Category: gender

Salvador, Brazil: How to Decrease Gender Inequality in the Context of Covid-19

Salvador, Brazil: How to Decrease Gender Inequality in the Context of Covid-19

Coronavirus Speaker Series: Sharing Knowledge to Respond with Resilience is a weekly session organised by the Global Resilient Cities Network and the World Bank as a knowledge sharing session for cities in response to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation.

Daniela Ribeiro Guarieiro, Deputy Chief Resilience Officer, Municipality of Salvador (Brazil)

Daniela currently holds the position of Resilience Manager at the Municipality of Salvador, having participated actively in the development and implementation of Salvador’s Resilience Strategy, and actively participates in the Global Network of Resilient Cities. She is currently involved with the elaboration of the Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Plan of Salvador, Circular Economy initiatives in the city, and the resilient challenge to empower women entrepreneurship. She has an MSc in Public and Urban Policies from the University of Glasgow, UK, and a specialisation in Urban Economics and Public Management at PUC-SP, Brazil.

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Cover photo of Salvador, Brazil from Wikimedia Commons.
This presentation was originally posted on the Medium.
Gender lens essential to addressing linked climate change and security crises, urges joint UN report

Gender lens essential to addressing linked climate change and security crises, urges joint UN report

Nairobi and New York – 9 June 2020 – As countries reel from the devastating social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, gender inequality is shaping the experience of crisis, as well as prospects for resilience and recovery.

A new report – Gender, Climate & Security: Sustaining Inclusive Peace on the Frontlines of Climate Change – by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), UN Women, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (UNDPPA) reveals the close links between gender, climate, and security, and shows that women on the frontlines of climate action are playing a vital role in conflict prevention and sustainable, inclusive peace.

Communities affected by conflict and climate change face a double crisis. The pandemic further compounds the impacts of climate change on food security, livelihoods, social cohesion, and security. This can undermine development gains, escalate violence and also disrupt fragile peace processes.

Women and girls are facing disproportionate economic burdens due to different types of marginalization; gendered expectations can lead men and women to resort to violence when traditional livelihoods fail; and important socio-economic shifts can result from changes to patterns of migration.

“Unequal access to land tenure, financial resources, and decision-making power can create economic stress for entire households in times of crisis, leaving women disproportionately exposed to climate-related security risk,” said UNEP’s Executive Director, Inger Andersen. “The climate crisis stretches well beyond just climate, and tackling it effectively requires responses that address the links between gender, climate and security –we must ensure no one is left behind.”

Research supporting the report shows that in Chad, gender-based violence and structural inequality limit the capacity of communities to adapt to climate shocks. In Sudan, the growing scarcity of fertile land caused by extended droughts and rainfall fluctuation is marked by increases in local conflict between farmers and nomadic groups. Many people –mostly men– have migrated away from local villages in search of alternative livelihoods in large agricultural schemes or in nearby mines, leaving women with greater economic burdens. Other examples highlight climate-related security risks for women in urban areas, especially within informal settlements. Research from Pakistan and Sierra Leone suggest that water shortages, heat waves, and extreme weather events can create new risks of gender-based violence and deepen pervasive inequalities.

The report makes clear the urgent need for gender-responsive action to tackle these linked crises. Interventions around natural resources, the environment and climate change, for example, provide significant opportunities for women’s political and economic leadership, and strengthen their contributions to peace. Sustainable natural resource programming also offers opportunities to mitigate sexual and gender-based violence in conflict. Recognizing that peace and security, human rights, and development are interdependent is vital to forge a better future, the report argues.

“Gender inequality, climate vulnerability, and state fragility are strongly interlinked –we know, for example, that countries with higher values in one of these areas tend to score higher in the other two”, said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner. “At the same time, aid targeting initiatives that empower women and promote gender equality remains very low. The concrete examples of these types of initiatives in action showcased in this report can help spur further research and inspire more opportunities to reinforce the roles of women in peacebuilding, which is fundamental to help us achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

“Strengthening the role of women in the management of natural resources also creates opportunities for them to act as peacebuilders and manage conflicts in non-violent manners,” adds Oscar Fernández-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support.

Gender considerations should also be fully reflected in emerging policy and programming on climate-related security risks –not only to strengthen awareness and understanding of particular vulnerabilities, but also to highlight opportunities for leadership and inclusion of women and marginalized groups in decision-making processes.

More investment for gender equality and women’s empowerment is required in fragile states, including implications on human mobility, and especially in sectors related to natural resources, where it is particularly low.

