WARSAW (November 14, 2013) – Last weekend, 20 female climate change negotiators completed a three nights training with the Women Delegates Fund (WDF) – a program to support and enhance the participation of women delegates in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process, funded by the governments of Iceland and Finland, and administrated by WEDO.

The WDF Night School was held in Warsaw, Poland on November 8th-10th, right before the start of the 19th Conference of Parties (COP19). It focused on developing the women’s negotiation and drafting skills, through briefings and discussions on the COP19 agenda items, the sharing of tips and tricks, and simulation of negotiations – including drafting texts and making interventions.

This year, the WDF is supporting 9 women from Ghana, Malawi, Fiji, Liberia, Tanzania, Nepal, Ecuador, Mexico and Bangladesh at the COP. To strengthen capacity building and expanding the reach of the program, the Night School included additional delegates from South Africa, Togo, Belize, Bolivia, Sudan and Mali.

The training proved to be a good place for the women to network and mentor each other. Women who have been part of the WDF for some years, encouraged newer participants not to give up even if faced by challenges, such as not earning recognition in male dominated delegations.

– When I first came to the climate negotiations, I was not given a lot of responsibilites. But after working hard, attending WDF trainings and staying in the game, the other members of my delegation now come to me, and I am appointed as the expert to follow and make interventions on many issues, one delegate told the others.










The WDF was established as a response to the low numbers of women in national delegations at the UNFCCC negotiations. On average, only 32 percent of the delegates in the period 2008 – 2012, were women. At COP18 in Doha last year, a decision was made by the Parties for “Promoting gender balance and improving the participation of women in UNFCCC negotiations and in the representation of Parties in bodies established pursuant to the Convention or the Kyoto Protocol(Decision 23/CP.18).

How to move forward and implement this decision is part of the negotiations at this year’s COP19, and is one of the agenda items where WEDO is focusing our efforts.

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