Gender Day at COP21
During COP21, UNFCCC is promoting Gender Day and hosting several events on gender and climate change. On December 8th, presentations took place at the Le Bourget Conference Centre that featured important speakers such as Fleur Newman, Programme Officer and Gender Focal Point at the UNFCCC. She analyzed how the recommendations and the tool-kit previously elaborated in workshops at the UNFCCC can guide the implementation of gender-sensitive policy projects on the ground.
Participants had the opportunity to hear representatives of the Sarayaku people from the Amazonian forest in Ecuador. They presented their “Living Forest” proposal, which is a model of how women in indigenous communities can lead the way to climate change adaptation and renewable energy. On December 9th, participants will have the opportunity to discuss how issues of gender inequality are closely linked to many of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The relations between climate change and gender inequality are staggering: women produce more than half of the food in the world, and yet they are 70 percent of the world’s poor. Women are crucial in managing food and water resources, as well as carrying for health and hygiene within a household. Unfortunately, they often lack the opportunity to make decisions about their own resources.
Promoting gender equality is fundamental for the world to address issues of climate adaptation, poverty alleviation, and inequality. Many of the discussions in Paris during this COP focus primarily on identifying new ways through which climate finance mechanisms can reach women. It is well recognized that women have practical knowledge and coping strategies to adapt to climate change, so it is important to empower them by increasing their access to decision-making structures and providing them with capacity-building training.