“Building back better with a gender lens means ensuring our post-COVID economies tackle the fundamental inequalities in society and end violence against women,” said UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “Women are a powerful force to rebuild societies more securely, from providing food and shelter, to generating vital income and leading sustainable change.”

Read the report here.

This article was accessed via PreventionWeb. Read the original article here.
Cover photo by Ninno JackJr on Unsplash.
Adaptation Fund study highlights best practices and lessons learned in gender mainstreaming across the adaptation field

Adaptation Fund study highlights best practices and lessons learned in gender mainstreaming across the adaptation field

A new study from the Adaptation Fund (AF) shares best practices and lessons in mainstreaming gender in climate change adaptation projects. The study, Accessing Progress: Integrating Gender in AF Projects and Programmes, focused on a review of successes and lessons learned in mainstreaming gender elements in five AF projects within distinct geographic regions: Ecuador, Mongolia, Morocco, Rwanda and Seychelles.

The research proves that integrating gender elements through each project stage has multiple benefits. Additionally, it highlights effective approaches, tools, challenges and learning opportunities for increasing and accelerating gender mainstreaming across the adaptation field. It is hoped that the information can help scale-up effective gender-responsive adaptation strategies – an action that is pivotal to ensuring project effectiveness and sustainability, while also promoting gender equality as a key goal.

Key findings include:

  • Ownership in communities and inclusive participation of women and other vulnerable groups is conducive to increasing sustainability of project efforts and achievements.
  • Systemic issues need to be closely addressed through participatory analysis and further advanced in project design and implementation to increase overall project benefits.
  • Raising awareness and building capacity among national and local stakeholders strengthened efforts to implement appropriate responses to threats of the targeted population.
  • Vocational training advanced economic prospects of youth, but could be better tied with the project initiative, and needs to ensure completion.

Read the full study here.

Cover photo by CCAFS East Africa on Flickr.
Climate action needs to be inclusive of women’s diverse voices

Climate action needs to be inclusive of women’s diverse voices

By Elisa Jiménez Alonso

Structural and cultural discrimination of women make them more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, however, they also lack systematic representation as decision makers. Gender equality is essential for transformational climate action, thus the involvement of women in it is key.

Women are disproportionately affected by climate change impacts in a number of ways. For example, a study from 2007 showed that the socially constructed gender-specific vulnerability of women that is built into everyday socio-economic patterns led to higher mortality during and after disasters compared to men. Surviving extreme weather events can leave women with a lack of resources to rebuild their lives, this can range from a lack of legal assets to not having rights to property. The less extreme day-to-day struggles of having to collect water or food also come with their own set of gendered challenges as women often get threatened and abused.

Framing climate change as a human rights imperative, a global security threat, and a pervasive economic strain, a Georgetown University study from 2015 looked specifically at the gendered dimensions of climate impacts and how women systematically suffer more severe health, economic, social, and physical consequences. The report also recognised women as critical agents of change who provide both creative and localised solutions for climate mitigation and adaptation, but who are, at the same time, systematically excluded from decision-making processes.

The UNFCCC is trying to counteract this systematic exclusion through a number of measures like, for example, the Gender Action Plan (GAP). Established at COP23, the GAP recognises that “there  is  a  need  for  women  to  be  represented  in  all  aspects  of  the  Convention  process  and  a  need  for  gender  mainstreaming  through  all  relevant  targets  and goals in activities under the Convention as an important contribution to increasing their effectiveness.” The Paris Agreement also mentions the importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment several times calling, for example, for gender-responsive adaptation and capacity building. Increasing women’s participation at the political level results in greater responsiveness to citizen’s needs, increasing cooperation across party and ethnic lines, and delivering more sustainable peace.

Finally, it is important to keep in mind how intersectionality adds fuel to the fire of gender inequality. Intersectionality, a term coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, describes the way in which institutions of oppression (sexism, racism, ableism, classism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, etc.) are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from each other creating very unique experiences for different people. For example, a wealthy white woman and a wealthy black woman can both experience sexism, but the black woman will in all likelihood experience racism on top of that, or even gendered racism; similarly, a disabled woman encounters completely different challenges than a non-disabled woman. But also, the examples outlined further above do not apply to all women, illustrating why the representation of women in decision-making processes needs to reflect their diverse experiences making sure we are creating solutions for all, not just the few.

Cover photo by Arièle Bonte on Unsplash.