Saturday, November 22, 2008

The United Nations, Women and Climate Change

Yesterday I went in to talk with Phil Thorhill of Campaign Against Climate Change to discuss the existing gender imbalance witnessed at Campaign Against Climate Change meetings and the forthcoming speaker line-up for the Climate Change March to be held here in London on the 6th December.

It is an issue that numerous Wise Women have brought repeatedly to my attention and want addressed. Time and again I am receiving emails decrying the lack of women at the front face of the environmental movement. Many tell me they only go to hear the women now as they no longer want to hear the same old male bods banging on bleakly about doom and gloom, but that they want to hear women speak, and about solutions and progress as to how we can move forward, as well as addressing the larger implications of gender imbalance and climate change for women in developing nations.

Whether or not it is a valid complaint, it is one that should not be dismissed out of hand. The very fact that we now have three active women organisations, Wise Women, Climate Rush and WeCAN, growing daily here in the UK as well as globally is testimony to the fact that women are wanting to address this perceived discrimination. It is an issue that we here in the UK are now seeking to rectify.

The United Nations recognise this gender imbalance as well. For the last two days they held a conference in New York, organised by the Global Climate Change Gender Alliance to discuss this very issue. One of the issues The Alliance is focused on is capacity-building to ensure integration of gender into climate talks. My Wise Women at the conference have assured me that support is building fast to ensure the integration of gender issues within the national and international climate change negotiations.

We here in the UK are also capacity-building. If you are interested in being part of a growing women's coalition working together to engender great balance within the environmental field here in the UK, come and join us. The next Wise Woman Speaker Event is addressing this very issue: Women and Climate Change, on the 9th December 2008.
UN press conference on Gender Imbalance and Climate Change
Wise Women
Climate Rush

About the GGCA: the IUCN, UNDP, UNEP and the Women's Environment Development Organization (WEDO) have come together to create the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA). The goal of the GGCA is to ensure that climate change policies, decision-making, initiatives at the global, regional and national levels are gender responsive.

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