New York, NY (March 6, 2017) — Women are actively solving problems resulting from climate change while also building resilience to impacts of climate change and climate-induced disasters. Women are advocates, innovators and decision-makers in policy and legislation. Women are holding governments to account for their commitments under recent global agreements related to climate change and disaster risk reduction. But gender inequality and socially proscribed gender roles still mean that women are generally more impacted by climate change and disasters than men. To make headway, coherence between the global agreements and women’s human rights instruments is vital.

WEDO is leading as an advocate and technical advisor in building that coherence, with two submissions to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women’s Draft General Recommendation on Gender-Related Dimensions of Disaster Risk Reduction in a Changing Climate. The focus of the resolution has strayed away from climate change, and WEDO and allies are calling to strengthen climate change mitigation in the resolution. This includes clarity on the obligations of States parties to CEDAW to take effective measures to mitigate climate change, addressing the root causes of climate change such as fossil fuels, extractive industries and deforestation. Those root causes not only lead to slow and rapid onset climate-related disasters, but also directly and indirectly impede gender equality.

Addressing root causes also means making a just transition to a low-carbon economy that promotes decent work for women in under-valued fields and supports their contributions to safe, sustainable energy sector. And one that addresses power structures in the industry.

WEDO’s Bridget Burns will be speaking at an event organized by the Swiss government on International Women’s Day, March 8th: “Women and Girls in Climate Change and Natural Disasters – Agents for Adaption and Disaster Risk Reduction” to further explore the links.

As governments grapple with how to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, women’s organizations are bringing solutions and advocating for rights-based implementation that also shifts the paradigm from disaster management to comprehensive risk reduction. Gender experts and women human rights advocates and organizations are generating evidence, measuring impacts and effectiveness that will build the social and economic evidence base needed for effective rights-based response to disasters that supports resilience building. But they need funding and safe civil society space to do it. In May 2017, WEDO as focal point for the Women and Gender Constituency to the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction will join allies to bring tools, recommendations and best practices to the Global Platform, as it works to contribute to the coherence.


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