The demands of the most impacted — particularly African, Indigenous, youth, and women voices — must be centered throughout these next two weeks at COP27 and beyond, writes Carissa Patrone Maikuri, Program Coordinator, Drawdown Lift, Project Drawdown
What does it mean to put gender equality at the centre of climate solutions?
Putting gender equality at the centre of climate change solutions means integrating diverse gender perspectives across holistic and enduring climate, environmental, and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes.
Women’s and girl’s full and equal participation in decision-making processes is a top priority in the fight against climate change. Without gender equality today, a sustainable, more equal future remains beyond our reach.
Climate solutions must also improve and invest in gender-specific statistics and data to amplify the relationship between gender and climate, strengthen and enforce land rights, and promote women-led and women-focused sustainable solutions, particularly indigenous and grassroots nature-based solutions, resource management, and food production activities.
In the páramo ecosystem of the Ecuadorian Andes, indigenous women are using sustainable agricultural production and landscape management to restore the fragile ecosystem to health after years of desertification and overgrazing, which has left large swaths of land barren and depleted. The women-led efforts are also dismantling gender stereotypes and empowering women to contribute to decision-making processes in their communities. “The páramo project shows us that without women, it’s not possible to talk about solutions to climate change and sustainable development,” says UN Women Representative in Ecuador, Bibiana Aido.
Finally, climate solutions must take a gender-responsive approach to financing. “Women-led actions need to be sufficiently and equitably funded to achieve a just, green transition,” says Norah Magero, a mechanical engineer and renewable energy expert from Kenya with experience in the design and management of off-grid energy technologies.For a more sustainable tomorrow, we have to invest in and promote technologies that enhance renewable and clean energy sources and support women’s participation in their development and use. “Recognize, applaud, publish and cheer on the brave women who have constantly advocated and promoted equitable, gender-focused and just climate action measures,” Magero says.
What can you do to support climate action for women, by women?
The scope and scale of climate change impacts can be daunting, but your words and actions can affect real change in your community.
Consider supporting the work of local women-led organizations, enterprises, and cooperatives taking action against climate change. Use your voice and vote to hold leaders accountable and to press for commitments that build an equitable and enduring future.
Give power and platforms to the next generation of Earth champions by reading and sharing the stories and work of women and girls on the front lines of climate change. Use #IWD2022 to join the conversation on social media, and share how you support gender-equal climate action.