Media Advisory: At COP22, UN Women to spotlight central role of women in climate response

Events and activists to amplify co-benefits between gender equality and climate action for sustainable development

Date: Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Media Contacts:

Maria Sanchez, Ph: +1 646 781-4507; Email: maria.sanchez[at]unwomen.org 
Houda Areski, Ph: +212 (0)6 70105995; Email: houda.areski[at]unwomen.org 
Oisika Chakrabarti, Ph: +1 646 781-4522; Email: oisika.chakrabarti[at]unwomen.org

(New York, 7 November)— Following the historic Paris Agreement, as the first Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 22) convenes in Marrakech from 7-18 November, the meeting provides a unique opportunity to ensure policy direction towards implementation of gender-responsive climate actions at all levels. The Paris Agreement, signed by 197 Parties (ratified by 94 to date) commits to promote gender equality obligations when addressing climate change.

The impacts of climate change are not gender neutral. In the past 10 years 87 percent of disasters have been climate related. While disasters impact all segments of the population, evidence shows there are differences in how men and women are affected by, cope with and respond to such disasters. Climate change impacts women differently and disproportionately more than men.  For example, women accounted for 67 per cent of the fatalities of the Indian Ocean Tsunami. Post-disaster assessment in Myanmar in 2015 showed that women and girls had lower recovery capacity due to lower incomes and fewer productive assets, and higher food insecurity and malnutrition. This differentiated impact is due to the structural barriers women face, from discriminatory laws, to social norms, and the disproportionate burden of unpaid care work. This is played out during disasters with women often being the last to escape as the ensure the safety of family members before ensuring their own and women and girls being vulnerable to sexual violence as they become food and water collectors post-disaster. Additionally, in the aftermath of disasters, discriminatory social norms such as food hierarchies and limited mobility, can also exclude women from life-saving services and decision making processes. Similarly, in agriculture, where women comprise 43 percent of the agricultural workforce, climate change exacerbates the existing barriers faced by women farmers, who have less resources, technology and land security due to discriminatory policy framework or harmful social norms.

While the differential impact of climate change on women is increasingly understood, the critical role women and girls can play as leaders and agents of change in climate action and management of natural resources is often overlooked in climate negotiations, investments and policies. In most developing countries, for example, women are the primary household energy managers and key actors in the food system, and can be powerful actors in the transition to sustainable energy and climate resilient agriculture

At COP22, Parties to the Convention are expected to adopt a comprehensive work programme on gender to integrate gender perspectives in climate policies and actions and to ensure women’s participation at all levels. UN Women is calling on all Parties to the Convention and climate actors to leverage the co-benefits of gender equality and climate action, and put gender equality concerns and voice and agency of women at the centre of climate management, decision making and investments. The new work programme should build on the successes of the past years and provide a strong basis for tackling gaps and challenges. Concrete recommendations include: development and adoption of a gender equality and women’s empowerment policy; systematic integration of gender in all reports; setting an initial quota of 30 per cent women in the Parties’ official delegation to UNFCCC meetings; and allocation of dedicated travel and capacity-building funding for women delegates, among other measures. Read more>

UN Women events at COP22

UN Women events will showcase best practices, initiatives and voices of women and girls at the forefront of climate response. UN Women’s recently launched climate action related flagship programme initiatives will also be spotlighted at COP22. These initiatives aim to bring women’s participation and leadership to the forefront of climate solutions through climate-smart agriculture, access to decentralized renewable energy, sustainable transport and urban development and actions to reduce and respond to disaster risks.

UN Women organized/co-sponsored events:

12 November

Training on Gender and Climate Change, organized by UN Women and women’s NGOs, emphasizes the co-benefits between gender and climate action and accessing climate finance. The sessions will be led by UN Women Assistant-Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director Yannick Glemarec, Time: All day event; Venue: Morning session: Conference room “Genre et climat” and afternoon session: Conference room “Art et Culture”.

