gender and climate change community. Please “like” us if you are active on Facebook and suggest our page to your friends and networks.
GenderCC is also in the process of soliciting funding for designing a more user-friendly website. We are looking forward to its launch in the coming year!
During the SBI session June 2014 in Bonn, the 2nd dialogue on Article 6 of the Convention
was held, with sessions focusing on public participation, public awareness, and public
access to information, respectively. GenderCC, for the Women and Gender Constituency, provided input in Session I on public participation in climate change policy decision-making and action. Priscilla Achakpa, a Gender CC member from the Women Environmental Programme (WEP), Nigeria, presented on “Public participation in climate change: perspective from the Global South”, while Gotelind Alber presented “Key messages from women and gender on public participation”.
Find more information, including the webcast of the sessions, on the UNFCCC website.
Just recently, Gotelind Alber from GenderCC handed over her function as focal point of the Women and Gender NGO constituency to Usha Nair from the AIWC (All India Women’s Conference) and Bridget Burns from Women’s Environment and Development Organisation (WEDO). Gotelind has worked as focal point during the two years of provisional constituency status, and almost two years thereafter. According to the constituency’s operational guidelines, the function as focal point is to rotate after a maximum of two two-year terms among the members.
The constituency has made an agreement with the UNFCCC Secretariat that we can now have two focal points, one from an organisation based in global South and another based in the global North.
Please find more information about the Women and Gender constituency here here and the contact details of the new focal points as well as information on civil society participation and observer constituencies at the UNFCCC website.
WEDO is organizing mobilizations to prepare for an explicitly social COP in Lima. The social COP will allow civil society to engage with ministers and leaders in policy making. Unlike the pre-COP in Poland where business representatives were invited, for the first time this meeting will focus on engaging citizens. Venezuela has recently held pre-COP preparatory forums (which ran from July 15th to July 18th).
For more information on the mobilization, click here.
Over the past six months from February 2014 to date, Gender CCSA has been enthused by the overwhelming interest and participation by grassroots women, government departments and other organisations in the provinces of Limpopo and the Western Cape. Gender CCSA is working with communities in these provinces to ensure that women continue to be transformative agents and active actors in poverty alleviation, natural resources management, and sustainable development. This is a three-year intervention in partnership with Oxfam GB and Earthlife Africa and is supported by the European Union. The project’s main aim is to ensure that grassroots women living in poverty are able to manage and use natural resources in a way that improves resilience to climate change and contributes to sustainable livelihoods. The main focus of the project is the training and capacity building of 350 women in 7 communities in the 3 provinces of Gauteng, Limpopo, and the Western Cape to enhance their skills and participation in water management, sustainable energy, and waste management.
The project will include the installation and training of the 350 participating women in maintenance of biogas digesters, PVC solar power units, training in water management, and sustainable farming techniques in order to increase food production and enable women to spend less time and scarce resources to access energy for heating, storing food and cooking. These changes would allow women more time to spend on farming and income generating activities. GenderCCSA has been involved in key stakeholder engagements by mobilising key stakeholders ranging from rural women, municipality representatives, Community Based Organisations(CBOs), and traditional leaders. Through this process, GenderCCSA is ensuring that women are key in decision making in the selection of project sites where the project will be implemented through the establishment of Community Working Groups. Throughout the project, women’s leadership is emphasised as necessary in addressing gender inequalities, gender justice, and climate change resilience.
Global Greengrants, the International Network of Women’s Funds, and the Greengrants Alliance of Funds hosted a Summit on Women and Climate in Bali to bring together women’s and environmental rights leaders from around the world. The gathering was not focussed specifically on climate change and climate policy, but it had merits for networking, and, in particular, for bringing together small grantmakers for environmental activities, and women’s rights activists. This collaboration led to interesting discussions on how to channel climate finance to women on the ground, and on the potential role women’s funds could have in this.
Access the homepage of the Summit here.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called leaders in government, business, and civil society to the UN Climate Summit on September 23rd, 2014 in New York City. The summit is intended to inspire commitments to climate action and help in the process of realizing an international deal to replace the Kyoto protocol at the COP21 in Paris next year. Ban Ki-moon has invited leaders to "bring to the Summit bold pledges. Innovate, scale-up, cooperate and deliver concrete action that will close the emissions gap and put us on track for an ambitious legal agreement through the UNFCCC process."
The United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) issued an open call for nominations of civil society attendees. Of 544 nominations, a Selection and Drafting Committee coordinated by the UN-NGLS selected a shortlist of candidates. The finalized list of civil society participants (available here) was determined by the Secretary-General’s Climate Change Support Team. Unfortunately, no women and gender focal points were selected to participate.
Access the homepage of the summit here.
