Attending to gender

01 December 2011 | Blogs

Building on the momentum gained at the last UN climate conference in Cancun, gender continues to maintain a high level of awareness at the talks currently under way in Durban, writes IUCN’s Lorena Aguilar.

Addressing gender equality in climate change action is important for a number of reasons, but at the most basic level, it makes any policies more effective and efficient. It is therefore not surprising that gender mainstreaming is gaining in currency among policy makers, international organizations and donors.

IUCN’s gender team is present in Durban to ensure that attention to gender issues is not left behind. At a technical level, we are engaged in promoting the inclusion and reinforcement of gender in issues related to adaptation, mitigation, technology and finance within the new global regime on climate change.

On Wednesday, during the Gender Day convened in the Ecosystem Pavilion, the gender team showcased ground-breaking methodologies in relation to the development of national gender-sensitive climate change strategies in six countries and regions (Jordan, Mozambique, Egypt, Tanzania, Haiti and Central America), as well as three gender-sensitive road maps on REDD+ developed by IUCN and partners in Uganda, Cameroon and Ghana.

Throughout the two weeks here we’re also working on strengthening the capacity of women and most importantly, women representing governments, in government delegations on gender and climate change in areas such as improving the ability to understand and communicate the gender dimensions of climate change and with a view that these will be included in a final text.

Next week IUCN will be conducting a training workshop involving nearly 100 representatives from the nine provinces in South Africa, as well as the national government. This will lead to the establishment of a national network of experts on gender and climate change in South Africa that will support our efforts in the development of national policy, most notably the roll-out of the Second National Communication and the Government’s Climate Change Response Strategy White Paper, both which will need significant gender input in going forward.

Lorena Aguilar is IUCN’s Senior Global Gender Advisor.