Tuesday, Dec. 6th 2011

It’s the start of the second week of negotiations here at COP17 in Durban! Over the last few days, WEDO has been facilitating an advocacy team, working with delegates and other organizations to influence the talks and advocate for gender equality and women’s rights.

Gender has been one of the buzzwords here at COP17. With over 30 side events on the topic, it’s clear that major progress has been made in creating awareness on the linkages between gender and climate change. Yesterday for example, the UNFCCC held “Gender Day” at the Digital Lounge here in the ICC. Until last year’s Cancun Agreements, the UNFCCC was the only one of the three Rio Conventions that did not have clear mandates on women’s rights or gender equality. Now in 2011, “Gender Day” features several interviews with individuals and organizations- including WEDO- all speaking on the importance of highlighting gender and women’s rights in all levels of climate decision-making and implementation.

As awareness on gender issues continues to grow in the climate change arena, organizations like WEDO are working hard to ensure the use of “gender” remains elevated as a framework for transformation towards equality and not simply as an add-on to the process. Progress towards a gender-responsive climate agreement includes a transition to a rights-based approach in which gender equality, human rights and the integrity of the environment are key goals. Here at COP17, we must ensure that new mechanisms and institutions are guided by gender-sensitive principles, designed in a gender-equitable manner and that they assist women and men in truly adapting to and mitigating climate change. We also need to work to translate the decisions made here to the national and local levels to ensure that policies move toward action and have positive impacts on the lives of those who need it most. As we continue our work in Durban, WEDO seeks to ensure that the decisions made in Cancun- specifically on the Adaptation Committee, and the Finance and the Technology Mechanisms – are operationalized in the COP17 outcomes.

So what has WEDO been up to since the start of COP17? Click here to look back!

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