The Thomson Reuters Foundation is hosting a live, online debate surrounding the possibilities of the summit on Monday, September 15th here.
CGIAR’s Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security has implemented a gender-focused climate change adaptation study in climate-smart agriculture. In Kenya, the project was implemented in the Nyando region at the border of the Nyanza and Rift Valley provinces, where communities are primarily Luo and Kalenjin, respectively. The results of the study point to different priorities and needs related to the particular sociocultural context, gender dynamics in the communities, and, of course, climatic conditions.
For more details on the results of the study, click here.
Hypatia 29.3 attempts to bring climate change into the center of feminist philosophical considerations in a recently published special issue the relevance of feminist philosophy in relation to climate change. The edition includes a literature review by the editors Moosa and Tuana who draft a research direction for scholars of climate change and gender, and advocate for the importance of feminist philosophy in future research on climate change.
To access the issue, click here.
Anna Hermanson has interned at the GenderCC Secretariat in Berlin since July 1st, 2014. Anna is a Master's Candidate in Human Ecology at Lund University hailing from Calgary, Canada, with a research focus on equity in climate change responses. She has been involved in research on climate change, land tenure, and gender roles in Kajiado county, Kenya, as well as active in the feminist movement in Canada. While at the secretariat, GenderCC supported Anna in pursuing an independent project about the potential of an intersectional perspective in gender-sensitive urban climate change responses.
Edward R. Carr and Mary C. Thompson (2014): Gender and Climate Change Adaptation in Agrarian Settings: Current Thinking, New Directions, and Research Frontiers. This article implores policy makers and scholars to move away from binary-gender analysis in the context of climate change adaptation in agrarian settings. The authors make an argument for understanding gender as a result of intersectional experiences and, in the interest of ameliorating harmful affects of climate change for the most vulnerable, advocate for the use of a non-binary, intersectional analysis in interventions. They also stress the importance of future research on methodology for intersectional adaptation strategies.
Maureen G. Reed, Alyssa Scott, David Natcher, Mark Johnston (2014): Linking gender, climate change, adaptive capacity and forest-based communities in Canada. In Canada, there is negligible research on gender in the context of adaptive capacity in forest-based communities affected by climate change. A team of researchers at the University of Saskatchewan attempted to fill this gap by looking to research undertaken in developing countries. In trying to understand how different social circumstances effect adaptation, they explore the potential of gender-sensitivity in forestry research and policy in Canada.
Kim Holmberg and Iina Hellsten (2014): Analyzing the climate change debate on Twitter: content and differences between genders. With a dataset of over 250,000 tweets and retweets, Holmberg and Hellsten analysed the patterns of informants who use twitter from a gender-perspective. They found that women were significantly more likely to re-tweet campaigns and organizations with a ‘convinced’ attitude towards anthropogenic climate change compared to men who were more likely to re-tweet in such a way that suggested a ‘skeptical’ attitude.
Gunnhildur Lily Magnusdottir and Annica Kronsell (2014): The (In)Visibility of Gender in Scandinavian Climate Policy-Making. This article examines Scandinavian climate-policy institutions and finds that, by numbers alone, women are equally represented in political and administrative bodies. Though there is parity within climate bodies, Magnusdottir and Kronsell observe that gender is not incorporated into Scandinavian climate policy. They find that gendered differences in climate issues are largely unknown by women and men policy-makers alike, and use feminist IR theory to theorize on institutionalized, masculine norms in the climate-policy processes in Scandinavia.
Virginie Le Masson (2013): Exploring disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation from a gender perspective: insights from Ladakh, India. Le Masson argues for sustainable development and gender sensitivity in the integration of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation strategies in Ladakh, in order to address climate change and disaster risk as two of many challenges facing the community. This is in keeping with a body of research that is continually stressing the importance of contextualizing climate change, and a gender-centered analysis of vulnerability.
Anna Kaijser and Annica Kronsell (2014): Climate Change through the Lens of Intersectionality. Kaijser and Kronsell argue for the value of a critical feminist approach, specifically an intersectional approach, in analyses of climate change. They suggest that responses to climate change must also address existing social inequity and posit intersectionality as a valuable framework for this endeavour.
Elizabeth Edna Wangui (2014): Gender, Livelihoods, and the construction of climate change among Masai pastoralists. Wangui analyses the way that Maasai pastoralists in southern Kenya construct and understand climate change in relation to their gendered livelihoods. The analysis centres social differences, in particular gendered differences, to further understand the way that climate change is constructed based on particular geographical and cultural settings.
People’s Climate March at the SG Ban Ki-moon Climate Summit – New York City – Sunday September 21, 2014
For more information and to get involved, click here.
Pre-COP - Caracas - November 4-7, 2014
For more, click here.