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The phrase : “the climate crisis is not gender neutral” has become a mantra in all climate and women’s rights spaces. And there has been some progress in acknowledging and acting upon the unprecedented impacts that women and girls experience due to the climate crisis.

Climate change poses a real threat to women’s livelihoods, health, and safety, since, in many parts of the world, fuel water and food security largely depend on them. At the same time, women as farmers, entrepreneurs, and custodians of natural resources as well as the carers of the young and the old are in the front line of solutions and form essential resilience in adapting to the impacts of climate change.

During COP20 in Lima, Peru, the first Work Program on Gender was established through a formal decision of the Conference. The decision calls for a gender responsive climate policy and action, and three years later, during COP23 a Gender Action Plan was established, a progress review in COP25 and a Gender and Climate change Decision at COP26. This means that the multilateral agenda on women, gender and climate justice has a formal space in climate negotiations and is subject to intergovernmental negotiations and a vibrant participation of civil society and the gender equality and women’s rights movement.

In spite of these normative efforts and the progress in climate and gender related and climate policy decisions, we continue to see under-representation of women in the bodies established under the UN Climate Convention and serious challenges to find disaggregated data on NDC reporting by countries as well as weak evidence on gender and climate budgeting, financing and capacity building.

In addition, the Egyptian presidency of COP27 has reiterated that COP27 will be about action, about moving from pledges to implementation.

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"The major challenge in front of us is not technical or financial. What’s needed is a mindset shift.”

Christiana FigueresGWL Voices member
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