On 1 March the 55th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) adopted a resolution to mainstream gender equality and promote the empowerment of women in climate change policies and strategies. The resolution (E/CN.6/2011/L.1) is the first resolution by the CSW to address the link between gender equality and climate change.
The Mission of the Philippines chaired the negotiation and worked with Member States to achieve consensus. In the end, 53 Member States co-sponsored the resolution evidencing broad overall support.
The resolution reflects existing international conventions and frameworks on women’s empowerment and climate change and reaffirms commitments in relevant instruments. These include in the Beijing Platform for Action under the area of ‘Women and the environment’, the Hyogo Framework for Action, Human Rights Council resolution 10/4 of 25 on climate change, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Cancun Agreements, which state gender equality and participation of women in decision-making as important to all aspects of climate change.
Governments and all other relevant actors are encouraged to promote women’s equal access to education, media and information, communications and technology as well as women’s equal participation and training, under the resolution. The resolution calls upon economic, political, and scientific institutions to take into account the impact of environmental degradation and climate change on women, and develop database tools and statistics that are disaggregated by sex and age, and gender sensitive methodologies and policy analysis. The importance of strengthening rural women’s access to and control of resources, including land, is highlighted.
Parties to the UNFCCC are also called upon to continue to incorporate a gender perspective and make efforts to ensure the effective participation of women in the ongoing climate change talks leading to the 17th Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC in Durban, South Africa, this year.
Throughout the negotiation process, experts from UN Women provided technical support to Member States on the inter-linkages between gender and climate change.
For more information, contact Tracy Raczek, UN Women, tracy.raczek[at]unwomen.org.