Module 7

Area of Expertise

Women and girls are on the first line of defense against the effects of climate change.  They are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change because they tend to be more dependent on agricultural production and livestock, are more prone to poverty and food scarcity and receive less education.  They are also less likely to own land or personal property, and are especially vulnerable in the face of natural disasters.  Skewed power relations and cultural norms leave them underrepresented in decision-making, making it difficult for them to secure better opportunities.  

CSW Fact Sheet 

  • It is estimated that 60 percent of chronically hungry people are women and girls.
  • Women comprise, on average, 43 percent of the agricultural labour force in developing countries. If they had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase yields on their farms by 20–30 percent. This could raise total agricultural output in developing countries by 2.5–4 percent, which could in turn reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12–17 percent.
  • Women rely more heavily on forests and natural resources for their livelihood than men. Gender inequality and deforestation were causally related in more than 100 countries between 1990 and 2010.
  • Nearly 18 percent of global CO2 emissions are from developing countries’ residential usage. Biomass and coal cook stoves, which release high levels of CO2 and other pollutants, cause about 2 million deaths a year. The health burden of these cook stoves disproportionately fall on women and children.
  • A little over 33 percent of governments regularly generate statistics on citizens’ access to clean water. This is a gender issue as, especially in rural areas, women predominantly spend hours collecting water.

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Discussion Questions

- Ask your participants how many women MPs are currently in parliament.  Is there a gender or women’s group or caucus?  In general, is gender high on the parliament’s agenda? 

- Discuss why it is important to consider gender in policy-making on climate change and energy.  Can your participants think of relevant examples from their country or constituency?  What are some of the main issues that should be (better) addressed?

- Are your participants aware of gender-specific legislation or action on climate change or energy?  Have they been part of any relevant initiatives?

- Moving forward, what are some of the concrete steps MPs could take to promote gender-responsive action on climate change and energy?  Who are the main stakeholders to involve in this conversation? What other sources of support could they draw on (senior MPs, government officials, academics, civil society organisations, …).   


Parliamentary Action Points

Further Resources

UNDP Resource Guide on Gender and Climate Change

This resource guide aims to inform practitioners and policy makers of the linkages between gender equality and climate change and their importance in relation to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. It makes the case for why it is necessary to include women’s voices, needs and expertise in climate change policy and programming, and demonstrates how women’s contributions can strengthen the effectiveness of climate change measures.

Global Gender and Climate Alliance

The primary goal of the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA) is to ensure that climate change policies, decision-making, and initiatives at the global, regional, and national levels are gender responsive. 

The GCCA works towards four complementary objectives:
• Integrate a gender perspective into policy and decision making in order to ensure international mandates and other legal instruments on gender equality are fully implemented.
• Ensure that financing mechanisms on mitigation and adaptation address the needs of poor women and men equitably.
• Build capacity at all levels to design and implement gender-responsive climate change policies, strategies and programmes.
• Develop, compile, and share practical tools, information, and methodologies to facilitate the integration of gender into policy and programming.

ENERGIA's Generic Training Modules

Training packages have been designed by ENERGIA for the training of selected practitioners (policy makers, planners and project implementers, NGOs, private sector and academia) to increase their understanding of gender and energy inter-relationships and their capacity to bring gender aspects of energy into the policy and project planning. 

The art of implementation: gender strategies transforming national and regional climate change decision making

This publication shares IUCN's experiences in developing the world's first gender-responsive national strategies and roadmaps on climate change. Different sections outline steps and elements of creating a climate change gender action plan (ccGAP) or REDD+ roadmap; present principles behind the strategies and what has worked best; detail case studies highlighting sectors that demonstrate the gender dimensions of climate change in different national contexts; and provide recommendations on how to move forward.

Ensuring gender equity in climate change financing 

This report presents recommendations based on four broad assertions: 
1) gender-sensitizing procedures and mechanisms will ensure that climate change finance mechanisms, procedures and outcomes impact women and men more equitably;
2) mainstreaming gender will maximize the effectivenessand efficiency of climate change responses and protect women’s social reproductive roles and care activities in the face of climate change impacts and activities;
3) empowering women will ensure that climate change finance policy choices reflect both women’s and men’s interests and enable women to fully participate in all aspects of decision making; and
4) addressing market and non-market mechanisms will facilitate women’s economic and social empowerment by promoting a deeper understanding of the gender differentiated impacts of private- and public-sector climate change finance mechanisms and their impacts on gender equality.