14 November

Women’s Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Energy, organized by UN Women in partnership with Government of India. India is one of the pilot countries implementing UN Women and UNEP’s joint Flagship Programme to promote Women’s Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Energy. The focus of the Flagship Programme in India is to address gender specific barriers faced by women and women entrepreneurs in their participation and leadership in energy policies, programmes and schemes. UN Women Assistant-Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri will participate in the event, Time: 11.00 a.m.-1.05 p.m.; Venue: India Pavilion, Blue Zone.

Transformative Strategies for the Economic Empowerment Of Women Through Climate Resilient Agriculture In the Democratic Republic Of the Congo, organized by UN Women and Government of Democratic Republic of the Congo. UN Women Assistant-Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director Yannick Glemarec will participate. The event will build on the framework of the Government and UN Women’s Flagship Programme on climate resilient agriculture, and highlight national initiatives that are enabling women farmers to develop innovative solutions and become transformative actors in agriculture, diversify their sources of revenue and regain their dignity. Time: 10.30 a.m.-12.00 p.m.; Venue: DRC Pavilion, Blue Zone.

15 November: Gender Day

Improving Women's Participation in the UNFCCC Process organized by UN Women and the Mary Robinson Foundation–Criminal Justice. The event celebrating the launch of the research report The Full View: Ensuring a comprehensive approach to achieve the goal of gender balance in the UNFCCC process will feature a panel, moderated by UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri, on improving women's participation in the UNFCCC process. Time:1.15-2.15 p.m. ; Venue: EU Pavilion, Bratislava Room. Read more»

Tools to Translate, Track and Transform: A dialogue on the transformative implementation of gender-responsive climate solutions, co-hosted by UN Women, Women Gender Constituency, Gender CC, WEDO, OECD, GGCA and the Governments of France and Switzerland. The event will feature a dialogue on the tools and methods available to governments to implement gender-responsive climate solutions. Deputy Executive Director Yannick Glemarec will deliver keynote remarks. Time: 3.00 – 5.30 p.m.; Venue: Climate Action Arena, Blue Zone.

Momentum for Change: Women for Results event and High-level panel of UNFCCC’s Gender Day, organized by UNFCCC secretariat in partnership with Masdar’s Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) Initiative. The high-level event will feature a roundtable discussion by thought leaders on how achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women can accelerate the transition to low-carbon climate resilient future and more inclusive societies and economies. UN Women Assistant-Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri will participate in the event. Time: 6.00 – 8.00 p.m.; Venue: Climate Action Area, Room Fes, Blue Zone.

High-level Panel on Improving Women’s Participation in the UNFCCC process and Launch of The Full View, Second ed.: Ensuring a comprehensive approach to achieve the goal of gender balance in the UNFCCC Process, organized by UN Women and the Mary Robinson Foundation Climate Justice. The high-level event will discuss some of the recommendations in the research report prepared by UN Women and the Mary Robinson Foundation. UN Women Assistant-Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri will participate in the event. Time: 1- 2:15 p.m.; Venue: Climate Action Area (tbc), Blue Zone.

Women Entrepreneurship in Environmental Action, organized by UN Women and Government of Morocco. UN Women Assistant-Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director Yannick Glemarec will participate in the event which seeks to analyze the opportunities and challenges related to gender, women's entrepreneurship, environment and climate change adaptation. The event will highlight innovative initiatives involving women in the adaptation and mitigation of climate change. Time: 5.00-8.00 p.m.; Venue: Morocco Pavilion, Blue Zone.

Addressing the Gender Inequality of Risk towards Ensuring More Resilient Communities in a Changing Climate, organized by UN Women with the Government of France and IRD. UN Women Assistant-Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director Yannick Glemarec will speak at the event, which seeks to influence policy makers to integrate gender equality into national climate adaptation strategies and programmes by presenting practical, gender integrated solutions for effective resilience building and disaster-risk management. Ms. Nguyen Ngoc Ly, Director of the NGO Centre for Environment and Community Research, Vietnam, and well-known activist on women’s leadership in disaster risk management and resilience will also speak at the event. Time: 6.15 – 8.30 p.m.; Venue: French Pavilion, Blue Zone.

Interviews with UN Women officials and partners are available. Please connect with media contacts listed.