News | 29 Dec, 2022

Climate and Gender responsive readiness program in Pakistan

IUCN launches Climate Change Gender Action Plan (ccGAP) with Fatima Jinnah Women University as part of its Academic- Climate and Gender responsive readiness program in Pakistan

Rawalpindi, Pakistan: IUCN reiterates that addressing climate change, environmental protection, and disaster risk reduction for all depends on the leadership of women and girls.IUCN, a pioneer and leader in addressing climate change and gender, launched Pakistan's first-ever Climate Change Gender Action Plan in Pakistan and later launched multiple of its series in various Pakistani provinces to recognise the substantial role of women and girls as change agents for sustainable development, in particular safeguarding the environment and addressing the adverse effects of climate change.

Today, IUCN in collaboration with Fatima Jinnah Women University and CESTaC launched Climate Change Gender Action Plan in Fatima Jinnah Women University where agreed conclusions adopted by women universities from all over Pakistan vowed to create a blueprint for national leaders and global stakeholders to promote women’s and girls’ full and equal participation and leadership in the designing and implementation of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction (DRR) policies and programmes moving forward.

Dr. Saleem Janjua, Chairperson, Center for Environmentally Sustainable Transport and Climate Change (CESTaC), Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU), Rawalpindi delivered the welcome remarks and commended the role of worthy vice chancellors to participate in this event.

Speaking on the occasion Mahmood Akhter Cheema, Country Representative, IUCN Pakistan opened the discussion and said that the agreements reached by the Ministry of Climate Change with regards to Nationally Determined Contributions come at a point when the world urgently needs new and coherent solutions to the interlocking crises that impact us all. “We now have a pathway with practical, specific measures for global resilience and recovery, and a shared understanding that solutions depend on bringing women and girls to the centre. Let’s capitalize on the work done here, put these agreements into immediate practice and move these decisions forward through all the major forums ahead’’.

The event was chaired by Mr. Hassan Nasir Jamy, Secretary Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) Government of Pakistan who shared his views and highlighted the role of MoWR and its role in combating climate change. He emphasized to follow the triple helix model to find climate solutions for Pakistan. At this occasion he highlighted the specialized role of IUCN Pakistan for including the gender aspects in National Water Policy. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman Higher Education Commission of Pakistan apprised the audience about the challenges bring faced by the girls and women of Pakistan and appreciated the role of IUCN to facilitate the Government and People of Pakistan.

A short play was performed by the students of university which carried the message to address the human wildlife conflict, life on land and climate change.

Ms. Fauzia Malik, Programme Coordinator IUCN Pakistan delivered a detailed presentation of the ccGAP and provided an overview of its process and shared the key highlights of six priority sectors of this action plan.

Dr. Saima Hamid, Vice Chancellor Fatima Jinnah Women University praised the role of IUCN Pakistan for development of ccGAP and also shared the plan of celebrating International Women’s Day 2023 which will be jointly celebrated by the six women universities of Pakistan.
The Panel discussion was moderated by Ms. Fauzia Malik and included following panelists (i) Prof. Dr. Bushra Mirza, Vice Chancellor, Lahore College for Women University (LCWU), Lahore, Punjab (ii) Dr. Safia Ahmed, Vice Chancellor, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women (iii) University (SBBWU), Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (iv) Prof. Dr. Shahzad Nasim, Vice Chancellor, Begum Nusrat Bhutto Women University, Sukkur, Sindh (v) Dr. Sajida Naureen, Vice Chancellor, Sardar Bahadur Khan Women University (SBKWU), Quetta, Balochistan.

The major comments brought during discussion were on the disproportionate impacts of climate change, environmental degradation and disasters on all women and girls that can include loss of homes and livelihoods, water scarcity, destruction and damage to schools and health facilities and stressed the urgency of eliminating persistent historical and structural inequalities, discriminatory laws and policies, negative social norms and gender stereotypes that perpetuate multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination in Academia and as well as normal lives of women. As a result of displacement, including forced and prolonged displacement, women and girls face specific challenges, including separation from support networks, increased risk of all forms of violence, and reduced access to employment, education, and essential health-care services, including sexual and reproductive health-care services, and psychosocial support.

The outcome of the event documented calls for leveraging and strengthening the full, equal and meaningful participation and influence of women and girls. A joint consensus was developed that specific efforts must be made to amplify the voices and knowledge of marginalized women, including indigenous women, older women, women with disabilities, migrant women and those living in rural, remote, conflict and disaster-prone areas. Their inputs must be heard and included in the management, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources and climate mitigation and adaptation initiatives and programmes.

The concluding remarks were delivered by Dr. Uzaira Rafique, Dean Faculty of Science and Technology/ Chair (Technical) CESTac, FJWU. The chief guest, guest of honor and worthy vice chancellors were presented with the climate change gender action plan publications and honorary shields to mark their contribution.