For the first time, a Gender Day has been included in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference to raise awareness of gender and climate change issues as well as celebrate women and the role they play in addressing climate change.
The November 27 Day included: the launch of the COP 17/CMP 7 President Legacy publication, titled “Thuto Ya Batho Women and Climate Change;” an event on Gender and Climate Innovation, themed “Breakthrough changes for gender equality;” and a panel discussion on Gender and Climate, under the theme “Moving beyond the Rhetoric.’
NGOs involved in organizing events during the Day included: GenderCC – Women for Climate Justice, the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GCCA), LIFE, and Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO).
Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary urged participants to act in their individual capacities to forward the inclusion of gender into this discourse and subsequent action.
Alcinda Abreu, Minister of the Coordination of Environmental Affairs, Mozambique, drew attention to her country’s increasing vulnerability to climate change impacts, and lauded the efforts of women in addressing these challenges, noting the increased use of clean cook stoves and better agricultural practices to ensure greater food security.
Mary Robinson, President, Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice (MRFCJ), called for stronger action to be taken at COP 18. Introducing Cecilia Kibe, Coordinator, Kenya Climate Justice Women Champions, Robinson praised the often unrecognized efforts of women working at the grassroots level to adapt to climate change. She introduced participants to a draft decision to be considered by COP 18 on gender balance in the structure of the UNFCCC.